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Put aside your Moss and Owens'

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Put aside your Moss and Owens'

Postby awwchrist » Fri Jan 28, 2005 7:05 pm

want a real reason to boo? Here.

This guy should never step on an NFL field again, much less on free ground.

I admit it, I'm biased. I can't help it. My upbringing just won't allow me to be neutral when the St. Louis Rams take the field.

In fact, just the sight of the gold and navy helmet is enough to get me going. Before I know it, I've completely scrapped my objectivity and am ready to offer a full-blown standing ovation - for whichever team the Rams are playing.

But, I'm no Mike Martz hater.

Nor do I despise the Rams because they let Kurt Warner walk.

And it's not even like I'm still bitter about the fact that my homestate Indianapolis Colts essentially gave St. Louis the 2000 Super Bowl in the form of Marshall Faulk. (OK, so maybe some resentment does remain from that. I mean, really, sending the best back in the league to St. Louis for second and fifth round draft picks? Wouldn't you be bitter?)

In all seriousness, though, the loathing that rises within when I watch the Rams actually has absolutely nothing to do with the team, the city of St. Louis or even the game of football, for that matter.

It has to do with right and wrong.

That's why when Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick walked from the field last weekend, a smile bright on his face after his Falcons said so long to St. Louis in a 47-17 playoff win, I shamelessly cheered loudly.

The Rams were not, in fact, Super Bowl bound. And that meant, for at the least the remainder of the playoffs, I wouldn't have to watch No. 91 loving every bit of the limelight.

His name is Leonard Little.

He's a 6-foot-3, 261-pound physical phenomenon, with speed that makes him capable of crushing quarterbacks as quickly as a striking snake. A year ago, he racked up 12 1/2 sacks and earned his first Pro Bowl invitation.

In this, his seventh year in the league, he had 46 tackles and seven sacks.

But, truth be told, Leonard Little shouldn't have been anywhere near the field.

In April, he was arrested after police stopped him from speeding on a Missouri interstate. The report states Little had bloodshot eyes, failed three sobriety tests and admitted he had been drinking. He was charged with speeding and driving while intoxicated.

Big deal, right? We're all human here. We all make mistakes. We all make poor decisions from time to time. It's not like he killed anybody, right?

Well, actually, he did.

It just wasn't this time.

On his 24th birthday in 1998, Little left a St. Louis bar and climbed behind the wheel of his Lincoln Navigator. Little started the night celebrating the beginning of his life and finished it by ending that of another.

After running a red light, Little - whose blood alcohol level that night was nearly twice the legal limit in Missouri - smashed that tank of car into a much smaller one driven by 47-year-old Susan Gutweiler.

She left behind a husband and teenage son.

"I think about it all the time," Little told Sports Illustrated two years later, a couple of weeks before he and the Rams beat the Tennessee Titans in the Super Bowl. "I mean every day I wake up in the morning I think about it. It's always in the back of my mind no matter if you're at the Super Bowl or anything bigger than that. It's always there and I always think about it."

Apparently, he wasn't much thinking of it earlier this year, when he made the same deadly decision again, one that this time didn't inflict pain in anyone else's life.

I have never been to St. Louis, but here's guessing that cab fare - or even the price of a limo rental - would be within Little's large budget. His base salary for 2003, alone, was $925,000.

So why didn't he decide not to drive this time?

Why wouldn't he? After all, he's an arrogant athlete to whom the rules of society just don't apply. Don't believe me? Look no further than the punishment he received for taking the life of someone else's mother and wife:

Ninety nights in jail. That's what he got, as part of a work-release program, in which he served 1,000 hours of community service and four years on probation.

And, oh yeah, the NFL suspended Little for the first eight games of the '99 season.

Two years later, though, he was shining on that Super Bowl stage.

"It's hard to put yourself in that situation," Little said in that SI interview of how the Gutweiler family must feel about the loss of Susan. "It's hard and I try to put myself in the situation whereas if something happened to my mom like that and it would be a hard situation to cope with."

Hard? Ya think?

The sad thing is another family might very well be coping with that very same "situation" had it not been for the police on the scene last April. And because of that, the NFL, the St. Louis Rams and anyone who has their priorities anywhere near the vicinity of the right place, should have cut ties with Leonard Little.

He didn't learn his lesson, even when someone else had to pay for it - with their own life.

But with professional sports being what they are - a player's association membership ID apparently doubling as "Get out of jail free" card - Little was welcomed back to for the Rams' entire 2004 season - the end of which I so happily applauded.

Little's case has yet to be decided and, if convicted, he could serve up to four years in prison. But, you and I both know, the chances of that actually happening are about as good as this year's Rams reaching Super Bowl Sunday.

Only 3 leagues this year. No sense in rooting for everyone in the NFL.
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Postby Carolina Culpepper » Fri Jan 28, 2005 7:16 pm

Wow, and to think that we get hyper over sharpie pens, cellphone celebrations, and fake moonings. Great, yet very sobering, post AWW.
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Postby joshyboy72 » Fri Jan 28, 2005 7:22 pm

Well I think because of the fact that he actually killed someone, things like this go unnoticed. I mean who wants to really know something that horrible. But thanks for the post aww, for all we know there are more NFL players who have done things like this before. Little deserves to be spending a decade in prison.
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Postby LT Blue Colt » Fri Jan 28, 2005 7:35 pm

That reminds me of a good friends brother, who was killed by a drunk driver. God rest and bless his soul. :,-(
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Postby Charlie24 » Fri Jan 28, 2005 7:38 pm

Thanks for the post I had no idea any of this had happened... I would think that after taking somebodys life he would be more cautious about his drinking and driving but apparently not... He should have been suspended for much more than 8 games
Wow, and to think that we get hyper over sharpie pens, cellphone celebrations, and fake moonings. Great, yet very sobering, post AWW.
so true
Last edited by Charlie24 on Fri Jan 28, 2005 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby deluxe_247 » Fri Jan 28, 2005 7:40 pm

wow that sucks. i cant belive that a person could keep drinking and driving after they have actually killed another person doing it before. you have to have no conscience. i hope they put him away for the maximum...maybe he will learn a lesson.
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Postby Canadian Seahawk » Fri Jan 28, 2005 8:18 pm


thats anger^^^^
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Postby SwiperNoSwiping » Fri Jan 28, 2005 8:25 pm

I have been furious over the Leonard Little thing. Actually, driving under the influence is about the biggest way to get under my nerves. I don't condone it, there is never EVER a reason to do it. Puts people's lives in danger just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

He has no reason at all to not be miserable. He should be in jail. Thinking everyday what he did. Not just to say it every once in awhile when a mic is on him.

Sorry for the rant. But all I can say that $900K that he earned this year would make a nice down payment in the civil suit I would be filing against him. You can't put a price on a person's life that a loved one had, but there is no way he should be well compensated and a free man.

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Postby Flockers » Fri Jan 28, 2005 8:42 pm

Wasn't this on ESPN a while ago?
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Postby TTTBone » Fri Jan 28, 2005 8:46 pm

I started to add my comments to this post twice...
and had to back away (anger, sadness, disbelief, outrage).

Original story is so damn sad as to bring tears to your eyes.

So... Screw Little... every penny he's earned in the NFL should go to Susan Gutweiler's family, and he should be left with nothing but incarceration and endless time to contemplate his idiotic nature and his smallness as a human being.

"Little"... at least he was born with the appropriate moniker.
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