When I saw two years ago that Reche Caldwell was headed to jail, it caused a double-take.
Reche Caldwell? When he was in New England for one ill-fated season, he didn’t at all give off a bad guy vibe. He was unremarkable. Decent guy to talk to but quiet. Not a leader but seemed to get along with everybody. That he turned into a drug kingpin in Tampa? What the hell?!
David Fleming from ESPN must have had the same thought. And followed through on it. And a rough story in the right hands is an awesome read I suggest you set aside some time and click on.
A big part of the “how did this happen?” it turns out is the way Caldwell’s life seemingly changed after his two massive drops in the AFC Championship Game against the Colts during the 2006 season.
Fleming details the drops, everything surrounding them and the fallout.
Here’s a sampling, though.
Hardly a week goes by, still, when Caldwell isn't reminded of a single dropped pass that has come to define 20 years of his life. When he met with law enforcement after his Molly arrest, Caldwell recognized the FBI agent's Boston accent and sat back and waited. "You're that guy who cost Tommy anudda Soupa Bowl," he howled. Caldwell bit his tongue. "What else can I do?" he says. "It's not like I was trying to drop those passes." But Andre is convinced that what happened in Indy tortured and then transformed Reche. "The way the game kicked him to the curb like an unwanted stepchild hurt him mentally and haunted him," Andre says. "Reche got a little bit of a selfish attitude out of it, like, 'Forget everybody else, I'm gonna start worrying about me.'
Cannot recommend this read highly enough.