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Posted at 4:14 PM ET, 12/ 7/2010

Shanahan done with Haynesworth's shenanigans

By Evan Bliss

After twelve games and a disappointing 5-7 record, we’re right back where we started. Instead of focusing on football, we’re focusing on a player who didn’t even suit up last Sunday. It’s rarely a sign of rejoicing when the attention and focus surrounds a player who didn’t even play. Sometimes it’s injury, sometimes it’s off the field incidents, less times it’s gossip, but for the Redskins it’s merely bickering. Two cackling male hens puffing out their chests. Don’t assume that just because Haynesworth is suspended today that the bickering is over with. I’m sure he’ll have lots of “damn the man” and “I was framed” and “I’m really a nice guy that just wants to win” and “things’ll be cool and coach and I are going to smoke some cigars.” There are two card games that come to mind Mr. Haynesworth with names not suitable for print. And thus, Albert Haynesworth’s suspension is the climax of the 2010 season, even though four games remain to be played.

Perhaps it was the revealing photo on Deadspin.com (http://deadspin.com/5708279/albert-haynesworth-was-barhopping-thursday-late-for-practice-friday-suspended-for-rest-of-season-today) that sealed the deal for Mike Shanahan, but maybe it should’ve happened sooner, as in during the off-season where even as a new coach Shanahan was tired of Haynesworth’s shenanigans. Shanahan eventually won the off-season battle, getting the big baby to finally run a couple shuttle runs in the allotted time.

Had Shanahan opted not to play Haynesworth’s little game, by amputating the problem instead of pouring salt and vinegar all over it, maybe he would’ve won the war. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, or even better, you can’t teach an old dog with $100 million in his bowl to sit, fetch or play nose tackle. But he will play dead or hurt for free.

First off, Haynesworth is a phenomenal player. Terrific intensity, great strength and leverage, great instincts, amazing athleticism. On paper this guy is a shoe in for the Hall of Fame. Unfortunately he’s a person and not a piece of paper. Never met him, never will, (though I did meet Ted Turner and Sir Richard Branson this weekend so never say never!) so I won’t say anything bad about Albert the person, but Albert the player is a huge disappointment. Snyder and Shanahan need to realize they’ll never get the talent and the teammate, they bought the talent, but the teammate costs extra.

Dan Snyder is a young man who wears fine clothing, eats only gourmet food, and smokes the best Nicaraguan cigars, but clothes can make you itch, food can make you sick, and cigars can give you cancer. I think every Redskins fan will say “I hope he’s learned his lesson,” but we all know he hasn’t. Dan’s eyes are, and probably always will be, bigger than our stomachs.

Maybe we should be thanking Albert Haynesworth for shifting the attention away from the terrible football we’ve been force fed like fois gras ducks. Instead of thinking about the blocked punt, missed tackles, dropped passes, or any playoff hopes disappearing before our very eyes, our focus immediately shifts towards Haynesworth’s poor practice habits, possible drinking problem and his "there’s no 'I' in team but there is a 'me'" attitude. Well if you’re upset at Haynesworth you’re wasting your time and not paying attention. He is who we thought he was. Albert King of France had these problems before in Tennessee and they’re still very present in his second year in Washington.

Tragically, there’s nothing the Redskins will gain from releasing Haynesworth. No one is going to offer up any solid draft picks or decent trades, and if they receive money back from him that’s still not the Redskins gaining, merely Snyder getting money back. Maybe Dan needs to realize there’s a difference between the Redskins and his fortune, and then our seasons will stop looking like Six Flags’ crowds and giving us Johhny Rockets’ aftertaste and indigestion.

At least now there’s an excuse behind the Redskins’ 2010 season: Albert Haynesworth. But in reality, he didn’t do much of anything this year on the field. Maybe the 2011 motto should be “No Excuses” opposed to the “Are You In” campaign this year, because obviously we’re all “in” any crap situation you give us, and they’re running out of excuses for mediocrity.

By Evan Bliss  | December 7, 2010; 4:14 PM ET
Categories:  Evan Bliss, Redskins  | Tags:  Evan Bliss, Redskins  
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Next: The legal side of the Haynesworth suspension

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