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Pacman Part II

It was difficult to make the decision to continue my rant on Adam “Pacman” Jones, but after several hours and pushing the deadline as far as I could, I’ve decided to run Pacman through the wringer one last time. Maybe.

Let me catch you up on Pacman. The commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell, has reinstated Pacman. He is free to make millions more dollars doing what the good Lord has gifted him with, a talent for playing a game called football. Let’s forget that Pacman likes to fight, spit on women, ingest illegal drugs, and hang out with people that are likely to scare the hell out of a normal person walking down a dark alley.

The NFL has taken away Pacman’s bodyguard, and they are no longer going to monitor his off-field behavior. Essentially, they are no longer going to babysit this bully. They’ve slapped his hand, and slapped his hand, and slapped his hand. They’ve fined him hundreds of thousands of dollars for his behavior, but taking a pea out of the pea patch, well, it hardly makes a difference.

The line in Vegas is that Pacman won’t make it to the end of the season without spitting on some unfortunate woman. My bet is that he can’t do it either, but I don’t think he should have another chance.

They’ve reinstated him just in time for Thanksgiving, but he cannot play until the game after Thanksgiving. Boy, does Pacman have a lot to be thankful for. Can you imagine Pacman sitting at your table for Thanksgiving dinner? “Look, Pacman just spit in Aunt Millie’s mashed potatoes, he puched Uncle Buck in the ear, and offered Sister Sally $80,000 to slide down the banister in her robe, at gun point no less.”

Let’s switch gears for a moment; all this criminal talk is starting to wear on me. It has long been my opinion that professional athletes are, and always will be, role models for young people, contrary to what Charles Barkley once said. “I think the media demands that athletes be role models because there’s some jealousy involved. It’s as if they say, this is a young black kid playing a game for a living and making all this money, so we’re going to make it tough on him. And what they’re really doing is telling kids to look up to someone they can’t become, because not many people can be like we are. Kids can’t be like Michael Jordan.” Well, I disagree. Kids can be just like you, Chuck.

During one of Barkley’s less memorable moments after a poor performance, upset by a heckler’s remarks, Barkley turned to spit on the man, but, as he later described, did not “get enough foam,” missed and mistakenly spat on a young girl. Barkley must have been Pacman’s mentor. I have to ask again, “What is with all this spitting?”

Now, let me tell you about an athlete that I would love to have sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner with me. I could hear him at the table now: “Gee, there’s only one olive left, Aunt Millie, please, be my guest. Uncle Buck, how about a nice game of gin rummy after the pumpkin pie? Sister Sally, that dress looks so beautiful on you.”

You see, this is J.P. Hayes, a professional golfer with integrity, and a deep respect for the game which the Lord gifted him with. While competing in the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, one that allows him to play more tournaments in 2009 if he finishes well, he, not an official, noticed he was using a ball that was not listed for competitive play by the United States Golf Association. After a shot to the green went astray, J.P.’s caddie had inadvertently grabbed a different Titleist ball from his bag and Hayes hit the ball onto the green. When he went to mark the ball, he noticed it was a ball not allowed in tournament play.

Hayes went to a tournament official and owned up to the mistake, and carded a two-stroke penalty, and essentially sent himself to the unemployment line in 2009.  He didn’t punch his caddie in the nose, he didn’t spit on the tournament official, he simply played by the rules. Hayes didn’t have to say a word, no one would have noticed, or cared for that matter. That is what we call integrity, and taking responsibility for one’s own actions.

For J.P. Hayes, it wasn’t about the money, not about seeing his name on the leader board, and not about himself. That’s the difference between demanding respect and commanding respect. J.P., you have my respect, now go out there and challenge that guy Tiger, but first, pass me that turkey wing if you wouldn’t mind, as long as Aunt Millie is done, of course.

In closing, I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving regardless of who was at the table, and I wish you continued joy in the coming holiday season. Enjoy your family, friends, and food.


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Clint Nicholson Clint Nicholson Clint Nicholson is the sales manager for Keokee Publishing in Sandpoint. His former experience is with newspapers and automobiles.

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