Brendan Haywood on Kanye, the Skins and Swagger Jackers
As I mentioned the other day, Brendan Haywood was at last weekend's Skins-Cardinals game, which was his second consecutive weekend at an NFL game. He appeared as a guest on Comcast SportsyNet's pre-game show, and the Comcast folks were kind enough to let me into their trailer for a pre-pre-game-interview interview. In advance of this week's Wizards media day and training camp kickoff, Haywood and I talked about his offseason yoga, his favorite NFL team, his date with Sean May's mom and the scourge of NBA swagger jackers.
So you're not a North Carolina football fan?
I don't know, I've been a Miami Hurricanes football fan since I was a kid. I almost went to Miami because I was such a big fan of the football program.
So even when you were at Carolina you wouldn't root for them?
Probably, because I was cool with Julius Peppers and Ronald Curry, but Miami was still my team. Like, if Miami plays Carolina to this day, I'm mad if Carolina wins.
Who was your NFL team?
The Colts. When Edgerrin James went to the Colts, I just started following the Colts. 'm dead serious. When Edgerrin James went the Colts, I just started following the Colts all the time.
But shouldn't you like Portis then?
Edgerrin, he was my favorite one. I grew up a Buffalo Bills fan. Then remember when they had the controversy with Rob Johnson and Doug Flutie? I stopped rooting for them after that. After the Music City Miracle I said, "I'll never root for this team again." I thought the way they did Doug Flutie was terrible, I've never watched a Buffalo Bills game since. Since they played the Tennessee Titans, I've never watched another Buffalo Bills game. I said, "That's awful, I'm never rooting for this team again, that's terrible."
This guy was a Pro Bowler that year and he didn't start in the playoffs. And then the next year, Rob Johnson started, they were horrible, he got hurt, Doug Flutie came in, did well, and then when Rob Johnson got healthy they put him back on the bench. I said, "That's it. That's it. I can't support this."
And so as soon as that happened, that's when Edgerrin James came out and went to the Colts, and from then on I just started watching them, because Edgerrin was there and I didn't have a team. And from then on I just became a Colts fan.
But shouldn't you be a Redskins fan because of your Eastern Motors connection?
I'm a Redskins fan because they're local, I root for the local team, but if they play the Colts, I root for the Colts.
Ok, so did you do anything interesting in the offseason?
I took yoga for the first time. I liked it.
Were you good at it?
I don't know, I'm decent at it. I'm good enough. I was low-key man, worked on my game, took a couple trips. Nowhere super crazy: Miami, Vegas, New York, Atlanta, San Francisco
Did you talk to Gil?
What do you think?
Anything to help him get back. If he gets back and he's good, it'd be worth it. He just has to take his time. I think he gets caught up trying to rush back, worried about what people are saying. But at the end of the day, man, you've got to make sure you're 100 percent healthy so you can get back to being the Hibachi. No one wants the Microwave. No one wants the George Foreman Grill. We want the Hibachi.
What's the difference between an NFL crowd and an NBA crowd?
An NFL crowd is way crazier. These people, there's so many Redskins jerseys, they're grilling out before the games. I guess maybe because it's only one game a week and they only get a chance to see their team eight games a year as opposed to seeing us 40-something times, so the NFL fans just have a lot more hype and enthusiasm.
No, I don't tailgate, I'm not trying to eat all that bad food.
So what do you eat in the club section, there's gotta be bad food up there?
You know, I can always find salads or something. You can find something. It's training camp man, I've got to stay in shape right now. I went to the Bears-Panthers game last week; I had a salad, a water and half a sandwich
Did you read any books or anything in the offseason? Concerts?
I went to a Kanye West concert. Kanye West, Rihanna and Lupe Fiasco, that concert. It was different, probably because I went with Sean May's mom. That was like my date. I'm real cool with his family like that, and she was going, so I was like, "C'mon, that's my date, let's go." Sean didn't go. I don't think he was in town. That was my date.
Are you in touch with lots of families of Carolina players?
Well, we have just a different dynamic, because our parents [are] close, because of the NBA moms thing. So my mom is cool with his mom and he lives an exit up from me, so our families are intertwined. Like, he came to my mom's house for a cookout and stuff like that. We're just close friends.
Gotcha. And you're close with Peppers too?
Yeah, but see, Pepps lives so far, he lives on the other side of Charlotte. He lives over there by Darius. I told him, "Man, I can't come to your house unless I'm spending the night."
[Darius Songaila] lives down there? You guys hang out and play scrabble in the offseason?
Who, Darius? He lives so far away. Darius had a cookout, I went up there one time, but it's like 45 minutes away from me. I'm like, "I'm not trying to drive all that way."
Does he cook Lithuanian food at his cookout?
No, he's got regular food. I went out there, had a good time.
Did you get a new wardrobe? I was talking to DeShawn the other day, he said he bought a whole new wardrobe in the offseason.
I got the same things, I just add a couple pieces here and there. I don't need a whole new wardrobe. Who am I trying to impress? The guys on the team? I can't spend $20,000 on a wardrobe of all '80s stuff. What's gonna happen next year when I can't wear it? I mean, what happens if the style changes or I don't want to wear it?
So you didn't buy anything in the offseason?
New iPhone. Madden. I was out there the first night. I'm a Madden addict, yes. I go get the game the first night. If it comes out at midnight, I go get it. I go at midnight and go get the game, myself. I'm nice, I play my friends online. I'm ranked, I'm good. Get me on the Madden bus.
Have you been to Europe before?
I've been to Spain before. I'm not really looking forward to going. I don't like long plane rides and I don't like being out of my setting for long periods of time, so a 10-day trip for me is murder. I don't want to go at all. I'd rather go somewhere for two or three days and come back home. That's why I don't take long trips in the summer time. After three or four days, I don't care where I'm at, I'm ready to get back to my daily routine. I don't like being displaced for that long.
Did you see DeShawn's growing a flat-top? And [Andray Blatche]?
He's a swagger jacker. Deshawn did that first and then he stole it. You've got to find your own style, you can't steal someone else's.
What did you call 'Dre?
'Dre is a swagger jacker. DeShawn came out with the flat top, and then he did this because of DeShawn. But you have to have your own swag, you have to have your own moxie right now. You can't piggy back somebody else's swag, you can't ride the coattails of somebody else's swagger, their hype.
What would you recommend for him?
I don't know. Everybody's doing the Mohawk, so that's been done. I don't know. Maybe he should get just the regular even-all-over with the two big parts in the side like Michael Irvin, or just get a regular cut, get the part down the front like Larry Johnson. He could do something like that. Whatever he did, man, he's got to stop swagger jacking. Nobody likes a swagger jacker.
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