Craig: For wisdom in the Windy City, hail a cab

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 28, 2012 - 8:06 AM

Adrian Peterson missed the bus, but maybe he was treated to some insight from a Chicago cabbie.

hide

Adrian Peterson

Photo: Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Even at 4:45 on a Monday morning, Roosevelt Franklin is the happiest cab driver you'll ever meet.

During a 20-minute ride from the JW Marriott in downtown Chicago to Midway Airport, you can sit back in Roosevelt's "King Drive Cab" car and discover that his son went to Iowa State to become an architect; that he has six grandchildren; that one of them, a granddaughter, went to Michigan State; and that his "mama" sure made a lot of sense while raising young Roosevelt.

You also can get some insight into what it's like being a cabbie getting flagged down by an NFL player.

No, Roosevelt wasn't the lucky cabbie who transported Vikings running back Adrian Peterson from the JW Marriott to Soldier Field when the NFL's leading rusher missed the team bus on Sunday morning.

And, no, Roosevelt wasn't the unlucky cabbie who allegedly got choked by Dolphins safety Jonathon Amaya, who was arrested for assault in Miami around 4 a.m. Monday.

Peterson's incident was relatively minor and most likely never will happen again now that coach Leslie Frazier has talked to him and stressed publicly that yes, "it is a big deal" when your team leaders aren't where they're supposed to be when they're supposed to be.

As for Amaya, well, he apparently gave a cabbie $100 to take him beyond the driver's normal area. During the trip, Amaya allegedly became aggressive.

When the driver tried to kick him out and return his $100, Amaya allegedly leaned forward and wrapped his hands around the driver's neck, according to reports.

"Most of the time, you don't know who they are," Roosevelt says. "Most of the time, they look like normal people."

But Roosevelt seems as if he'd be the same happy-go-lucky, talk-your-ears-off-but-in-a-good-way cabbie no matter whom he was transporting.

"Mama always told me, 'Don't judge a book by its cover,' " Roosevelt said. "That's my motto. But I did one time."

It was three months ago. Roosevelt had just been stiffed out of a significant fare by a woman who didn't have the money, or at least that's what she said.

"So I let her go and I'm driving down the road and this young guy flags me down," Roosevelt said. "He's got on these baggy shorts and a gray T-shirt on. I look at him and I say, 'Oh, Lord, here comes another one. Please do not do this to me again.' "

Roosevelt pulled over. The guy gave Roosevelt the address, which, according to Roosevelt, was in the "fancy part of town."

"So I say, 'Ooh, you must have a good job. What do you do for work?' " Roosevelt says. "And he says, 'I'm a professional running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers.' "

It was Rashard Mendenhall. Skokie, Ill., native. Former Chicago area prep star who went to Illinois and was drafted 23rd overall in 2008.

Mendenhall has a condo and a lot of family in Chicago. Before he got to see either though, he got to spend some time getting to know Roosevelt, and vice versa.

"Mama always told me, 'Son, it doesn't hurt anybody to be nice and talk to people,' " Roosevelt said. "In this case, it actually paid off. Rashard gave me five $100 bills for a tip.

"Can you believe that? I love my Bears, boy. And they sure whooped up on those Vikings. Those Vikings looked like they were asleep. I can't believe they didn't get to [Jay] Cutler. Everybody gets to him. That was ..."

Wait for it. He's circling back to Mendenhall.

"But Mendenhall. I always check to see how he's doing. Great guy. Gave me 500 bucks just for talking to him and not just sitting there driving the car. He says he doesn't like taking limos. Rather ride in a cab like regular folks."

Sometimes, they don't have any choice. Sometimes, kickoff is in two hours and the team bus is gone.

"I bet that was a good tip," Roosevelt said. "Tell Adrian to ride with me next time."

Mark Craig mark.craig@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 13 FINAL
Jacksonville 21
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 97 FINAL
Chicago 103
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Houston 90
Milwaukee 108 FINAL
Sacramento 107
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Golden State 114
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
Edmonton 3 FINAL
San Jose 4
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
FIU 58 FINAL
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 53 FINAL
South Dakota 55
LSU 79 FINAL
UAB 70
Ohio 69 FINAL
Evansville 81
CS-Dominguez 50 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 72
Walla Walla 39 FINAL
Idaho 86
DePaul 59 FINAL
Oregon State 90
Nevada 65 FINAL
Pacific 69
Portland State 40 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Bakersfield 56 FINAL
Utah State 57
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
UCLA 67
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
IUPUI 95
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
Samford 56 FINAL
Tulane 57
New Orleans 55 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Incarnate Word 61 FINAL
TX-Pan American 65
Ark-Little Rock 42 FINAL
South Dakota St 67
CS-Northridge 77 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Santa Clara 88 FINAL
Oregon 92
(19) Oklahoma St 55 FINAL
Weber State 49
Washington 69 FINAL
San Diego State 48
Cal Poly 68 FINAL
New Mexico 84
(10) Louisville 65 FINAL
Grand Canyon 51
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will Christian Ponder ever be a full-time starter in the NFL?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close