What’s the Diehl, David?
Two nights ago, I was driving home from Trader Joe’s on my usual Sunday night errand run when I saw a loud commotion right next to the Croatian soccer bar five blocks from my apartment. I turned to my girlfriend and explained that during the Euro Cup Tournament, police activity near a soccer bar is very commonplace. The thing I didn’t realize until the next day was that the scene was actually due to the irresponsible behavior of New York Giant’s Guard David Diehl. Had I know Diehl was involved I would have also explained to my girlfriend that NFL players getting arrested is also extremely commonplace.
Neighbors outside of the bar called police about a car accident in Astoria, Queens Sunday night. When they arrived they found Diehl’s BMW had hit several parked cars. Diehl failed a breath test, and was arraigned on two counts of impaired driving. His driver’s license has been suspended. When police removed Diehl from the car, it is reported that he was unable to stand up under his own power and needed to lean on an officer to stay upright. Lab results have shown that given Diehl’s weight, for him to be as intoxicated as he was, he would have had to drink 18 drinks in a 3 hour period. If you factor in the good chance the Diehl was probably munching on some wings or other snacks during his day drinking, and he was probably at the bar for longer than 3 hours since the Croatian game was over long before he was arrested, it is safe to say Diehl probably drank between 30 to 40 beverages.
From all accounts, David Diehl is a good citizen. He has been the leader of the Giant’s offensive line for years and this is the first time we have ever heard of him having any run in with the law. He is very present in the Giant’s charitable functions, and was even involved in a philanthropic event earlier Sunday prior to his drunken escapades. However, as far as I’m concerned, Diehl tarnished his entire image when he decided to get behind the wheel of the car Sunday night. I live in Astoria, drive around the streets all the time and I can safely say that at 8:00 p.m. on a Sunday night you will find children playing outside, tons of traffic and many pedestrians roaming the streets. David Diehl is extremely lucky that he only hit a couple of parked cars. He could have just as easily hit a car with a passenger in it or god forbid a small child. If he had gotten on the highway in his intoxicated state, there would be a possibility that we would be talking about his death instead of his arrest.
One aspect I don’t understand about the situation is why the story isn’t getting move coverage? Two years ago, Braylon Edwards was pulled over on the Westside Highway for speeding. He was also taken in on drunk driving, which made the front page of the New York local newspapers. Edwards situation became a national headline and the Jets were scrutinized for the punishment they leveled on Braylon. Diehl was just as dangerous as Edwards and even caused more damage than Braylon did. For whatever reason, Edwards will be viewed as a criminal and David Diehl will be seen much more as a guy who made a mistake. For whatever the reasons might be for the public perception, to view these two cases differently is absolutely wrong and if we are going to vilify one man, than we need to be consistent in our judgment.
Now, I’m not at all trying to defend Edwards. All NFL players have access to a car service, provided by their union. Each player is issued a card on which there is a number to call in case they find themselves in the situation Diehl was in on Sunday night. The problem with these players is they live up to this macho persona, where they feel as if they are untouchable. Diehl wanted to jump into his fancy car and drive home without being bothered. It was extremely irresponsible. “I’m accountable. I take full responsibility,” Diehl said. “This is the last thing I want anyone to do is judge me on one incident in my life.” Too bad David, I’m judging you.