The Plain Dealer had a nice article Sunday about Alex Boone. You may recall that he was convicted of DUI earlier this summer. I have previously argued that he should get a one game suspension for the offense, and I stand by that, but the Plain Dealer story convinces me that he's not just ignoring what happened and dancing all the way back to the bar. He sounds like a guy who was genuinely scared straight.
The first time I read the article, I thought he might be going a bit further than he has to; after all, there's no shortage of people who got a little out of control their freshman year and then went on to be normal, productive members of society. Then I read this:
Um, wow. Forty beers is a lot. For a weekend, it's a lot. For a weekend for two people it's quite a bit. In one night, even if you're a 6'8" 350 lb. offensive lineman, that's a whole lot. The irresponsible college student in me is impressed, but the relatively responsible adult in me says that that's definitely a problem, and dude's lucky he got a chance to fix things.
“I knew I had a problem. I had been drinking like every night, just terrible drinking,” he said. “I’d be down here in Columbus drinking, and I’d wake up . . . and I was like, ‘How did I get home last night?’ And guys were like, you got ripped, and you drove home, and we tried stopping you, and you got into a fight. And I was like, ‘I got a problem,’ and I’d try to go sober, and it would last me about three days, and I’d be like, ‘I need a beer.’
“Even during the season, I was drinking way more than I should have been. I shouldn’t be drinking at all — I’m not of age — but I just realized I’m not mature enough to drink. I’d have one beer, and it would lead to 24 or 36 — there were weekends when in one night I’d be putting down 40."
So good for Boone for making the changes he had to make. He probably saved his own life, and quite possibly someone else's. Here's hoping he can stick with his decision and becomes a better person for it. Even though I still think a one-game suspension was in order, I'll be rooting for the guy from here on out.