When it rains, it pours, and when it comes to bad news in the NFL, it's been a monsoon over the past few weeks.
The spate of domestic violence stories around the league, from Ray Rice to Jonathan Dwyer, were recently joined by child abuse charges against Adrian Peterson, and make no mistake, those stories are all horrific and hopefully a warning sign for awareness and a need to never repeat them.
But this weekend, the depressing violence was followed by the macabre story of the death of former Tennessee Titans kicker Rob Bironas, who passed away in a single-car accident on Saturday night.
Having finally made it to the NFL at age 27 back in 2005, Bironas spent the past nine years in Nashville kicking for the Titans, a period of time during which he was widely considered one of the top kickers in the NFL, converting more than 85 percent of his field goal attempts and leading the league in field goals in 2007.
Logically, Texans fans' most vivid memory comes from that very 2007 season, in which Bironas kicked eight field goals in one game, helping stave off a 25-point Houston comeback in Reliant Stadium by kicking a game-ending field goal for a 38-36 win.
The story of Bironas's car crash went from tragic and macabre to a little strange over the weekend. Here are the details of the crash itself:
According to Metro police, Bironas was involved in a single-vehicle crash in the 800 block of Battery Lane around 11 p.m. Saturday.
Bironas lost control of the SUV he was driving while traveling at a high rate of speed, and the vehicle went off the road and hit several trees before ending up in a drainage culvert, upside down.
Bironas was transported [to] Vanderbilt University Medical Center and pronounced dead on arrival.
Metro Police spokesman Don Aaron said Bironas had turned on Battery Lane from Franklin Pike, and appeared to be headed home, not too far from where the crash occurred.
Now details have emerged that paint, at the very least, a strange picture of what was happening with Bironas on Saturday night.
According to police records, Bironas's wife, Rachel Bradshaw (who happens to be the daughter of Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw), was unaware that Bironas was leaving the house that night. Reportedly, at around 10:30 p.m., Bironas said "goodnight" to Bradshaw after watching a movie with her and a female friend.
After a few minutes, Bradshaw went to check on Bironas and it turned out he had left. Not knowing where he was, she first called him and then called relatives. No one had talked with him, so she called police. Bradshaw indicated it was unusual for Bironas to leave home without telling her, and the two reportedly had not been arguing.
It all seemed possibly very innocent, and certainly very strange.
As it turns out, Bironas was, at the very least, engaged in some contentious driving with fellow motorists based on the sound from this 9-1-1 call:
The money shot from this audio:
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
"I just wanted to tell the police because there's something wrong with him," the woman said, at the 2:50-mark. "He's dangerous -- he's drunk or he's on drugs. There's something wrong with him. He gave us a mean look. We don't even know him, and he tried to run us off the road."
The investigation into Bironas's death remains ongoing.
Bironas was 36 years old.