When professional football players retire, conventional wisdom says that they can always return to the cushy lair where they played their college football and run the streets with fun and frivolity unfettered, and the more "college" the college town, the more leeway those former athletes have.
Well, there is no college town that is more "college" when it comes to worshipping at the altar of the football gods than Columbus, Ohio, and perhaps it's this mentality that 2006 Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith took with him to the streets last Saturday night (into Sunday morning) when he decided to get behind the wheel with a couple of marijuana blunts in the ashtray and 0.148 BAC's worth of alcohol flowing through his bloodstream.
Because that is exactly (allegedly) what happened, and TMZ has the video to prove it!
I think putting these videos online, regardless of the identity of the celebrity/perpetrator, is a good idea because they serve as a reminder of just how public an offense this can become, and they in turn serve as a deterrent to what could be a wildly dangerous crime if it goes the wrong way. Troy Smith is one of the lucky ones, in that all he did was weave dangerously on an empty road and miscalculate a stop at a red light.
I also think it's a good idea making these videos public because these verbal and physical tests are so very flunk-able for someone who is three sheets to the wind. Troy Smith's answers in the dash-cam video indicate his level is at possibly four or five sheets. Let's break this baby down Zapruder style and see where things go wrong...
0:17 — The officer and Smith exchange pleasantries with a little "Hello, how ya doin'" action. Answering this question should be the easy part of the pending tests for Smith, kind of like getting 400 points for putting your name on the SAT. Unfortunately, when asked how he's doing, Smith responds with "I'm officer, sir." Oops.
0:30 — We learn that Smith has no front tag on his car. Probably not the smartest thing in the world.
0:43 — When asked how much alcohol he consumed that night, Smith replies with "none," which would make his upcoming answers to his DUI test pretty damn funny and a horrific look for anyone with an Ohio State degree. (SPOILER ALERT — he will mess up the alphabet!)
1:00 — "I graduated from Ohio State with a degree in bachelors." This could mean one of three things:
1. Troy Smith is admitting that he's a huge fan of reality television and would skip classes to get caught up on ABC's The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and/or Bachelor in Paradise. He was totally consumed with how the couples fared after the final rose was handed out, and follows all the former contestants on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
2. Troy Smith is admitting he is gay.
3. Troy Smith is shitfaced and is calling his bachelor's degree a "degree in bachelors."
Unfortunately, I think it's the third one, which is easily the most boring of the three.
1:09 — When asked if it's fair to say he knows the alphabet, Troy Smith is taken aback at the silliness of that question, which becomes much funnier in the next five to ten seconds...
1:18 — When asked to recite the alphabet starting at the letter C and stopping at the letter W, Smith tries to negotiate that into doing the complete alphabet, A through Z. The officer denies him this change, which means there is a 100 percent chance we were deprived of the opportunity to hear Troy Smith sing the alphabet. Also, I'm a little bummed out that Smith didn't point out, "Hey, you want 21 letters, I'm going to give you ALL TWENTY SIX!! What's the problem, man?!? You don't even need a degree in bachelors to know that's a good deal!!"
1:28 — Smith acquiesces and begins with the letter C. He recites the letter I and hits a 13-second roadblock at the letter J, an excruciating pause during which I found myself screaming at my computer screen for Smith to look in his ashtray as a hint..."TROY! Look down! There are two J's in your ashtray, bro!!"
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2:00 — The video finishes with Smith taking the "follow my finger" test, which is the kiss of death because you can't fake your way out of the little twitches or lack of responsiveness that they're looking for in your eyeball. (I don't speak from real DUI test experience, but I do speak from the experience of a DUI project I helped the Houston Police Department with last year.)
Smith has apologized on Instagram for his arrest with a series of short videos that would require me to take a week's worth of vacation to embed and post here. Instead, I'll let you click on them if you're interested in Smith's contrition.
The lesson, as always, kids, is don't drink and drive...and know the alphabet.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.