Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

15 Jul 2005

Coleman to Cop: Do You Know Who I Am?

Rod Coleman is one of the best pass-rushing defensive tackles in the league, but from the sound of this article, he's also a jackass. He was arrested for misdemeanor disorderly conduct during a traffic stop this morning, allegedly swearing at an officer and asking, "Do you know who I am?" The AP reports that Coleman said, "I wish you would touch my (expletive) truck. Do you know who I am? I play for the Falcons."

Coleman missed three games last season after being injured in a car crash.

Aaron adds: As long as we're discussing obnoxious players, let's add that Pac-Man Jones is an idiot and Randy McMichael is a petulant child who needs to learn that beating your wife is unacceptable.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 15 Jul 2005

52 comments, Last at 23 Jul 2005, 8:47am by Flux


by B (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 6:25pm

Rod Coleman "Don't you know who I am?"

Cop writes in notebook, "Suspect is delusional, does not know his own name. Brought in for questioning and drug screening."

by Sean Taylor (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 6:51pm

What a jerk!

by MarkB (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 6:53pm

I don't call wife-beaters petulant children, I call them criminals. Dude belongs on a chain gang.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 6:54pm

We should hold off on judging Coleman too harshly. Maybe he actually has Lyme disease, like God.

by kjbad (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 6:56pm

Coleman: "Do you know who I am?"
Cop: "Sure, you're the SUSPECT."
Coleman: "I wish you would touch my ******* truck."
Cop: "That's OK, I'll let the towing company do that."
Coleman: "I want a white police officer."
Cop: "OK, I think the guys from 'The Shield' would love to take care of you. Do you want Michael Chiklis or Glenn Close?"
Coleman: "Can I call my girlfriend?"
Cop: "Sure, but this call may be monitored for quality purposes."
Coleman: "You know I'll post bond and be out in about 3 hours, right?"
Cop: "We were going to the strip club after work anyway, might as well use your money to get some table dances!"

by Jack (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 7:11pm

"Aaron adds: As long as we’re discussing obnoxious players, let’s add that Pac-Man Jones is an idiot and Randy McMichael is a petulant child who needs to learn that beating your wife is unacceptable."

Can't you assholes calm down and let due process work? You weren't there, you don't know what happened in any of these cases. What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 7:21pm

Jack, innocent until proven guilty applies to what is allowable for the state to inflict on someone prior to conviction. Other citizens who are not serving on a jury, on the other hand, are perfectly free to draw what conclusions they wish from what information is available. Clear enough?

I don't know the details of Jones' situation, but unless McMichael is claiming self defense, and that his wife was holding a gun or knife, he most likely needs to spend several years in small room, as he contemplates his behavior.

by Jack (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 7:36pm

You're free to draw whatever conclusions you wish just as I'm free to draw the conclusion that you guys are pricks for taking a brief summary of one person's side of the story as irrefutable proof of guilt (and in a lot of minds therefore status as subhuman scum). I'm sick and tired of hearing all the bitching about what horrible people athletes are everytime there's an arrest or a lawsuit. OJ DID IT! RAY LEWIS IS A MURDERER! LOL COWBOYS LOL! RON MEXICO! Jesus christ I hate sports fans sometimes.

by Kibbles (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 8:18pm

Wait, I think I missed the part where people were saying athletes are horrible people. I thought people were saying people who beat their wives are horrible people. Just because that person happens to be an athlete doesn't mean we're jumping on athletes. If anything, I think athletes get a bad rap. I've read that there's not a higher instance of crime in athletes than in the population as a whole, for instance. I would also argue that there is a SIGNIFICANTLY higher instance of charitable work in athletes than in the population as a whole.

As far as I'm concerned, if a guy beats his wife, he's a bad person. If the wife says he didn't do it but multiple eye witnesses say he did, I'm also going to believe the eye witnesses. This applies whether the person is an athlete, movie star, or burger-flipper at McDonalds. Clear enough?

by Kibbles (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 8:22pm

Double post, but I also had to add that I think it's MUCH worse when an athlete beats his wife. Football players are freaking huge, with bodies built to shove around 300 lb. men moving at very high velocities. Unless you're dating Marion Jones or something, using that against a normal woman would be like a Navy Seal picking a fight with a high school wrestler.

by Richie (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 8:29pm

I'd date Marion Jones.

by Jerry F. (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 9:35pm

I have to agree with Jack. All those jerks who run around shouting "LOL COWBOYS LOL!" really get my goat.

by rod coleman (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 9:54pm

"I don't know if you know this but i'm sort of a big deal. I have many leather bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany."

by Reinhard (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 9:59pm

Im going to have to agree with Jack; I don't think that it is a responsible thing to do, to condemn other people when, really, very little is actually known about what happened. The enormity of the image and thought of an NFL player beating his wife (even if she is Marion Jones) makes this hard to do, but maybe thats NOT what happened. Personally, I've never been in the situation of being a sports celebrity...

by Basilicus (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 9:59pm

I just generally assume that if someone disobeys a cop, swears at him or her, and then feels the need to try to get out of it by citing his status as a superstar, chances are better than not that he's at fault instead of the cop. If there's any sort of backlash against superstars these days...it's because the intellectual elitism (forgive me for thinking smart people should be proud of it) of the Clinton era has been replaced by the financial elitism of the Bush era (or as I like to call it Reagan part deux.) As the middle class decays (2001 was the first time in American history that the middle three earning quintiles had more average yearly debt than disposable yearly income and it's only gotten worse since - go read some Kevin Phillips, who used to be a leading Reagonomist...I highly recommend his Wealth and Democracy.) My point after this long rambling, is that you're damn straight we get pissed off when people expect special treatment because they are superstars or celebrities because this is just plain wrong...99% of celebrities don't do this, it's true, but I think we've got all the right in the world to have our opinions lowered of the ones that do.

by Ron Mexico (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 10:58pm

Why's everybody always picking on me?

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Sat, 07/16/2005 - 3:53am

Jack, O.J. did do it, and if you don't accept this, well, you are simply a dolt. As to your other nonsense, I explicitly stated that I did not have irrefutable proof on other situations mentioned in this thread. Jesus Christ, I hate people who can't read.

by Jack (not verified) :: Sat, 07/16/2005 - 10:30am

Ok kids, I'm not trying to say OJ is innocent and we should give Rod Coleman a medal for civil disobedience, my point is simply that none of us has any idea what happened in these cases. The reasonable response to these articles would be to say "I hope he has a fair trial since that's what America owes its citizenry" whereas "Bad man get in the jail!" is simply knee-jerk foolishness. This is doubly true considering the abhorrent tendency of this nation to still subtly victimize succesful minorities.

by kleph (not verified) :: Sat, 07/16/2005 - 11:33am

incidentally, this infamous phrase was also uttered by cowboy's star michael irvin when the police found him in that irving hotel room with the prostitues.

by princeton73 (not verified) :: Sat, 07/16/2005 - 1:29pm

I agree, it's not fair to assume that athletes are bad people--however, it IS appropriate to assume that Dallas Cowboys are bad people

by Existence (not verified) :: Sat, 07/16/2005 - 2:24pm

I certainly hope Rod Coleman receives the treatment he is due as a member of the American citizenry.

by Russell (not verified) :: Sat, 07/16/2005 - 4:09pm

Has playing the "Do you know who I am?" card ever worked out well for anyone, ever?

by Basilicus (not verified) :: Sat, 07/16/2005 - 5:09pm

"...whereas 'Bad man get in the jail!' is simply knee-jerk foolishness."

Good thing no one said this or anything like it before you started criticizing us for saying it.

"This is doubly true considering the abhorrent tendency of this nation to still subtly victimize succesful minorities."

I think it has more to do with this society's tendency to get really annoyed at the rich getting a better deal than the middle class and poor. (I'm both a minority and have grown up a member of the middle class, for those who are counting.) It just irks us have-nots when someone pulls the old, "Do you know who I am?" as a reason to get out of something illegal or immoral...why should people with money be allowed to do things that are frowned upon when they are done by people without money?

"Has playing the 'Do you know who I am?' card ever worked out well for anyone, ever? "

It only makes sense to ask this if things are already not going your way in a situation, so I'm guessing more often than not it's a last ditch way of trying to make things go your way and so thusly doesn't work too often.

by Wyote (not verified) :: Sun, 07/17/2005 - 12:03am

Come on, you know Jack has a point and you're being defensive because he called you on it. A lot of cops are really obnoxious, and maybe Coleman had a good reason for being upset.

But no one allowed for that until Jack showed up. Everyone was associating him with domestic abuse and saying he belonged on a chain gang.

Jack's right, just cool off and hope the system works well.

Actually, in general, sports fans behave just as badly as athletes. Thank god a bunch of reporters don't report every time I do a little something wrong.

by Aaron (not verified) :: Sun, 07/17/2005 - 12:10am

Now now, no politics. I do believe that this is a second time for McMichael on beating his wife, so he isn't exactly innocent until proven guilty.

by Basilicus (not verified) :: Sun, 07/17/2005 - 1:32am

"A lot of cops are really obnoxious, and maybe Coleman had a good reason for being upset."

That's perfectly fine with me, but it's just arrogant to expect preferential treatment because you're a superstar, and I don't see what else "Do you know who I am?" would be but someone expecting preferential treatment because he's a superstar...unless as is suggested in post #1 he had actually forgotten who he was.

by Glenn (not verified) :: Sun, 07/17/2005 - 11:37am

Has playing the “Do you know who I am?� card ever worked out well for anyone, ever?

Russell, when the "DYKWIA?" card works, we don't hear about it in the media precisely because it does work.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sun, 07/17/2005 - 11:39am

"Has playing the “Do you know who I am?� card ever worked out well for anyone, ever?"

Every time we hear about it, it's in a case like this, where the cop refuses to be swayed by it, so naturally we think it never works. But we obviously don't hear about any times where it actually did work (if there are any, of course). It doesn't tend to get reported when Famous Athlete gets pulled over for something, asks "Do you know who I am?", and the cop lets him go. I'm thinking this is a case where we think it never works, because we only hear about it when it fails.

by Jerry F. (not verified) :: Sun, 07/17/2005 - 1:49pm

There's always the Kobe Bryant transcript, where the cops know exactly who he is and are doing their best to get him to offer a bribe.

by Stiller Fan in Cle (not verified) :: Sun, 07/17/2005 - 3:43pm

It sounds like someone needs to view a tape on how to handle the media and other situations...

Still, if he's just an idiot, it doesn't seem like there's a lot you can do about it. Just jail him for a night until someone shows up to bail him out and fine him...much like a drunk teenager...

by Sergio (not verified) :: Mon, 07/18/2005 - 2:56am

I am shocked. Indeed, what ever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"?

""We certainly don't condone the conduct which has been alleged [please note, CONDUCT, ALLEGED], and we recognize the seriousness of the charges; however, we will not make a specific comment about this matter until we gather more information," Dolphins coach Nick Saban said in a statement Monday.


Cawanna McMichael, 22, told police the contact with her husband was an accident as he was throwing some of her belongings out of their 1984 Cadillac Coupe de Ville.

Four witnesses told police they saw McMichael throw his wife from the car. One witness told police he saw the athlete throw his wife away from the vehicle several times, according to the report."

Of course, this last paragraph is the whole story. After all, McMichael has been arrested for aggravated assault (remember how that turned out? and I don't mean just the actual "released - not convicted" thing), so he MUST be a woman-beater.

But please, carry on with the "wholier-than-thou" attitude. I suppose you've never ever misjudged any situation (or were misjudged, for that matter)...

by Basilicus (not verified) :: Mon, 07/18/2005 - 2:59am

"Cawanna McMichael, 22, told police the contact with her husband was an accident as he was throwing some of her belongings out of their 1984 Cadillac Coupe de Ville."

I hope they at least nail him for littering....

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Mon, 07/18/2005 - 8:46am

The thing about the "DYKWHIA?" card, is that the people that can actually play that card and have it work, don't need to ask the question, because almost everybody already KNOWS who they are. Even if the original arresting cop for some reason doesn't know them, someone down at the station might say "Wow, it's (soandso), we can't arrest THEM!" And then it "worked", but they didn't have to "play it", as it were.

by rod coleman (not verified) :: Mon, 07/18/2005 - 10:01am

It wasn't me....it was that Brian St. Pierre impersonator.

by MDS (not verified) :: Mon, 07/18/2005 - 11:12am

I found this quote from an interview with Michael Jordan interesting:

My kids ask me, “Ever get a ticket?� I say no. Then they ask, “Ever get stopped?� I say yeah. Then they want to know, “What do you do when you get stopped?� I tell my kids that I give the officer my autograph and he lets me go. [Breaks into laughter]

by george (not verified) :: Mon, 07/18/2005 - 11:15am

"But please, carry on with the “wholier-than-thou� attitude. I suppose you’ve never ever misjudged any situation (or were misjudged, for that matter)"

Please carry on with the "worse speller than thou" attitude.

by Pat on the Back (not verified) :: Mon, 07/18/2005 - 12:31pm

why should people with money be allowed to do things that are frowned upon when they are done by people without money?

Because they're rich. Duh.

Russell, when the “DYKWIA?� card works, we don’t hear about it in the media precisely because it does work.

So this is sort of a "the universe exists and is flat because if it weren't we wouldn't be around to notice" thingies?

I will say that personally, I love it when an "athlete allegedly took himself too seriously" article spawns a "political state of America" argument that focuses on race, justice, socioeconomics, etc. Best football website in history, man.

by Parker (not verified) :: Mon, 07/18/2005 - 1:27pm

RE: #15

I'm confused. This is not at all mean to start a fight, I'm just looking for some clarification. Are you suggesting that financial elitism began 1980 when Regan was elected? That rich people had not, until that time, used their money, power and influence to get away with and cover up their crimes or other unseemly behavior?

Further, how does Clinton era intellectual elitism fit into your statement? At first is sounds like you are saying it's as bad as financial elitism "...it's because the intellectual elitism of the Clinton era has been replaced by the financial elitism of the Bush era" but then you have in parenthesis "(forgive me for thinking smart people should be proud of it)" which makes me think that you think intellectual elitism is okay.

I don't see where 'I get away with stuff because I am smart' is any better than 'I get away with stuff because I am rich'. "Do you know who I am?" and "It depends on what the definition of 'is' is", are both, in my mind, statements of ego run amok.

Could you clarify what you are talking about? Again, this is not meant as a 'I'm calling you out' post, I am genuinely interested in what you are saying, I am just not understanding it.


P.S. To site administrators: If this counts as 'political talk' feel free to delete it or just tell me to drop it and I will.

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Mon, 07/18/2005 - 3:31pm

I hate hearing about "innocent until proven guilty"...

If these athletes were so innocent, they wouldn't have gotten in trouble with the law in the first place... that goes for anyone.

People always act like the police are out to get us. While the highway patrol is out to get us, regular beat cops who deal with complaint calls aren't exactly watching Pac Man Jones or Mr. McMicheals house to wait for a crime to occur...

by Carl (not verified) :: Mon, 07/18/2005 - 6:32pm

If I might interject... A real case of assault is committed against Coleman and all other DTs every Sunday, usually arriving in the form of leg whips, cut blocks or roll blocks.

I say the police arrest some OLs!

Free Coleman!

by Ron Mexico (not verified) :: Mon, 07/18/2005 - 7:01pm

"I wish you would touch my (expletive) truck. Do you know who I am? I play for the Falcons."

Other illustrious Falcons have included Juran Bolden (grand theft auto, DWI), Aaron Beasley (battery), Andre Rison (disorderly conduct, felony child support), Patrick Bates (kidnapping, assault), Ray Buchanan (steroids possession), Eugene Robinson (soliciting prostitute) and Matt Schaub (battery).

Not that the front office would tolerate such criminal behavior:

"Atlanta Falcons team owner Arthur Blank faces a federal lawsuit,
charging him with condoning a work climate where female
employees were treated as 'sex objects,' the Associated Press
reports (2003).

by Ron Mexico (not verified) :: Mon, 07/18/2005 - 7:05pm

Oh, by the way, Blank settled the lawsuit in 2003 for a reported $5 million.

He conceded within hours of his scheduled deposition.

by Keith Hernandez (not verified) :: Mon, 07/18/2005 - 7:06pm

Do you know who I am? I'm Arthur Blank.

by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Mon, 07/18/2005 - 7:44pm

Maybe part of the reason why we react the way we do is that we don't believe athletes are part of the same system that we are. "Due process" frequently seems to translate to sentences, or lack thereof, that you and I would never even be offered if we were in that athlete's shoes.

by karl (not verified) :: Mon, 07/18/2005 - 7:54pm

Re: 6

Randy McMicheal's been busted for that sh-- before, and pac-man jones keeps getting into trouble. How many times have you known innocent people get busted for the same sh-- over and over again? I'm I dolphin fan and I love the guy on the field, but McMicheal is a jackass who needs to stop beating his wife - don't give me any of that due process BS either. You and I both know star athletes don't get due process - they get treated preferably. Why do you think Coleman asked the cop if he knew who he was? Bc he's been there before. You naive punk.

by Sergio (not verified) :: Mon, 07/18/2005 - 8:49pm

"Please carry on with the “worse speller than thou� attitude."

Typical answer. Fine, mock the spelling. But you never answered the point - and something tells me you never will. Because you know I'm right.

by Sergio (not verified) :: Mon, 07/18/2005 - 8:55pm

RE: 45

Karl, exactly what FACTS do you know about the McMichael incident last year? And about the outcome? Testimonies? History of the relatioship? And about this incident?

And for the record, I understand human behavior. And if you've done (or been accused of) something before, it's a no-brainer that someone will eventually assume that of you again, at the slightest indication...

by Basilicus (not verified) :: Mon, 07/18/2005 - 9:24pm

Re #38: I suppose I think that intellectual elitism creates a more honestly competetive society...I hate all these middle schools doing away with enriched or gifted programs in favor of standardized testing and mixed classes...I say this not to say that people who have trouble in class should be segregated from those who are smarter/do better (not always the same thing, but for the point of discussion I'll treat them as such)...rather I just think that abolishing enriched classes is a way of holding back those who might otherwise progress a great deal more. I'm going on and on about schools, but I think it carries over into how things are changing these days. There seems to be a mentality of making decisions without thinking them over these days...that a strong decision made with less consideration is a better thing than a timely decision made with consideration of all aspects...just look at the media these days...instead of people discussing things on television, it's always a debate - whomever screams the loudest usually wins and they never address each other's points...they just tell each other they're wrong and then make their own point.

So it's not so much that financial elitism has taken over for intellectual elitism...it's more that, in my opinion, the current American government does not subscribe to the idea of carefully thought out and considered decisions...they favor strong decisions and they don't research what should go into those decisions. They don't believe those that disagree with them could be right about anything and I think because of that and the path of the media these days, a little bit of that way of thinking is starting to take hold societally. At the same time, I think financial elitism is really taking hold...if you look at a number of economic indicators, we haven't been this economically stratified since 1929, right before the Great Depression, and it's all happened in the last 6 years...things are actually trending worse and while jobs are being recovered these days, the average new job in the past year is paying over $8,000 less than the average job lost in the past year...overall, that's a huge amount, especially as the debt of the average family has skyrocketed. I don't think intellectual elitism and financial elitism are mutually exclusive...I suppose the intellectual comment was merely an aside, and while there are bad things about that sort of elitism, I do think it can do good things for a society...just as financial elitism can also do good things for a society - neither is completely bad, but more my point in regards to this conversation is that now that things are bad and we're in tough economic times overall I think there are a lot of people who just get really irked when a wealthy person expects and/or gets better treatment.

"I don’t see where ‘I get away with stuff because I am smart’ is any better than ‘I get away with stuff because I am rich’"

I have to admit that I've heard, "Do you know who I am?" a lot, especially lately...to my recollection while I may have heard, "Do you know how smart I am?" or some version of it a few times in my life I've never heard someone say it in expectation of being treated better or getting out of something illegal. Hope this long ramble makes some sense and answers some of your questions about my perspective.

by Parker (not verified) :: Mon, 07/18/2005 - 11:42pm

It does. Thanks.

by pcs (not verified) :: Tue, 07/19/2005 - 1:14am

All I know is, I'm pretty sure Tommy Kramer never had to ask the cops DYKWIA. They were parked outside his house every Friday night at closing time. When they saw that car come weaving down the street, they were counting on it being Two-Minute Tommy.

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 07/19/2005 - 11:21am

I think Ron Mexico raises an interesting point.

Whereas Coleman and the other scofflaws he mentioned got a great deal of press, the civil proceeding involving Arthur Blank seems much more important.

Here is a man who operates a franchise. He is accused by several women of creating a hostile workplace, forcing them to wear skimpy outfits, engages in inappropriate behavior and, generally, makes life miserable for women who need a paycheck.

Which is worse? Coleman acting like he's more important than the law? Or Blank, a man of great power and influence?

As far as I'm concerned, I think Blank's deeds are the worst. So why didn't the various media pick up on his crimes? Because his attorneys did the talking for him, communicating the very same attitude Coleman did, but at $800 per billable hour?

by Flux (not verified) :: Sat, 07/23/2005 - 8:47am

What happened to our inalienable right to make snarky comments and instant character judgments about celebrities? After all, they're rich and famous; being insulted by nobodies on the Internet is just one of the crosses they must bear. And I say this while disclosing that I desperately want to be rich and at least semi-famous myself, at which point I will immediately begin to hate you all. Especially if you don't know who I am.