Zach Mettenberger showed restraint

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
3:40
PM ET
I’m not big on big credit for doing what you’re supposed to.

But when I hear a bar owner talking of Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger getting sucker punched over the weekend, I’m compelled to applaud Mettenberger. And I’m sympathetic to him.

Here is the story from Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

Mettenberger is allowed to go out for drinks with friends. And it stinks for him that despite seemingly doing nothing wrong, according to the accounts we have, his name gets attached to the concept of a bar fight.

Plenty of people won’t bother with the details and will jump to conclusions.

He doesn’t have the greatest track record. He groped a woman at a bar while he was at Georgia, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery in 2010 and was sentenced to two years of probation.

That’s a bad thing to have on your record for sure.

But if an Alabama Crimson Tide fan said “Roll Tide” to a quarterback who finished his career at LSU and the quarterback responded with “Good luck with that,” he doesn’t deserve a punch in the eye.

He deserves some credit for walking away rather than responding. You or I or anyone who’s not some degree of celebrity has the right to retaliate in such situations. Mettenberger didn’t.

Nashville has a great reputation for taking care of celebrities. Big-name musicians can be out and about without being constantly approached.

People here should take pride in similar behavior with athletes who are doing nothing wrong. No matter how drunk or dumb you are, instigating something and trying to get a reaction out of someone with a high-profile isn't a good route to travel.

The Bama fan ran. Tough guy. Impressive act.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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