The Kerry Challenge - Al Uthman

Dying Quietly - Matt Taibbi

A Conversation About Nothing - Gabe Armstrong

The Allentown Terrorist - Lee Langenfeld

The Tet Defensive- Matt Taibbi

The Rapture Report!- George W's Guide to the Apocalyppse

Self-Diagnosis Chart for the Under-insured

White House Uses "Whatever" Defense Against 9/11 Panel - Josh Righter

BEAST Staff Forces Publisher to Run for Congress


TV Highlights

Buffalo in Briefs


Sports Blotter - Matt Taibbi

Page 3

[sic] - your letters



Deep Fried - Jason Youngbluth

Bob the Angry Flower - Stephen Notley

Unbalanced Load - Darren Longo

Like It Is - I. Gonzalez


Kino Korner

Spotlight Review: Terminal


AudioFiles: Music is Art, Wilco, The Thermals

Archives--Old BEASTs

Contact Us

© 2004 The Beast



Cross-eyed in the ‘Cuse.

By Matt Taibbi


BEAST readers, this was a great week in sportscrime. After one of the quietest weeks on record at the end of May, June opened with an explosion of idiotic and bizarre athlete behavior, each incident more ridiculous than the next. Let's go to the videotape, starting with the remarkable tale of a goon who wouldn't go down:

Gretzky. Howe. Richard. Esposito…Probert? If you think one of those kids is not like the other, you're not a true hockey fan. Bob Probert, the muttonchops-bearing enforcer who put in 17 violent seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings, is one of the most storied names in the sport, the real-life human incarnation of the Hanson brothers. He finished his career as the fifth all-time leader in penalty minutes with 3,300, which for those of you who are counting is roughly 2.291 full days in the box over his career. And Probert might have finished as the all-time penalty leader, had he not begun preparing for his post-hockey career in actual jail. During his career he was arrested six times for driving under the influence, including several truly noteworthy DUIs. In 1985, he was arrested for DUI and fleeing and eluding a police officer. 1986: drives drunk, crashes his Monte Carlo (his Monte Carlo, dear readers) into a utility pole in Windsor. In 1989, Probert was caught driving drunk across the Canadian border. When police searched him, 14.3 grams of coke fell out of his underwear. The coke possession landed him in jail for three months.

Five years later, after overcoming a temporary suspension from the NHL, a deportation hearing, and a brief controversy over the seemingly lenient treatment of him by Canadian and American authorities, Probert crashed into a car in Detroit. His blood alcohol level was an astonishing 0.31, ranking him among the all-time drunkest athlete drunk drivers (the completely inebriated John Abraham was a mere 0.26 in comparison). When police came to arrest Probert, he muttered, "Just charge me with the usual, man."

After his retirement, Probert insisted he was cleaned up. He'd had a daughter and became something of a respectable citizen, even enjoying a brief career as a broadcaster for the Blackhawks. But just months into his broadcasting gig he dropped out, citing substance abuse problems. Then came the latest chapter: West Palm Beach, FL.

Last week, police in that sunny town noticed Probert driving in the wrong direction down a downtown street. He was also leaning out of his window and shouting at four men along the side of the road. He stopped, got out of the car, threw the gloves off and attempted to get in a fight with one of the men. Police intervened. Probert was ordered to the ground, but refused. So they shot him with a Tazer gun. He still didn't go down. So they shot him two more times! And he still didn't go down! Police did ultimately manage to get the cuffs on him, but Probert was never fully subdued. At the police station police didn't fingerprint him right away for fear of taking off his cuffs. Later in the evening, Probert on his sheet listed his alias as "The Bad One."

Probert was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. At this writing, he was being held without bail in Palm Beach. It will be a miracle if he gets out of this one without hard time, meaning an end to the career of one of the most storied criminals in sport. Stay tuned.


 Here's a news flash you don't hear every day: FORMER NFL PLAYER ARRESTED FOR BANK ROBBERY.

Yes, that's correct. Former Fresno State star wide receiver Tony Woodruff was arrested last week in Fresno on charges that he was an accomplice in a robbery of $7,000 from a Citibank in downtown Fresno in late May. Woodruff's partner in crime, 64 year-old Charles Smith, was also arrested for two other bank robberies that cleared $680 and $1,200, respectively. Woodruff has not yet been charged with those crimes.

Woodruff, a ninth-round choice of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1982, had a short career that also included a stint with the Tampa Bay Bucs. He had talent, but it appears he may have been a little lacking in the "mental aspect of the game," as was demonstrated again in the Citibank robbery. In that incident, Smith allegedly held up the bank with a pellet gun, took the money and appeared poised for a clean getaway via a car driven by Woodruff—except that Smith left his wallet at the scene of the crime. Police were therefore able to be waiting outside the elevator next to Smith's hotel room when the two returned home. Apparently both robbers were too excited about their haul to notice what they were missing.

Woodruff has been busted before. In 1998, he was sentenced to five months in a halfway house and three years of supervised release for welfare fraud. In this once-common ex-athlete criminal scheme (put to rest by welfare reform), Woodruff and a female accomplice who worked in the welfare office wrote over $103,000 in phony AFDC checks and split the proceeds. Woodruff was on the verge of finishing his time obligations for that offense when he was busted on cocaine and meth charges. At the time of that second bust, it was discovered that he had only paid back $100 of the $100,000 in restitution that he owed.

Maybe that's why he was robbing banks.


In one of the weirder announcements you will ever see a police department make, Syracuse police last week told the media that the mugshot of Syracuse Orange strong safety Diamond Ferri did not show evidence of police abuse, but in fact was "just a bad picture."

Ferri was arrested in late May for the usual college football offense of beating to unconsciousness an academically-inclined student in the parking lot of a nightclub. After the incident, police released a photo of Ferri which appeared to show his eyes looking in different directions, leading to speculation that police had knocked his eyes out of whack.

However, reporters in Syracuse tracked Ferri down this week and found his eyes to be back to normal.

Syracuse has not yet disciplined Ferri. In an unrelated act, he was the team's second-leading tackler last year.



This Issue Home Contact Archives