In Blackmon's case, a lot of outlets jumped on the fact that he's only giving up drinking "right now."
"I'm done," he said. "Right now, I'm done with all that. ... I can't promise you 10 years down the road that I'm going to be done. I just know that as of right now and what I can speak of. I'm looking forward to getting ready to play football and putting this in the past."
This predictably has caused a lot of phony hand-wringing. Is it now fully expected that athletes who drink and drive give up drinking entirely? I don't want Blackmon near an automobile, and his behavior is unacceptable, but it seems like we'd rather him lie than merely say he doesn't know if he's going to drink in the distant future.
"Two attorneys from town ... talked about not just alcohol but guns, speeding, all the things that if you don't do it right these are the consequences of your actions," Mularkey said. "That's what's frustrating. It was just presented that Friday morning and we had an incident over the weekend."
We hope Blackmon learned from the incident. We have no idea if he'll truly change his behavior, but we aren't going to find out by parsing his words and playing armchair psychologist after a news conference. Blackmon said it best.
"Words are words," he said. "It's my actions that are going to have to show."