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NFL players just won’t give it a rest

Times Staff Writer

Any time the Cincinnati Bengals play on a Monday night, it’s a big deal.

With players occupied on the field, chances are very good that none of them will be arrested before Tuesday.

Eight Bengals have been arrested since last December. Or, as Cincinnati wide receiver Chad Johnson might assess the situation: Ocho Clinko.

The Bengals’ indiscretions have ruled the headlines this season, but they are not alone when it comes to NFL crimes and misdemeanors. Five San Diego players have been arrested this year, prompting the league to consider a name change for 2007: San Diego Criminal Charges.

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According to the Washington Post, “at least 35" NFL players have been arrested this year.

Thirty-five arrests?

You have to like the inmates’ chances in “The Longest Yard II.”

Trivia time

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Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry has been arrested five times since last December. What were the charges?

Just like the pros

An emotionally charged boys’ high school basketball game played last Friday in Dallas was suspended when three teams wound up on the floor -- Carter High, Kimball High and Dallas SWAT.

SWAT and operation disruption units, along with Dallas school district security, were sent to Ellis Davis Field House to control fights that broke out in the concourse during the fourth quarter.

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Pepper spray was used and the game between the Dallas rivals was suspended with 5:04 remaining and Carter leading, 60-57.

“The fight started inside, and it got bigger and bigger and went outside,” Dallas police Sgt. Gil Cerda told the Associated Press. “It got pretty big and out of control.”

When approached for comment, members of the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets said they were appalled that kids could act so stupidly.

Dressed

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for success

Some teams build a winner through the draft. Others prefer the free-agent philosophy.

In Anaheim, the blueprint for success works differently.

There, the key to turning the thing around is to wear ridiculous-looking outfits for several years, lulling the opposition into thinking you’re a joke, and then, when they’re least expecting it -- bam! -- you hit them with a new uniform.

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It worked for the Angels, who spent the early part of this decade lounging around in pinstriped periwinkle pajamas, then in 2002 switched to a more respectable-looking red.

Result: World Series championship.

This season, the Ducks are following the same path. For years their Donald-Duck-as-Jason jerseys were an embarrassment to Anaheim, Orange County, California, the National Hockey League and professional sports in general.

But for 2006-07, the Ducks changed colors and logos, opting for something on their shirts vaguely resembling an alien spaceship attacking the “ucks.”

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The Ducks have apparently gotten the “ucks” out of their system. Before their game Monday night, the Ducks led the NHL with 25 victories and 56 points.

Footnote: Before the 2002-03 season, the Ducks changed only their general manager. It took them only as far as Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.

Trivia answer

Unlawful transaction with a minor (three counts), speeding, operating a vehicle under the influence, felony possession of a concealed firearm, and possession of marijuana.

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And finally

With four extra points in the Atlanta Falcons’ 38-28 loss to the Dallas Cowboys last Saturday, 46-year-old Morten Andersen moved past Gary Anderson to become the NFL’s career scoring leader, 2,437 points to 2,434.

“I hope Gary Anderson is fly-fishing in Canada for a long time,” Andersen quipped after the game. “I hope he’s not coming back anytime soon. My congratulations to Gary for setting the bar. My job is to set it even higher.”

mike.penner@latimes.com

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