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Todd Helton apologizes for his DUI

Feb 18, 2013, 7:15 AM EDT

Todd Helton

Todd Helton addressed the media yesterday, apologizing for his February 6 DUI, which he called “a monumental mistake”:

“Last week I got behind the wheel of my truck after I had drank. All I can do now is apologize and ask for forgiveness. I spoke to my teammates today and they were very supportive. I’m very grateful to my wife, my family, my teammates and the Colorado Rockies organization for their support. I am determined to learn from my mistakes, and I’ve gotten help.”

He said he was “doing everything I can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.” His manager, Walt Weiss, talked about this representing “closure.” So this sounds like the last we’ll hear of it. Left unsaid: whether Helton thinks he has a drinking problem and whether whatever Helton is doing to “make sure this doesn’t happen again” involves addressing his relationship with alcohol. Sorry if that sounds judgmental, but this passive voice noise from Helton makes me a little judgmental:

“The main point was it can happen to anybody,” Helton said of his message to the Rockies. “I never thought it could happen to me, and it did, and just be aware of it.”

Because getting behind the wheel of a car while you’re drunk just pounces on a person unaware. Always gotta be on the lookout for those Solo cups full of wine and car keys to spring out of the dark and land on you like a predator. Yes, Helton is the real victim here when you think about it.

One can say they’re sorry all they want. But saying you’re sorry and taking responsibility for a thing are not the same.

  1. mybrunoblog - Feb 18, 2013 at 7:26 AM

    He should apologize for that mug shot we had to see.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 18, 2013 at 7:38 AM

      This pic is much better, but paired w/ the mug shot it would give one the impression that he has a chia beard. (time lapse video) Ch-ch-ch-chia! It grew in a week! Wow.

    • Old Gator - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:59 AM

      Right. He should have shown us a picture of Kevin Youkilis instead. Much easier on the eyes.

  2. riverace19 - Feb 18, 2013 at 7:35 AM

    Good point Craig… Did he mean to say “getting arrested can happen to anybody”?
    Having a mug shot like that can happen to anybody?

  3. Shafer's Dealer - Feb 18, 2013 at 7:38 AM

    Strip away anything you know about him in regards to baseball and he is just another drunk hick. Another drunk piece of shit that just happened to get caught and is very sorry for that…

    “I never thought it could happen to me, and it did, and just be aware of it.”
    Read that. He says it all right there…loser.

    • heyblueyoustink - Feb 18, 2013 at 9:17 AM

      Rather short sighted of you, Should he have been on the road? No, bad decision to say the least. A total loser because he got a DUI? Or better yet:

      “Strip away anything you know about him in regards to baseball and he is just another drunk hick.”

      As a dumb kid, I got me a DUI, and classes to go with it. Classes filled with suit wearing businessmen in denial, working class citizens who just wanted to go home, and degenerates who didn’t care either way. For you to make such a blatantly ignorant brush stroke indicates to me that you are either a child, a social reject, or a blind arrogant elitist.

      You know nothing about this man except that he plays baseball and got hit with a DUI. or maybe I should shorten it up to ” you know nothing”

      The lesson to be learned, because last time I checked the Constitution allows us to imbibe as we please, ( even those who tout their love for bourbon ), his lesson is to follow the law and stay off the road if he does so.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 18, 2013 at 9:33 AM

        I don’t recall the Right to Imbibe Amendement….although, there was a dude from Boston who tried to argue for that in court. I wonder whatever happened with that case…

      • heyblueyoustink - Feb 18, 2013 at 9:45 AM

        I should have worded that differently. Let’s just say, the Volstead Act was repealed a very long time ago, thus the term ” a nightly constitutional ” was born. The mistake was in driving while imbibing. It’s a good law with good reasons.

        I just get a little peeved by a high and mighty approach to things like the above jackwaggon was adpoting. Judging people you’ve never met, and know very little about, is tantamount to ignorances akin to bigotry and other senseless hateful things.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 18, 2013 at 9:50 AM

        Agreed on that. Just had to yank your chain a little. 😉

      • Shafer's Dealer - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:40 AM

        My family has been on the wrong side of these apologies. I know enough.

      • heyblueyoustink - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:31 AM

        And I was a dumb kid that got arrested for the same thing, very much understand the potential for killing people and ruining lives.

        But i’m far from a hick, and there’s been nothing in Todd Helton’s career that kind of judgement.

        No matter what family you come from, that’s just a convenioent excuse to lash out like an angry monkey.

      • Old Gator - Feb 18, 2013 at 12:04 PM

        Historio: if the defendant appeared before that softhearted (and -headed) idiot Judge Zobel, he would have been sprung in the same decision that exonerated Louise Woodward, and your right to drive drunk and abuse infants at the same time would probably be settled case law by now.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 18, 2013 at 12:33 PM

        Actually, OG, if I remember right, the kid got a public intox and he wanted to argue that you had a right to get drunk on private property. He swore to take it to the Supreme Court. I lost track of it at some point.

  4. cowboysoldiertx - Feb 18, 2013 at 8:05 AM

    He made excuses and promises but never really owned up to it or said he was getting help.

    • natslady - Feb 18, 2013 at 8:10 AM

      Actually, he did say he was getting help. Craig is very harsh. Yes, he COULD have meant getting caught could happen to anyone. But he also COULD have meant, be careful guys. It starts with partying, it starts with fun, it ends with drinking alone in a room and staggering out drunk to get lottery tickets. It sounds to me this guy knows he has a problem, and it remains to be seen if he does something about it. Craig doesn’t like the passive voice (“It can happen to anyone”) but the fact is it CAN happen to anyone. Addictions are diseases, no one asks for them, no one plans for them.

      Don’t get me wrong. I am in NO WAY defending drunk driving. Drunk driving kills, maims, and ruins lives. I hope his team mates look at that mug shot and get scared. They should.

      • Old Gator - Feb 18, 2013 at 12:06 PM

        I agree. We expect far too much eloquence (not to mention a parapsychological proclivity to enunciate precisely the words we want to hear) from our athletes.

  5. thomas844 - Feb 18, 2013 at 8:06 AM

    I don’t think Helton was trying to sound like a victim by saying “it can happen to anyone.” I just think he meant it was something that he never thought he would think about doing and that the experience humbled him. That’s the vibe I got, at least.

    • natslady - Feb 18, 2013 at 8:10 AM

      That’s the vibe I got too. It’s not a joke and it CAN happen to you.

      • Old Gator - Feb 18, 2013 at 12:07 PM

        Not if you don’t drink when you showed up in your own car.

    • ptfu - Feb 18, 2013 at 9:47 AM

      It’s an undefined vague statement. It has multiple reasonable meanings, some of which conflict. I see why some are annoyed by its banality, and I see why you and others detect humility.

      As for me, I don’t know which way to go with it. I don’t know Todd Helton, except through what’s in the article, and I don’t want to read anything into the statement. I suppose I will have to wait and see.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 18, 2013 at 9:52 AM

        So it was crafted by his attorney? (Which would explain the passive voice.)

  6. samu0034 - Feb 18, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    I’m really not trying to defend Helton here, but I don’t know what more can really be expected of the guy. Is he supposed to donate piles of money to MADD or SADD? Volunteer his time to assist the victims of drunk driving? Come out and say that he’s registered himself for alcoholism rehabilitation at the Betty Ford Clinic? Would these things properly indicate his shame and sorrow for what he did?

    That said, the passive voice, which seems to indicate a certain shirking of responsibility is a bit obnoxious. Perhaps what he meant by the “can happen to anybody” bit is that even a person who does not have a real problem with alcohol can do stupid stuff when s/he is drunk. That doesn’t excuse it, and maybe it doesn’t extend to something quite as stupid as drunk driving, but doing stupid stuff while drunk does happen to pretty much everybody who isn’t a teetotaler.

  7. paperlions - Feb 18, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    What was he apologizing for?

    A) Driving while completely plowed

    B) Owning an F-150

    C) Buying lottery tickets at 2:30 am

    D) Getting caught

    E) All of the above

    • heyblueyoustink - Feb 18, 2013 at 8:31 AM

      Ain’t nothing wrong with a good F-150. A fine pick ’em up by all standards.

    • mazblast - Feb 18, 2013 at 8:48 AM

      A) and D). There’s nothing wrong with B) (not my thing, but YMMV),an F-150 is a fine truck, or C), neither of which is a criminal offense.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 18, 2013 at 9:19 AM

      Ahhh, Ford trolling this am. You must be happy.

      • paperlions - Feb 18, 2013 at 9:43 AM


      • historiophiliac - Feb 18, 2013 at 9:49 AM

        Awwww. You got a picture. What’s the “paperlions” for anyway?

      • paperlions - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:29 AM

        First year of fantasy football. My team started 0-3, I consulted with a friend with a lot of FF experience about moves to make and he said “This team looks good on paper, not sure what you can do besides wait until they produce.” The discordance between my team on paper and its performance led to a name change, and then I just used that as a screen name.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:31 AM

        Dude, you lost me at “football.”

      • ptfu - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:13 AM

        Thanks for the clarity, paper. I’d assumed your name referred to George Plimpton’s book about him being the Lions’ last-string quarterback.

      • paperlions - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:51 AM

        I always liked that book, Plimpton, and the movie based on the book (I was a kid when I first saw the movie, I doubt it has aged well). My team observed a day of mourning upon his death (which was during football season)….sadly, it did not inspire the troops to greatness that year.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 18, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        I’m starting to feel better about you now that I know you’re so into sports in the D. lol

  8. chacochicken - Feb 18, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    Two solo cups of red wine and lotto tickets? No, that can’t happen to me. But thanks Todd for embarrassing our whole species.

  9. trevorb06 - Feb 18, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    He’s almost talking as if he’s the victim of something. I mean… I know whenever I get a speeding ticket I’m all like, “Eff the paw-lees!” but really deep down I know I was the idiot going too fast. He needs to own his actions more. Wow.

  10. brianbowman16 - Feb 18, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    Look the f out everyone, it appears that Craig had a few room many solo cups last night and he is hungover and cranky! He sounds like Michael David Smith writing about the Detroit Lions. “bitch, bitch, bitch, maybe some useful information, insult, burn, insult” and repeat. I usually enjoy the he’ll out of Craig but this comes off as as little douche nuggetty.

    • trevorb06 - Feb 18, 2013 at 8:40 AM

      Pot… meet kettle. Kettle, pot. Pot, kettle.

    • paperlions - Feb 18, 2013 at 8:46 AM

      It’s a disingenuous apology in which he doesn’t take any responsibility. It sounds like an 8 year old saying he’s sorry for being caught, but showing no remorse for his decision that could have killed someone. It would be one thing if he was a 22 yr old kid, but he’s a 39 yr old man….odds are that he has done similar things before….it isn’t that easy to get caught, it is highly unlikely that this was his first or second time making this poor decision.

      • Old Gator - Feb 18, 2013 at 12:14 PM

        It’s an apology he cleared through his lawyers and agent, no doubt. I don’t know that the passive voice itself – though useful for flattening out a comment so that the subject appears to have take no action after all – is a bad habit most people have already picked up by the time they’re adolescents. Its overuse, or I should probably say its habitual, unconscious use, was one of the two or three most persistent bad writing tendencies my freshman and sophomore composition or critical writing students displayed for the entire thirty years or so that I taught those subjects.

        Not coincidentally, a sizable percentage of my students were on athletic scholarships. Their default to a lazy style of writing was less a measure of average intelligence or capabilities than it was of the “don’t think any more than you have to in order to pass” mentality of the high school athletics culture.

      • paperlions - Feb 18, 2013 at 1:05 PM

        You may be right, the passive voice may have been incidental and not intentional….I am sensitive to it because in my field you avoid passive voice if at all possible as communications are required to be as precise, brief, and unambiguous as possible. That may be why it is my natural inclination to think passive voice is intentional….to me, it is like the difference between a kid that broke a lamp saying “it fell” and “I knocked it off the table”.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 18, 2013 at 9:25 AM

      If it was Sunday, we could do a whole thread on “douche nuggetty.” Or, “nüggetty” — seeing as there are solo cups involved.

      • Old Gator - Feb 18, 2013 at 12:15 PM

        Han me one of those!

  11. dirtyharry1971 - Feb 18, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    All DUI’s are is a money maker, end of story, nothing else to be said.

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