Michael Strahan whacks the Haynesworth pinata
Just when you think every last smushed-up Hershey Kiss has dropped out of the fraying, bloated carcass of the Haynesworth pinata, someone else comes along, grabs the bat and smashes the thing, and magically a whole new stash of all the good stuff like the Baby Ruths and little Snickers comes pouring out. Seriously, it's like the fountain of never-ending candy. The Haynesworth Pinata could feed the state of Idaho for an entire year. It could feed Haynesworth for an entire week. You just need enough former players to keep it fresh.
Michael Strahan took his obligatory whacks last week on 106.7 The Fan's LaVar and Dukes Show, but since I've only just listened to it now, I'll hereby present his quotes to pad my Haynesworth item numbers. Strahan got some good shots in, and he spoke with passion, and sure enough there were nougat treats for everyone by the end.
"I think it's hard to win when you have one of your biggest players who's more concerned with himself moreso than the betterment of everybody," Strahan said. "You just can't have that, because what it does is it leads the young guys into believing that that's the way that the NFL operates, it's all about you.
"And in some cases you do have to be selfish, but when it comes to playing and doing whatever yo have to do on the field, if your're a great player, 3-4, 4-3, 5-6, 7-4, any number, 8-3 -- if you're a great player, you can play in anything. It's not the scheme, it's the player. So don't worry about the scheme....
"You've gotta give it a chance before you just decide that hey, it doesn't work for me. Just because you're the highest-paid player on the team, you're still not the coach. You don't run it. There's always someone bigger than you. The game will be played on Sunday, opening day, if Albert Haynesworth shows up or not. That's the bottom line you've got to realize as a player: you're never bigger than the game. And in 20 years, when people forget who Albert Haynesworth is, or when they look at his legacy and say he was a complainer, that's what they'll remember. And he's too good of a player for that, man. Just play football. You're talented enough to be a Hall of Fame player if you make your mind up, and that's all I want for him."
This went on for great stretches. Strahan said other players have sympathy in contract disputes, but that "nobody has sympathy" for position squabbles. He said it's hard to win when one of your key players is more concerned with himself than the team. He said if the Skins benched Haynesworth, he'd cause a weekly media frenzy, and "I think that's just a distraction to the team." And he kept coming back to the respect thing, saying Haynesworth seems to be losing all the respect he's earned.
"I just hope that he understands that regardless, [one day] your career is over and done and it goes quick," Strahan said. "My 15 years went by so quick. I remember my rookie year like yesterday. You need to look back and be proud of wwat you've done. Not that you need to care what people think about you, but we all care in some sense about what people think about us and what you think about yourself, most importantly....
"I would just hope that he looks back and says hey, I'm not bigger than the game of football. To me, I got moved from right defensive end to left defensive end, and you know what? Was I happy? No, but what did I do? You suck it up and you do it, because that's your job. I was raised with yes sir and no ma'am and yes ma'am and no sir. You respect whatever your told, because your coach is trying to put everybody in position, it's not all just about you, and I hope he realizes that.
"This has nothing to do with money. We all made money, we all make money. It's about being respected as a human being and putting in your work. Because if you want that money, then you need to go out and do the work for that money. Nothing in this life is free. Daniel Snyder, if he could get every penny back, I wish he could, because if you're not gonna earn it, why should you be able to keep it? That's just my opinion on it. I get upset at guys who just want the pageantry and want the fame and they want the money, but they don't want to do the work. You've got to do the work to get all that stuff, man, and go out there and respect yourself.
"If you respect yourself there's no way in the world myself or anybody else won't respect you, because if you respect yourself you're gonna put in the work. And it's a shame, because he's an incredibly talented player who only stops himself. Nobody stops Albert but himself, and lately, he's stopped himself too much."
I've had friends suggest that this whole thing is a Redskins smear campaign against Haynesworth, and that the Redskins are equally to blame. The number of players without a dog in the fight who are waiting in line for their turn with the bat suggests otherwise. Sorry, friends.
July 1, 2010; 2:13 PM ET
Categories: Media , Redskins
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