If “Ballers,” the new HBO half-hour series starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson were taken off the air, I wouldn’t be as disturbed as I am by some of the episodes. It’s a fictional, “names have been changed to protect the innocent,” behind-the-scenes look at pro football players and the lives they lead. It’s art imitating life.
During most of the seven episodes that have aired, one could easily say, “Can they be that stupid?” Then along comes this thing with Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, and you get an answer to your question.
News of Richardson being arrested for a high-speed car chase two weeks ago in Missouri, his home state, was disclosed last Thursday, the first day of the New York Jets’ training camp. Ironically, it occured shortly after his heartfelt message to his team, in which he took full responsibility for his upcoming, four-game suspension for smoking marijuana—a suspension that hopefully won’t be extended because of these new offenses.
“I apologized to my teammates and this organization,” said Richardson during interviews just before these new allegations surfaced. “I told them, ‘You don’t have to worry about my name being in the news again.’”
Through trades, acquisitions and the draft, this Jets team does have talent, especially on defense, which they’ll play a lot of if their quarterback position hasn’t improved from last season.
Re-acquiring Darrelle Revis, an accomplished cornerback whose contract wasn’t picked up by the New England Patriots, was big of Jets owner Woody Johnson. Revis returns with the grand prize, a Super Bowl ring.
“It’s great to be accepted back with open arms. I think the fans are just as excited for this year as we are,” said Revis. “I think they’re just ready to see some great football being played.”
Jets fans will get to see just how great next week. Their first preseason game is Thursday, Aug. 13 against Detroit.