In an effort to mentally escape the stifling New York City humidity, I've been compulsively participating in fantasy football mock drafts (nearly a hundred, no exaggeration). Last Saturday, I was drinking a six-pack of Pork Slap beer, watching "The Longest Yard" with Burt Reynolds and doing fantasy drafts on my laptop (yep, I get loco on weekends). "The Longest Yard" is about a prison football game between the inmates and guards. Adam Sandler did an inferior remake of it in 2005. Sorry, I like Sandler and love him as a "special" college linebacker, but not as an NFL-caliber quarterback.
As Reynolds and the prisoners were celebrating their win, I decided to try to draft a quality fantasy roster of criminals. Around 40 NFL players have been arrested from the beginning of last season until now, so it has to be possible, right? Not only is it possible, but I had multiple options every round. The All-Arrest-Record Team has a good chance to win my leagues (as long as they stay out of the clink).
RB –-Cedric Benson
Round One: Michael Vick–-QB
Due to Michael Vick's injury history, camps are divided on whether last season's highest fantasy scorer should be a first-round pick. However, there is no question Vick is the clear-cut first choice for the all-arrest-record team for two reasons: He has the highest ceiling of any player, and he's spent the most time in prison.
Round Two: Vincent Jackson–-WR
If you're a San Diego Chargers fan or had Vincent Jackson on your fantasy team last season, you wished he were in jail. At least then he'd have a reason for not playing, instead of petty contract disputes. This number-one receiver has two DUIs and got arrested last year for driving on a suspended license.
Round Three: Ahmad Bradshaw–-RB
Hopefully free agent Ahmad Bradshaw stays on the New York Giants. Last season, he proved to be the team's real backfield threat over Brandon Jacobs and has a dark past. In 2008, he surrendered to authorities after violating his probation and served two 30-day jail terms. His original crime? It's a mystery because it happened before he turned 18. I propose a new nickname, Ahmad "The Enigma" Bradshaw.
Round Four: Cedric Benson–-RB
Most experts are predicting a real bounce-back year for Cedric Benson. It certainly seems like he's getting back to his old form. The Cincinnati Bengal was just arrested for assaulting a family member. This is his fourth arrest, all of them in Texas. In 2008, he was charged with driving his boat while drunk and resisting arrest. I know it didn't happen this way, but picture for a moment Benson leading Texas cops on a drunken boat chase. Hilarious.
Round Five: Mike Williams–-WR
This Tampa Bay youngling had the best stats last season of any other rookie wide receiver. He got arrested for driving while intoxicated. Owners, myself included, were worried he wouldn't play the following Sunday, but he ended up scoring a touchdown and 11 fantasy points.
Round Six: Kenny Britt–-WR
Despite the risk factor, Kenny Britt must be on any all-convict fantasy team. The Tennessee Titan has as much potential as any receiver and has been arrested six times in the last 18 months. His best moment: scoring 40 fantasy points against Philadelphia and leading police on a high-speed car chase, only to park his Porsche in his old Bayonne, New Jersey, neighborhood and claim it isn't his car.
Round Seven: Matt Schaub–-QB
Here you are, PC Police--my team is not exclusively African-American. With Michael Vick as my starting quarterback, I need a quality backup in case he gets hurt. Houston Texans' Matt Schaub was arrested in 2004 for assault after he and two buddies pounded some dude outside a restaurant. Coincidentally, Schaub was Vick's backup on the Atlanta Falcons at the time.
Round Eight: Marshawn Lynch--RB
After seeing the Seattle Seahawks top back rip apart the New Orleans Saints in last year's playoffs, I'd take Marshawn Lynch in round eight in any draft. Lynch not only keeps running after hitting opposing defenses, in 2008, he hit a woman with his Porsche and kept going. She's fine, but he of course got arrested.
Round Nine: Michael Bush–-RB
If Oakland Raiders top back Darren McFadden gets injured (which he will at some point), his backup Michael Bush will be key to own. That is, if he isn't drunk on the sidelines. In February, he was arrested for a DUI in Indiana. Well, of course, he was drunk in Indiana; what else is there to do?
Round 10: Kellen Winslow–-TE
To get a decent tight end for this team, you have to draft Tampa Bay's Kellen Winslow. Tight ends are surprisingly well-behaved for NFL players. Even Winslow's incident was just a misdemeanor for reckless driving in a parking lot and causing an car accident. If you don't get him, the best option is Washington Redskins backup Fred Davis.
Round 11: Ravens--DST
Obviously, you can't get an entire defense with arrest records. However, linebacker Ray Lewis beat a murder rap. That's right. How intimidating is it to have a potential murderer as a middle linebacker?
Round 12: Plaxico Burress–-WR
We still don't know what NFL team Plaxico Burress will end up on, but he has to be on this fantasy football team. He just got out of the joint after two years for shooting himself in the leg. Even if he never starts, Burress always needs to be on this bench.
Round 13: Louis Murphy--WR
I really reached for Louis Murphy here. In most leagues, the Oakland Raiders receiver will probably go undrafted. However, he had some great games last season and I had to draft someone who got arrested for an illegal bottle of Viagra in his car. Yep, Murphy had no prescription for his boner pills.
Round 14: Sebastian Janikowski–-K
I almost drafted Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Jeff Reed, simply because he got arrested in 2009 for destroying a public restroom because the paper towel dispenser was empty. But I love Oakland's Sebastian Janikowski too much, even though I can't pronounce his name. He's been arrested for bribing officers, drunken driving, drug possession and drunken assault. Despite being a hard-core party guy, Janikowski led all kickers in fantasy points last season and sports the awesome shaved head/beard combo.