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CBS’s cameras were pointed at the handshake lines on the sideline. There, among the victorious Wildcats, I caught a glimpse of The Greatest/Worstest Washington Bullet/Wizard of All Time: Rod Strickland!
He’s a survivor. Last April, Strickland got popped for driving under the influence by cops in Lexington, Ky. He had just finished his first season as a Kentucky assistant coach.
Some Wildcat boosters called for Strickland’s ouster from the Kentucky staff at the time.
But Strickland has more lives than the average ‘Cat. The Lexington bust was at least Strickland’s fourth DUI arrest. He’d been arrested on the same charge three times during his days in the NBA, along with jailings for various other assaults and disorderlies.
But, as I was improperly shocked to learn on Sunday, he’s still counseling impressionable student athletes.
The Bullets/Wizards were but one of the nine franchises he Hot Rodded for in a 17-year playing career. But—lucky us!—all his DUI arrests as a player came around here.
He was charged in D.C. with a DUI and disorderly conduct in September 1997, with his lawyer saying he was only pulled over during a downtown cruise because jealous MPD members saw him “driving an expensive Mercedes Benz.“
Then Strickland beat DUI and reckless-driving charges after getting nabbed in 1999 running red lights and speeding downtown. Strickland plead guilty to a DUI when cops caught him swerving on the George Washington Memorial Parkway in January 2001.
My favorite Strickland story, however, doesn’t involve improper operation of an automobile.
On the night of Sept. 11, 2001, while most of the nation mourned, Strick and his posse, which included latter-day disco divo Chico DeBarge, were bustin’ loose in the parking lot of a TGIF restaurant in Bowie.
According to witnesses, Strickland et al brawled with staffers from the adjacent rival fern bar, Applebee’s.
Rod Strickland. Sept. 11. TGIF. Applebee’s. Brawl. Chico DeBarge.
I can’t type that stuff enough.
Hey, Frontline: Where’s the “TGIF Massacre” documentary?