Martin Renzhofer: Heroic act saves not-so-heroic offseason for NFL players
While NFL fans are breathing a thankful sigh that the season is about to begin, no group is more pleased and relieved than NFL owners.
The NFL has enjoyed a banner 2013. No group of professionals in recent memory has had a more newsworthy offseason than this group of football players.
Arrest reports have been full of NFL player misdeeds. And while lumping the entire group in one package is unfair, at one point this summer, it seemed as if there was at least one arrest per day.
The capper, of course, was June 26 when New England tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested for murder. Just two hours after being taken into custody, Hernandez became a former Pat.
This is not to say football players in the NFL were the only culprits. The college game had its lineup too. But this list is strictly for professionals.
Some misdeeds are more serious than others, but even a DUI charge can be misleading. Titus Young, last seen catching footballs for Detroit, was charged in May for drinking under the influence. He was arrested again hours later in attempt to take his car from a tow yard.
A few days later, he was caught and taken into custody for allegedly breaking into a home.
Here are a few of the highlights, provided by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
• On April 17, Cleveland linebacker Quentin Groves was arrested in a prostitution sting.
• Another Patriot, Alfonzo Dennard, faces five years in prison for assaulting a police officer in February.
• In January, Cincinnati's Andre Smith tried to catch a plane in Atlanta. The only problem? He was carrying a loaded gun.
• Arizona linebacker Daryl Washington faced aggravated assault charges in May after tussling with an ex-girlfriend the mother of his baby daughter.
• Atlanta's William Moore was arrested on battery charges in April.
• Detroit safety Amari Spievey faces third-degree assault charges, risk of injury to a child and disorderly conduct following a child support dispute.
The list goes on, which is why it was so heartening to read in July about the Tennessee Titans' Jonathan "Tig" Willard.
Willard was en route to training camp when he stopped on Interstate 40 to help pull a woman, her three children, including an infant, and a dog from a burning car.
A second man also stopped to help before flames engulfed the vehicle.
It was a true act of bravery. Of course, Willard is only a rookie.