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Sex & drugs: the athlete's kryptonite

By Jeffery Armstrong

Sex and drugs.

If there is anything in this world that brings down more athletes, especially pro athletes, it is sex and drugs.

If an athlete isn't getting into trouble via having non-consensual sex (according to the victim), he is busted for some sort of drug use n and these drugs aren't meant to cure Excedrin Headache No. 5. The situation with football players Ricky Williams of the Miami Dolphins and former UGA quarterback Quincy Carter of the Dallas Cowboys is another example of how athletes are so addicted to this mess.

Last year, I wrote a column about how I don't understand the need for drugs. What good is being high when you're going to come down from it eventually? Getting high isn't going to stop bills from having to be paid and if you're upset about something, it won't go away when you're high.

Now sex is another story. Whew, where to begin on that one. I guess I'll start with myself.

I was on vacation last week and I traveled to Dallas to visit some of my high school classmates whom I hadn't seen in nine years. On Sunday, all of us were exchanging stories about what crazy things we did when we were younger and yes, many of those stories had to do with sex and women.

My friend and classmate Bobby Pace said something that stuck with me the whole day. He said all the crazy things we did years ago were in the name of chasing women and sex. And I guess that's the deal with all these male athletes n they just have to chase women and do drugs. And do you notice that when these athletes overdo one or both, they end up worse than they were before? It's sort of like Superman once he encounters some deadly kryptonite.

Athletes have known from day one that women are attracted to them and that some women will literally throw themselves at these guys for sex. What's sad is that very few athletes have the willpower to turn them down. There are so many athletes who have been hurt by too much sex and drugs, from Magic Johnson to Lyle Alzado to Kobe Bryant, and it doesn't seem like things will change anytime soon.

What's crazy is that athletes succumb to these two temptations at the worse possible moments. What was Quincy Carter thinking to take drugs during NFL training camp?? Why couldn't Kobe Bryant wait to get back home and be with his wife?

Perhaps one of the worst examples of an athlete abusing sex and drugs before a big moments was the case of former New York Knicks guard John Starks in the 1994 NBA Finals.

Starks had a monster Game 6 in the Finals, scoring at will and nearly leading the Knicks to a series-clinching win over the Houston Rockets. Instead, the Rockets won 86-84 to send the Finals to Game 7. Starks had an ugly Game 7, however, missing 16 out of the 18 shots he took and the Rockets went on to win the NBA championship.

I lived in Houston at the time and one of my co-workers told me that this gold digger she knew managed to find Starks the night before Game 7, have sex with him and fill him full of cocaine. I was surprised, but not really shocked. Unlike Superman, many athletes want to be around the kryptonite.

Jeffery Armstrong is a sports writer for the Daily and his column appears on Thursdays. He can be reached at jarmstrong@news-daily.com .