While many fear that playing football could lead to permanent and severe brain damage, Cedric Benson, a former football star, tried to use the sport as an excuse for not knowing something most people memorize by kindergarten: the alphabet.
Last Saturday, Benson was pulled over in Austin, Texas, in the early morning for speeding and making an illegal turn, according to the Austin American Statesman. When he was pulled over, he attempted to enter a nearby convenience store and smelled of alcohol, according to police records obtained by mySanAntonio.com.
But when officers attempted to perform a field sobriety test, Benson had a novel excuse for his inability to pass. According to KEYE, Benson was unable to recite the letters from G to T or count any higher than three because he had “played 8 years in the NFL.” That would include five letters from his own name.
He was arrested and later released on bail.
This is not the first time Benson has been arrested for alcohol-related offenses. The once-heralded running back was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears in 2005 after a successful four-year career at the University of Texas at Austin. In 2008, however, the Bears released him after two DUIs charges, per ESPN. He was arrested again in 2010 for punching a bar employee and in 2014 for public intoxication, per KEYE.
At the University of Texas, Benson was a first-team All-American. On the university’s website, Benson’s degree and major are not listed.
In the NFL, he enjoyed several strong seasons, but after suffering a sprain in his left ankle in 2012, he was placed on the Injured Reserve and never returned, per NFL.com.
According to SB Nation, once he left the league, Benson planned to work in loan origination and received a license to do so. However, he also said transitioning to a normal life after the intensity of the NFL was difficult.
“You're an animal,” Benson told SB Nation of life in the NFL. “You're constantly pushing your very existence to the very edge. If you go out into society and push yourself to the very edge, people will say, ‘That guy's f------ crazy.’”
While Benson suffered from a variety of lower-body injuries in the NFL, there are no records of him ever suffering a concussion.