Monday, April 30, 2007

Jimmy Johnson in Court...

...for jury selection.

Judge King cut him loose -- after figuring out who he was:

A third fellow stepped forward and said his name was James Johnson. He knew the importance of jury duty, he said, but he had a special houseguest and, please, if he wasn't really needed, could he be excused?

Besides, he said, he'd been a defendant in a few minor civil suits, so maybe the lawyers wouldn't want him anyway.

'I said, `What's your business?' '' King recalls. Fox Sports analyst, he said.
King looked at him funny. ''Did you coach?'' ``Yes.''
''Where?'' King asked. Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, University of Miami, Oklahoma State. He rattled off others -- Iowa State, Wichita State.

''That's enough,'' said King as folks in the courtroom laughed. By then, the judge realized it was Jimmy Johnson.

King, 79, joked about his lousy hearing and wisecracked: ``Now I've proven that I can't see very well, either. I should have recognized you.''

Johnson, 63, an Islamorada resident, told King his houseguest was Bill Parcells, who recently retired as Dallas head coach. He planned to take the Big Tuna fishing.

King excused Johnson, but not before asking him to predict the Gators' record for next season.
Johnson recalls that exchange. 'I said, `I have no idea. I'm the worst in the world at picking games.' ''

King may not have recognized him, but others did. As Johnson sat on the courthouse steps at 7:30 a.m., waiting for the building to open, he got waves from passersby and requests for autographs.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Daniel, assistant federal public defender Hector Flores and Key West attorney Charles Milligan say Johnson appeared smaller than on TV. Daniel: ''A very humble guy.'' Flores: ''Very charming.'' Milligan: ''Didn't have his hair as bouffant-ed up.'' Defense lawyer Albert Levin got an autograph.

Coincidentally, Johnson received a summons for state jury duty in Marathon that same day. He was excused from that, too -- after the feds called on his behalf to say he had already reported in Key West.

King says he had no problem putting Johnson on waivers. ``We accommodate people.''


Rumpole said...

Johnson wouldn't have been stupid enough to draft Ginn at 9. He'd have traded down or grabbed one of the great defensive players available.

Sentinel said...

Is it fair to the "average Joe" juror that the Court be so accommodating?

Anonymous said...

This was by no means Judge King's "fuddiest" moment.