By now you've heard the good news. It appears that Jonathan Babineaux really will only receive a one game suspension for his possession of the stuff that makes magic brownies truly magical, which means the Falcons will have his services the rest of the season.
...Now's when you rejoice.
Of course, there's also the little matter of Babineaux keeping his nose clean now for a year-long probationary period. That should be a slam dunk, right?
One would hope so. Babineaux's only previous major brush with the law was when he killed his girlfriend's pit bull, and he was cleared of that charge after it was determined that he acted to protect his kid. At the time I had a very uneasy feeling about it—mere months before Michael Vick's dog charges came barreling in to remove it from my mind forever—but self-defense is hard to argue with.
Given that cleared charge and the fact that he has no other history of crime that I'm aware of, I'm more than willing to give the USS Babineaux the benefit of the doubt. I think he'll come in Week 2 older, wiser and ready to murder a quarterback or two. Last time I checked the rule book, that was totally legal.
And more importantly for our purposes as Falcons fans, we really need him. Even our Week 1 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers will take on a new dimension without him, because he won't be able to add to our pressure on totally immobile Byron Leftwich and help out with stopping Rashard Mendenhall as he barrels up the middle. I think everyone's intrigued by Corey Peters, but I'm not sure I wanted to find out his capabilities in the first week of the season.
In fact, the argument's been made right here on this here site that Babineaux is one of the best penetrating defensive tackles in the league. You don't simply replace a guy like that, and that's why it's well worth putting up with a lighter-than-expected suspension in exchange for a lesson learned and some serious ass kicking.
Your brain waves on the matter?