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Patriots 1st Round Bust Dominique Easley's Failure May Be Explained by His Crippling Addiction to Pancakes

Steven Senne. Shutterstock Images.

As anyone in the sports blogging game will tell you, there are certain figures you cover that you end up owing a lot to. Some figure who inspires your best work. It could be an owner, coach or an athlete. You may love them or hate them. But they bring out the best in you, regardless. 

And then there are those you're beholden to because you got in on the ground floor of them, so to speak. Where you talked about them before most of the public was aware of them, and you become associated with that person. To a certain extent, former Patriots 1st round pick Dominique Easley is such a figure for me. 

Easley wasn't the first Patriots draft pick I predicted. Not by a damned sight. Long before he entered the 2014 draft out of Florida, The Belichick Whisperer [tm] had long since established a track record of getting them right. Nor was he the last. But when I said they'd take him with the 29th overall pick (the only other defensive tackle to go in Round 1 that year was Aaron Donald) it made waves. The next day WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show had me on to explain who Easley was and how I arrived at the pick. A few months later I was quitting my cushy state job and going full time at the station. So yes, I owe a lot to the guy. 

Having said that, Easley was, by any reasonable standard, a bust. He intercepted a pass in his second career game and never caused another turnover again. Yes, the Patriots won the Super Bowl in his rookie season, but he was put on IR in Week 14. He saw all of 273 snaps in his second year, and the Pats let him go to the Rams after that. After his fourth season, he was out of football, having finished his promising career as a penetrating interior lineman in Donald's mold with eight sacks, 11 QB hits and 47 hurries in well over 700 passing downs. So essentially continued the streak of Urban Meyer recommending guys who are not great at football (and sometimes terrible at life) to his alleged friend Bill Belichick. 

I never fully grasped how a guy who was drawing favorable comparisons to Warren Sapp (many of them by me) could flame out so spectacularly. And yet I think I finally have my answer. 

My delightful Irish Rose and I share one particular TV guilty pleasure, and it is Bravo's Below Deck series. Or as she refers to it as, Boat Smut. It's a reality show focused on the crew of luxury charter mega-yachts. The kinds that cater to the very super rich in some of the most magnificent settings on Earth. The premise of the show is that the crew members range between attractive and super attractive. They work their asses off for a few days. Get a day off to go into some gorgeous resort town to blow off steam. Sexual tension ensues. They get paid a lot of money. Onto the next charter. Repeat.To put it in perspective, the tip for the crew of 8-10 at the end of a three day cruise typically runs in the $20,000 range. So do the math about what the whole charter costs.

Last season for example, the primary guests were Johnny and Michelle Damon, who played their roles of Impossible Sloppy Drunk Husband and Insufferable High Maintenance Wife as perfectly as you might imagine they would. Invariably, the primary brings a group of 10 or so. In the last episode, I have no idea who the primary was. But he and his wife brought with them former Washington R-words tight end Jordan Reed and Easley, for some reason. 

Reed managed to pull the oldest trick in the Reality TV book by losing something very expensive in the water. I believe this bit was pioneered by Kim Kardashian dropping a $50,000 earring in the ocean. Which I only know because I used to watch The Soup in order to catch up on 300 hours of garbage TV in 30 minutes. (Bring it back, E! Network.) In Reed's case, it was a chain that came off while he was Jet Skiing, that they said "costs more than a house." Though we never saw it before he lost it, which is why I'm assuming that was just scripted unscripted television. 

What no one could make up is Easley's bizarre fixation on America's favorite breakfast carb:


Source - On the first day of the band’s charter, guest Dominique Easley told Dave, “I’d like pancakes.” However, not only any pancakes would do. Along with wanting the size of the pancakes to be “big,” the former NFL pro explained, “I still like it crispy around the edges. Not too chewy. After asking if Dave had any coconut oil in the kitchen, Dominique gave the chef some advice on the preparation. “Obviously you can do it anyhow, [but] I just take a nice little glob and put it right in the center while I pour the batter into it…so he can just spread it out.”

After hearing Dominique’s requests, Dave came to a conclusion on how to prepare the pancake for dinner that night. “If anyone asks for a thin crepe, I’ll make a crepe,” he said. “Super airy, super light, crispy on the outside…I even bought a torch just to make it really crispy on the outside.”

However, Dave quickly learned that his assumption was not correct. “I didn’t ask for pancakes. I specifically said pancakes,” Dominique said. “I don’t eat that shit.”

Dave was a bit confused, to say the least. “I was told he didn’t like American-style pancakes,” he said in an interview episode. “I was told he wanted thin crispy pancakes on the outside, so I sent him a fucking thin pancake.”

When Dave sent his second pancake attempt, Dominique still wasn’t happy. However, he said he would try them and even offered to teach the crew his “technique” for making the dish.

That is more talk about the proper care and handling of a pancake in 40 seconds than most of us have in a lifetime. IHOP doesn't have this much discussion about their main menu item. And not only is their entire business model built around it, they are international. More to the point though, allow me to remind you this isn't some diner where you sit in booths and the waitress calls you "Hon" as she asks if you want to start with a coffee. This is a megayacht. The guest is paying six figures. The chefs are accomplished artisans, trained to elaborately cater to the most discerning palates from around the world. They're experienced at instantly preparing a sumptuous meal of local Mediterranean seafood for lunch, then turning around and serving up a multi-course dinner of French cuisine that would make August Escoffier weep a few hours later. Name it, and these chefs will master the art of catering to your every whim.

And what is Dominique Easley's whim? Pancakes. Flapjacks. Hotcakes. Flour, baking powder, milk. Cooked in a pan and drizzled with syrup. Something your average kid learns to make at the age of about 14 when they're hungry but mom is sleeping off last night's box of wine. And he wants them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

There's yer problem, lady. Any man who's burning that many calories thinking about how he wants his Bisquick mix prepared simply doesn't have time for knowing his keys, identifying protection packages anticipating the flow of the play and reading the ballcarrier. As a matter of fact, he's really got time for nothing else but the pancakes. 

If only this information made it into the scouting reports on this guy, I never would've called him the perfect pick for New England. Now I'm just hoping their college personnel department starts including some pancake-related questions into their pre-draft interviews. This can never happen again.  

P.S. This is the weirdest reality show appearance by a Patriots player since the time Andre Carter randomly showed up as a dinner guest on Hell's Kitchen. I guess the networks just can't get enough of even our most short-term players.