Friday, August 19, 2011

Jermaine to the issue

Ravens football fans, and there are millions of us, remember the heroics of Jermaine Lewis.  A Maryland native and University of Maryland alumnus, Lewis was drafted by the Ravens out of college in 1996 and played here through 2001. He was a little bit small to play much at the wide receiver position, but he also was a fine kick returner.  In fact, his greatest moment in purple and black came in Super Bowl XXXV, which the Ravens won in 2001.  You can see the highlights of the game here.  The Ravens had built a lead when the Giants scored a touchdown.  Jermaine Lewis took the ensuing kickoff all the way for a touchdown to deflate any last gasp of Giant hopes.  

In happier days
As you watch him head for the goal line, you'll see him raise a hand to heaven, a salute to his son Geronimo, who had arrived stillborn about a month earlier.  It was touching, to think that Jermaine was sending love to his son above by his heroic run.  

Ten years later, things have not gone so well, and Jermaine was arrested the other night by Baltimore County Police.  I don't know what he does for a living now.  The police were called because a car registered to him was driving erratically through his neighborhood, almost having head-on collisions, and running over a sign at the Boring Volunteer Fire Company. 

Yes, we have the town of Boring, MD, in our county.  Save your jokes; they've heard them all before!

Booking photo
So, you read the police report and you have to wonder how alcohol can do this to a man who once was atop the world. And the police had a hard time getting him into custody, and had to tase him, and the whole thing is just so sad.  

For those who say it's his life, leave him alone, I say yes.  If he wants to stay in his house and drink all day, that's fine.  But he should not be driving a car in that condition.  (His revoked license means he should not be driving a car in any condition, as a matter of fact.)  That sign that he smashed down at the fire house might just as easily have been a child or other pedestrian.  

What I'm saying his, an entire community once loved this guy for what he could do with a football in his hands.  Now, we need to help him get the care he needs and get his life back on track.   His behavior is showing us that he is hollering out for help.  Someone - family, Ravens official, teammate - is going to have to realize that he's put the situation in their hands now.

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