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Posts Tagged ‘Training Camp’

Update on Haynesworth- Mostly MIA

I’m not supposed to care about Albert Haynesworth anymore because he left the Redskins for the Patriots- but curiosity got the better of me so I checked in with the Boston Globe. He hasn’t practiced now for 19 days.

The New England media, at first convinced this was going to be another case in which miracle-worker Bill Belicheck was going to somehow reform yet another Diva-Athlete malcontent- is now not so sure.

Here’s a terrific and hilarious article by the dean of Boston sportswriters, Dan Shaughnessy.

And here are the highlights:

Best of all, they [the New England Patriots] have a secret – and we mean secret – weapon that is almost never seen, rarely practices, and is unlikely to be deployed in a preseason game. Don’t tell the Dolphins, but the Patriots plan to surprise them in the season opener Sept. 12 when they wheel out the great Albert Haynesworth….Other than a fan’s Twitter photo (which surfaced this week) of Albert eating Italian ice on Atlantic Avenue, there was no record of Albert’s whereabouts from Aug. 4 until yesterday, when he watched practice.

“Watched’’ is the key word. Haynesworth did not participate in anything. Not even light running. No one is saying whether he is hurt or out of shape. Bill Belichick says he is “day to day,’’ but won’t say whether he’s planning on Albert for the opener.

So there you have it. The Patriots have Haynesworth and they’re not going to be dopes and show him to the opposition. He doesn’t need to practice. It worked with Randy Moss in 2007 (9 catches, 183 yards in the opener after a no-show preseason) and it’ll work again.

Patriot’s coaches and ownership are saying Albert is just misunderstood and most of the terrible things that have been written about him in recent years are all bunk.

Meanwhile, the Patriots PR machine (including actual Patriot employees) prepares to nominate Albert for a Nobel Prize and Time’s Man of the Year. Never mind the rap sheet that’s longer than Ted Williams’ Hall of Fame plaque. So what if the Redskins gave Albert a $100 million contract, then sent him home for the last four games of 2010 rather than have him around to poison their team.

Even for a lousy high-round draft pick, the Redskins getting rid of Albert was the best move EVER.

So sorry, Patriot nation.

Silly, Ocassionally Compelling Football News

Training camps across the NFL are in full gear and silliness abounds. Once again, Brett Favre is uncertain about whether he will retire or not. Over at Redskins Park, a rich, fat guy with a bad knee gets more ink than the entire team combined and I can’t get enough of it.

Brett Favre

Back in July, Men’s Journal magazine published an excerpt of an article  by Stephen Rodrick featuring the following quote from a fellow named Buss Cook.  He is, uh, Brett Favre’s agent:

Brett talked to goddamned Ed Werder at ESPN, says he needs ankle surgery. Now why did he do that? I’ve got Childress calling. I’ve got reporters calling all damn morning. Goddammit, why does he have to be such a goddamned drama queen? Play, don’t play, goddamn, people are getting sick of it. I’m getting sick of it! Why does he have to talk to these people?

Several dozen news cycles later, this past Monday, reports surfaced that Favre had decided to hang it up. Wednesday afternoon, Favre talked to the same ESPN guy again, Ed Werder. Bus Cook, I’m sure, is thrilled.

Brett Favre told ESPN’s Ed Werder  in Hattiesburg, Miss., on Wednesday that he has not made any decision about returning to play for the Minnesota Vikings this season and said he will play if healthy.

One is tempted to say “who cares,” and maybe feel a little sorry for a 40-year-old football player who twice before has announced retirement and each time returned for one more dip in the pool.  I, however, prefer to view it as a ritual of summer. The same way you feel when the first stirrings of spring arrive in March that remind you that warmer temperatures and baseball are coming soon. Another Brett Favre drama-queen moment of indecision- Ah! Football is right around the corner!

Albert Haynesworth

I admit it. I eat up articles about Albert Haynesworth. He is the immensely large man who accepted a $21 million bonus and then thought a voluntary mini-camp was really voluntary and didn’t show up. He tried to get himself traded. Didn’t want to play nose tackle in a 3-4 defense. Whatever.

As a loyal Redkins fan, I have been captivated not by their prospects as a competitive team, but over the last few years, anyway, by the sordid dramas they generate in the wake of allegedly maturing Redskins owner, Daniel Snyder’s insane antics. Like signing this Haynesworth guy to the largest contract in football and then promising him he could play any position he wanted.  Ok, that’s the Daniel Snyder of the past, but the legacy lives on.

Albert is being put through a public relations ringer at Redskins Park on these hot humid days. There’s a new sheriff in town.  Redskins coach, Mike Shanahan, a man who once fined Denver Bronco’s players for not arriving early to meetings, is not allowing Haynesworth to practice until he passes some physical tests that include a 300 yard sprint in 25-yard intervals. He’s supposed to complete them in 70 seconds the first try, then after a little rest, run it again in 72 seconds. He missed by a second last week and hasn’t tried it again since because he’s developed a legitimately bum knee.

Numerous cameras have captured his sad, humiliated presence on the sideline watching his teammates work out. More than one of them have been quoted as saying he hasn’t been around in so long, they don’t much remember Albert Haynesworth anymore.

These kind of articles I want more of. A little less Favre and a little more Haynesworth would suit me just fine. Justice is a much more compelling storyline than indecision.