ORLANDO, Fla. – Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer’s April 20 road-rage incident has become all the rage in Denver.
He recently was issued a summons for a misdemeanor city violation of “injure or destroy property,” similar to criminal mischief under Colorado law. The summons requires Plummer to appear at the Englewood, Colo., Violations Bureau between June 2-15.
According to reports and witnesses, Plummer put his car in reverse at a traffic light and backed into another car he felt was tailgating him. Witnesses say Plummer was weaving in and out of traffic – and cutting drivers off – before reaching the light.
Plummer came out during minicamp Wednesday with his version of what happened last month. On the damage-control meter, it registered a 10.0. He admitted driving too fast and being on a cell phone before the incident, then got greedy with his expectations for the public.
“I was in a hurry,” Plummer said “I was on the move to a function for my foundation to donate a large check to “The Family Tree.”‘
Oh, well, then by all means, rage away, Jake.
Can you believe Plummer – and whoever advised him before this statement – didn’t think anyone (and everyone) would see right through the charity bit? Even if it’s true, who cares? Was the check going to bounce if he was five minutes late to donate it?
Give us a little more credit than that.
Plummer, 31, reportedly hopped out of his Honda Element, kicked the truck belonging to the other driver and yelled, “Stay off my (rear).” Plummer then jumped back into his car, put it in reverse and rolled the Honda into the truck, attempting to push it backward, police say.
The impact did $25 damage to the truck and another $300 or so to Plummer’s vehicle. It did more than that on the perception front.
This is a player who has ripped his hometown fans and once was fined for flipping them off.
Plummer is about to enter the fourth season of a seven-year, $40 million contract, but his latest episode – regardless of the outcome – is the latest poor pub for a guy coming off a dreadful performance at home (four turnovers) against Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship Game.
“When football season comes along, I don’t think anybody’s going to be saying, “Oh, yeah! I remember that road-rage thing!’ ” Plummer said last week. “They’re not going to care.
“It’s a matter of how we play ball and go on. Image tarnished, whatever, role model, blah, blah, blah-I’m here to play football and win games, and whatever happens, that’s what I’ve got to deal with.”
Plus, getting those charity checks in on time.
NFL looking to games abroad to two each year
DUESSELDORF, Germany – The NFL has proposed playing two regular-season games outside the United States starting in 2008, league officials said Saturday.
Mark Waller, head of NFL international development, said the proposal to play abroad was put to team owners Tuesday in Denver. It came after the 49ers and Cardinals played last October before a regular-season record crowd of 103,000 in Mexico City.
The owners will discuss the issue again in October. The games would be played in Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany.
“I will say the reception we got from the owners was incredibly positive – all the questions were on the practical issues,” Waller said.
Plans were also announced to add two more teams to the six playing in NFL Europe by 2010. Last year, owners gave the league a five-year operating license – ending years of threatening to pull the plug on the operation because of the cost.
“It now gives us a platform to grow the game internationally with a concept of clarity,” Waller said.
Outgoing commissioner Paul Tagliabue said developing the game internationally may rank as one of his top five accomplishments during his 16 years in charge.
“I feel the international initiatives we made, along with the owners, may become more significant over time,” Tagliabue said.
The league’s effort to make an impact internationally began in 1986, when NFL teams began to play preseason games overseas.
The German cities of Hanover and Leipzig are the leading candidates to get NFL Europe expansion clubs as the league concentrates on Germany. The Amsterdam Admirals are the only current NFL Europe team located outside Germany.
NFL Europe would then be split into two four-team divisions with the schedule expanded from 10 to 12 games. The league hopes to develop local stars for NFL Europe, as well as international stars in the NFL.
“It’s clearly critical to the future of the game internationally,” said Jim Connelly, managing director of NFL Europe.