Rich Hofmann | Pacman's NFL career could wind up in ruins

Posted: June 19, 2007

CAME ACROSS THIS the other day in the newspaper archives. It was from a story

published on March 2, 1932:

Charles

Augustus Lindbergh Jr., 20-month-old son of Colonel and Mrs. Charles A. Lindbergh, was kidnapped between 8:30 and 10 o'clock last night from his crib in the

nursery on the second floor of his parents' home at Hopewell, near Princeton, N.J.

Apparently the kidnapping was carried out either while Colonel and Mrs. Lindbergh were at

dinner, or soon afterward.

State police said they were

seeking Adam "Pacman" Jones

for questioning.

It is either very hard to

believe, or very easy to believe, that the authorities are once again interested in speaking to Pacman Jones. Some guys are just so unlucky.

This time, following a shooting outside a strip club in suburban Atlanta, police say they want to talk to Jones, the Tennessee

Titans cornerback who already has been suspended for a year by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Police say that they don't believe Jones was involved in the shooting, but that he had been at the club with some of

the fellas who were involved

before leaving in a separate car.

(Oh, and just for fun, go ahead and Google "pacman shooting strip club." You only get 220,000 hits.)

Reportedly, no one was seriously injured - unlike the Las Vegas/NBA All-Star weekend

edition of "pacman shooting strip club," which left a man

paralyzed. After that one - and while Jones was at the club, he has not been charged in that case - the NFL took that incident and the rest of the Pacman laundry list and came down on him with the suspension.

Jones appealed the suspension, then dropped the appeal. And along the way, he purchased a full-page newspaper ad in Nashville that stated, among

other things:

"To my family, teammates, coaches and fans, I recognize that I have lost the right to ask for your patience and understanding; however, I will do

everything in my power to

regain your trust and respect."

And, well, oops.

"In the past few weeks, I have learned a lifetime of lessons,"

he said in the ad. "First and

foremost, I need to reorganize my priorities. As a grown man and a new father, my first

priority is my daughter and

family. Second, I have to not only meet the expectations of my coaches, teammates and fans, but exceed them in every respect, on and off the field. The first step in meeting these goals is for me to stop making the poor choices that have put me in this position."

And, well, oops.


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To be fair, though, all possibilities must be considered. Perhaps he was out buying baby formula for the 4 a.m. feeding.

The presumption had been that Jones dropped the appeal in the hope that Goodell would reduce the suspension to 10 games once a pattern of good behavior had been demonstrated by

Pacman. That would seem to be a bit of a stretch at this point, even acknowledging that police say Jones wasn't the shooter.

The fellas, the gun, the 4 a.m., the strip club - right there, that is the golden sombrero of poor choices. A man of ability is about to flush away his professional life, and there is nothing anyone can do about it, other than watch for the latest news flash.

It is a story as old as sports, of ability wasted, but it is a story

of 2007 ridiculousness, too. The odds that Pacman Jones ever will step on an NFL field again decrease by the day, by the

incident, by the wire-service

bulletin.

It is tragic on one level. It is

human slapstick on another. His nickname comes from an old

video game and that is exactly what this feels like. It doesn't seem real. It is almost cartoonish, this careening from incident to incident.

If it were not for the very real consequences of people and guns, you would laugh without guilt. *

Send e-mail to

hofmanr@phillynews.com.

For recent columns, go to

http://go.philly.com/hofmann.

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