Re: Kellen Winslow + GSXR750 = Idiot
Interesting Read (LONG) Other sources leaked out that his knee cap is busted along with another fracture in his fibula. Anyway, this little story explains how it all started. Also some Starboyz comments.
Wild rides lured Winslow Winslow's wild ride
Injured Brown emulated stunt cyclists, but lacked their training
Saturday, May 07, 2005
Mary Kay Cabot
Plain Dealer Reporter
One afternoon in March, Browns tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was playing paint ball with friends in the back yard of his Westlake home when he heard a rumbling in the parking lot behind his house.
He looked and saw someone performing wheelies and other stunts on a motorcycle.
He went to the lot and introduced himself to the rider, Jason Campana.
Campana and Winslow exchanged phone numbers. Before long, Campana was hanging out at Winslow's house talking about motorcycles, according to interviews with Westlake police and sources close to Winslow.
Winslow was so pumped about what Campana could do on his Suzuki GSX-R600 that he decided to buy a bike. Campana, 19, hooked him up with his buddies at State 8 Cycles in Cuyahoga Falls.
Because Winslow is 6-4, 250 pounds, Campana thought he would be better suited to the Suzuki GSR-R750 than the 600. It's more powerful than Campana's bike, but Campana and the salesman at State 8 both thought the 750 was the right choice.
Winslow, a novice, bought the shiny, red bike about April 9 and received it a few days later. Soon, Campana was teaching him how to ride, how to shift gears and operate the clutch. Campana, who has been riding motorbikes since he was about 8, advised Winslow to take a safety course at Polaris Career Center, but the tight end did not follow the advice, he said.
Before long, Winslow and Campana were riding around Winslow's Westlake neighborhood, much to the chagrin of neighbors. On April 16, one got fed up and called the police.
"He was going up and down the street about 50 miles per hour," said the neighbor, who asked not to be identified. "He was popping wheelies and dogging it. I got tired of it and called the police. There's eight to 10 children right around where he lives."
Lt. Ray Arcuri of Westlake police said a sergeant was sent to the Cornerstone development where Winslow lives, "but by the time we arrived, we were unable to locate anybody doing it."
Another neighbor, Dr. Robert Nahigian, a dentist and president of the Cornerstone Homeowners' Association, tried to stop Winslow.
"One day he and someone else went down the street about 15 times doing wheelies," he said. "One of them did a wheelie right in front of my house. After about 15 minutes, I waved him down."
Nahigian told Winslow that he didn't think he should be doing stunts in a residential area. "I also told him that I was concerned about his own safety," Nahigian said. "He told me he wasn't going over the speed limit."
Nahigian questioned why Winslow would perform such dangerous acts when he was still rehabbing from a broken right fibula and ligament damage in his ankle.
"He would walk his dog and he wasn't even walking well before the accident," said Nahigian.
When he wasn't practicing, Winslow would often pop in a tape of the Starboyz, a stunt riding team whose three main riders are from Akron. The Starboyz travel all over, performing stunts.
A day or two before Winslow's motorcycle accident, he burned out the clutches on his bike attempting a burnout, a trick that involves spinning the back wheels, said Scott Caraboolad, president and founder of the Starboyz. Caraboolad said one of his Starboyz associates works at State 8 and sold Winslow the new clutches. Then, Caraboolad said, the State 8 guys fixed his bike for him.
"The guys at State 8 were trying to get Kellen to come take private lessons with us," said Caraboolad. "We wish we would've gotten the chance to teach him how to do things the right way."
On May 1, Winslow, Campana and a few friends rode their bikes to Canton to watch the Starboyz perform live at Hardings Park Cycle.
After the show, Winslow and friends went inside to shop for motorcycle paraphernalia. Working security was Eric Stanbro, an off-duty Canton-area policeman who always works the show - even though he has a general disdain for the Starboyz, who wear "Cops Lie" T-shirts and other anti-police messages.
"Some guy said, 'Grab a paper and pen, Kellen Winslow's in here,' " said Stanbro. "I went over and looked and it was him. He spent about an hour in there shopping and looking at things. He signed about half a dozen autographs and took some pictures with fans."
When Winslow and friends left, they turned onto Ohio 62 and some popped wheelies. Stanbro said Winslow, who was last, was one of them.
"He popped up his front wheel and just gunned it," said Stanbro. "He was going about 40-50 mph and held it about 100 feet. He was just flying. A bunch of people were watching him and I think he was showing off."
Stanbro said he's positive it was Winslow because he was wearing a bright red Budweiser jacket, the same one that appeared later that night on the security video at Corporate College in Westlake.
"All of the other guys were wearing leather and looked like much more experienced riders," said Stanbro.
But one of the other riders, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it's doubtful that the inexperienced Winslow could perform such a difficult wheelie.
"He was in back of us, but I don't think Kellen is able to do that yet," he said. "He was taking it slow and being responsible on the bike. He enjoyed the ride down there and we were watching out for him."
When the riders got home, they split up for a while, but agreed to meet again later that evening at Corporate College because one of the riders' friends wanted a picture with Winslow. Winslow and Campana brought their bikes. They took the picture, and then Campana and Winslow started riding around the lot.
According to interviews, they were practicing stunts and tricks while the other two watched. Then came the accident. Campana was off in one corner of the parking lot and Winslow was in the other. The two others were half-watching, half-talking to each other.
Suddenly, Campana wheeled around only to see Winslow fly over his handlebars and land in the shrubbery. The three men rushed to Winslow's side and found him unconscious. According to sources, the friends didn't know if he was dead or alive. One of them grabbed his hand and began saying, "Kellen, Kellen, Kellen."
Winslow regained consciousness, but was in extreme pain and they didn't move him. They called 911. Winslow was transported by ambulance to Fairview Hospital and then taken the next day to the Cleveland Clinic, where he remains with potentially serious injuries to his right knee and shoulder, along with internal injuries.
The Browns said Friday they had no further update on Winslow's condition. There is concern within the organization that Winslow has multiple injuries to his right knee and leg. There is also concern Winslow injured his kneecap in addition to suffering ligament damage and a possible hairline fracture of the right femur.
The eyewitnesses gave their accounts to police but the versions conflicted. One thought Winslow was attempting a reverse wheelie or "endo" and the other thought he was trying something else. Campana told police he had no idea what Winslow was doing and wishes he could ask him. He told police it could've been a freak accident.
Caraboolad, the Starboyz president, said the accident could have been prevented.
"I was so busy performing that day that I didn't have a chance to talk to Kellen," he said. "If I had, I could've given him some advice and maybe talked him into attending one of our wheelie schools to learn the right way."
Caraboolad said one of the first things he would've told Winslow is to not practice stunts in a parking lot. "It's totally the wrong place," he said. "Even professional stunt riders have a hard time in parking lots. You need a race track a half-mile long to accelerate."
The Starboyz, who used to "raise hell on the streets of Akron and Canton" and have been arrested for performing on roadways, now have an operating agreement with Thompson Raceway Park outside Painesville. It's where they teach their increasingly popular wheelie classes.
"The sport is so dangerous that we decided to start a wheelie school so that guys wouldn't kill themselves," he said. "I've seen 30 or 40 people wreck right in front of me."
He said the Starboyz are scheduled to teach Michael Jordan and his race team how to do stunts this summer.
"We wish we could've done the same for Kellen before it was too late," he said. "He's very lucky to be alive."
JoEllen Corrigan contributed to this story.