Miami Dolphins…The New Bengals? Not Yet
by Jennifer Jordan
With the arrest of Miami wide receiver Chris Chambers this past weekend, some might start to wonder if the Dolphins have evolved into Bengals over the off season. Chambers, a 2005 pro bowler and star of, ahem, my fantasy team, was picked up in North Carolina for driving while impaired, reckless driving, and speeding on July 14th. With the arrest, Chambers is now the third Dolphin to be taken into custody this year. If eight more Dolphins find themselves behind bars, they will pass the Cincinnati Bengals and lead the league in most (jail) yards gained.
Besides Chambers, Fred Evans, a defensive tackle with Miami, was arrested on June 23 for trespassing, resisting arrest with violence, disorderly conduct, and battery on a police officer. Joey Porter, the Steeler turned Dolphin, was arrested for a March conflict where he was accused of punching Levi Jones, an offensive lineman for the – go figure – Cincinnati Bengal. Porter was eventually charged with a misdemeanor.
So, there you have it…are the Dolphins taking a page from the Bengals and – in lieu of evading sacks and tackles – focusing their time on evading the law? Well, not exactly.
To being with, this is a first offense for Chambers: before Saturday, his professional record was completely clean. He also – according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel – passed a breathalyzer test while at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police station. While he certainly shouldn’t have been doing any kind of drinking and driving, he can chalk his arrest up to a mistake…and NEVER do it again.
Fred Evans offense, a violent crime, wasn’t as benign, and this wasn’t overlooked by the Dolphin’s coaching staff. In the aftermath of his arrest, Evans found himself unemployed: Miami let him go. Cam Cameron, the head coach, released a statement saying, “We will not condone this type of behavior. I assure everyone it will be dealt with seriously.” And seriously dealt with it was. Good for Cam for standing by his word, and his morals.
Joey Porter’s arrest for hitting Levi Jones makes me think that neither party was innocent. When you have football players, packed with testosterone, and add the element of alcohol, these things will happen. Still, Porter is a bit of wild card and someone Cameron should keep an eye on. Porter has not only spat out accusations of cheating, (jokingly?) said he was going to give George Bush a piece of his mind, uttered homosexual slurs, and been voted one of the NFL’s dirtiest players, but he also owned two dogs who killed his neighbors miniature horse. How, exactly, does that kind of thing happen?
Nonetheless, for now you can chalk Porter up to a talented player with a lot of passion (if not too much) who likes to run his mouth, and sometimes puts his foot in it. He’s hardly the first NFL player to get in a fist fight and he won’t be the last. Porter and Chamber don’t quite deserve to be labeled Bengals just yet. As for Evans, well maybe Cincinnati has an opening.