We would like to interrupt your regularly scheduled browsing to discuss the latest golden nugget from our favorite real life depiction of Mad Libs, the NFL news cycle.
Wes Welker was suspended four games for testing positive for amphetamines, which Deadspin is reporting as due to his taking speed-laced molly at the Kentucky Derby. Of course, to anyone who happened to see him that day in Louisville, this probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
First thought: Holy shit, I’m pretty sure Wes Welker has tried to sell me drugs at a concert before.
Second thought: Wes Welker is a serious partier, because this was not the exploratory work of an amateur. You aren’t strolling into Churchill Downs high on ecstasy unless you’ve spiked your mint julep once or twice.
So let’s do like Welker, take the red pill, and see just how far his MDMA rabbit hole goes. When else has America’s favorite undersized football hero come covertly rolling into the public spotlight?
His first time had to have been as an All-Big 12 Conference performer at Texas Tech. Most people are introduced to new and crazy things in college. It happens to major college athletes at an expedited rate. Plus, he was a 5’8” white guy who became a star punt returner and the type of player people call a jitterbug.
But once Wes made it to the NFL and had an unlikely rise to glory with Tom Brady and the Patriots in 2007, the moments grew in scope. He took the field with New England in Super Bowl XLII with a chance to complete just the second perfect season in NFL history. It’s easy to imagine the nerve-wracking pressure that hung in the stale air of the Patriots locker room before the game. But Wes had a secret weapon: one of his old frat bros from Tech had slipped him a capsule at the hotel bar the night before, just in case.
Welker was all over the field that night. He finished with 11 catches for 103 yards. It would have been the kind of evening that locks a player into the lore of Super Bowl heroism, but for one lucky helmet-catch and Eli Manning’s marauding band of buzzkill. Taking molly at the Super Bowl was almost the greatest thing ever, until it wasn’t.
A year and a half later, Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen celebrated their marriage on a beach in Costa Rica with, according to People magazine, some “friends, family, Brady’s Patriots teammates and Bündchen’s modeling world pals.” There are no specific accounts of which teammates and which models were included, but intuition says Wes Welker didn’t miss it. Costa Rica has beautiful sunsets.
Wes kept working at his craft and ended up back in the Super Bowl with New England following the 2011 season. Again they faced those legacy-snatching goblins, the Giants, whom he held responsible for an awful hangover four years prior.
Welker had a solid but unspectacular first half and felt like maybe it was going to take something extra that night. As he sat at his locker at halftime furiously downing orange Gatorade, he wondered if the one pregame dose would be enough. And that’s when he heard it. Far away, on a stage on the 50-yard line, a musical renaissance was happening where normally there is the Super Bowl halftime show.
The sweet, insane crooning of Madonna. The pulsating basslines of LMFAO. The noise that Nicki Minaj makes. It was all happening at once, and the sonic waves swirled in Welker’s head with such resolve that he had no choice but to tune out the typically charismatic Bill Belichick’s “Gipper” speech. He ducked into the bathroom and took a second pill.
Despite an initial burst of energy, Wes eventually felt pretty out of it. He steadied himself late in the fourth quarter as the Patriots drove with the lead to put the game on ice. On a critical play, Wes found himself the unimpeded target of a classic Tom Brady spiral. But the ball was sailing towards him through the lights and the crowd and for a brief second everything blended together in a blast of sensory nirvana. Wes didn’t see the football, he just saw Earth, Love, Mortality. This also meant he didn’t catch the football, the Giants came back to win at the end, and Gisele bitched about him afterwards.
On that night, Wes Welker learned that there is such thing as overdoing it at the Super Bowl.
But the little fighter then resurfaced on to the next great NFL powerhouse, the Peyton Manning-led 2013 Denver Broncos. As they completed an impressive march to Welker’s third Super Bowl, Wes had it figured out. A small dose would do the trick. The third time is always the charm, as it is written.
Unfortunately, an equipment intern accidentally switched Welker’s molly-dosed water bottle with the one belonging to center Manny Ramirez. On the first play of the game, Ramirez had no idea what the hell was going on and snapped the ball over Peyton’s head for a safety. The Broncos got trounced by Seattle.
So let that be a lesson, kids. No drugs on the field, or you’re never going to win the Super Bowl. Save that shit for a fun day at the races and the worst thing that could possibly happen is you get a four-week break from work.