Henry Melton’s inebriation must have rated high if bar antics are true

Written By BY RICK TELANDER Sports Columnist Posted: 03/16/2014, 02:37am

Let’s talk about drunk here.

Not drunkenness, which is the noun describing the state of being intoxicated by alcohol. That’s too proper.

Not drunkard, which is a person who is eight sheets to the wind.

No, let’s think of drunk, sort of classically, in the sense that, according to my Webster’s Dictionary, there ‘‘are many euphemistic and slang terms in English expressing varying degrees’’ of such: ‘‘e.g., tipsy . . . tight . . . blind . . . blotto.’’

For writing purposes, I’ve usually gone with the 10 stages of drunk, as described by Dan Jenkins years ago, starting with witty and charming and ending with bulletproof. There’s lots of room in between, like clairvoyant and invisible.

But when it comes to Bears free agent Henry Melton and his Dec. 22 arrest in Grapevine, Texas, for misdemeanor assault and public intoxication, let’s just call it . . . drunk. And I’m guessing Drunk, Stage 7: ‘‘Crank Up the Enola Gay.’’ (For the uninformed, the Enola Gay was the name of the U.S. bomber that dropped the atom bomb on Japan.)

Melton is being sued by the owner of the Chill Bar in Grapevine for causing a ruckus precipitated by Melton, who was wearing a Santa Claus hat, saying he was filthy rich and the bartenders were ‘‘nothing but poor white trash.’’

I don’t know if the bartenders were white, black, Asian, Hispanic, mixed, Martian. But, pardon my political incorrectness here, I could not suppress a laugh when I read what Melton allegedly said. For how many years have blacks been routinely slandered? Is ‘‘poor white trash’’ fightin’ words?

I immediately thought of Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper, who was caught on video last summer, hammered at a Kenny Chesney concert, angrily saying, ‘‘I’ll fight every [n-word] here!’’ All it looked like he was really fighting, besides his decidedly redneck cutoff-sleeved checked shirt, was his 20th cup of beer.

Melton — who knows what he was drinking? But the bar owner says that during the ensuing brawl, Melton ‘‘severely bit’’ him near the kidney.

That’s, like, zombie stuff. Hannibal Lecter.

I have had dentists tell me that human jaws can exert incredible pounds-per-square-inch pressure; thus dentists must be wary when a patient is sedated, mouth open, and a dental finger is within.

If Melton, 6-3 and 295, was piloting the Enola Gay that night, as it seems he was, I’m glad he didn’t fully open the bomb bay doors. God knows, a chainsaw might have come out.

THE NEW YORK TIMES recently ran a story about Canadian hockey goalie Shannon Szabados, a two-time Olympics gold medalist who just signed a contract with the Columbus (Ga.) Cottonmouths of the Southern Professional Hockey League. The subhead for the story was ‘‘A Female Goalie Joins a Men’s League and Moves from the Sochi Gold Medal Straight Into the Gender Wars.’’

My first thought was, what gender wars?

If this woman is good enough and there is no commensurate women’s pro league — which I guess there is not — then bring it on. But it’s like a kicker in pro football, the only position a woman can reasonably aspire to. Goalie and kicking are not positions where height, weight, speed, quickness and strength are going to be measured directly against foes.

And feminists who champion these sort of ‘‘victories’’ in the alleged war against men need to remember the pendulum swings both ways. Equal opportunities should always be there. But if a pro sport, or any sport, is not available to boys or men, then, by this logic, males must be allowed to play on females’ teams. This has happened already, to much dismay, in sports such as high school field hockey and amateur softball.

You go, girl. But cautiously.

LASTLY, IT’S NICE TO SEE that Sports Illustrated has honored former Glenbrook North baseball player Jason Kipnis with a story describing his improbable rise to stardom as a second baseman for the Cleveland Indians.

Kipnis never was taken seriously in his amateur career until he proved himself again and again. Though he still holds the football receiving season record at GBN, at just 5-11, 180, even while in college at Kentucky, he always had to show he belonged.

As one MLB.com scouting report said, young Kipnis had ‘‘average tools across the board.’’ Yet he hit .284 for the Indians last year, with 160 hits, 84 RBI and 30 stolen bases.

Still, his biggest hurdle may have been overcoming the heartbreak of seeing his father, lawyer Mark Kipnis, get caught up in the Lord Conrad Black $60 million Hollinger International fraud mess while Kipnis worked as general counsel for the Black-controlled firm that owned a number of newspapers, including the Sun-Times. Though Kipnis was charged with several crimes in 2003, all charges were dismissed in 2011 when it became clear he had nothing to do with the fraud. But his and his family’s lives had nearly been ruined by the eight years of shame and punishment for something they didn’t deserve.

Bravo, Kipnises! Go Indians!

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