Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

02 Jun 2008

Pacman Jones Reinstated — For Now

"Commissioner Roger Goodell notified Adam 'Pacman' Jones on Monday that, effective immediately, he may participate in organized team activities with the Dallas Cowboys, including training camp and preseason games.

In a letter to Jones, Goodell wrote that a final determination on his reinstatement for the 2008 regular season will be made by Sept. 1."

The seven or eight of you who were unfortunate enough to catch Jones' appearances in TNA wrestling no doubt have his insipid theme song stuck in your head right now.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 02 Jun 2008

35 comments, Last at 06 Jun 2008, 8:03pm by RickD


by inkakola (not verified) :: Mon, 06/02/2008 - 5:50pm

finally. that guy has suffered enough.

by Joro (not verified) :: Mon, 06/02/2008 - 5:54pm

Never mind that it was his own doing on most of it.

by Peter Nabicht (not verified) :: Mon, 06/02/2008 - 5:54pm

I was kind of hoping he'd be banned for life. I've had enough of these guys who take the attention away from the game with their selfish (and often law breaking) acts.

by Charger Jeff (not verified) :: Mon, 06/02/2008 - 6:41pm

from the John Clayton story on espn.com:

Since being traded to the Cowboys, Jones has tried to surround himself with a better support group. He's befriended former Cowboys Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders.

Might as well start hanging out with Nate Newton while he's at it ...

by Attalus (not verified) :: Mon, 06/02/2008 - 7:23pm

Hey, Deion Sanders isn't a "bad boy" anymore. He's whipped (he and his wife have their own reality show on the Oxygen Network).

by Oldcat (not verified) :: Mon, 06/02/2008 - 8:23pm

Astonishing how you become a solid citizen once you join an elite franchise. It's like a miracle!

by Kevin 11 (not verified) :: Mon, 06/02/2008 - 9:06pm

The fact that he's not reinstated after an entire year is absurd.

Whenever a Pac Man Jones thread comes up here or anywhere else a lyric from an Elvis Costello song jumps into my head:

"I've heard it all before
You'll say it anyway...."

by Dice (not verified) :: Mon, 06/02/2008 - 9:15pm

(Whats so funny about) peace, love and understanding?

by PhillyCWC (not verified) :: Mon, 06/02/2008 - 10:20pm

Re 5 - I've actually started watching this (caught some of the marathon that was on recently). It's very compelling in a train-wreck, can't avert your eyes kind of way. I find it hard to believe that Deion Sanders is 40 (one episode was all about his 40th birthday party) since he has the emotional maturity of a 13-year old boy.

by byron (not verified) :: Mon, 06/02/2008 - 10:50pm

RE: #3
I would argue that the media (and fans) take attention away from the game by focusing on things that have nothing to do with the game...

by Yakuza Rich (not verified) :: Tue, 06/03/2008 - 1:00am

I'm not a Goodell fan, but I think he's made the right decisions so far with Pacman. Anybody wanting him banned for life is being ridiculous. The fact is whether or not you like the guy or hate him, he's never been convicted of a crime and in this country you are innocent until proven guilty. It's a great thing to say when the Duke Lax team is unjustly put through the ringer, but for some reason when it's Pacman Jones we think "ban him for life."

I can see the suspension because while Jones wasn't convicted, his actions were making the league look bad. So you suspend him for awhile and make him earn his way back. But banning him for life is just a bad example to set.

by Alex (not verified) :: Tue, 06/03/2008 - 1:30am

The fact is whether or not you like the guy or hate him, he’s never been convicted of a crime and in this country you are innocent until proven guilty.

I believe he plead no contest to at least one crime (a misdemeanor, but still) in connection with the Las Vegas stripclub brawl/shooting, so that kind of counts. Pacman's not a model citizen, and Goodell has enough reason now to keep him out of the league for as long as necessary. I think Goodell was a bit too quick to lay out a long suspension, but since then, Pacman's provided him with plenty of good excuses.

by Some Dude (not verified) :: Tue, 06/03/2008 - 2:14am

You can say what you want about Adam, but at least he didn't kill anyone while driving drunk...

by darryl strawberry (not verified) :: Tue, 06/03/2008 - 7:19am

Is there something wrong with being 40 & having the maturity of a 13 year old? Sounds like, well, just about every man I know !

I don't think this guy is gonna change -I believe his decline is inevitable. He kind of reminds me of Mike Tyson -- if he's guilty of nothing else, it seems like he's guilty of being too stupid to make it work.

by towishimp (not verified) :: Tue, 06/03/2008 - 8:18am

My only problem with Pacman's reinstatement is that it was supposed to be predicated on his "cleaning up." Since the suspension, he's what? Wrestled, gone to strip clubs, and been threatened with legal action for unpaid loans. I know none of those are that big of a deal, but I haven't had any of those problems in my entire life...and that's without me knowing that the media is watching my every move.

by Hemlock (not verified) :: Tue, 06/03/2008 - 8:29am

#10: Cheers to that!

Of course, if the media couldn't drum up interest in Jones or spygate or inspirational stories or other peripheral garbage, then ESPN would have nothing to talk about... that is, nothing that could fit into the modern veiwer's attention span. Flashing lights! On-screen graphic! "Pac-Man" at it again! Hook, line, sinker.

by Chad (not verified) :: Tue, 06/03/2008 - 9:21am

#10 - Are you implying that wrestling and strip clubs are problems? I'm not a fan of the former (to each their own), but the latter is great.

by Chad (not verified) :: Tue, 06/03/2008 - 9:22am

not #10... I meant #15. Sorry.

by Karl Cuba (not verified) :: Tue, 06/03/2008 - 10:14am

My biggest problem with this Pac-man stuff is that I get the impression that he's only being reinstated because he's been traded to Dallas and he'd still be suspended with any other team. I really don't think this little shit should be playing in the NFL, an NFL career should be a privilege, not a right.

I do hope that if Jones Pac-mans up again then he's gone for good and the Cowboys should be fined major draft picks for trading for a guy who was well known to have serious off field issues.

by PhillyCWC (not verified) :: Tue, 06/03/2008 - 11:07am

Re 14 - at the risk of sounding like a man-basher, I would have to agree with you...so no, maybe not so surprising after all.

by Sebastian the Ibis (not verified) :: Tue, 06/03/2008 - 11:23am

I hope, I hope, I hope he gets out of line in Miami and gets the Barrett Robins treatment!!!

by Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabbadu (not verified) :: Tue, 06/03/2008 - 11:24am

#19: I agree, to an extent. I don't think he's being reinstated because he was traded to Dallas per se, although that might be part of it. But reinstating him immediately after the Titans get rid of him gives the appearance that the Titans are being unfairly singled out as a scapegoat.

by MJK (not verified) :: Tue, 06/03/2008 - 11:53am

Interesting point. It's true that Jerry Jones weilds a huge amount of power in the NFL, and there's a good deal less chance Jones is re-instated if he had been transferred to say, the Bills, or heaven forbid, the Bengals.

by Jeff (not verified) :: Tue, 06/03/2008 - 1:37pm

Even as a homer, I would agree that playing for Dallas definitely helps. Like it or not, Dallas is one of the biggest draws in the league and ultimately this about the net benefits to the league (which revenue sharing ensures all owners benefit from).

That said, I think some perspective is needed on this case. I'm certain there is a lot of behavior by players that gets a pass -- spousal abuse is a prime example.

by thestar5 (not verified) :: Tue, 06/03/2008 - 5:01pm

24, Exactly. If you want to ban criminals, you'd have to ban half the NFL players. And I don't buy that being in Dallas really helped him much. There was no way he wasn't gonna be reinstated.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Tue, 06/03/2008 - 6:03pm

Re #24
But that argument actually cuts against you-Dallas is a historically popular team, and is likely to draw fans regardless of the players. Plus, they already have a couple of big draws in Romo and TO so they don't need another. No, far better to reinstate him in TEN or for TEN to have traded him someplace else-SF, maybe?-if the goal is a broader market share.

I think the most parsimonious explanation is this is another example of Goodell rolling over for a big revenue owner. See also the topic with its own thread.

by Tom D (not verified) :: Tue, 06/03/2008 - 6:12pm

I think few other owners would have gone to bat for Pacman the way Jerry Jones did. I think if Bud Adams had he could have been reinstated for the Titans.

by t.d. (not verified) :: Wed, 06/04/2008 - 12:19am

I guess the Wolves should have traded Garnett to Memphis, right?

by andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 06/04/2008 - 7:14am

The NFL Blitz crew is already working on their "wacka-wacka-wacka" sound effects....

by Jimmy (not verified) :: Wed, 06/04/2008 - 12:37pm

Anyone else think Goodell is waiting to see if any further dirt surfaces during the wrapping up of the investigations/trials in Nevada before fully moving ahead with re-instatement?

by The Original Omar (not verified) :: Wed, 06/04/2008 - 5:31pm

Why aren't we discussing Nick Kaczur (Patriots) being a dope fiend and a snitch?

by Rocco (not verified) :: Wed, 06/04/2008 - 10:54pm


They're too busy announcing the firing of Randy Mueller.

by old (not verified) :: Thu, 06/05/2008 - 1:21am

What kind of dope gives money to strippers then expects them to give the money back?

Holy christ! The stupidity boggles the mind.

by Moe (not verified) :: Thu, 06/05/2008 - 5:09am

Looks like Kaczur will be taking Pacman's spot on the suspended list...

by RickD (not verified) :: Fri, 06/06/2008 - 8:03pm

re: 12

If everybody who had committed a misdemeanor was suspended for a year, the NFL would be missing a lot more players.

Goodell didn't bother with due process or following any set rules when he suspended Pacman. He basically can pick a number out of thin air and impose the punishment because he's the punishment tsar of the NFL.

Ray Lewis's situation was the most similar to Pacman's. Both were involved in violet shootings as minor people. Both were suspected to be behind the act somehow, but in neither case was anything ever proven. Ray Lewis was fined $250k but never suspended.

What's the difference? To my eyes, the difference was that Ray Lewis was on a Super Bowl-caliber team and, while he had the tough guy reputation, it was never as bad as Pacman's.

Basically, I'm saying Goodell's actions, like most of his punitive actions, are always done with PR in mind, not justice. Pacman has a bad rep, so Goodell lowers the hammer. But lots of other players who are not as high profile have been found guilty of worse things without facing similar league discipline.