x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Drunk-driving punishment is anything but fine

A 15-minute ban for drunken driving was not even a slap on the wrist and hardly a difference in Edwards's punishment and none at all.

As a rule, player arrests for drunken driving do not rile up NFL devotees, which speaks poorly of the league and its policies on offensive behaviour. 

An in-season "under-the-influence" bust rarely results in a team-ordered suspension. That does not make the New York Jets' owner, Woody Johnson, a hanging judge for ordering the wide receiver Braylon Edwards to sit out the first quarter last week against the Miami Dolphins after he tested at double the alcohol limit during a 5am traffic stop.

Huh? Edwards missed 17 snaps and perhaps two passes thrown at him. What kind of sentence is that? No fine, no suspension. A wrist slap would have hurt more. 

The Jets have suggested there is more to Edwards' punishment. Let's hope so. This is akin to dropping a penalty flag and marching off two yards. There is barely a whisker's difference between his punishment and none at all. Edwards overcame the humbling of a 15-minute ban and caught a 67-yard touchdown pass later in the game.

Observers noted he was shorn of his scraggly Lincoln-esque beard and now sports a goatee, perhaps to distinguish himself from the images of his sloppily groomed self that pop up when internet users search for "Braylon Edwards" and "drunken-driving arrest". 

While the new look may buff his image, it could hurt in the wallet. The main merchandise for sale on Edwards' website is a T-shirt that reads: "It's more than just a beard." Unless he misplaces his razor, those items are outdated.