February 03, 2005

Mean Joe Greene, Meet Mean Daunte Culpepper: In Jacksonville, the Minnesota Vikings quarterback spontaneously gave a paralyzed high school athlete two diamond necklaces worth about $75,000 during an NFL awards ceremony Wednesday, then subsequently took them back.

posted by rcade to football at 12:23 PM - 20 comments

Zillions of cameras and reporters and Culpepper isn't smart enough to have one of his people talk to the family outside, explaining the sentimental value? Guess the PR value of this is a wash then.

posted by billsaysthis at 02:30 PM on February 03

Culpepper then walked over to the Townsends and asked them to write down their address so he could send them something else. Culpepper wasn’t sure what it would be. It better be worth $75,000. (I thought that the Vikings were done disappointing me this season, but I was wrong.)

posted by kirkaracha at 03:52 PM on February 03

The practical choice would be an accessible car...that was purple...with the number 11 on it...and vikings' horns on the roof...and spinners...

posted by chris2sy at 04:14 PM on February 03

I really think this is blown out of proportion. He probably just wanted the kid to have a thrill of wearing such an OUTRAGEOUSLY EXPENSIVE PIECE OF BLING, and never had any intention of letting him keep it. Sort of like if Armstrong lets a kid ride around on his bike for a bit. It doesn't mean he gets to keep it, only experience it.

posted by grum@work at 04:14 PM on February 03

i'm with grum. daunte was kind of put on the spot. if he says no in front of everyone he's gonna look like an ass.

posted by goddam at 04:38 PM on February 03

Oh give me a break. Guy gets put in a total catch 22. "Hey Dante, can I rock some of that ice." 400 cameras lean in. Dante thinks 'sure I'll let the kid wear my necklace for a bit'. Then the paralyzed kid's mother starts crying... Fuck that's tough. I hope when I get super rich I'm not chatised publicly for not giving people $75,000 custom made gifts when asked. It's a big worry for me.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 04:41 PM on February 03

I read this story in the NYPost (no I didn't buy it, it was sitting on a vacant seat on the PATH this morning thank you very much), and it included a quote from Culpepper saying that he wished he had two sets so he could have given the kid his extras. Daunte did everything right here, and even though he didn't give the kid his stuff (which he obviously likes enough to have worn to an awards ceremony), he did the right thing in letting the poor kid wear it for a bit. I don't blame him for asking for it back. The kid will get another personal gift from Culpepper, and even if it's just a simple autographed jersey, that's still pretty cool. Being famous is probably a lot tougher than we think it is.

posted by Samsonov14 at 05:08 PM on February 03

I have to agree with grum, Weedy and Sam

posted by thewittyname at 05:31 PM on February 03

I linked to this because it was a gruesome misunderstanding, not a sign that Culpepper's a horrible person. After following this kid's recovery for more than two years, though, I have to say it's a cruel joke on that family. Culpepper should have either made it clear up-front he was just letting him wear the jewelry or perhaps even let him keep them. It only takes three days for Culpepper to earn $75K on his base salary alone. Now that he's publicly embarrassed the family, he ought to do something noteworthy to make up for it.

posted by rcade at 05:37 PM on February 03

posted by rcade at 05:51 PM on February 03

The only way the Court of Public Opinion is going to come down on Daunte's side in this is if he gives that kid something really special. Not just a an autographed football or something like that. But something that'll make the kid and his family sit up and make the public go "aw shucks, that was really nice of Daunte."

posted by roberts at 07:59 PM on February 03

Reading other reports, it sounds like the kid made a tacit deal with Culpepper, not giving them back without a promise of some cool memorabilia when Culpepper got back home. Maybe the family's embarrassment was exaggerated by the press, which is starved for stories in Jacksonville. Setting that issue aside, as a fashion statement, does anything say wealthy dork more than a "trademark diamond-encrusted Red Pepper necklace," as one reporter dubbed that giant hunk of ugly dangling from Culpepper's hand?

posted by rcade at 08:03 AM on February 04

If you ever want to see some real gaudy stuff, walk into your local pawn shop. One time I saw a pinkie ring with a diamond encrusted adidas logo on it. I'm guessing Adidas doesn't make that, so that means someone actually commisioned the damn thing and then had to pawn it to pay their bills.

posted by usfbull at 09:51 AM on February 04

which is starved for stories in Jacksonville. Thank you for saying that. I can't say that I miss the stupid shit said pre-Super Bowl, but WTF? The only things I am reading are about TO and whether he will or won't play. I feel sorry for the rest of the players in the game as they are still being shown up by that asshole, TO. As for Daunte, he was in a Catch-22, as said above, but jeez, the dad starts squaking about buying a safe?!?!?! TACKY!!!!!

posted by scully at 10:00 AM on February 04

A follow up via the Strib. From the article: We were standing at Culpepper's side when the transaction took place. There was no animosity, no hurt feelings and no accusations of impropriety -- only thank-yous from Townsend, his parents and a doctor nearby. BugMeNot for my link: username - username password - password

posted by NoMich at 03:06 PM on February 04

From the start it seemed like the AP writer took a completely different view of the situation than Seifert...for whatever reason.

posted by chris2sy at 03:30 PM on February 04

Seifert's take seems bogus, because he defends Culpepper without addressing the comments and tears by the parents, who clearly believed the necklaces were a gift, according to AP. His second piece reads like an attempt to grease a source. Since he's the Vikings beat writer for his paper, one could conclude that he's trying to help the guy by downplaying the initial misunderstanding.

posted by rcade at 03:50 PM on February 04

Duante is in a tough spot. Sounds like he was caught up in the moment. I agree with Grum and rcade. I do believe Duante should give the kid a diamond necklace with the #11 and some autographed swag. Interested to see the follow up to this story. The positive PR will greatly exceed the 25-30k for a single necklace.

posted by McLaw at 05:36 PM on February 04

Well, whether or not he should have or shouldn't have given up the neckalce is irrelevant now. For the sake of his image he now has to do the most ugly of charitable actions: The Publicity Donation. This should not be such a huge story.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:56 AM on February 05

Hilarious but true, Weedy. There is nothing uglier than the publicity donation.

posted by rcade at 10:19 AM on February 05

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