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week in sports crime.
By Matt Taibbi
Man, has it been a tough season for Keyshawn Johnson. First he gets
deactivated for the year by a team dying for help at wide receiver.
Then he tries out as a TV commentator and sucks with unusual fervor,
virtually guaranteeing he wouldn't be invited on as a playoff
commentator. Then he drops hints on TV that's he's interested in
signing with New England, Baltimore or Dallas—and the news doesn't
even make the inside pages of the sports sections in any of
Then, this past month, things just went from bad to worse. Seems
Keyshawn has had a little disagreement with his ex-wife,
Shikiri. Specifically, he appears to be upset that she started dating
another guy, one John Mahannah. Burgeoning bitterness turned to
action on Jan. 9, when Keyshawn, at a family funeral, approached
Mahannah and told him, "I'm going to catch you and beat you to
a pulp." Me-Shawn had to be restrained—get this—by other
After that, Keyshawn continued making phone threats against
Mahannah. According to a lawsuit filed by Mahannah on Jan. 14, Johnson
made repeated threats, including threats against his life. On
one of the messages submitted in a recording offered in the lawsuit,
Johnson again repeated, "I'm going to beat you to a pulp."
As a result of Mahannah's lawsuit, Johnson must now stay at least
100 yards away (the length of a football field? Coincidence?)
from Mahannah and his children until the order can be reviewed by an
Oakland judge on Feb. 6.
The lawsuit was filed on the same day that Keyshawn was robbed
at gunpoint in Berkeley. Seems Keyshawn became the latest
loudmouth wide receiver to have a bad incident with a cell
phone. He was on the phone outside a Berkeley barbershop when he
was held up. Key gave up his money and his jewelry, but
got away unharmed. He might find free agency harder to get
through unscathed. Can anyone say, "Arizona Cardinals third
receiver Keyshawn Johnson"?
BAD NEWS IN
Quietly, as though it had been pulled by cats, the bad-news
bandwagon in Denver has rolled into the limelight. Never mind the
team's on-field struggles; never mind that high picks like Willie
Middlebrooks, Ashley Lelie and Deltha O'Neal have turned into staggering
busts, while high-caliber free-agent signings have similarly
exploded. Never mind that an increasingly steady stream of
high-profile players have begun bitching in public about Mike Shanahan
(Eddie Kennison, Daryl Gardener). More important is the increasing
number of off-field incidents surrounding the team. This year, the
Broncs have suffered through "pancake-gate," the
notorious attack on unsuspecting civilians in the parking lot of an IHOP
by Gardener, as well as the latest outburst by serial
domestic-choker Dwayne Carswell.
Now it looks like the bad news has spread to the most consistent
area of the team—the offensive line. The Broncos O-line has
always had its share of problems in terms of being fined, with
one of the most famous incidents being the $5,000 "slime
fine" slapped on Mark "Stink" Schlereth, Gary
Zimmerman and Brian Habib in 1997. Center Tom Nalen has been fined
repeatedly for chop blocks, and linebacker Brian Cox even once
threatened to break Nalen's leg. But while the Orange O-line
has always has a reputation for playing dirty, it has also
always been at the top of the league in terms of effectiveness,
producing four different 1,000-yard rushers (Terrell Davis, Olandis
Gary, Mike Anderson and Clinton Portis) in the last eight years.
Now that may be in jeopardy, as the Broncos inexplicably let star
O-line coach Alex Gibbs go to Atlanta. And right on the heels of that
decision—widely blasted in Denver—the Broncos watched as one of
their key linemen, tackle Matt Lepsis, got busted for a DUI.
Lepsis will be going to court on February 23 to face drunken driving
LET MY 49ER
The San Jose police department released the police report for the
Jeff Garcia DUI arrest, and it is one stupendously weird document.
The scene described by one "Sgt. Celano" seems almost too
surreal to have actually happened.
Synopsis of the scene: on Jan. 14, at 1:50 a.m., Garcia was spotted
as he drove unsteadily down E. Fernando St. in San Jose. He was
driving a white Lincoln Navigator and he had three passengers: two
chicks (Meredith Freeman and Virginia Vilotti; maybe those
rumors aren't true) and a dude, one Eddie Garza. Eventually
he was pulled over in a Jack in the Box parking lot. As he did,
two male passengers from a car following Garcia jumped out and
shouted: "Garcia wasn't driving! It was the girl!"
Meanwhile, police pulled Garcia out of the car and observed the
following symptoms: "red watery eyes, dilated pupils, rebounding
pupils when exposed to light, the smell of alcohol on his
breath." Said Garcia in response to questioning: "I have
Now here is where it gets weird. In the supplement report
filed by Sgt. Celano, he describes arriving on the scene and finding
Garcia struggling through the field sobriety test. "Garcia used
his arms for balance and was unsteady." Meanwhile, Celano said, a
group of 15-20 people formed in the parking lot and began chanting
Garcia's name. By this time, Garcia had taken his breathalyzer
test and scored a very impressive 0.237%, placing him in Ingrida
Sabonis territory. He was shoved in a patrol car. Around then,
Sgt. Celano began to be concerned about the integrity of the crime
scene. We quote verbatim from his report:
The crowd that formed at the drive started to chant, "Let
Garcia Go!" At 204 hours, I requested that SJPD to responded
[sic] to our location due to the fact that there were only two
officers and the crowd had the potential to turn into a riot and
may try to lynch Garcia.
Garcia was subsequently taken away to the safety of the police
station, where he began a new career as the internet whipping boy
of soon-to-be ex-49er Terrell Owens. It was not clear from the report
whether Garcia is a constant threat to be lynched in the Bay Area; one
would have to assume so from Celano's report.