More Than The Ring, and Further Eris Errors?

Sep 28, 2011 by

The man wearing jersey #37 has been dealt a helluva hand health-wise. It’s crazy when something like this gets recognized again and again mainly because of how it affects our sports heroes (with some exceptions). I was informed that Gleason is not the only Louisiana athlete suffering from ALS, to boot – go read about Orlando Thomas. If the Team Gleason organization can do more than raise awareness and possibly defray some care expenses, I hope it gives Thomas some help, too. It’s said that if it weren’t for Gleason’s blocking a punt in the first home game played in the Superdome after the events of 8/29/2005, there’s a possibility the Saints would still be Lombardi trophy-less….so it was fitting for the Saints to have given Gleason his very own championship ring despite his retirement from football well before the 2009 season.

What I fear is where that ring might end up with regards to Gleason’s treatment:

Giants outfielder Cody Ross says he would never sell his championship ring.

As a kid, Ross says he sold his prized 1970 Nolan Ryan baseball card for $100 to buy a new pool stick. Six months later, he grew tired of pool. And the regret of selling his most prized possession tore him apart.

He has learned his lesson, he says. And his 2010 World Series ring will never be for sale. He likes it where it is — on his right middle finger.

Plenty of players share Ross’ sentiment. They say they will not part with their rings under any circumstances.

But things change for many after their playing days are over. And when assets begin to disappear, a ring starts to look more like a lifeline than a symbol of success.

Tim Robins has seen this happen more times than he can count. He started selling rings almost a decade ago and owns After frequenting sports memorabilia shows, Robins started to buy rings. Eventually, word began to spread to players and staff about his collecting.

“Eventually I didn’t have to look anymore,” Robins said. “They were just coming to me.”

And now Robins says he has seen it all when it comes to rings. A jealous fiancée who is reminded of her boyfriend’s ex when she looks at his ring. A man paying to save his granddaughter’s eyesight. Debilitating debt. Drug problems. Divorces.

“Some of them are losing everything,” Robins says. “And they know the most valuable commodity they currently own is their championship ring. … As much as they don’t want to part with a ring, sometimes they don’t have a choice.”

Robins envisions himself as a helping hand for those who need it most. But he also understands that a ring can be the crown jewel of a sports fan’s collection, costing anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000.

He says his clients usually come to terms with their ring’s fate when they realize that they still have the memories of that championship.

But is that enough for most athletes?

Here’s hoping it never comes to that for Steve Gleason and his family.


Flashback time, now. We’re going back first, to this past Carnival season. Go read the following. I’ll wait.

Errors At Eris

NOPD at Eris – An Interview with Ritchie Katko

So there’s the Times-Picayune’s account of some of the sentencing:

Judge Robin Pittman last week sentenced William Watkins III, of Kansas City, Mo., to 45 days in jail after she found him guilty on misdemeanor charges of resisting an officer, battery of a police officer and simple criminal damage to property in the March 6 fracas.

According to police, Watkins, 29, threw an iron bar at an NOPD patrol car and then struggled with officer Trenell Franklin as she tried to arrest him about 9:30 p.m. Another officer then tased Watkins and handcuffed him. Franklin fell to the ground and damaged her eyeglasses. A police report said she also suffered “internal injury.”

Watkins’ attorney, Stephen Haedicke, showed a video in court that he said contradicted the police testimony. Officers said Watkins had been scuffling with Franklin when they came over to arrest him. The video, Haedicke said, shows him walking away.

Judge has a different view

But that’s not what Pittman saw.

“It was a very chaotic scene. The thing was bouncing around. It’s not like the camera is staying focused on Mr. Watkins,” the judge said. “I tried to see what (the defense) was trying to get me to see, but it just wasn’t there.”

After his conviction, Watkins said he thought he was just coming to court to receive a fine, Pittman said. Battery on a police officer required a minimum 15-day jail sentence under state law. Pittman gave him 45, suspending the rest of his six-month sentence.

…and then there’s this account:

William R Watkin, known as ‘Willie’ was visiting form Missouri, and took part in this parade, dressed as Peter Pan. He walked near the front, and was, as many were, unaware of the trouble following the parade. He was not an organizer or a trouble maker. He was arrested for looking at the cops when they commanded everyone to look away, a completely unconstitutional order.

Even after video evidence was presented, proving it impossible for him to have committed any of the acts he was charged with, he was found guilty and sentenced to 45 days in prison.

While this is not a death sentence, imagine yourself going to prison for a month & a half, simply because you looked at a cop.

What follows is the complete email from another of the Eris Paraders falsely accused & charged, in it’s unedited entirety. His name has been omitted by request, as his own court date looms….

Only a few of us heard, mostly by chance and at the last moment, that one of the 12 Eris arrestees had his trial last Friday. We showed up and watched his lawyer try the case in fine style. The charges against Willy were ludicrous, and fortunately there was clear video evidence showing Willy’s arrest– showing that at no time was he anywhere near the officer whom he’s alleged to have shoved, which single fabricated shoving originated all 3 of his charges.

So the lawyer presented the case well, and then NOPD took the stand and contradicted themselves and each other and their own written reports, and the video showed it all unambiguously, and the lawyers summed everything up in their closing arguments. 

But none of it mattered, because Willy got a really bad judge. The judge rolled her eyes and looked away in boredom– closed her eyes, even, during the presentation of evidence. She sneered at Willy, berated his lawyers, and huffed in impatient adolescent exasperation at each motion or objection from the defense. As soon as protocol permitted, she declared Willy summarily guilty on all three counts. 

The lawyers pleaded for clemency in sentencing, citing Willy’s clean record, and she shouted at them some more and bared her teeth like a cornered possum and gave Willy 45 days in the House of Detention for his three bullshit misdemeanors. He was cuffed right where he sat, his lawyer was given the chance to take off Willy’s bowtie and empty Willy’s pockets, and then we were all kicked out the courtroom, just because, and Willy went in shackles down the back stairway to the prison bus with all the other poor orange-jumpsuited bastards who had the misfortune to be in Judge Robin Pittman’s courtroom that day. 

I know we all know the system is fucked, it’s unfair, etc., but I really do need to specially mention that Robin Pittman is vile and literally, medically, provably insane. She is not just a “mean judge,” she is a mean judge who is off her rocker. Her jaw-dropping displays of viciousness, paranoia and immaturity, her talking on her cell phone and reading her bible during trials, her ugly, unprovoked and unprofessional insults towards the defense (not just Willy’s, everyone’s) and above all her histrionic savagery towards the human wreckage dragged before her in chains daily make Pittman not merely a bad judge, but a sad, bad, mad judge, the most pathetic and repugnant specimen among the whole twisted pantheon…  the unhinged and monstrous Queen of Hearts holding forth in her bizarre, Kafka-like crawlspace courtroom, a “blind and aimless Fury” ruling the rafters of our criminal courthouse’s nightmarish Wonderland. 

There haven’t been any updates at this site since June. The second part of Lord David’s post has also appeared at NOLA Anarcha.

Any other folks want to come forward as to what happened in that courtroom? Not much to go on as to how Pittman operates in court here. Just sayin’.

To Clarify, 9/29: Only strike against Pittman I can find is this.

If there are any other accounts out there corroborating the anonymous e-mail concerning the judge’s behavior in court, this then goes beyond a T-P said, Anonymous said situation.

Until then, OPP is indeed a pretty bad place. Feel free to contribute to Watkins’ well-being.


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