Quantum Leap Albert?


APRIL 2002 – Volunteer Alumni Albert Haynesworth, the pride of Hartsville South Carolina, is drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the fifth round. Feeling jilted by falling so far in the draft, Haynesworth makes it his mission to rise to the top of the league, thus proving his doubters wrong.

Flash Forward:

APRIL 2008 – Haynesworth elected to the Pro Bowl the prior season for the first time in his career. Albert is widely considered around the league to be the most dominant defensive tackle.

Flash Forward:

APRIL 2011 – After logging a total of eight pitiful games with the Washington Redskins in the 2010-2011 season, Haynesworth is charged with one count of an unwarranted booby grab.

During the morning hours of last Tuesday, Albert Haynesworth (currently) of the Washington Redskins was indicted on a misdemeanor sexual abuse charge after being accused of fondling a female server’s breast at a hotel restaurant in downtown Washington. Apparently when Albert was ready to pay for his meal, the waitress “allegedly” claims Haynesworth slipped his credit card into her bra and started a one-handed juggling act while inside her blouse.

Haynesworth told police there was no way he would ever have touched her because he doesn’t even like black girls. He was further quoted as saying “I know what this is about, she is just upset I have a white girlfriend. I couldn’t tell you the last time I dated a black girl. She was trying to get with me.” We’ll have to wait and see if that argument holds up in court. Regardless, I don’t think Haynesworth’s prior run-ins with authority are going to help his cause any. Let’s see, viciously stomping on the head of an opponent, partially paralyzing someone after smashing into their car with his Ferrari, “allegedly” impregnating a NYC stripper and not paying the baby mama, punching a guy in the face during a road rage incident. Hhhhhmmmmm, I wouldn’t say those are the ideal notches for a championship belt of innocence. At this point, it’s probably anti-climactic to mention the default loan charges against him.

Where did it all go wrong for Prince Albert? In 2007 he was at the top of his game, ripping through offensive lines like a fairly agitated silverback gorilla. In the 2009 off-season, Haynesworth inked a ridiculous seven-year 100 million dollar deal with the Washington Redskins. Despite all the hiccups in the past, Haynesworth had finally reached the pinnacle of his career, and was poised to dominate until his inevitable decline. For some odd reason it didn’t pan out that way, but why?

This was a perfect example of a player’s work ethic being destroyed by a huge contract. It isn’t anymore complicated than that. Haynesworth worked his ass off to get where he was, the top defensive tackle in the NFL, and he just stopped trying after he hooked the big deal. If it wasn’t blatantly obvious when he signed with the Skins, Albert’s end all be all wasn’t a Superbowl ring. It was stealing a cool 50 million from Dan Snyder, which he successfully did when the idiot owner signed him to that horrible contract.

It doesn’t really matter whether the money soured Albert’s ambition or his drive faded away by itself. It doesn’t matter if Shannahan pushed him to the brink or Haynesworth quit on his own. What matters is Albert Haynesworth sucks at football now, and it’s all because he stopped trying. When you get down to the brass tacks, Albert really has no one else to blame but himself.

And if things seemed like they couldn’t get any lower for the fading 317-pound defensive tackle, Haynesworth’s credit card was actually declined at the restaurant that night. In this business, we like to call that a double whammy.

—–Seth Newton

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