Your Fantasy Football Draft: Get me the Police.

August 12, 2009

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Here we are, just at the opening beginning of Pro Football camps and one of the many things factors with which Fantasy diehards need to concern themselves as they head into this year’s Fantasy Football draft is whether or not they have a tight enough grip on how the legal system will burden some options on their draft boards.

Under usual circumstances, a player coming back to the league after a season off, (usually due to injury), that has the outstanding athletic ability of a Michael Vick, could be found on a Fantasy sleeper list; a late round option with the potential to pay large dividends.  In Vick’s case, however, it could be weeks before we find out if he’ll play at all.  After serving nineteen months in a federal lockup for his part in operating an enormous interstate dog fighting ring, Vick was under house arrest until July.  Having been suspended indefinitely by Roger Goodell, Vick must then convince the NFL commissioner that he is worthy of reinstatement; no small task.  Then, and only then, can Vick and his representatives embark on the difficult course of finding a team willing to withstand the public relations mess that will certainly accompany a Vick signing.

At the wide receiver position, the status of a potential leader remains up in the air while another appears to have lost all value heading into this year’s fantasy football draft.  Plaxico Burress waltzed into a New York nightspot last year and literally shot the Giants’ Super Bowl possibilities right in the leg.  His own.  He was detained that night for the firearm he was carrying in the belt of his pants and has since found himself on the radar of none other than New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, who wants to make an example of Burress as part of his rigid position against guns.  Canned by the Giants and freshly indicted, Burress is anticipating a 2010 trial, and Burress is in search of a team.

The downfall of Cleveland Browns receiver Donte’ Stallworth, as played out in the Miami court system, is one that trumps any logic.  After pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter charges for running down a Miami pedestrian and arranging a plea bargain, Stallworth served less than thirty days in jail.  There are additional penalties that are a part of the deal.  He must serve two years of house arrest, an eight year probation sentence, and submit to drug and alcohol testing.  He also reached an undisclosed monetary agreement with the victim’s family and will perform 1,000 hours of community service as well as having  his driver’s license permanently revoked.  None of these sanctions, however, would have stopped him from pursuing his football career.

That is, until Goodell stepped in.  Noting that, while the criminal justice system had determined legal penalties, it was the duty of the commissioner to determine league discipline.  To that end, Goodell suspended Stallworth immediately and indefinitely.  Keep in mind, however, that while most surmise the ban to be for at least a year, all parties involved will meet soon to determine the actual length of the penalty.

So, head right out and buy those Fantasy Football Draft magazines.  You might want to pick up a copy of The Law Review while you’re at it.


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