Here’s a story: One Sunday, several years ago, I went to a bar in Arlington called Spider Kelly’s to do some day drinking with a friend and her husband. We got there when the bar opened, around 11:00, and started putting back Bud Lights.
A half hour into our drinking session, a white Maybach rolled up and parked itself in front of the bar. Out walks one of the biggest dudes I’ve ever seen.
My friend grabs my shoulder. “Holy shit, that’s Albert Haynesworth.”
I looked and damn if she wasn’t right.
The reason she was so shocked was because this was Sunday, August 1st, 2010, or namely, the third day into the Albert Haynesworth Training Camp Conditioning Test Saga, a simple shuttle run ordered by head coach Mike Shanahan that Haynesworth couldn’t pass and devolved into a season-sinking fiasco.
Here he was, having failed the test three straight times, skipping team activities because of a sore knee, at a bar at fucking noon, drinking Coronas.
But he’s having a rough week, I thought. Why not buy him a shot? So I did the respectful thing and had the bartender send over two tequilas.
A couple minutes later, the bartender returned with the shots. “He didn’t want them.”
What the fuck, I thought. That’s some bullshit. Emboldened by all the beers I’d had, I took the shot off the bar and walked up to Haynesworth.
“Hey, I bought this for you.”
“Nah,” he said, staring at the floor.
“Come on, I’m a big fan of yours.” That was a lie; I hated when the ‘Skins signed him.
“I don’t touch that stuff,” he said, continuing to stare at the floor.
What a dick. He wouldn’t even look at me. He just kept staring at the floor. I understand I was invading the privacy of a celebrity, but let me add that he was at a bar in the middle of the biggest sports spectacle in D.C. that summer, drinking at noon. He was bringing attention upon himself.
I left eventually, thinking yea, that’s a dude with a shitty attitude.
Then he proceeded to do this on Monday Night Football:
So my apologies for not even feeling the slightest twinge of sympathy for Haynesworth, who tried to publish a moving, forlorn letter to his younger self today on The Player’s Tribune, one which I guess postulates we should … idk, feel bad for him because his $100 million contract he signed with the Redskins wasn’t guaranteed.
If nothing else, listen to me on this, Albert: Do not leave the Tennessee Titans. Your defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is a mastermind. No matter how much I tell you this, you’ll probably never realize it until your career is over, but it’s true. You’re like a system quarterback. You thrive in a very specific scheme. When you hit free agency, the Washington Redskins are going to offer you $100 million. Everyone will talk about this (they won’t talk about the fact that most of that money is not guaranteed, or that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offered you $135 million). The $100 million will become a huge burden. Take less and stay in Tennessee where you belong.
But it’s not just that. Get ready to feel bad.
Then during your first OTA, you’re going to be introduced to a different brand of football. I can already see you rolling your damn eyes. How can football be different? I’m a defensive lineman. Well, football in Washington versus football in Tennessee was like the difference between a general physician and a cardiologist. Both doctors. One is just a little more sophisticated.
People are going to be all over you for your contract, and you’re going to feel really frustrated. You’re going to do some dumb things. But what people aren’t going to see is Mike Shanahan calling you into his office and saying, “Albert, we just want you to eat up space. All we want you to do is grab the center and let the linebackers run free.”
You’re going to look at this famous NFL head coach in total disbelief and say, “You want to pay me $100 million to grab the center?”
And he’s going to say, with a straight face, “Albert, if you have more than one sack this season, I’m going to be pissed.”
It would be nice of Albert to note here that when he signed with the Redskins, Jim Zorn was coaching. If he didn’t have the foresight to see that train crash of a coaching career coming to an end, that should be on him. Also, what did he expect? To play a full 14-year career under the same defensive coordinator? That’s happened to exactly how many NFL players over the past 20 years? Two?
Regardless, he squandered all that non-guaranteed money.
You will lose your passion for football in Washington, and it will be impossible to get back. In retirement, you will discover that your financial advisor has squandered most of the money you made with the Redskins, and he will be under investigation for financial fraud.
He lost his passion for football because he was asked to play nose tackle instead of defensive tackle.
Go fuck yourself.