Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Benson, cont'd

We didn't really have time to write up something beyond just a quick notifier about Cedric Benson's arrest while boating last weekend.

Turns out it was good, because even though Jhuff did put a quick post out on Monday, new information has come out.

To recap, Jhuff and I were immediately suspicious when we heard that Benson was arrested for being drunk while boating in Lake Travis, near Austin, Texas. I don't know how many JJ readers have gone boating, but all our experiences have involved (at least) a six pack. I mean, get real.

But when Benson put out a statement saying that he was treated improperly by officers, I reacted the way I react when any athlete starts protesting their "unjust" treatment when they get caught up in the law. That is, I basically rolled my eyes and wrote Benson off.

I did find some solace in this great Rosenblog post. ("Police pepper-sprayed Benson, a move that seems a little over the top. Police apparently didn't know that the quickest way to get Benson to the ground is simply first contact.")

But this morning I read this piece about one of Benson's friends speaking out on his side. She was on the boat. The Chicago Tibune writes:

There were about 15 people on the boat, including Benson's mother, Jackie, who had spent much of the evening swimming in a part of the lake known as Devil's Cove. Just when the group had decided to head back to shore around 9:30 p.m. and go out to dinner, a patrol boat stopped to conduct a random check.

According to Cartwright, she had consumed one beer and Benson had two drinks.

"I know Cedric and I don't think he was drunk," Cartwright said.

The arrival of LCRA police perturbed Benson because of the frequency of the checks on his 30-foot boat, Cartwright said.

When Benson's boat passed the safety inspection, Cartwright said she and her fiance were surprised the officer then required a sobriety test for Benson.

"We were all like, 'Why?' " she said.

Apparently, Cartwright and her fiance had gone boating with Benson six times previously, and they were pulled over each time. Is it because they've always been raucous? I'm sorry, but I just don't see how crazily drunk Benson could have gotten with his own mother on the boat, before dinner. Besides, even though Benson isn't exactly loved in the Bears locker room, he doesn't have a reputation for drunken tomfoolery, as far as I know.

So the plot thickens.

Considering I know absolutely nothing about this region of Texas, I'm hesitant to pin this on racial profiling or anything conspiratorial.

I would say, though, that we should be equally hesitant to pin all the blame on Benson, because it all just seems so fishy.

Photo from here.