- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Scott Erickson has added his name to the ever-growing list of athletes bidding to be invited on "The Jerry Springer Show."

In Erickson's case, a chair to the head possibly could help with his memory.

Erickson claimed "nothing happened" after police say he grabbed his live-in girlfriend by the neck and threw her to the floor.

He probably meant it was nothing compared to the interpersonal issues before Allen Iverson and his wife.

Iverson is packing a gun, the wife is naked, and the rallying cry at the Iverson homestead is, "Let's party."

Or as Kool & the Gang put it, "Cel-e-brate good times, come on."

The celebration is one-sided, relegated to men only, as a matter of fact.

It is not a good summer to be a woman in the vicinity of an athlete.

Al Unser Jr. is drinking again, just before delivering a hand to the face of the woman in his vehicle and then dropping her on the side of a highway in the middle of the night.

Glenn Robinson is drunk as well, and carrying a firearm while looking for closure at the home of his ex-fiancee, which results in her being hit and pushed and her shirt ripped.

The lovey-dovey stuff sometimes erupts in public places.

Derrick Rodgers spots his wife with a man at a South Beach, Fla., restaurant and decides the situation demands his personal attention. That leads to a metal chair to the head of the man and a punch and a kick to the body of his wife.

Rodgers prefaced his actions with: "Do you know who I am?"

That's an easy one.

You are the man reaching for a chair while kung-fu fighting with your wife.

Please hold the tears around these anger-management candidates.

They already have plenty of enablers: a bunch of lawyers, fans and hangers-on, along with a team that feels their pain.

Too often the women themselves eventually come to terms with the abuse and stand by their abusers in a court of law.

Erickson's girlfriend already is making reconciliation noises, calling her wild ride in an elevator "a private matter."

She was put on the elevator after she charged Erickson with cheating on her. Police then charged Erickson with second-degree assault. Now the girlfriend sees no need for either charge.

"Everything will be dropped," she said.

Don't you love sappy endings?

You can't beat a good elevator scene, whether it is Erickson and his girlfriend in Baltimore or Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in "Sleepless in Seattle."

Soon after Iverson's wife was able to clothe herself, she and the Answer posed as the happy couple for news photographers.

Robinson, meanwhile, has apologized to everyone and is looking to "move forward," assuming he can resolve his legal matters with community service.

Unser has elected to enter a rehabilitation center after discovering that faulty reasoning power goes with being the town drunk.

As for Rodgers and his wife, they claim their tiff in the restaurant was just an innocent misunderstanding. They also are baffled by the police report that details Rodgers punching and kicking his wife.

It never happened, according to the wife, perhaps a victim of amnesia.

Really, how did that the kick and punch materialize in the report? Is someone at the restaurant trying to keep a love-sick couple down? Maybe the person spent too much time in the Florida sun that day. See, this is how an erroneous story gets started.

There is always more to the story than what appears in the newspapers. That is usually one of the first retorts of the spin doctors in the employ of the athletes.

Before the Iverson matter is resolved, the wife will not have been chased from the home in the nude. If anything, she probably was wearing several layers of clothing, including a parka, at the time of the incident.

The recent series of domestic abuse incidents involving athletes is hardly surprising, and not merely because it is a reflection of society, blah, blah, blah.

Domestic abuse is rarely taken seriously with athletes.

No way the legal system would grant the average citizen a few days to chill out and party until an attorney returned from vacation, as it did with Iverson.

These are the small favors afforded celebrities that add up to a disservice to the victims.

You could ask Nicole Brown Simpson if she were still around.

Sorry. Forgot.

Mark Fuhrman undoubtedly planted the bloody reports of domestic abuse against O.J. Simpson long before he planted the bloody glove.

Go, O.J., go.

Wonder how his search for the "real killers" is going.

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