By Jeffery Armstrong
Through the years, I have really liked Bruce Willis' movies, especially Pulp Fiction, Hudson Hawk, Die Hard, Striking Distance and Look Who's Talking. One of my favorite Bruce movies was The Last Boy Scout, a 1991 flick that starred Willis and Damon Wayans (and Halle Berry in a disappointingly short role).
In that movie, Bruce Willis plays Joe Hallenbeck, a former secret service agent who falls from grace and becomes a small-time private eye. Willis has to protect Halle Berry, but she gets murdered despite his efforts to protect her. Damon Wayans played Halle's boyfriend in the movie and he teams up with Bruce to find the killers. In the movie, Damon was a former pro football player who was banned from the league for gambling and drugs.
In one interesting scene, Bruce's daughter in the movie told Damon Wayans that he was Willis' favorite football player. Willis was always talking about Wayans to everyone, but when Wayans was busted for drugs, Willis quit watching football.
When I watched that movie recently, I asked myself a question: who is the athlete I most admire and would be so disappointed with if he or she was busted for drugs?
One of my co-workers here would say Andre Agassi. He's been a big fan of Agassi for years n he's impressed with Agassi's desire, talent and work ethic. I can't blame him; I like Agassi as well.
But for me, the athlete who would disappoint me the most if he was arrested for drug use or something worse would be current pro basketball player Charlie Ward.
Ward played 10 seasons with the New York Knicks, was traded to the Phoenix Suns this year, was waived by Phoenix and then recently signed with the San Antonio Spurs. Even though I don't like the NBA much anymore, I'm still a big Charlie Ward fan.
Charlie Ward is the reason I'm a Florida State University fan right now. Before Ward, I wasn't interested in the Florida State Seminoles; in fact, I wasn't really into college football that much. But to see him commandeer the Seminoles to the national championship in 1993 and then win the Heisman Trophy that same year made me root for FSU. Ward also was a three-year starter at point guard on the Florida State basketball team, helping guide the Seminoles to the NCAA Sweet 16 one year. He managed to excel on a basketball team that featured big man Doug Edwards and current NBA guards Sam Cassell and Bob Sura. They were a fun team to watch.
Not only is Ward a great athlete, but he's also a good Christian man who cares about the community. He's given to all sorts of charities through the years and he seems to be a devoted husband and father.
Ward has always been a mild-mannered, even-tempered person throughout the years. He never ranted and raved about not making the NFL n he handled the situation with class. I don't know if he's ever received a technical foul in all the years he's been in the NBA. Yep, if Charlie Ward was busted for drugs, chances are it wouldn't be a banner day for me.
Jeffery Armstrong is a sports writer for the Daily and his column appears on Thursdays. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.