Pacman Jones Just Can’t Get Right

Pacman Jones has been in the NFL for 14 years and he’s still getting in trouble and doing dumb stuff. When is enough, enough?

A spokesperson for the Indiana Gaming Commission reported to multiple outlets yesterday that officials were called to Pacman Jones’ table to investigate whether he was cheating. According to reports, Jones became verbally “combative and disorderly” when confronted, which led to his arrest.

Multiple news organizations are also reporting that Jones was arrested in a similar situation in 2015.

Adam “Pacman” Jones‘ off-field exploits once made him the scourge of the National Football League. Hell, like he was the scourge of all mankind if we’re being honest.

Back in the day, around 2004 or so, I recall writing about Pacman Jones’ early run-ins with law enforcement.

From that time moving forward, it just seems like Pacman is the proverbial “Can’t Get Right”, named after a dimwitted character played by Bokeem Woodbine in the cult classic film “Life”, which also starred Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy.


In the film, this somewhat sympathetic character was well-liked due to his extraordinary baseball skills.

Other than his athletic abilities, Can’t Get Right, who was mute, was a bit helpless in the world and was only looked after by others who wanted to  profit from his skills.

He eventually catches the eye of a Negro League scout and is released to play for the Pittsburgh Crawfords.

We can sympathize for the fictitious Can’t Get Right, imagining a back story that would get a mute yet athletically gifted black man in jail back in the 1940’s.

But when we replace “Can’t Get Right” with Pacman Jones, it’s even easier to see where any sympathy or empathy that may have previously been afforded to him has long since shriveled up and crumbled into nothingness, though it’s impossible to discern exactly when that benefit of the doubt expired.

Could it have been in 2011 when he was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest? Perhaps it was in 2013 when he was accused of striking a woman at a Las Vegas strip club, a charge that was later dropped.

It was so easy to see that this type of thing would be happening to Pacman before he was even drafted with the fifth overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. Probation was the case that they gave him after a fight in West Virginia while he was still playing for the Mountaineers.   The troubles would predictably continue with an arrest in July 2005 for assault and felony vandalism at a nightclub in Nashville.  

In September 2005, Jones had a tantrum outside of the annual Nashville Sports Council luncheon after being told he had to wait in line for his vehicle. He reportedly did not pay the valet, claiming he was broke. 

His probation was later extended 90 days due in no small part to his ongoing shenanigans, which included failure to make regular and sufficient contact with his probation officer in a timely fashion.  

A February 2006 arrest for marijuana possession was dismissed, replaced by charges of felony and misdemeanor obstruction of justice followed by the August 2006 arrest on disorderly conduct and public intoxication after in altercation in which he spat on a woman he accused of stealing his wallet. 

That got him six more months’ probation. And then there was the brawl and shooting at a Las Vegas nightclub during NBA All-Star weekend in 2007 which left a man paralyzed.

What’s that you were saying about some black athletes squandering all their social currency on idiocy but being mute-mouthed when Kaepernick was being blackballed?  

Oh, you didn’t say anything? Well, perhaps you should.  

Here’s what Jones had to say just last year when asked of his opinion on the protest by TMZ. 


While everybody is entitled to their viewpoint, it is curious that a man who should have long since been chased out of the league due to being a magnet for legal issues would speak out against a protest to end police brutality and oppression in America. 

Later that year he was accused of spitting in the face of another woman, this time a Tennessee State University student. Where, you ask? Why, a night club, of course. Club Mystic in Nashville to be exact. 

Just last year, Pacman got major points from most folks for trying to restrain himself as a loser taunted him at an airport, only to eventually let loose and beat that clown up.

Yet, here we are again with Jones acting like he just can’t seem to control himself, despite the fact that he’s made over $40 million over the course of a 14-year career.

Today, as news began to spread of his latest act of unabashed hooliganism began to make its way through the news cycle, one couldn’t help think that this man is either a magnet for trouble or the root it.

Year after year, incident after incident, Pacman keeps finding himself back on an NFL roster. As far as cornerbacks go, Pacman was always one of the best players in the league. However, it does need to be stated that had he chose to protest against police brutality and oppression in America that he’d have been out of a job years ago.

At this juncture, after being one of the most troubled NFL players in the modern era, Jones is beyond long in the tooth. At 36 years old and playing a position that relies on speed and agility as primary factors, Jones is toying around with the twilight years of his career.

Right now, there’s a cornerback who’s better than, younger than and cheaper than Pacman Jones. No longer does he have Marvin Lewis or Jerry Jones protecting him from himself.  And any would-be benefactor would likely scoff at coddling and covering for a man who’s damn near 40 anyway.

In the movie “Life”, Can’t Get Right’s story has a happy ending. In the real life story of Pacman Jones, many would not be surprised if the next few chapters don’t end too well.

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