Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Some people call him Maurice, because he speaks of the pompetus of gun.

We have found the weapons of mass destruction. They're in the back of Maurice Clarett's car.

(OK, I'm probably not the first blogger to make that joke, but hey, if there's 4 loaded pistols and a rifle in the back of anyone's car, you have to wonder what else they couldn't find.)

In all seriousness, all that happened to Maurice Clarett was that he got pulled over making an illegal U-Turn with said pistols and rifle very close to where a key witness in his armed robbery case lived. Clarett was uncooperative, from all reports to the point of threatening. Police tried to taser him, but the prods bounced off his bullet-proof vest. So they pepper sprayed him.

The scary part about this situation his what *could* have happened had he not made the U-Turn and made it to the witness's house.

Maurice may have had the potential to be a pro football player, but I don't think he's much of a professional killer. Bullets, unfortunately, can be traced to the gun that fired them. Traces of clothing, fingerprints, and DNA can be matched in such a way to prove his presence. In short, we live in a "CSI" influenced era where it's very difficult to get away with murder.

Maurice should be thankful he only has mace face right now. He very easily could have been OJ, only with a conviction.

There's a temptation in our opinionated talk-radio culture to hold him up as an example of what's wrong with "the pampered athlete." Problem is, with any group of people in a given profession, there are misfits, and even if Clarett is put away, young athletes will continue to make bad decisions with the talent God gave them.

There's also a temptation to blame background, upbringing, etc., which is just as much of a leap to a conclusion as making him an example. All individuals have the capacity to overcome their limitations. Clarett simply chose poorly.

And then there's the wondering of "what could have been" if he had won his lawsuit against the NFL. Maybe, the thinking goes, with more financial security, he might not have committed the armed robbery.

Trouble is coming into money often times reveals character as much as the lack of it. If he had won his suit, maybe he gets a big payday and makes himself a nice life, but the big payday also could have just delayed, even fueled his inevitable fall.

Point being, we don't know "what could have been" and we'll never know.

And that's what makes this story compelling.
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