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Cris Carter can never recover this fumble

Famous people apologize constantly these days.

They apologize for everything they ever did, said, or virtually thought, if it was controversial and comes to light and doesn’t pass muster with the political correctness police or the morals of society.

So we have Hall of Fame wide receiver and ESPN NFL analyst Cris Carter apologizing profusely for his remarks at the 2014 NFL Rookie Symposium, where he “advised’’ rookies to have a “fall guy in your crew’’ in case the player got into trouble.

On ESPN’s “Monday Night Countdown’’ before the Buccaneers-Bengals game Carter looked like a supplicant begging forgiveness from the Pope as he somberly declared, “I would never tell young people to break the law to avoid prosecution.’’

My response? My a–!

Carter said what every mobster, politician, big shot, drug dealer, and—hate to say it—rich, frisky, party-hearty professional athlete—knows or should know: have a fall guy to take the gas in case there’s trouble.

You think Barry Bonds didn’t work some kind of quid pro quo with his trainer, Greg Anderson, who did prison time rather than sell out his wealthy and famous pal?

In beer ads they’re called wingmen—the guys who take on the ugly girls so you can score with the hottie. In mob movies they’re called muscle or “pals.’’ In politics they’re called assistants or interns or Scooter.

The role became institutionalized decades ago in “The Maltese Falcon,’’ when Humphrey Bogart talks about the need for a “fall guy’’ to take the heat for a murder. He found one, too, and it worked.

So Carter wants to reel this nugget back in, saying on the show, “It was bad advice. I really, really regret my words, when I heard them come back to me.’’

If those words hadn’t come back to him, and the public—via former player Chris Borland, who heard Carter and co-speaker Warren Sapp explain how to get out of a jam, and then was interviewed for ESPN The Magazine—Carter would not be apologizing.

Because deep down that dirty little secret he laid out—always have a way to beat the system—is part of the pro athlete code, something the shrewd dudes know intuitively.

Hell, it’s part of America.

Just ask the Wall Street CEOs and super-bankers who’ve been fined billions of dollars for fueling the recent Great Recession but have never spent a day in jail.

Fall guys rule.