*fittedwearer's note: you know, I really wasn't even gonna do this, I swear..I was gonna leave my 'Boys outta this. However, at the request of my frienemy Ci, (an Eagles fan...I hope she gets better one day...) I am. I can't deny her that...she can enjoy greatness from the 3rd person at the very least. Aight so...yeah, here goes.
Well, you don't get a nickname like "the Playmaker" without having many tendencies of a baaaaad mafucka. Michael Irvin is one of the greatest wide recievers in NFL history and a pretty cool guy as well. I mean, he was good at what he did pretty much from birth. He was born in 1966 (the 15th of 17 kids, his father apparently made a few plays of his own...) and after starring in football all through high school, he went to the University of Miami where he won a national championship and set a bundle of school records which he still holds today.
In 1988, he was drafted by the then-pitiful Dallas Cowboys, who were by the late '80s little more than a punchline with cool helmets. He didn't help too much immdiately, as the 'Boys went 1-15 the next year, (ouch.) but after a few more years (and a few more Hall of Famers around him...you know, Emmitt, Troy, those folk...) he was able to see the Cowboys to 2 straight Super Bowls in 92' and 93' and one in '95, just for fun. I'd say being one of the main reasons for your team going from laughingstock to dynasty is pretty commendable.
Off the field, the man likes a party...and that can sometimes get folk into trouble. On his 30th birthday, during a wild blowout at a hotel, he was arrested on charges of cocaine possession and showed up to his trial in a full length mink. (Whatever you may think of that, you have to admit it's a bold move...takes balls to show up for a drug case looking like Frank Lucas at that Frazier fight.) He was also twice accused of sexual assault, however both stories were exposed as simple cases of 'party girl's regret' and thrown out like the lies they were. Mike stayed cool through the whole thing...and came out clean at the end.
Legal shit aside, he played 11 electrifying years for the 'Boys, accumulating accolades, records and controversy along the way. Mike was a very polarizing player, and if you liked football you either loved or hated him, most choosing the latter. (Yes, his mere presence on a football team created a media circus, but he had 3 rings to put in it...so there wasn't much to be said to the man.) Sadly, his career was cut short when he sustained a neck injury on a cheap shot from some nameless Eagle as their boorish, classless fans cheered his temporarily paralyzed body (a vile act of poor sportsmanship I still hold against Bird watchers to this day...guess thats what happens when your team is ass for half a century at a time...) but not before he had established himself as one of the best players of his generation and a 1st ballot Hall of Famer.
A vocal, emotional leader, he was known for his highly visible displays of excitement and celebratory outbursts. T.O., Chad EightFive and other recievers of today who gesture and flourish to punctuate good plays pretty much owe a debt to Mike. He talked a whole bunch of shit and backed it up on the field, setting just about every franchise record that they have numbers for during his illustrious career. He is also known for his distinctive style of dress, which cements his status here because only a baaaaad mafucka could wear a waist length creamsicle orange blazer and look fly doing so.
When I was younger, I wanted to be like Mike (I vividly remember running around in my little #88 jersey many years ago pointing and flailing just like my hero) and apparently I'm not alone. Mike is beloved by his fans to great lengths...in fact to illustrate this point, last year he was almost the victim of a carjacking...2 assailants rode up alongside his car with guns drawn, intending to take his vehicle. Normally this means you're about to call AAA and get a ride home (if not to the hospital). Not for Mike...his would be jackers were Cowboys fans, and after identifying the legend and professing their admiration for his work, they simply drove away and let Mike continue unharmed. You know you got more juice than Tropicana when your reputation acts as a car alarm...and that right there pretty much qualifies you as a baaaaad mafucka.