Goodell will address NFL drunk driving problem

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 1, 2013 at 7:36 pm •  Published: February 1, 2013
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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Drinking and driving by NFL players is a problem Commissioner Roger Goodell wants to address.

He said Friday at the Super Bowl he met with Mothers Against Drunk Driving last week to work on the issue.

"The reality is we have to do a better job of educating people in the NFL that this is a priority: 'This is for your safety, for the safety of the people in your car, and for innocent people that are out there.' There are services designed to help them make better decisions before they leave their homes," Goodell said during his pre-Super Bowl state of the league news conference. "We have to make sure that they understand those services, and most importantly, take advantage of them."

Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent faces an intoxication manslaughter charge for a Dec. 8 crash that killed his friend and practice-squad member Jerry Brown. Last month, another Cowboys player, lineman Jay Ratliff, was arrested after sideswiping a semitrailer truck. Ratliff was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Blood-alcohol tests released by police say both Brent and Ratliff were well above the legal limit.

49ers defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs, who went on injured reserve in December, was arrested Nov. 30 for suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of marijuana. Dobbs was involved in a single-car accident in which he hit a chain-link fence and a bush but didn't sustain any injuries.

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TAKING AFTER MOM: Jack Harbaugh's influence on his sons is well known. The football world learned Friday that Jackie Harbaugh played just as big a role when John and Jim were growing up.

Perhaps even bigger.

"She was with us every day. Dad worked a lot," John Harbaugh said Friday during a unique joint news conference with the opposing Super Bowl coach, his brother Jim. "When he was around we would hang out with dad, but mom took us to practices and all that. Mom was with us all the time."

The Harbaugh brothers are notoriously fierce competitors — just watch them on the sidelines Sunday — and Jim said that comes from their mother.

"There's nobody in our family that has more competitive fire than my mother. She competes like a maniac," Jim Harbaugh said.

But it was their mother's fierce loyalty that has left the biggest impact.

The Harbaughs moved often as Jack Harbaugh climbed the college coaching ranks, and Jackie Harbaugh made sure her children knew there was always one constant in their lives.

"No one would fight harder for us than our mom, no matter what the situation was, or teach us how to have each other's back and be there for one another," John Harbaugh said. "Whether it was a little scrape in the neighborhood or something like that, she basically made it very clear that we were to have each other's back no matter what."

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CONCUSSION LEGISLATION: As Super Bowl weekend arrived in New Orleans, lawmakers in the nation's capital hailed the NFL's decision to endorse legislation aimed at regulating youth sports equipment.