ESPN's Outside The Lines program devoted an entire episode to JaMarcus Russell's trials and tribulations this weekend, and much of it was the expected "Boy, can that guy eat" stuff that Oakland Raiders fans already know all too well.
But during a roundtable segment featuring ex-Raiders Jon Ritchie an Dominic Rhodes, both guys bitterly recounted a recurring habit that Raiders fans may not be aware of -- they say Russell regularly dozes off during team meetings.
"I'm not in the building currently," said Ritchie, a fullback who played five seasons with the Raiders, "But the things that you hear about sleeping in meetings..."
"Yes!" Dominic Rhodes interrupted him. Rhodes did actually play one season with Russell on the Raiders.
"The things about his attention span being so short that he needs to take breaks from meetings," Ritchie continued, "During the breaks he turns up sleeping in his locker and has to be fetched to come back to the meetings."
Sleeping in his locker? He fits in there?
Dominic Rhodes actually gets quite mean with Russell. He "goes off". He has one of those rants where he can't look anybody in the eye, he's rattling off a tapestry of frustrations concerning Russell, and he seems to still harbor more than a little hostility.
"He got handed the keys to a Mercedes or a Bentley and he hadn't done anything to deserve it," Rhodes says in the segment. "Of course he just wants to sit there on the bench when he's making 9 million dollars. He don't have to play to make money, you know what I mean?"
Dominic Rhodes and Jon Ritchie aren't your typical BSPN Raider Haters. They usually do speak highly of the franchise in general, and both are still careful to use the phrase "Mr. Davis" when referring to you-know-whom.
Outside The Lines anchor Bob Ley closes the segment by asking "Ten seconds, Jon Ritchie. What are they going to do with him?"
"I think they need to cut him," Ritchie says. "I don't think he's going to do well anywhere else without the nannies that they have sitting in the hotel to make sure he gets on the team bus."
Jeez-o-pete, that is scathing! You would think the nannies would try sending JaMarcus to his room without any supper.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who doesn't undertsand why someone won't explain to JaMarcus how "Facebook on the mobile phone" can help you stay awake during those boring meetings.