By Matt Taibbi
THE LAW FOUGHT THE LAW,
AND THE LAW WON
NO PERSON in the history of the sport has had less fun eating a $10 million
salary cap hit than New England Patriots star cornerback Ty Law has
this offseason. The talk-first, think-later nephew of Tony
Dorsett has been in a karmic wormhole since the last minutes
of the Super Bowl—or, to be more accurate, since about the middle
of the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl.
Until then, Law had been well on hisway to cementing
his reputation as the best cover corner in the NFL. And with another
Super Bowl ring in sight, he had every reason to look forward to a
bloodless cap-casualty release from the champs and a massive
new contract from some more desperate franchise out there.
But then things started to go wrong for ol' Ty.
With the Super Bowl on the line, Law uncharacteristically bit on an
out-and-up by one of the slowest starting receivers in the
NFL, Mushin Muhammad, giving up a long touchdown that nearly gave
the game away to Carolina. Minutes later, Law again uncharacteristically
let Ricky Proehl loose in the middle of the field without safety help,
and nearly gave up a touchdown to him, only to be rescued by
an undrafted rookie free agent defensive back named Shawn Mayer.
Only the last-minute heroics of Tom Brady, Troy
Brown and Deion Branch rescued Law from Bill Buckner status
in the Boston area. Despite this reprieve, Law then went out and committed
an even worse act of Bucknery, going on a post-Super Bowl nationwide
media tour to piss on his coach, his teammates and the city
of Boston in an attempt to pry himself loose from the last two
years of his contract. The Pats, unlike Law in the fourth quarter
of the Super Bowl, did not bite on the out-and-up and decided to eat
his cap number and keep him. And suddenly Law was forced to face
the reality of two more years staring down the barrel of the
notoriously vicious Boston media, which will certainly keep
two whole columns of their front pages open every Monday next
fall in case Law gives up so much as a first down to Santana Moss
or Chris Chambers.
Adding insult to injury, Law was then arrested
in Miami in March when he literally leaped out of his car and
fled from police after a routine traffic stop. The humiliation
deepened when, in an echo of the notorious Peter Warrick episode
in Tallahassee, Law was actually caught on foot from behind by Miami
patrolmen. This is not the sort of thing you want out there when you're
trying to prove you haven't lost a step before your next multi-gazillion-dollar
In the meantime, the Patriots went out and signed
virtually every unemployed starting cornerback in the NFL, arming
itself to the teeth in the event of a holdout. On the eve of the
Patriots' recent mini-camp, Law was faced with the prospect of returning
to a team that had no less than seven former starting cornerbacks
on its roster. Law was literally lost in the crowd when he returned
to the team; in the Boston Globe photo of Patriots showing
off their new rings, Law had to stand on his tiptoes in the
back of the picture, his head barely visible behind beaming safety
Rodney Harrison and the massive, scowling tackle Richard Seymour.
After all of these steps Law was forced, at mini-camp,
to call in local reporters for a conference and publicly suck the
cock of contrition. "I want to retire a Patriot,"
he said, trying to smile. ESPN video footage revealed that Globe
reporter Ron Borges and Boston Herald Pats writer Kevin
Mannix each grew saliva-drenched fangs at least four inches
long just during the course of Law's statement. He is in for a tough
That said, Ty finally caught a break last week,
when Miami authorities dropped all the charges in the "Dade County
Footrace" incident. And in a sign that the great pendulum of
sports superstar privilege might finally be swinging back in
his direction, Miami-Dade County judge Jeffrey Schwarz also agreed
to return the $150 bond that Law paid after the incident. Law is due
to earn $9.457 million in salary and bonuses this season.
Miami officials declined to say why they were dropping
the charge, but Law's attorney, Joel Hirschhorn, had a theory. "This
is a classic case of DWB: Driving While Black," he said.
So there you have it. It's been a tough year for
Ty the football player. But on the other hand, Racial Profiling has
a new champion. God does indeed have a plan for all of us.
VENGEANCE IS GONE
A VERY WEIRD one that THE BEAST is watching closely. In what appears to
be the first instance of a pro athlete making the ranks of America's
Most Wanted, a former pro wrestler named Timothy Berner
has become one of the highest-priority fugitives in the country
after apparently shooting and killing a police officer in Sterling
Berner, 33, who wrestled under the stage name "Vic
Vengeance," was a suspect in a series of robberies in the Brighton/Lansing
area. Police believe that he shot officer Mark Sawyers with a shotgun
for the sole purpose of stealing his handgun, so that he would
have a weapon he could use during the summer months (it's too
difficult to conceal a shotgun ^^^ in shorts).
Berner had apparently become a crack addict
in the years since he quit wrestling, and was well known to authorities
in the Lansing area. A former Marine and Desert Storm veteran, he's
described as a man with numerous tattoos on his forearms who
likesto smoke Newports with brown filters and drink whiskey and Cokes.
He also drives a red Camaro. That should narrow the search to most
of New Jersey, which will help police immeasurably.
a June 12 broadcast of America's Most Wanted,
police received 45 leads about Vic Vengeance's whereabouts.
Some of those leads inspired a raid of a safe house in Knoxville,
TN, but Berner had apparently already left by the time the cops
The most recent tip indicates that Berner was in
Eastpointe, MI, in the company of a blonde in a late-model Chrysler
Cirrus. By the time this issue hits the newsstands, he could easily
be arguing with a waiter at the Stage Deli, or sitting on a
bench in Bryant Park, shaking his head in disagreement as he reads
a Nat Hentoff column. If you see him in these or any other
poses, please call the police.
HAIL TO THE FIRST ROUND
INSPIRED BY Padres hurler and San Diego legend David Wells, and perhaps
not, first-round draft pick Matt Bush got his pro career underway
with a bang this week. Just 14 days after the Padres took him with
the first pick in the draft, the 18 year-old shortstop and
his brother got into a heap of trouble at a Peoria, AZ bar
with the comical B-movie name—McDuffy's. Apparently, the $3.15 million
signing bonus distracted Bush so much that he forgot to get a fake
ID made so he could properly accompany his 23 year-old brother
into the watering hole across the street from the Peoria Sports
Phoenix area newscasts indicated that Bush was
initially denied entrance to the bar, then jumped a railing
to get in. In keeping with the era of snitchery, another bar patron
alerted the bouncers to Bush's slippery entrance. The former
Mission Bay High School star resisted ejection, reportedly
biting one of the McDuffy's doormen. And, surprise of surprises,
there were off-duty policemen working at the bar. They described
Bush as "uncooperative" according to the AP. He was charged
with trespassing, assault and disorderly conduct.
The Padres, known for contributing John Birch
Societymembers to MLB ranks through the years, suspended Bush
indefinitely. GM Kevin Towers issued this rambling boilerplate
in response to the Bush arrest: "We want people to be real positive
role models for kids and set good examples and represent not only
the San Diego Padres but professional baseball and San Diego in a
very professional manner, and this is not a real good early indicator
of something like that." One has to wonder, what would former
Padres owner and McDonald's magnate Ray Kroc say about this
one? His motto "We don't dine, we eat and run" would perhaps
be changed to "we don't have ID, so we jump the rail and drink