The Phoenix Network:
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Moonsigns  |  Band Guide  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures
Puzzles  |  Sports  |  Television  |  Videogames
100 unsexiest men 2009

Surely you can't be serious

Sports blotter: "Don't call me Shirley!" edition
By MATT TAIBBI  |  October 17, 2007

HAT TRICK: University of Texas Longhorn Tyrell Gatewood was recently arrested for the third time in 13 months.

I’ll just crash here
Early nomination for collegiate crime-dweeb of the year goes to Fresno State defensive lineman Jason Shirley, who recently put in one of the greatest sports-dumbass performances since Sebastian Janikowski’s glory days at Florida State. Shirley was arrested early on Tuesday, October 9, after smashing a car into an apartment building, then backing up and leaving the scene.

No one was hurt, but the impact of the collision interrupted at least one bowel movement. “I was in using the restroom,” said Jason Sanchez, one of the building’s residents, “sitting down, and I heard a loud noise, a big bang. A force behind me pushing me off the toilet.”  Shirley — not exactly hard to identify, given that he is a 350-pound black man with a blond Mohawk and goatee — then made the mistake of fleeing the scene too slowly, giving one resident enough time to copy down his license-plate number. Police shortly thereafter discovered Shirley’s car, and the big d-lineman himself, near the Fresno State campus. Shirley blew a .12 into the breathalyzer — for the record, a .12 for a 350-pound man translates into a serious amount of alcohol — and was arrested on the spot. Police are reportedly considering additional charges.

Shirley apparently possesses a great many attributes of the classic infuriating collegiate sports criminal. You will frequently read about a defensive back who punches a girl in the nose at a bar and then shows up in court wearing a mesh T-shirt, sweatpants, and a hat with a weed leaf on it. For his arraignment, Shirley showed up in court wearing shorts, immediately outraging the presiding judge. Shirley drew similar criticism earlier this year when he came back after a two-game suspension for a still-undisclosed violation of team rules sporting his new blond Mohawk and goatee — not exactly the message of serious contrition you want to project to the team after you’ve been disciplined.

Believe it or not, Shirley isn’t the first college-football player to hit-and-run a building. Former University of Washington tight end Jerramy Stevens — who, as a Seattle Seahawk, put in one of the all-time hideous Super Bowl performances a few years back — once drove a truck into a retirement home before fleeing the scene.

Shirley has been suspended indefinitely from Fresno State. Head coach Pat Hill, a former Bill Belichick assistant and noted hardass, said hilariously after the arrest: “The mistake he made is something that maybe could have been avoided.”

Give Jason 45 points for this one; there should be a special place in hell for hit-and-run drivers.

Slam drunk
It seems the WNBA will stop at nothing in an attempt to gain some of the legitimacy enjoyed by the boys in the NBA. Now they’re even having players get arrested, just like their more popular brethren.

They’re starting out slowly, however, with just a DUI — in this case, by Rebekkah Brunson of the Sacramento Monarchs. She was pulled over at 2 am on October 11 in Sacramento, after police spotted her drifting in and out of her lane. Brunson, 25, was booked into the local jail, then later released.

Ron Artest of the Sacramento Kings was unimpressed. “If she wants to be a real basketball player,” said Ron-Ron, “then she’s got to wave a gun at a stripper and then starve her dogs to death.”

Well, no, Artest actually didn’t say that, but he might as well have. The WNBA has a remarkably clean arrest record. In fact, prior to this Brunson deal, the only real incident in recent memory was another DUI, by Detroit’s Kara Braxton, in September 2006.

Aside from police, there were no other witnesses to Brunson’s crime. Then again, there never are in the WNBA.

Hat tricker
Congratulations to University of Texas defensive back Tyrell Gatewood! This past week, he became the first college athlete of 2007 to score his third arrest in 13 months. Just before midnight on October 6, Gatewood was popped after UT police came upon a “suspicious vehicle” and discovered him inside, in possession of marijuana, some Xanax, and a prescription migraine pain reliever known as Imitrex.

Gatewood had already been arrested once this year, on September 13, when he was caught with weed and a liquid-codeine mixture. He was also busted, along with fellow Longhorn players Aaron Harris and Tarrell Brown, in September 2006 on weed charges resulting from a highway traffic stop. Brown had also fallen asleep with an illegal loaded gun (which belonged to Gatewood) in his lap.

Let’s nudge Tyrell higher for the trifecta, to a total of 50 points.

When he’s not googling “Shirley, you’re joking” and “Texas triple threat,” Matt Taibbi writes for Rolling Stone. He can be reached

1  |  2  |   next >
Related: Brown out, Bonds away, Tennessee two-step, More more >
  Topics: Sports , Aaron Harris, Adam "Pacman" Jones, AFC North Division,  More more >
  • Share:
  • RSS feed Rss
  • Email this article to a friend Email
  • Print this article Print

Today's Event Picks
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   STRANGE TALES  |  April 01, 2009
    Deportation and baby-napping collide in Florida. Plus, a badger double DUI shakes up the Justin Miller Award standings.
  •   SPORTS BLOTTER: DONTE'S INFERNO  |  March 25, 2009
    Ex-Patriot Stallworth makes the mistake of his life. Plus, if the judge won't do it, Roger Goodell will.
  •   LOOKING FOR MR. DUNBAR  |  March 18, 2009
    The Justin Miller award race heats up. Plus, tough times in Fayetteville.
    Brian Bosworth gets leveled by John Law, and Marshawn Lynch hops on the Chris Henry express
  •   CELTIC CROSSED  |  March 04, 2009
    If a certifiable crazy man is signed to your position, here is what you don't do: act weirder than him

 See all articles by: MATT TAIBBI

RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed 

  |  Sign In  |  Register
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
Copyright © 2009 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group