A few days ago, I heard rumblings that something big was going to go down this week in Riderville. At the time I wasn’t overly concerned. I thought to myself that at this point, outside of trading away Fantuz or Dressler, not much would surprise/anger me (especially after last offseason). Well I was wrong. The news arrived over the noon hour yesterday and it felt like I’d just been kicked in the nuts by Mike Henry (5 bonus points if you actually get that reference). I was as shocked as everyone else to learn that Tillman had been charged with sexually assaulting a 16 year old. I never thought I’d say this but I wish he would have traded away Andy Fantuz… that would have been a lot simpler. (Note: I do not think we should actually trade Fantuz, just comparatively speaking it would have been easier to take).
Yesterday I asked for your input on how to handle this story. Well you the readers have spoken and overwhelmingly feel that the Rider Prophet should go on assuming Eric Tillman is a good guy until the courts prove otherwise and after sleeping on this for a night, I agree that this is the proper approach for me to take (though to those of you who voted for “Mock Remorselessly”, I do appreciate your enthusiasm).
Given that this is a criminal matter before the courts (and one that involves a minor), I think any speculation on the alleged events or regarding guilt or innocence on my part would be completely inappropriate. Those are matters for the justice system to decide and until they do all I will say is that I consider Tillman innocent until proven guilty.
No matter how this case ends, I don’t see it having a happy ending for anyone involved. Regardless of whether he’s innocent or guilty this will tarnish both Tillman’s and the team’s reputations. As much as I would like to see this whole situation just blow over and things return to normal, I just don’t see that happening. For now, Tillman is on paid leave from the Riders until the matter is resolved and Ken Miller and Joe Womack will handle his duties in his absence. Whether Tillman will ever return to his position with the team remains in doubt. I guess we’ll have to see how events unfold over the next few weeks.
You know I can’t help but thinking this is all my fault. I should be more careful about what I ask for. All offseason I had been asking for some big news and even went so far as to post the following on Jan 16…
Where’s Tillman with a highly controversial trade when I need him?
Well I guess in a round about way I got what I asked for. Why is it that I only ever get the bad things I ask for? I mean I ask for winning lotto tickets, absolute power, a job at the Playboy Mansion, Michael Bishop to be abducted by aliens never to return to earth again and I get nothing but I ask for one piece of controversial news and voila (Note: This may be a sign that my blasphemous and sinful ways have angered God, but for now I’m going to assume it’s just a run of bad luck… fingers crossed).
For now, all we can do is wait for the justice system to sort this out. Given that I have always been a big fan of Tillman and what he’s done for this team, the coming days will be a rollercoaster of emotion as I’m sure it will be for many of you.