“I hope not long. I hope I come out guns blazin’. I’m full of excitement and full of juice.”
This from a man who was alleged by his former girlfriend, Nicole Holder, to have picked her up over his head and slammed her onto a futon that was covered in semi-automatic rifles — weapons that he menacingly told her were loaded. In a case that dates back to his time with the Panthers, Holder claimed that Hardy threw her around his apartment, including onto a tiled bathroom floor, leaving marks all over her body, including where he had grabbed her neck.
Hardy’s lawyer contended that his client was the one attacked, and that the defensive end had been acting in self-defense, but a North Carolina judge convicted him of assaulting and threatening to kill Holder. However, Hardy appealed that decision to a jury trial, one in which his case was dismissed after Holder failed to appear, amid reports that the two sides had reached a private settlement.
Hardy, who sat out most of last season on the NFL’s exempt list as his case played out, was given a 10-game suspension about a month after he signed with the Cowboys. That suspension was eventually reduced to four games, leading to Hardy’s appearance in the Cowboys’ locker room Tuesday.
“I’m ready to go,” Hardy told reporters. “I have what they call fresh legs. I’m really excited to get out there on that grass or turf and see what they can do.”
Hardy was asked if has had any regrets about the events that led to his suspension. “I’m sorry I couldn’t be here for my teammates,” he replied. “The worst feeling in the world is not being there for somebody you care about or somebody that needs you.”
He also addressed the famous quarterback for the Patriots, who play the Cowboys on Sunday.
“I love seeing Tom Brady,” Hardy said (via the Dallas Morning News). “He’s cool as crap.“You seen his wife? I hope she comes to the game. I hope her sister comes to the game. [I hope] all her friends come to the game.”