Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Season's Greetings

The Green Bay Packers are surging in the tradition rich NFC North. With their sixth straight victory yesterday over the St. Louis Rams, they remained bound up with the Vikings atop the division and hold a tie breaker thanks to their victory over the Purple a few weeks ago. All signs point to a climactic show down when the two teams meet again on Christmas Eve at the Metrodome.

Much of the Packers' success last night was due to substitute running back Najeh Davenport. Last night he stepped into the breach created by Ahman Green's injury and produced 178 yards rushing. Young Mr. Davenport seems well on his way to fame and glory.

Which would be a nice change for him, given his recent past of infamy and vainglorious antics. In the interest of knowing our opponents, I'd like to remind Vikings fans exactly who we have to face in a few weeks. This from a July 2002 article in the Miami Herald:

According to the police report, alleged victim Mary McCarthy said she woke up around 6 a.m. on April 1, "to a strange sound, and discovered Mr. Davenport, an individual unknown to her, squatting in her closet defecating into her laundry basket." She called campus security, who tried to stop the defendant and later identified him as Davenport from a University of Miami football yearbook.

Najeh Davenport - a man bringing a whole new meaning to the position of Scat Back.

Despite his being positively identified as the assailant by multiple witnesses, ol' Najeh didn't go gently into that good night. While he did accept a plea bargain on felony and misdemeanor charges, he never officially admitted to his heinous offense. Sports Illustrated reported his comments upon leaving court:

"Where's the evidence? Where's the manure?" Davenport asked outside court. "I know I didn't do it -- I just wanted to get it over with."

An interesting defense. Too bad Davenport didn't have Johnny Cochrane defending him, or he might have beaten the rap, based on the rap: "You must acquit, if you can't find the ....."

I think you know where I'm going with that one, and it's not the high road. The Packers just have that effect on people I guess.

But even with his community service behind him, Najeh isn't clear of complications yet. Seems his victim, Mary McCarthy, has been suffering "severe emotional distress." Just last month she filed a civil suit against Mr. Davenport:

The suit claims Davenport showed conduct "so outrageous in character and so extreme in degree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency and, further, can only be deemed atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community."

I think any rational person would agree Davenport's conduct is beyond all bounds of decency, utterly intolerable in a civilized community. Which means, in Wisconsin, he probably fits right in.

But, fellow citizens beware, he's coming to Minnesota on Christmas Eve. To be safe, make sure to lock up your doors early. And your laundry baskets. And keep a watchful eye those stockings hanging by the fire with care. Let this paraphrase excerpt of 'A Night Before Christmas' serve as a worst case scenario warning:

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, out the laundry basket he rose;

He sprang to his Hummer, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Where's the evidence? Where's the manure? AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!"

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