Detroit Lions CB Aaron Berry was reportedly arrested for DUI over the weekend, adding yet another player to a growing list of rascals that have misbehaved during the offseason.
Berry, who is entering his third year with the Lions, reportedly refused a breathalyzer test and hit vehicles in the early-morning hours Saturday in his hometown of Harrisburg, Penn. He even tried to walk away from the alleged collision, but was followed by a witness, according to reports. Police nabbed Berry, needless to say, putting him in the ranks of Nick Fairley, Mikel Leshoure and Johnny Culbreath as law-breaking Detroit football players.
Leshoure was busted not once, but twice, with marijuana. The incidents were within weeks of each other, stemming back to spring. Fairley, well, he chose to drive 100 mph, elude police with an open container in his Cadillac Escalade and endanger the lives of everyone involved in the Memorial Day Weekend skirmish in Alabama.
When will it stop? Are these the Detroit Lions or the Dallas Cowboys? Better yet, the Lions are approaching Cincinnati Bengals territory with each arrest, inching closer to the bar set so high by previous Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders teams. It’s maddening. It’s sickening. And it’s getting old.
For all intents and purposes, let’s say the Lions brass — GM Martin Mayhew and coach Jim Schwartz, along with others — hold a meeting to address the boys-behaving-badly trend that plagues the club. They may or may not do so. But, for the betterment of the franchise, a real tongue lashing — not a media-driven, satisfy-the-critics-talk — is sure to come.
Well, it should be on its way. Apparently guys like Berry didn’t get the memo from his peers’ latest episodes: Shape up or ship out, kid.
Who would lead that meeting? Would it be defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham, a man who vowed to follow Fairley every step of the way, keeping him out of trouble and in the good graces of the franchise? We haven’t heard anything about Fairley lately, so it’s possible that Cunningham’s approach worked.
In layman’s terms, Cunningham laid out a plan that entailed monitoring everything, and I mean everything, Fairley does.
Maybe Cunningham will have to set his cornerback aside and tell him that he’s under watch.
I imagine a speech from the Lions going something like this. Of course, this would be the speech delivered behind closed doors, not the one the public would hear.
I’ll say this now, so there’s no confusion: I’ll quote/write what I think would be said. However, the following statements were not, as of Tuesday, made by anyone in the Lions organization. We’re just doing a little what-if scenario for entertainment.
Cunningham to Berry:
“Seriously, Aaron? Have you not learned a damn thing? I’ve been on Nick for weeks. I even have to tuck him in at night. This is getting ridiculous. Can’t you afford a frickin’ cab, man? What the (bleep) were you thinking?”
“Um, coach. Gunther? Sir? I wasn’t thinking. But, in my defense, it’s just one drunk driving (alleged). Nick got popped with weed and drove over 100 mph. Can’t I catch a break here?”
“A break? You want a break?! Dude, you hit a frickin’ car, walked away, and refused a mother (bleeping) breathalyzer test! What type of break are you looking for? You want to play football here or be an ass? It’s your choice.”
“OK. I won’t do it again. Should I just have my agent issue a statement real quick? I have somewhere to be, so we have to make this happen. How did Leshoure and Titus do theirs?”
“You’re killing me, man. You’re killing me. What time do you go to bed? I’ll be over to make sure you washed behind your ears, flossed and said your nightly prayer. Oh, do you prefer your cookie with warm milk or with cold? Nick likes his cold, with a cinnamon in it. Puts the big fella right to sleep.”
Obviously, the choice of words might be a little different; the tone of the conversation not the same. But it’s clear that the Lions have to take a heavy-handed approach — which, at least publicly, they have not.”
It’s clear that the slaps on the wrist, or the “Let the NFL deal with them” mentality isn’t working. If players only have to face punishment from the league, they’re not going be deterred by a two-game suspension, or something similar.
In all seriousness, the Lions have to take drastic measures to ensure that the knuckleheads on the team won’t ruin the effort guys like Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson and Kyle Vanden Bosch have put forth to make the Lions a team to reckon with. Personally, I wouldn’t be opposed to KVB manhandling a few of the young free-wheelers, letting them know that this is no longer funny, cute or a game.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Let me know via Twitter @AdamBiggers81. I’ll gladly re-Tweet creative responses.