I Once Adored Ms. Pacman

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His hands would still be dirty from skateboarding when he walked in the door, workers there recalled fondly yesterday. The actor also had a real penchant for the routine, hitting up the same eateries and ordering the same food each day. For lunch, he would head to Robin Des Bois for steak, and always leave a generous tip, said manager Gregory Tetaud.

In return for the relative anonymity that Brooklyn afforded them, the big-screen power couple lent their names to a slew of social causes. For example, Ledger and Williams helped raise funds to fight planned high-rise condos in the proposed Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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But otherwise, the pair, who broke up last year, thought of themselves as only typical Brooklynites. One Halloween, they paraded their daughter to the local block party, with her dressed as a frilly princess, and Ledger chatting happily with residents. Read Next. While his Dallas Cowboys teammates meander onto the training camp practice fields at the Marriott Residence Inn River Ridge Complex, Pacman shows off his favorite parlor trick.

One of the NFL's best cornerbacks and kick returners—not to mention one of its most egregious outlaws—is going to win friends and impress enemies by catching six punts without ever dropping, or as much as putting down, a ball. As punter Mat McBriar launches the first ball into a late July morning cooled by a Pacific Ocean breeze, Pacman effortlessly glides under it. His white gloves cradle the ball between the 2 and the 1 on his blue jersey, making no more sound than two butterflies playing charades in a cotton field.

Especially this season, when Pacman—acquired in a trade by the Cowboys April 23 and reinstated after a one-year suspension by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell August 28—will be subjected to unprecedented scrutiny. Depending on what color you paint your face, he's either a despicable villain destined to break the law and stomp the hearts of a Cowboys franchise attempting yet again to pawn its DNA to Beelzebub in pursuit of overdue playoff success, or he's one of sports' most unconventional saviors, pre-ordained to hop off the dunce chair just in time to be the final piece in the Cowboys' record sixth Super Bowl.

Owner Jerry Jones, the old oil wildcatter embarking on his 20th Cowboys season, loves the tangible buzz and potential boon that accompanies Pacman. Truth be told, he also relishes the high-profile gamble of it all.

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To him the risk-reward scales are tilted in his favor. If Pacman gets suspended again, the Cowboys are out only a fourth-round draft pick to the Tennessee Titans.

How a bunch of MIT dropouts created Ms. Pac-Man

With his reinstatement, they lost an additional sixth-round pick in '09, but added one of the most exciting and talented football players to a team that last year boasted 13 wins and 13 Pro Bowlers and this year is the sexy pick to play in the Super Bowl. It's a strategy Jerry Jones married back in '98, after he painstakingly passed on drafting a talented-yet-troubled receiver named Randy Moss.

Since then, blasphemy be damned, he's turned Tom Landry's cathedral—otherwise known as Texas Stadium—into a halfway house inhabited by shady stars, most recently Terrell Owens, Tank Johnson and, now, Pacman. Jerry's "Super Bowl or bust" comes with a caveat: If winning in Tampa means burning in hell, so be it. We've seen people in his situation use sports as a positive platform to really turn their lives around.

It's happened with the Cowboys. If not still Next Year's Champions. In the team moved into Texas Stadium from the Cotton Bowl on the heels of multiple heart-breaking losses to the world champion Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Colts. The juxtaposition of Pacman redeeming the righteous legacy founded by Landry is bizarre yet intoxicating. Everyone, it seems, wants a peek at Pacman. For a team that hasn't won a playoff game in 12 years, there might as well be a red carpet for the arrival at training camp of star-studded visitors such as Jessica Simpson, Ivan Reitman, Jamie Foxx, Dennis Miller, Rob Lowe and Magic Johnson.

Some were downright disgusted by the Cowboys' erosion of class in pursuit of a championship. But Pacman, who arrived via the NFL's first trade involving a suspended player, can change his image by changing the scoreboard, and he knows clemency is only a high-stepping touchdown away.

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Besides, these days he's born again. I've got a great, great, great relationship with God, and I always knew that I would put on a uniform again. Don't listen too closely, lest he not sound that different from the former coach in the funny hat and the bottomless faith. Sure enough, that's why there's a hole in the roof. So the Big Fan upstairs can watch the iconic old theater's final act.

The second punt soars downfield, and Pacman, first ball secured under his arm, smoothly drifts into position. You go after the wrong one, and it'll mess you all up. Like Pacman, Haley had a nefarious reputation with the San Francisco 49ers in the early '90s. No arrests, but little hiccups like peeing on the team president's office floor, trying to strangle head coach George Seifert during a meeting and shaking his manhood at anyone who dared enter the team's locker room without his approval.

The Cowboys—desperate for playmaking pizzazz on their defensive line—traded for Haley in ' They absorbed his antics, utilized his innate pass-rushing skills and—presto—won three Super Bowls over the next four years. Like Haley—minus the urinating, the choking and the flaunting—Pacman has the talent to be this era's missing link. I'm the best cornerback in the NFL. I've got the whole package. Truth is, Dallas' secondary, despite Pro Bowlers Terence Newman and Roy Williams, was mediocre last season, and besides, who couldn't use a shut-down corner with the raw ability to turn every opponent's pass into a defensive touchdown?

Only 5-foot and pounds, Pacman is much shorter than you envision, but on a team boasting rookie Arkansas speedster Felix Jones, Newman and Owens, his athleticism is unmatched. At West Virginia's Westlake High School, Pacman led his basketball team to consecutive state championships and a senior season. On the football team he rushed for 1, yards and intercepted six passes. Leaving West Virginia University after his junior season, he was drafted sixth overall by Tennessee in He's a difference-maker.

At training camp, Pacman was usually one of the first players on the field. He wore bandannas and baggy shorts that hung around mid-calf, playfully fielded kickoffs with one hand behind his back, and one day autographed "Pacman" on a baby's diaper. Whenever he got the chance, he lined up against Owens. The Pro Bowl receiver embarrassed him early in camp with a double move for a touchdown, but as the rust fell off, Pacman caught up. He doesn't have the best footwork or technique, and he's been slow to adjust from Tennessee's man-to-man schemes to Dallas' zone principles, but his uncanny instincts and superior agility often mask his deficiencies.

In his Cowboys exhibition debut, he was admittedly awful, missing two tackles and getting flagged for pass interference even though he only played in nine downs against the San Diego Chargers. He was better in the second preseason game against the Denver Broncos, returning a punt 24 yards and deflecting two passes, one of which he almost intercepted for a touchdown.

His improvement warranted a starting job, and two weeks ago against the Houston Texans, he had another near-interception and an yard punt runback. Though he hasn't played in an NFL regular-season game since December 31, , the Cowboys are counting on Pacman to create havoc all over the field. Says Pacman, "If I'm in a spitting contest, I want to be the best spitter.

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On defense, he can play either cornerback position or the inside slots when offenses threaten Dallas with three- or four-receiver sets. The Cowboys have hinted that Pacman might also line up at receiver, an option that gained credence when former Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow showed up at camp.

But he might be most dangerous as a kick returner, where as a Titan in '06, he authored three punt-returns touchdowns. The Cowboys have only four this millennium. While Pacman's critics debunk the notion as preposterous that he will remain a good player while magically morphing into a good person, the controversial Cowboy has shown remorse and done nothing more unlawful than "pants" Campo for HBO's Hard Knocks ' cameras and playfully dump a bucket of water on Felix Jones. That's why at training camp, they watch his every move and monitor his every word.

They realize one misstep—or misspeak—and Goodell won't be inclined to reinstate Pacman, which will crater Dallas' grand plan and effectively end his NFL career. That's why longtime public relations director Rich Dalrymple becomes nervous when he notices Pacman slipping on a pair of headphones under Irvin's ESPN tent. To shield Pacman from potentially getting talked into a corner, the Cowboys have strictly prohibited one-on-one interviews.

I feel like I'm free again. But if he screws up, everyone will know about it in vivid detail. A ball under each arm, Pacman eyes the third punt and drifts back four steps to nestle it. Charlie was afraid to identified, he was hating it wearing hats and sunglasses most of the time trying to hide his sweet face.

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He sounded like he was out of his damn mind. His case was a heart beating one. This cat wanted everyone in trouble by then, even those old timers his father had know for a long time. Always dressed in pressed clothes acting like a mature and ambitious citizen of the state. Charlie had done a few big ones during his time in high school, and he sure had a lot of ideas about who might have done such a crime. Charlie felt playing it big keeping his mouth shut once the papers had made him a famous man in the town.

And getting meaner with his men in his ranch sending them over for after dark meetings to collect alimony and have the community citizens brainwashed. There were no trouble makers waiting on the street for him anymore and he hated leading his life like a homeless orphan. Every time he walked out of the court, Charlie could smell the trouble, scared away, but his choices in Louisiana were still very limited!

Running away somewhere for poor Charlie could be a treasure, while he felt a new man was beginning to show up within him who sensed freedom miles away, overseas, South America! It made Charlie throw up his guts, he had nobody left on earth, most of his moms relatives lived far away up north and his uncles all dead by then.

The rest had all left the state. They hardly wanted to write to his parents who still lived in the Cajun country, none of them liked it back down south. The cutbacks had turned the business around. People were talking about things everywhere all day. Many a time a thing becomes very hard to tolerate just for the person and the one suddenly he happens to turn into. He was looking for the best place to start before he ended up on the streets like those blood hounds would be looking out for him next, with a shroud! He saw no pride at being around that small town no more.

The lots he used to park his truck to unload, the red lights, his daily route for delivery after he graduated from high school, the flags everywhere hanging by the store entries as some still rang that familiar bell as Charlie was trying to step faster through his immense paranoia in parody of a criminal.

As neighbors and friends would be soon getting into this mess forced to pay a lot of dues by then. The bus station farther down as he drove his gifted automobile to the city hall for property clearance and deeds was crowded with straw hats and the colored maids who waited there all day to be hired or leave after midnight sipping on a bottle of soda until the only passenger bus passing through the town about fifteen minutes before one in the morning arrived and unlike the one transferring the county prisoners to the facility near Baton Rouge this one was a way to home!

Her compassionate deliberations had left us both in a spark of disillusion as my doubts about her love became more and more scattered in such a unique and brusque fashion. As she and her friends continued meeting everyday. She could be from wherever she wanted fluently speaking four or five different languages learning them from her parents, at school or even on the beaches filled with all types of people.

Vanessa had completed her education in South America and then some in Europe and then had miraculously stepped on the American soil since more than a year ago! She was loved by everyone who knew her standing six feet and two inches tall built like a centerfold. I agreed on and on that she was a reality than myth. Vanessa, Veronica Lamoux, as later in the years she and her family had changed the family name for reasons of identity and the ongoing ritual of a deep fear for his children while Charlie always reminded himself of the freedom and the beautiful family god had given him and once and for all had decided to call himself Charlie Lamass as it bore a familiar and native shape.

She was born in I, at thirty-one she perfectly described her age by what she was. She seemed to be updated and kept up with all the on goings around the world. Although rather young but uniquely intelligent, she had an exceptional sense for everything and everyone surrounding her life.

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She would make anything more attractive or even, if she wanted to, less important and pitiful if she wanted yet because of what she did she enjoyed politics like her father. An agent for a fashion and cosmetics company one might say that was very different than the others. As almost a close friend by then, I should say that she did many other things as well.

She enjoyed traveling on her own time and not necessarily alone every time and she was but boring never having any hardship in finding a friend. Her parents spent quite a few years in France as both of them wanted to be away from Rio at least a few years, they communicated often since ever leaving home their child was able to and afforded to return any time she wanted!

She was busy, determined, and certainly very appealing as I believed someone like her could not feel like ordinary people. A well educated girl, as always was very modest about herself and remained distinguishably silent every time there was a discussion until she could find a close link with the subject that everyone understood easily. Like everyone else, Vanessa wanted money and often had risked her pride to reach her ambitious fancies as her life, she admitted, was a ciborium with still lacking jinx for more color. She talked about sex, and her friends always noting that someday she would have ended up a rich prostitute, I assumed she could be one if she really wanted, unaware of her previous commitments as she had led her life to New York where that kind of profession would not have paid for what Vanessa knew how to do best.

With an excellent eye for alien beauty, a rather skilled photographer her job in the company had often led her to pose in front of a camera. She often talked about money, prospects, like a business lady, indeed she wanted to learn better ways to earn it easy. At her status as she always said she could say only one thing and that was her education not at all helping in what she really was!

Her father, Charles Lamoux, was a retired college instructor of history whom was always identified and praised as a bright and dignified Frenchman, his mother a Polish American while his father still led his personality as the only memory of the past. Charlie was a third generation son on either side believing in the new wave from top to bottom, and he had strong atrocities for others who did not believe in its future. He believed in liberation, Charlie had once learned to love its faith. Vanessa described him to be a gift; she said that God had brought them together to where they stood.

He preferred France and nowhere else while still after many years since his refuge to Rio and leading a prosper family he believed his roots were the cause of his fortune. Her mother held nothing against that, as Ulanda was an educated member of their family as well as others. Lamoux held a degree in, home economics, so well with her care for the children and her husband, Charlie that had nothing but a strong compromise for her intuitive strengths to always help him with his decisions.

She had raised three children out of which it was Vanessa who dared to move abroad.