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Leonard Little: scumbag

Discussion in 'Open Discussion (Work-safe)' started by tibor75, May 2, 2004.

  1. tibor75

    tibor75 Banned

    Reliving the pain
    For one St. Louis man, recent DUI arrest of Rams' Little hits home
    Posted: Friday April 30, 2004 3:10PM; Updated: Friday April 30, 2004 3:22PM





    Sometimes he'll see them, kids and adults, alike, with Leonard Little's No. 91 jersey on their back. He'll hear the fans roar after their hero flings a quarterback to the turf. Maybe he'll catch a talking head singing Little's praises or read where the Rams' defensive end is Pro Bowl-bound -- and instinctively, as he's come to do these last five years, Bill Gutweiler will bow his head and stare at the ground.

    "It almost kills me,'' says Gutweiler, his voice rising. "God, man, don't you people know?''


    Gutweiler isn't afraid to say he hates the Rams' leading sacker. Some nightmarish memories just get etched deep into our DNA, so it's naive to expect the widower to forgive and forget.

    If you follow the NFL, you too ought not forget what Little did on that October 1998 night. Drunk and speeding in his luxury Navigator SUV, Little ran a stoplight on a downtown St. Louis street and plodded broadside into Susan Gutweiler's car. Twelve hours later Gutweiler's wife died. We'll spare you the gore, but suffice to say the 47-year-old suffered traumatic head and neck injuries.

    Gutweiler prayed that Little be sent away for a long time. Instead, after copping a plea to involuntary manslaughter, he drew a 90-day sentence in the city workhouse, four years probation and 1,000 hours of community service. The NFL suspended him for eight games in 1999, but life went on and in 2002 the St. Louis Rams re-worked Little's contract, signing him to a five-year, $17.5 million deal.

    So when I read the brief item about Little being pulled over for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, which was nearly lost in the hysteria over last weekend's NFL Draft, I felt a jolt of rage in flashing back. Then I thought of Gutweiler and his son, Michael, now 21. What must they be thinking?

    "Man, I'll tell you, when I heard it I just dropped on the couch,'' Gutweiler told me. "The first thing I thought was, 'No, he can't be this stupid. He just can't be this stupid.'''

    Believe it. Police say they clocked Little's 2003 Mercedes Benz S500 at 78 mph in a 55 zone at 3:44 a.m. last Saturday. OK, so he was heavy on the pedal. But then, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the arresting officer wrote: Little "attempted and failed three sobriety tests,'' and "admitted to drinking alcoholic beverages.''

    This is bittersweet news for Gutweiler. Another life wasn't taken, fortunately. And the judicial system may finally bring the hammer down, with the Pro Bowler facing up to four years in prison for his latest DUI arrest. But this week has brought back all the dark memories, followed by bouts of anger at a system that in his mind failed miserably and the realization that a gifted young athlete who apparently still doesn't get it.

    As you might imagine, Gutweiler has been, in his words, a nervous wreck. He fumes while Little's high-priced lawyer portrays his 29-year-old client as a shy, kind soul in the local media and his latest transgression little more than rolling through a stop sign.

    Gutweiler acknowledges receiving a "small settlement'' from Little, though never an apology or sympathetic word from the player or the city's NFL franchise. That bugs him.

    "You figure after five years this man couldn't have wrote my son a letter -- tell him how sorry he was in his own little words,'' Gutweiler pleads. "God, I know I would have. It wouldn't take no five years.''

    The father finds what solace he can these days in breaking away on long bike rides -- 30 miles Sunday, 15 Wednesday night. And then, as he speaks with emotion and yet coolly under control, you realize this is a man who has had far too much experience coping with grief. In 1980, the Gutweiler's seven-year-old daughter, Jill -- remembered by dad as "absolutely gorgeous'' -- was struck by a car and killed. Three years later, he lost his brother, Tim, in a car accident.

    It is what he learned from the painful bout dealing with his daughter's death that strengthens him today. For the longest time, he describes himself as being extremely bitter, believing if it was anyone but an inexperienced, 16-year-old girl behind the wheel that his child might still be alive. He credits his wife with shocking him out of it, telling him to buy into the belief that it happened for a reason or she was leaving.

    "So that is kind of the way I felt about this whole thing,'' he said. "I tried to act like [Little] never existed. It was the only way I survived. If I had stayed with the anger, I just don't know what I would have done. And I know that isn't easy, cause every time I see him I could just kill him.''

    The problem is you can't escape the reaches of a celebrity. It isn't like Little makes St. Louis his offseason home and then goes off and plays in Seattle or another distant outpost. You can't avoid the newspapers. You can't turn off the TV or silence the radio. You have to live.

    And Gutweiler, a magazine distributor by day, freelances as a sports photographer, working a handful of Rams games a season for the likes of Sports Illustrated and The Associated Press. A full schedule, yes. But if, and when Little comes to trial, Gutweiler will make time to be in the courtroom.

    "If the system works, maybe this time he'll come out with more than a slap on his hand,'' he says.
     
  2. DaytonBuck

    DaytonBuck I've always liked them

    this guy is up there with Nate Newton
     
  3. CrabMan

    CrabMan Newbie

    Leonard Little KILLED a woman. Newton may be a dumbass but he only hurt himself. I don't see the comparison.

    Little needs to go to prison for a very, very long time. What a pathetic, piece of shit.
     
  4. starBUCKS

    starBUCKS BPCFFB League #2 League Champion 2008 & 2010

    When I saw the story on the ESPN crawler, I had thought that I misread it. I ran to my computer to see if it was true... couldn't find anything on the computer. I remembered the luxary of tivo... and saw it was true. I was shocked... he got a second chance, that most wouldn't see in 20 life times. You would think that every night he went to sleep he would say a prayer for that family, and always have them in his heart. But, obviously, he selfishly only cared about getting himself off the hook, and not the consequences of what he did. I hope the judge throw's his ass in jail.
     
  5. Oh8ch

    Oh8ch Cognoscente of Omphaloskepsis Staff Member

    That story wasn't about Little - it was about Gutweiler. I could never have the strength of that man.

    Articles like that make me rethink my entire approach to sports where we all cheer for a jersey of a particular color without much thought for the character of the man wearing it. We cheer for killers, druggies, steroid abusers, wife beaters, and on and on. We look down our nose at them, but when they win the game with a homer or TD for our favorite team we can't help but come spontaneously to our feet.

    This article ties in nicely with the Irizarry/Guillford story and the new NCAA proposals on academics (particularly if you share my belief that character and academics are correlated). The NCAA can not go far enough in pushing colleges to offer scholarships to young men of character and high academic standing. Maybe in the long run our universities will produce more Gutweilier's and fewer Little's. More Tillman's and fewer Winslow's. That would be something worth cheering about.
     
  6. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    Well said Oh8
     
  7. DaytonBuck

    DaytonBuck I've always liked them

    obviously you can't compare the two crimes but they were both dumb enough to repeat their behavior
     
  8. BuckeyeInTheBoro

    BuckeyeInTheBoro This space left intentionally blank

    Yes!

    For too long we've heard things like "he's a selfish jerk, but one heck of a football player". There should be no "but" in that sentence. He is BOTH a selfish jerk AND one heck of a football player, but one does not excuse the other. I for one am glad that we have a coach who recognizes that the two sides of each of his charges (football and real life) cannot be seperated and works to teach both.

    This story should not be used to say, "See, never give these guys a second chance" as for every one who never gets it there are many who do. Rather, it should tell us that giving third chances is foolish and giving special treatment because someone can run or block or hit or throw a ball is asking for trouble.

    We often wonder, "What made X think he could get away with Y?" The answer is he's been given a pass on so many other things that he thinks he can have a pass on the big stuff too.
     
  9. buckiprof

    buckiprof 21st Century Buckeye Man Staff Member

    Well said oh8ch!

    Unfortunately, this starts well before they set foot on college campuses. For many, it starts in high school or even in middle school.
     
  10. BuckeyeInTheBoro

    BuckeyeInTheBoro This space left intentionally blank

    Agreed. That's why we see so many have their first brush with reality in college.
     
  11. WoodyWorshiper

    WoodyWorshiper THINK, Before You Speak

    What a horribly tragic situation. Agreed, Little needs to go down hard on this one.

    Also, good replies as usual by Oh8ch, except for putting Kellen Winslow in the category of the "bad guy." Winslow is a different breed, but the kid has done nothing to put himself in the category of "bad guy." He has run his mouth galore, but recent articles here in NEO about his presence in the Browns training camp paints a different picture of him. 10 years from now Winslow will be one of the best, and most well-respected players in the NFL. He is too well "leveled" to ever get in any trouble off the field.
     
  12. horseshoe1

    horseshoe1 Newbie

    Murder is permitted by both professional athletes and by our politicians.
    A politican in one of the western states (can't remember which one) did
    the same thing about a year ago and got the same punishment.
    If you have enough money and clout you can do about anything you wan't
    to do.
    Who could possible be a worse role model than M. Ervin when he was playing for the Cowboys, but yet he is rewarded by being given a job with ESPN
    (which he sucks at by the way).
    Then there is the famous OJ and the linebacker from Baltimore just to name a
    few.
    Money talks and bullshit walks (or serves time whichever you prefer).
     
  13. jcfiesta

    jcfiesta Rookie

    Little

    Nate Newton is in the dumbass category of little but I'm not sure he hurt or killed anyone with his stupidity. On the other hand Teddy Kennedy rates up there with Little.
     
  14. gbearbuck

    gbearbuck Herbie for President

    shoe1,

    yep, you are correct... however two strikes, starts to get a little much... he might get off again, however I'm sure he is going to Pay $$$ big time if he does (I hope they slam him in a cell for many years)...
     

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