by Ryan Meehan
On Monday I posted an article crying foul on the whole “Nothing Good ever happens after midnight” cliché. True to form, that very night we had another NFL related incident that involved equally bizarre circumstances. Around 2:25AM on Tuesday morning, Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson was involved in a one car accident where he crashed into a median wall. He was not intoxicated and no field sobriety test was given. What’s odd about this incident is that Burleson was trying to pick up two pizza boxes in the back seat of the vehicle which had fallen onto the floorboard, and that’s what caused the crash.
While other sports website are jumping all over this and calling him an idiot, I’m not going to bag on Burleson here. The truth is, we’ve all done stupid shit when we’re driving whether we choose to admit it or not. If texting and driving were as illegal as they make it seem on television, we’d all be death row inmates. And have you ever been to the DMV and seen all of the girls working there shuffle through SSNs and utility bills? They are surrounded by safety reminders almost one hundred percent of their workday. But just like us, they’ll take a bite of that cheeseburger on the way back to the office and look down to clean the stain if they spill some ketchup. And when they do, they will take their eyes off the road for more than a quarter of a mile – creating the possibility of an incident where they slam into the back of a Ford F-350 and their skull ends up getting embedded in the windshield.
Now usually that doesn’t happen, and that’s why we all do it.
I think sometimes when we read about this, we jump to conclusions and say ridiculous shit like “What is he doing eating pizza during the season?” and questioning these players mental capacities for “putting themselves in these situations”. I just did it two days ago in the Jacoby Jones piece. But I think what we are forgetting here is these guys are human just like us. They are in the middle of the stretch of the year where they are hard at work, so they go through the same stress that we do. Burleson apparently likes pizza. So much in fact, that he was willing to wreck his car saving a couple of them. That’s dedication to Italian food that you know DAMN WELL you’ll never come close to.
Of course the downside here is his arm is broken, so this could actually have some dire consequences. The Lions are a respectable 2-1, but have some tough games over the next six weeks. With a broken arm, if he’s able to return at all the Lions may very well be out of the playoff picture by that point. That’s the real issue here.
People make mistakes. Athletes are people. Therefore, athletes make mistakes. We can’t expect these guys all to have Popemobilesque transport and live in a bubble. They’re young and have lots of money. They’re going to order a pizza for Monday Night football every once in a great while.
Let them eat pizza.