Unless you were under a rock for the 2011 Minnesota Vikings' season- and it probably wasn't a bad place to be- you're well aware of the whole Chris Cook fiasco that erupted roughly mid-season. He was arrested for allegedly strangling and beating his girlfriend, sent to jail, placed on basically what amounted to ‘paid leave' by the Vikings, and since has said he will claim self-defense.
Jury selection continues today for the actual case itself, which is of course considerable interest for the Vikings. Naturally emotions have run high in the fanbase regarding what to do with Cook- if he is acquitted or otherwise receives no jail time, do we keep a defensive back who was really coming into his own, a player of considerable skill in a position of considerable need? Or do we go the morality road, dropping the scumbag who beat up his girlfriend? (Mind you- allegedly, still.)
As it stands, the alleged victim has recanted her story, and now there is also rumor that there was a prior incident in which she punched Cook in the face after becoming drunk, with him complaining of jaw soreness afterwards. There is also evidence mounting that Cook called her from the jail shortly after his arrest, blaming her for him being in jail and missing a game.
We're going to have quite a ride with this one, unfortunately. I don't see this case coming to a quick or speedy resolution, as despite the alleged victim's decision to recount her story, it appears prosecution intends to move forward regardless. There is considerable evidence that Cook did, in fact, strangle her- and as I have pointed out in the past, strangulation does often tend to leave extremely tale-tell marks. I'm no lawyer, but I did used to watch Law and Order a lot, so I'm going to go ahead and give my professional* legal opinion here, and guess that the prosecution is going to claim that the alleged victim was coerced into recanting her account, and attempt to get a conviction despite her apparent unwillingness to assist.
Stay tuned. My humble guess in terms of Viking strategy is that if Cook does escape jail time, he's back with the team next season- however, if he does escape jail time but does so still with a conviction (think community service, probation, etc.), there's always the chance the Vikings release/ trade him regardless.
*- that "*" there? Yeah, consider it along the lines of a similar * attached to Super Bowl XLIV. I'm about as professional in this field as the Saints are Super Bowl champions.