How this guy skated on this charge and most others, repaired his imagine enough to get hired at ESPN and such, and is still idolized by some amazes me.
I guess somehow I missed the details on this story back then.. but reading it now has moved this scumbag to the list of loathed figures in NFL lore.. what a friggin jackass.
</Rant off> :lol: Never once in my career did I like this guy..
Updated: September 20, 2008, 1:43 PM EST 198
The following is an excerpt from Jeff Pearlman's new book "Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty," copyright 2008 by Jeff Pearlman. Reprinted with permission of HarperCollins.
"You can do a lot of things in life. You can't stab a teammate with a pair of scissors."
Kevin Smith, Cowboys cornerback
Michael Irvin knew he was screwed.
There, dangling in his right hand, was a pair of silver scissors, bits of shredded brown skin coating the tips. There, clutching his own throat, was Everett McIver, a 6-foot, 5-inch, 318-pound hulk of a man, blood oozing from the 2-inch gash in his neck. There, standing to the side, were teammates Erik Williams, Leon Lett and Kevin Smith, slack-jawed at what they had just seen.
It was finally over. Everything was over. The Super Bowls. The Pro Bowls. The endorsements. The adulation. The dynasty.
Damn the dynasty.
The greatest wide receiver in the history of the Dallas Cowboys a man who had won three Super Bowls; who had appeared in five Pro Bowls; whose dazzling play and sparkling personality had earned him a devoted legion of followers knew he would be going to prison for a long time. Two years if he was lucky. Twenty years, maximum.
Was this the first time Irvin had exercised mind-numbing judgment? Hardly. Throughout his life, the man known as the Playmaker had made a hobby of breaking the rules. As a freshman at the University of Miami 14 years earlier, Irvin had popped a senior lineman in the head after he had stepped in front of him in a cafeteria line. In 1991, Irvin allegedly shattered the dental plate and split the lower lip of a referee whose call he disagreed with in a charity basketball game. Twice, in 1990 and '95, Irvin had been sued by women who insisted he had fathered their children out of wedlock. In May 1993, Irvin was confronted by police after launching into a tirade when a convenience store clerk refused to sell his 18-year-old brother, Derrick, a bottle of wine. When Gene Upshaw visited Dallas minicamp that same month to explain an unpopular contractual agreement, Irvin greeted the NFL union chief first by screaming obscenities, then by pulling down his pants and flashing his exposed derriere.
Most famously, there was the incident in a Dallas hotel room on March 4, 1996 one day before Irvin's 30th birthday when police found the Playmaker and former teammate Alfredo Roberts with two strippers, 10.3 grams of cocaine, more than an ounce of marijuana and assorted drug paraphernalia and sex toys. Irvin who greeted one of the on-scene officers with, "Hey, can I tell you who I am?" later pleaded no contest to a felony drug charge and received a five-game suspension, 800 hours of community service and four years probation.
But stabbing McIver in the neck, well, this was different. Through the litany of his boneheaded acts, Irvin had never not once deliberately hurt a teammate. Did he love snorting coke? Yes. Did he love lesbian sex shows? Yes. Did he love sleeping with two, three, four, five (yes, five) women at a time in precisely choreographed orgies? Yes. Did he love strip clubs and hookers and house calls from exotic dancers with names like Bambi and Cherry and Saucy? Yes, yes, yes.
Was he loyal to his football team? Undeniably.
Throughout the Cowboy reign of the 1990s, which started with a laughable 1-15 season in 1989 and resulted in three Super Bowl victories in four years, no one served as a better teammate ... as a better role model, than Michael Irvin. He was first to the practice field in the morning, the last to leave at night. He wore weighted pads atop his shoulders to build muscle and refused to depart the complex before catching 50 passes without a drop. Twelve years after the fact, an undrafted free agent quarterback named Scott Semptimphelter still recalls Irvin begging him to throw slants following practice on a 100-degree day in 1995. "In the middle of the workout Mike literally threw up on himself as he ran a route," says Semptimphelter. "Most guys would put their hands on their knees, say screw this and call it a day. Not Michael. He got back to the spot, ran another route, and caught the ball."
That was Irvin. Determined. Driven. A 100-mph car on a 50-mph track. Chunks of vomit dripping from his jersey.
Following the lead of their star wide receiver, Cowboy players and coaches out-practiced, out-hustled, out-everythinged every other team in the National Football League. Sure, the Cowboys of the 1990s were bursting with talent from quarterback Troy Aikman and running back Emmitt Smith to defensive backs Deion Sanders and Darren Woodson but it was an unrivaled intensity that made Dallas special. During drills, Irvin would see a teammate slack during a play and angrily lecture, "Don't be a f-----' pussy! Be a f-----' soldier! Be my soldier!" He would challenge defensive backs to rise to the highest level. "Bitch, cover me!" he'd taunt Sanders or Kevin Smith. "C'mon bitch! C'mon bitch! C'mon!" When the play ended he'd offer a quick pat on the rear. "Nice job, brother. Now do it again." Irvin was the No. 1 reason the Cowboys won Super Bowls in 1992, '93 and '95, and everybody on the team knew it. "The man just never stopped," says Hubbard Alexander, the Dallas wide receivers coach. "He was only about winning."
And yet, there Michael Irvin stood on July 29, 1998, staring down a new low. The scissors. The skin. The blood. The gagging teammate. That morning a Dallas-based barber named Vinny had made the 2-hour drive to Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, where the team held its training camp. He set up a chair inside a first-floor room in the Cowboys' dormitory, broke out the scissors and buzzers and chopped away, one refrigerator-sized head after another.
After a defensive back named Charlie Williams finished receiving his cut, McIver jumped into the chair. It was his turn.
Although only the most die-hard of Dallas Cowboy fans had heard of him, Everett McIver was no rookie. Not in football, and certainly not in life.
Born and raised in Fayetteville, N.C., McIver played at Division II Elizabeth City State as a defensive lineman. He was the type of player NFL coaches and personnel experts find intriguing huge, overlooked, bursting with untapped potential and, most important, hungry.
As a 21-year-old college junior, McIver and his girlfriend had a daughter, Morquisha. Fatherhood was a monumental lifestyle change for the football star. As teammates focused their attentions toward dorm bashes and cute coeds, McIver was rushing home after practices to change diapers and cuddle with his girl. In myriad ways, McIver was the most fulfilled he had ever been.
When Morquisha reached three months, however, doctors determined that she was suffering from an irregular heartbeat, and further tests revealed that the infant had two left ventricles and none on her right side. Shortly thereafter, Morquisha McIver died in surgery. "Ever since then, there's not too much that can deter me," McIver said. "Nothing can keep me out or hold me down."
In 1993 the San Diego Chargers signed McIver as a rookie free agent. He was cut several months later, signed by Dallas and placed on the practice squad. From August through December, McIver was a Cowboy rookie scrub, forced to sing his fight song and pick up sandwiches from the local deli and call teammates "Sir" and "Mister" and whatever else they desired. "Being a rookie with the Cowboys could be tough," says Clayton Holmes, a defensive back. "You just had to suck it up and try to survive unscathed."
Many of the veterans, like Irvin, defensive end Charles Haley and offensive lineman Nate Newton, dismissed McIver as a marginal, insignificant player. Unaware of the tragedy he had faced, they resented his quiet demeanor and low-key approach. McIver came off as lazy and laconic. He was an easy target.
Yet after a rough start, McIver's career picked up. He joined the New York Jets in 1994 and later spent two productive years in Miami as a Dolphin. With the Cowboys struggling behind an aging, oft-injured offensive line, team owner Jerry Jones tossed a five-year, $9.5 million contract McIver's way. The lineman had left Dallas as a joke and five years later was now returning a potential cornerstone. "He's an example of how if you have skill, a good work ethic to develop it and be persistent, you can play at a high level in the NFL," Jones said at the time. "We're thrilled to have him here."
Michael Irvin, however, wasn't thrilled. As far as he was concerned Everett McIver was simply the same nobody from five years earlier. He was a Band-Aid for a franchise in need of a defibrillator. Indeed, in 1997 the once-mighty Cowboys had experienced one of their worst seasons, finishing 6-10 and missing the playoffs for the first time in seven years. The downfall could be attributed to myriad reasons. Whereas once the team was a high-flying collection of young, athletic studs, players were now creeping into their late 20s and early 30s. Dashers gradually became plodders. Hard hitters started to shy away from big licks.
Moreover, free agency had picked the roster apart. Though everyone who followed the NFL knew of Aikman, Smith and Irvin, a team is only as good as its parts. With each Super Bowl triumph, more and more players were gobbled up by other franchises. Where was Alvin Harper? Mark Stepnoski? Kenny Gant? Jay Novacek? The players who emphatically put the D in Big D? For that matter, where were Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer, the two swagger-packed coaches who had led the team to three Super Bowl titles in a span of four years?
Most notably, the Cowboys largely winners on the football field had spiraled out of control off of it. Drinking. Drugs. Strippers. Prostitutes. Orgies. Late nights out and hung-over practices. Some, like Irvin, could immerse themselves in the lifestyle and still arrive at Texas Stadium 100-percent ready to play on Sundays. Many could not. The Cowboys were sloppy and lethargic and dull and clearly lacking ... something.
For a hyper competitor like Irvin, the losing was too much. The man who was all about devotion to the game had turned bitter. He was well aware that these Cowboys were not his Cowboys. So when Irvin walked into that room and saw McIver in the barber's chair, something inside snapped.
"Seniority!" Irvin barked.
McIver didn't budge.
"Seniority!" Irvin screamed again. "Seniority! Seniority! Punk, get the f--- out of my chair!"
"Man," said McIver, "I'm almost done. Just gimme another few minutes."
Was Everett McIver talking to Irvin? Was he really talking to Irvin? Like ... that?
"Vinny, get this motherf----- out of the chair," Irvin ordered the barber. "Tell his sorry ass to wait his f-----' turn. Either I get a cut right now, or nobody does."
Standing nearby was Erik Williams, McIver's fellow lineman. "Yo E," he said to McIver, "don't you dare get out of that chair. You're no f-----' rookie! He can't tell you what to do!"
Sensing trouble, the barber backed away from McIver's head. McIver stood and shoved Irvin in the chest. Irvin shoved back. McIver shoved even harder, then grabbed Irvin and tossed him toward a wall. "I'm the littlest guy in the room," says Kevin Smith, "So I just yell, 'Leon, do something!'" Lett, the enormous defensive linemen, tried separating the combatants. It was no use. "The whole scene was crazy," says Smith. "I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I mean, we were on the same team."
In a final blow to harmony, McIver cocked his right fist and popped Irvin in the mouth. "I just lost it," said Irvin. "I mean, my head, I lost it." Irvin grabbed a pair of scissors, whipped back his right arm and slashed McIver across the neck. The motion was neither smooth nor slick, but jagged, like a saw cutting felt. The tip of the scissors ripped into McIver's skin, just above his collarbone and inches from the carotid artery. McIver let loose a horrified scream.
"Blood immediately shoots all over the room," says Smith. "And we're all thinking the same thing 'Oh, s---.'"
For a moment as brief as a sneeze there was silence. Had Michael Irvin, soul of the Cowboys, stabbed a man his teammate in the neck? Was this what the once-mighty Dallas Cowboys had become? What the great Michael Irvin had sunk to?
Then mayhem. The Cowboys' medical staffers stormed the room, past a dumbstruck Irvin, and immediately attended to McIver. As their bloodied teammate was whisked away, none of the lingering Cowboys knew the extent of the damage. Was McIver in critical condition? Would he live?
Either way, every single man in the room knew that this was more than just a fight. The storied Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s the organization of pride and honor and success; the organization whose players would never dare hurt one another; the organization that dominated professional football was dead and buried.
How in the world had it come to this?