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What Maurice Clarett Was Doing The Night Before Last

About four hours before Maurice Clarett was arrested on Tuesday night, he made a call to ESPN the Magazine’s Tom Friend. Friend shares the nature of that phone call – and a lot of other stuff you probably didn’t know about Maurice Clarett – here in this incredible article.

You’re not going to find much better reads than this one, and somewhere in here might be the reason that Clarett had four loaded guns, a bulletproof vest, and a bottle of Goose. I’ll see if I can hit the high points for you, but you really should read it for yourself.

• Clarett, after Ohio State kicked him out, moved to LA and lived with some rich people involved in the rap industry. They set him up with cars, trainers, money, an easy life, anything he wanted.
• He neglected any and all training for his upcoming NFL career
• Clarett is massively, massively insecure and self-conscious
• He quit on one trainer, and then asked to be hooked up with the guy who was training David Boston, he of the unnatural strength and physique
• In Denver, he carried around a water bottle full of Grey Goose with him at all times
• He got into an argument with the Denver strength coach, and demanded to the GM that the strength coach be fired. When he wasn’t fired, Clarett then demanded a trade. Before he had signed a rookie contract
• He turned down a $416,000 signing bonus, for an incentive-laden deal that paid him for 1,000-yard seasons and Pro Bowls. He got cut, and did not make any money.
• He went back to Ohio, and, you’d have to assume, owed some people back in LA some money
• He recently had a daughter
• His agent claimed that he had received death threats
• He told Friend he’d do anything to protect his daughter, saying he’d go to jail for 30 years if he had to
• He made a series of phone calls that night, to Friend, to Jim Tressell, and to LeBron James, thanking all of them
And shortly after was arrested

Pretty easy to connect the dots there. Maybe some of it was in his head, maybe the guy just simply had some mental problems (something the Sports Frog was talking about back in ’03). But it’s certainly a compelling theory, and is as close to ‘believable’ as anything is going to get in this story.

This is the most bizarre and surreal sports story since OJ Simpson. It may be the only thing that’s happened in my lifetime that even comes close to OJ, in terms of just sheer unbelievability. The arrest itself was so sensational and bizarre, but the picture painted by that outstanding Tom Friend article just pushes it to an entirely new level. It’s absolutely surreal. Maurice Clarett being a screw-up is one thing. This is a damn Greek tragedy.


  1. agreed. read this last night and all i could think was that this guy’s life has been one bad decision after another ever since he won the national championship.

    if he hadn’t been pulled over i think this could have been another Rae Carruth/OJ Simpson situation. the arsenal he was carrying, the booze, the bulletproof vest and the time of day suggests he was about to do something really stupid.

  2. Agreed. He’s like some OJ/Ricky Williams Frankenstein monster:

    OJ seems just plain bonkers: his psychology wouldn’t be very interesting, except for the fact that he seems to kill people.

    Whereas on the other end, RW’s story seems sad, even though it’s all his own stupid fault and has no larger relevance. But I can still root for him, because he’s mostly hurting himself.

    Put them together, and stop MC just short of doing whatever horrendous thing he was going to do that night, and you’ve got some compelling human interest. At least in my head.

  3. jail/prison is probably the best place for him to be right now. for his own welfare and for others.

  4. UC UC

    If Clarett makes it to 30 it’ll be a bigger accomplishment than anything he did at OSU.

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