Newspaper ad plays on Mathieu's troubled past

Phoenix newspaper ad plays up Mathieu's troubled past in controversial welcome.

Tyrann Mathieu has had his share of troubles, most notably getting dismissed from LSU just before the 2012 season for repeated failed drug tests (it was reported that he told NFL teams that the number of positive tests was in the double digits).

The Cardinals spent a third-round pick on the defensive back dubbed "Honey Badger" in last month's NFL Draft in hopes that he's straightened himself out and can be the player who was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2011 rather than the one who couldn't stay clean long enough to stay on the field.

And while most of the Arizona fan base has embraced the pick as a story about a second chance, a head shop in the Phoenix area has ... well, it's taken a different route, placing the following ad in this week's edition of the alternative Phoenix New Times:

Funny? Tasteless? Your call. Based on Twitter commentary, the reaction seems split.

For his part, Mathieu has not commented on the ad, so his take on it is unknown. But that didn't stop it from going viral Sunday morning and thus doing exactly what it was intended to do. The ad has almost certainly paid for itself, so there's no arguing the business strategy; the question about whether openly mocking/inviting a recovering 20-year-old is an appropriate part of a business strategy is a slightly more ambiguous one.