Amazing Disgrace

Quincy Carter's fall from America's Team to Shreveport sideshow

SHREVEPORT, Louisiana—Signs your grand plans have gone slightly askew:

You toke your way out of a job as quarterback of America's Team, shepherded from Dallas Cowboys training camp by the notorious Bishop Terry Hornbuckle.

You file a "wrongful termination" grievance against the Cowboys which, when you lose, makes nary a ripple of news.

"I kick myself almost every day," says former Cowboys QB Quincy Carter.
"I kick myself almost every day," says former Cowboys QB Quincy Carter.

One week into a comeback attempt in Canada, you are unceremoniously cut by the Montreal Alouettes.

On an early December morning you are arrested for possession of marijuana, only to sit in jail for 12 hours before being bailed out by a columnist exploiting you as a radio bit.

In the first game of your next—and last—attempted resurrection, you throw six touchdowns for a rinky-dink outfit called the Bossier-Shreveport BattleWings and collect your paycheck: $200 base, $50 bonus for winning.

"You can't believe it?" Carter says last Saturday night in CenturyTel Center. "Trust me, I can't believe it."

Since getting dismissed by the Cowboys in the summer of 2004, Lavonya Quintelle Carter's life has gone to shit. And, arguably worse, Shreveport.

"I kick myself almost every day," Carter says thoughtfully while peeling off his sweaty, black-and-green BattleWings uniform. "I was quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, about as high-profile as you can get. And I'd love to have that back, I won't deny that. But I can't get that back."

Instead of sold-out NFL stadiums and national TV audiences, Carter toils in the modest arena alongside the Red River just down the street from a nest of casinos. For BattleWings' games the parking is free, admission is $8 and attendance—with the upper deck curtained off to create the illusion of a crowd—sometimes tops 3,000.

Like you, Carter wonders how the hell he got here.

"I made some bad decisions, did some stupid things," he says. "I can only point the finger at myself and try to move on. But it's hard being patient. I've got to realize I can't get three years back in one day."

Just like that, Carter went from riding in limos to washing them.

His fall from grace reads like a man slipping down the trunk of tree, grasping for safety only to have the branches whack him in the crotch each painful rung into despair. While Michael Irvin somehow parlayed his drug abuse into street cred, sympathy and even Canton, Carter's sentenced him to insignificance.

"If I'd never picked up pot I'd still be playing for the Cowboys," says Carter, who in Dallas routinely quoted Bible verses during interviews. "I have to live with that."

With a five-year, $4 million contract and endorsements from owner Jerry Jones and coach Bill Parcells, Carter started all 16 games and led the Cowboys to a 10-6 playoff berth in '03. But six days into '04 training camp, he flunked a drug test and was released, comforted in part by the reprehensible Hornbuckle.

Carter filed a grievance against the Cowboys, claiming he was wrongfully released. Last month the NFL Players Association lost the case on his behalf.

"Isn't that funny?" Carter says with a seemingly unbefitting laugh. "Look at how it went down. And somehow I lost? I don't know, man, it's just funny. God tells us to forgive and I'm doing my best, but what the Cowboys did to me...it's tough to swallow."

Says Jones, "Although Quincy's time in Dallas did not result in the type of success that we all had hoped for, we wish him nothing but the best in his pursuit of a new opportunity in professional football."

After a short stint with the New York Jets, skipping the '05 season and the humbling release north of the border last spring, Carter crashed into rock bottom December 15.

Called to Shady Grove Road in Irving around 5:30 a.m., police found Carter "throwing things around" and arrested him for possessing less than two ounces of pot, a Class B misdemeanor. He sat in jail until 5 p.m., when Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist and ESPN 103.3 FM radio host Randy Galloway paid his $500 bail. Upon his release, Carter, apparently without money or transportation, hitched a ride home with a KDFW-Channel 4 van.

"It started as radio-show bullshit," Galloway says. "But it turned into a legitimately sad story. The former quarterback of the Cowboys had no money and no friends, at Christmas? That's a pretty fast downward spiral."

With charges pending, Carter says only of the incident, "Let's just say the police didn't handle things the right way."

Worse, when Carter called Galloway the next day he was snubbed.

"He called, but I said no thanks," Galloway says. "You know your life's not going well if I have to bail you out of jail. I just didn't want to talk to him. I wanted him to move on and get his life turned around."

Fortunately, at the very base of the tree trunk, the BattleWings were willing to listen.

Claiming he's been drug-free for nearly four months, Carter plans to use Arena2—a developmental minor league to the AFL—as a one-year stepping stone back to the CFL and, ultimately, the NFL.

But before he can play Broadway again, Quincy has to perfect Bossier.

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23 comments
Azwillp
Azwillp

I attended the Hanley Program with Quincy and played basketball daily with him. The man is a great athlete and good person who has made some poor decisons. I wish him the best. Will the Thrill......

PC Rider
PC Rider

Let me quess, your yet another hot dog stuffing fat piece of shit sports collunist who has never as much placed a big toe on a competitive athletic field and yet you find it your right to pile on a man who has openly admitted he screwed up.I know Quincy pretty well and have visited him at the Hanly Center, W. Palm Beach often and i can tell you he's working very hard and know's his chances are slim to make it back to the league. Quincy's biggest enemy has alway's been his self and he makes no bones about it. The disease of addiction is complicated and the shame is he never reached out earlier. We've had in depth conversations about letting go of the past and making ammends to those he's sligted. My advice to him is fix the chip on his shoulder and ask humbley for another chance. As with everything n life the rest will take care of its self

Further Q is a intelligent, slightly over sensisitve individual who's needs to work very hard on his image once released from re-hab and after care program. Whether he still has the skills to compete on sunday's is anyone's quess. I for one believe the man has learned an awfully tough life lesson, and should, if willing to exhibit the mature atitude of an 30 year old be given a nother chance at a comeback.

Think before you pile another's mis-fortunes.

PC

George
George

Quincy,This is your SWD HS classmate, friend and teammate. Just want to let you know if you ever read this that we're all praying for you back home. Remember who gave you your talent, who loved you unconditionally and who still loves you through your shortcomings - Jesus. Stay strong brother. We love you.

Take care brother,George SWD#16

George
George

Quincy,This is your SWD HS classmate, friend and teammate. Just want to let you know if you ever read this that we're all praying for you back home. Remember who gave you your talent, who loved you unconditionally and who still loves you through your shortcomings - Jesus. Stay strong brother. We love you.

Take care brother,George SWD#16

Keith
Keith

The writer of this story is an idiot and doesn't even have his facts straight. I think he's smoking more pot then Q-Ball Carter. What a freaking loser this writer is. I wish someone would check into the facts in the case. The Century Tel Stadium is a heck of a lot nicer then the Cowboys current stadium in Irving. It's big sponsor is the one the venue is named after Century Tel not Shoney's you freaking loser. Quit smoking so much pot you homo.

Carter is almost as big of a loser as the writer. He feels like he was wronged by the Cowboys and trusted his minister. What a pathetic loser. He'll NEVER amount to anything.Dale Hansen always cried about how Carter was getting screwed ... shows you how much he didn't know. Freaking potheads and loser writers.

Mike
Mike

And look, he gets caught again with drugs. His comments towards Dallas on how he was treated when they released him was pathetic. To be given the position to lead a team and then turn around and do this? Please already, he's the one that disgraced the other. And the 1 and 7 to equal eight? He's going in the direction to be 7-1 to equal 6 now. It doesn't look as if it's going to stop either. You have to earn respect and he isn't going to get it this way. And getting back into the NFL? As what? A waterboy?

Chris Buhl
Chris Buhl

I'd always wondered why the Cowboys cut Carter, now I know. Another thing I know, the guy was into more than pot. Just smoking pot can sometimes cause lots of damage in people's lives, but no one falls as far as he did, as fast as he did, because he's smoking weed - even if he's smoking a lot. A formerly well liked and wealthy guys with "no friends at Christmas" and no money to bail himself out? No way it's just pot, he's into some hard stuff.

A Friend From SWD
A Friend From SWD

I fell bad for Quincy, and when I read stories like this it makes me sad. I went to high school with Quincy and we were very good friends once you got to know the REAL Quincy and not the "football star" he was a very caring person but always seemed to gravitate to "fake friends" that were only around him to say they were friends with the football star. I'm praying for Quincy and I know he will make it back to the NFL. I just hope he surrounds himself with REAL friends and people like me who really care about him and love him for him. Quincy told me on graduation day that one day we would make all the haters Shut The F*@k Up. I still believe you can do just that Q.

Christy
Christy

I guess Quincy Carter might have had a fabulous career in football if he just stuck with the drug that is a huge sponsor of the National Football League but is far more dangerous to society than marijuana ever could be.

Jay
Jay

Brilliant comment Fraggie.

We have gas prices at all time highs, a skyrocketing default rate on home loans and people literally scraping by to feed their children and you want us, (the selfish ones) to have compassion for a man who had reached the zenith of football stardom and subsequently "pissed" it away by failing consecutive drug tests. To have compassion on a man that has no compassion for himself, his friends, family or teammates.....a selfish man.

All you are guaranteed in this country is the pursuit of happiness. Not someone to hold your hand along the way so you don't screw it up. Grab a clue shithead.

And Mr. TWhitt, if you're over 21 and still going by the name "Richie", put some panties on with those pink cowboy boots fella, cause you're riding side saddle.

Fraggy
Fraggy

Out of that whole story, all you people want to comment on is the stupid arena? Talk about missing the point. What about the person the story is about? Guess that would take an ounce of human compassion and 5 seconds of thinking about someone other than yourselves. That's right, the world doesn't revolve around any of you! anyway.....GREAT STORY!! sad that someone could lose so much. maybe he will get it back together, yet.

Donna Robinson
Donna Robinson

How dare you talk so bad about the Bossier-Shreveport area and the CTC. Who are you anyway-you write for the Dallas Observer which is probably a step above what we have here in the Inquisiter.

Steve Williams
Steve Williams

Wow, Quincy has really fallen - it's most evident by the type of journalist willing to write about him these days.

edwin edwards
edwin edwards

i don't think that playing in that dump in irving would be considered the top of the football world. the CENTURYTEL CENTER may not be the american airlines arena, but at at least our arena has seen a mop and some soap. when was the last time texas stadium saw anything put down besides weed and bird poop. i guess this story is kind of like you writing for this garbage paper hoping one day to write for the dallas morning news.i feel sympathy for you, i really do.

Nick S
Nick S

Wow dude. You have absolutley no right to put my hometown the way you did. Just because Quincy Carter is a low life classless human being doesnt give you the right to call shreveport a shithole. The centurytel center is a wonderful arena. Has Quincy Carter screwed himself? YES. But I really think you owe the people of Shreveport an appology. What a classless article. Oh yeah hey buddy your mom called.... she said u suck!

Philip McMillian
Philip McMillian

Thank you for making our wonderful community sound like Hickville and our $40 million dollar arena appear to be along the lines of a sandlot. Have you ever been here, or do you just like to create your sensationalism through your ignorance? Shoney's? Get a grip. If you are representative of the 'Big City' mentality then please stay there and leave us alone. Maybe we need to sick the gators on ya.

Janet Carney
Janet Carney

Believe me. I'm SORRY he's here; also. As for him & the BattleWings; I could care less. Too bad he wasn't a hockey player. He could have played for our Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs. No. I take that back. Our hockey coach likes players with lots of character. And it seems as if Carter has NONE. Believe me. I sure don't go watch him play. And with only about 3,000 people there; you know where the rest of the folks are. They are at the Mudbugs games. He needs to quit crying about how Dallas did him. Because I've been there & they aren't the ones that told him to get on drugs. He made that choice. Now he can deal with it, just like all the rest of us. I say to him. "Get over yourself".

Curious George
Curious George

Despite Carter's poor judgment, the real crime here is that marijuana is still illegal. Why Cowboys players can get shitfaced on booze and be banned from using a less harmful substance is something I'll never understand. Discrimination against pot users is one of the worst civil rights violations of our time.

Virginia Lee
Virginia Lee

Your comments regarding the CenturyTel Arena and Bossier City are pitiful. The CenturyTel is state of the art. We have no need for a facility as large as the one the Cowboys use. You might feel you need to put Quincy Carter down due to his circumstances, but you did NOT have to lump this area into your put downs. Shame on you.

Don Mooring
Don Mooring

It's sad when a writer has the premise of a story, then has to make up 'facts' and exaggerate other 'facts' to support his premise. Shreveport-Bossier is a step down from Dallas, but not the steep plummet you describe.

A who's-who of the entertainment world has played at the home of the Battlewings - we're a great stop on the way to or leaving the American Airlines Center.

Since someone already mentioned a few of the performers that played here, I'll do a comparison check. I saw the Blue Moon Group in Dallas - larger arena but I had to pay an additional $20.00 to park. When they came to the Century-Tel Center there was no parking fee and the show was actually better! More expensive doesn't equate to better!!!

FYI, if the Century Tel Center is the size of a concession stand in the Cowboys' new stadium, the stadium must seat three million people! Tough to sell out!

Don't forget the furor that was caused when the movie 'Dallas' was going to film in Shreveport-Bossier instead of Dallas!! If the movie ever goes into production, you're invited to write an article about how far Dallas has fallen since Shreveport-Bossier was CHOSEN (Carter had no other choice) over Dallas to shoot the movie about Dallas!

Chris Smith
Chris Smith

I travel to Shreveport several times a year to donate money at the local casinos. The city has come far in the past 10 years but the article hits the nail on the head. Sometimes you only get one chance to catch a star...I wish Q-Car the best.

Hank Johnson
Hank Johnson

Great journalism. The arena that the game was played in is under 10 years old, seats over 12,000 for hockey and arena football. Sponsored by CenturyTel, not Shoneys. Has "color" video and around 100 televisions, color as well. Such small time acts as The Eagles, Elton John, Cher, George Strait, etc... have played there.

I will agree that the AFII is quite a fall from the NFL, but no need to denigrate the entire community to make the fall seem farther than it actually was. Why not mention the fact that drugs and Dallas Cowboys seems to be a common theme.

Nelda McGuire
Nelda McGuire

I am formerly from Shreveport, Louisiana and the comments you made about the Shreveport/Bossier area are comments made by an idiot. The Century Tel Center is a state-of-the art facility seating approximately 12,000 people and continuously sells out top concerts and events. I believe I will forward this article to the Battlewings and maybe Mr. Quincy Carter is not as anxious to redeem himself as he lets on. He should consider himself lucky he is even playing any type of football and as far as I am concerned doesn't deserve to be playing anywhere.

 
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