Against the Grain

Slightly more than just jibba jabba

Responding to Darrent Williams’ Death

Posted by Patrick on 2 Jan 2007

There aren’t many things that sadden me deep down — I’m a surviving war veteran, and I’ve had many experiences over my adult life which have collectively numbed my sensitivity to things like death and denial. One thing that I’ve still not developed a tolerance for, however, is senseless drive-by shootings. No, I maintain a rather strong distaste for this gangster-style act of cowardice and I continue to feel compassion for the families of drive-by victims and especially “unintended” targets who also suffer as a result of them.

Undoubtedly, you’ve heard that Broncos CB Darrent Williams was a victim of one such drive-by shooting just as 2007 fell from the womb. I live in Denver, and I’m here to say that this painful issue hits very close to home for this entire town. The location where the shooting happened isn’t necessarily what you’d call the Compton district of downtown Denver. Around 11th and Speer Blvd, which is more or less an A to B thoroughfare on the south end of LoDo, the stretch Hummer limo that he and Broncos WR Jevon Walker were in, along with others, was hit by no less than 10 rounds from a car which pulled up alongside it at this traffic light. Jevon wasn’t hit, Williams died, and 2 other guys were injured but not critically (I haven’t heard who they are).

Local news reports that this probably started as an argument at a club in downtown, but that Darrent wasn’t even part of the argument (directly, it’s said). So, here we are again with a true thug-style situation where people argue at a club, and then someone gets stupid afterwards and starts shooting. If I had to guess, I’d probably venture that the argument was about why the Broncos didn’t make the playoffs, since they’d lost a game which sealed their fate earlier in the evening to the struggling 49ers and Denver, as we all know, oozes Broncos football. Throughout the season, people around Denver wrongly laid blame on Darrent for games that the team lost, when in fact I can’t look at any loss this season and say it was purely his fault that they lost.

Part of this bias is that he play alongside Champ Bailey, who is quite simply the best CB in pro football with little argument, and John Lynch, who is just the hardest-hitting, most-capable FS in the league. I saw it as an opportunity for the young Darrent to learn from the masters, and it was evident that he had learned a lot in his 2 seasons with the team. What’s unfortunate is that lots of the media is to blame for this mindset being instilled in the Denver faithful.

Above all, with this awful crime, I have to say that I’m angry it happened, and I’m sad for his family. At 24, he was definitely a rising star in the NFL and had at least 10 more seasons as a pro. Ridiculous events like these make me sick, and as a military sniper I want to be on the execution panel when these thugs are brought to justice.

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