Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Another DUI In Sports, This Time My Hero: Todd Helton

As reported by the Colorado Rockies, early Wednesday morning around 2am the Rockies longtime star first basemen Todd Helton was arrested for driving under the influence.  This is another black eye on the sports world in general, just days after longtime Major League first basemen Mark Grace was given jail time for his second DUI.

Helton released the following statement today:

"Last evening, I exercised poor judgment and was charged with drinking and driving after driving to a gas station near my house. I am very sorry and embarrassed by my actions. I hold myself to a high standard and take my responsibility as a public figure very seriously. My entire career I have worked to set a positive example for my family and in our community, and I fell far short of this standard."

"I sincerely ask my family, the Colorado Rockies organization, Major League Baseball and the community to accept my apology. I make no excuses and accept full responsibility for my actions. I humbly ask your forgiveness."

As a huge Helton and Rockies fan this arrest has meaning and stings.  We all over the age of 21 have the right to drink, but we do not have the right to drive once we are drinking.  By not having a plan on driving home after drinking, a well known and liked player such as Helton can forever have hanging over his name, a DUI charge.  I have heard of people who go months or years before ever being caught for a DUI, so with that being I'm sure that at 39 years old this isn't a first time he was driving under the influence, it was his first time being caught.

What the MLB needs is to look at all the alcohol abuse not just in a players career but they need to make sure to follow up on former players to give them all the help they need.  As someone who was in the army I was away from my wife and family for months to a year at a time.  Sometimes you get used to living one way, such as being on the road, and then you try to transition back to home life.  Before you know it you are leaving home again.  Yes ball players have a dream job, they get paid millions, but lets not forget these people may have real problems too.  We don't know what goes on in their life after they leave the clubhouse, are they having marriage problems, or maybe they are just depressed.  As much as we all would say I wouldn't be depressed if I had millions of dollars, is flat wrong.  Players like Helton who want to be out on the field but are continually injured could cause the pain of depression.  I know how depressed I feel when there are limitations with me and my health.  Helton states he used an error in judgement, but the Rockies need not turn a blind eye and make sure that he is really getting treatment.  I think anyone caught in a DUI situation should be mandatory to have to go into a treatment program, no if and or buts about it.

As being a family whose favorite player is #17 Todd Helton, we hope you can get the help you need because I'm sure your family depends on you.  In addition kids like my 10 year old son look up to him.


  1. You have a right to your opinion, but I disagree with it.

    First, this is Helton's first mistake in a twenty year career which is a miracle in and of itself. There is absolutely no proof Helton regularly drinks and drives or even that he had done it even once before. Just because some people get away with it many times doesn't mean everyone does. He was driving from his home to a gas station not home from a club. I've done that before on the line between I'm good and one beer too many and I have drank maybe 20 times in the last 15 years. It can happen to anyone.

    Next, we all need to stop acting like sport heroes are infallible. The man made the same mistake that your neighbor or your brother or your co-worker could make. He is human after all.

    Finally, I think a man that is willing to admit his mistake, apologize, and ask for forgiveness immediately is someone worth looking up to for both adults and kids. Kids should learn that they don't have to be perfect, because they never will be.

    Don't let one error in judgment ruin 20 years worth of goodwill. No one got hurt and I hope he really has learned his lesson. He is still Mr. Rockie, and a hero, in my book.

    1. @hiflew I never said Helton drinks all the time, if you read it I said "if" he does the Rockies need to get him help. As someone who spent a great deal of time in the army and have soliders under me that said who got caught and said "at least I didn't hurt anyone" is one of the worst things you can say. I wrote this as he is human if you read it, yes he is Mr Rockie, and you don't know Helton good enough to know if this is his first time driving or not, but it ONLY takes one more time before he is in jail like Mark Grace, or it ONLY takes one time to kill someone. It could be my neighbor or like has happened to many of my soldiers who get caught for the first time. I treated them like it was a situation where the could have killed someone. Look at the whole issue, not just the person.

    2. You're right and I wasn't trying to attack your opinion and I am sorry if it came off that way. You are also correct that I don't know Helton personally, but I can look at the 20 years of evidence that he has a clean record.

      If he does it again, then yes he does deserve to go to jail, but all I'm saying is don't jump the gun. Looking at the issue is important, but the overall character of the person is important as well. Helton has been an upstanding citizen for his entire career. Give him the benefit of the doubt that this is a one time occurrence because if Todd Helton hasn't earned that right then no one ever will.

    3. I just hope if it is indeed an issue in his life, as a huge Helton fan I hope he would get help. If it is a once in a life time was very unlucky he was caught on his first time. I have met Helton a few times thus my love of having him as my favorite player. And it is unfortunate that even if this was that once in a lifetime event, that his name will always have that DUI listed with his name. I wanted to write something about Mark Grace and the alcohol problem for a few days, it just so happened that Helton got mixed into this. Sorry to be harsh sounding, but I think we should be there to help and encourage these players instead of painting them monsters...they are people, with needs and problems just like us.

  2. Well said.

    In all honesty, this is more of a problem in baseball than PEDs ever will be. Something needs to be done. Not just punishment for breaking the law, but anything to prevent this in the future - and not just for baseball players, but everyone, should be explored.

    1. Thanks! Alcoholism can lead to down a bad road. No we don't know if Helton drinks often, but if you get caught once, that is enough to assume he does. It takes a bigger man to ask for help, it is the weak man who says I have no problem. I come from a long line of alcoholic family members, all in one way have had run ins in with the law, or have a broken family life.

    2. Look at Miguel Caberra last year, got a DUI...went into treatment, showed he was dedicated to not getting "blank" faced. I respect Caberra more knowing he asked for help.

  3. In addition to knowing people who have died from a drunk driver, nothing pisses me off more than someone saying I just drove to the gas station, what is the big deal. I had a friend who was hit by a drunk driver who was backing out of his OWN driveway...just feet from his front door. That person was seriously I take drinking and driving serious!

  4. I saw this earlier today, Joe Average, and thought of you immediately. I'd be crestfallen, as, like both the Padres and Chargers organizations, I'm a fan of solid and reliable gentlemen as my sports heroes.

    Dang it, Todd!

    He's been a consistent leader and face of the franchise, especially since Walker left and made way for someone to step up in terms of singular visibility.

    I heard he was recently on a hunting trip all across the greater U.S. with P. Manning after the Donkeys were eliminated from the post-season. I wonder what he thinks of all this, the Manning's being as publicly sensitive as they are.

    Sorry, Joe Average.


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