— Clearly, Albert Haynesworth is a toxic waste dump with legs. He’s not somebody you want around.
But who will ultimately prevail in the battle of wills, Mike Shanahan or Haynesworth?
Unfortunately, Haynesworth has already won, so it would behoove Shanahan and the Redskins’ organization to get rid of him – at any cost – and cut their losses.
After Saturday’s 23-3 exhibition loss to Baltimore, Haynesworth criticized his coach for playing him in the third quarter, and he also said he wouldn’t attend offseason workouts next year, either. Shanahan responded by suggesting Haynesworth hasn’t earned his way onto the first defensive unit.
While it’s admirable that Shanahan wants to show the player who is boss, practically speaking it won’t matter in this case. Haynesworth doesn’t care about the coach, the owner, the team, his fellow players or the fans.
Haynesworth even broke out the rhabdomyolysis card, which qualifies him for the Pro Bowl of excuse-makers. I’m not saying he made that up, but even if he suffers from it, that doesn’t explain why he’s been such a chronic infection since he first put his name on a Redskins’ contract.
Certain athletes shut down after they get their money. Haynesworth is one of those individuals. He isn’t suddenly going to turn into a team leader. He isn’t going to become a model employee. He’s going to keep doing what he’s doing, which is to go through the motions, with occasional moments of outright insolence.
I’m sure Daniel Snyder asked Shanahan to elicit whatever contributions he can out of a guy who has been paid $32 million over the first 14 months of his contract (according to the Washington Post). But this is like trying to make duck a l’orange out of a bird mired in Gulf of Mexico crude oil. It’s useless, and unhealthy.
The longer the Haynesworth situation goes on, the longer it will take for the Redskins to focus on the business of moving their football team forward.
There is a better chance that Al Davis will kiss Shanahan on the lips and say “I miss you” than there is of Haynesworth earning his money with the Redskins.
Sandberg should be no-brainer for Cubs
This is apples and oranges, which I like to blend together occasionally into a conversational smoothee. But when I think of Ryne Sandberg as a potential manager of the Chicago Cubs, the name Bo Pelini comes to mind.
Pelini, you’ll recall, was always a bridesmaid, for years, in the world of college football. He was considered an excellent defensive position coach with NFL experience, and later a great defensive coordinator at Nebraska, Oklahoma and LSU. He even had the head coaching position on an interim basis at Nebraska and did well, but he was passed over in favor of Bill Callahan.
Eventually, the Cornhuskers took another hard look at Pelini, saw what was obvious to just about everyone, and hired him to be their head coach in 2007. He has succeeded in returning Nebraska to its former glory, and he took his team to within a hair of winning the Big 12 championship game last year over Texas.
Sandberg is managing the Cubs’ Triple-A club in Des Moines. His name is hovering in the sky over Wrigley Field in giant block letters, so even the slow-witted suits in the Cubs’ front office with little foresight can see it. He’s the obvious choice.
Sandberg should be the next manager of the Chicago Cubs because he’s capable, he’s beloved, and he would bring a sense of pride and dedication back to a team that has become renowned for its dysfunction.
I ask the Cubs: What do you have to lose? Respect? I think you’re a little late. What do you have to gain? Good will, competence, competitiveness and – just maybe someday, if all goes incredibly well – a shot at your first World Series title since 1908.
Granted, Cubs baseball is a far cry from Nebraska football. But that’s the point.
Boise State in the title game? Absurd
It’s very simple. Follow along:
Here’s Alabama’s schedule. The Crimson Tide is the preseason No. 1: San Jose State; Penn State; at Duke; at Arkansas; Florida; at South Carolina; Mississippi; at Tennessee; at LSU; Mississippi State; Georgia State; Auburn.
Here’s Ohio State’s schedule. It is ranked No 2: Marshall; Miami; Ohio; Eastern Michigan; at Illinois; Indiana; at Wisconsin; Purdue; at Minnesota; Penn State; at Iowa; Michigan.
And here’s Boise State’s schedule. It comes in at No. 3, its best preseason ranking ever: Virginia Tech; at Wyoming; Oregon State; at New Mexico State; Toledo; at San Jose State; Louisiana Tech; Hawaii; at Idaho; Fresno State; at Nevada; Utah State.
By my completely subjective calculations, Alabama has five tough games (Penn State, Arkansas, Florida, LSU, Auburn) and four semi-tough games (South Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, Mississippi State).
Ohio State has five tough ones also (Miami, Wisconsin, Penn State, Iowa, Michigan) and at least two semi-tough ones (Illinois, Purdue).
Boise State, which plays in a spongecake conference, has two tough games (Virginia Tech, Oregon State) and then clear sailing after the third game of the season.
So if Boise State can just manage to survive that grueling stretch of September to go 3-0, then it can sashay its way through the rest of the season toward the national championship game while it waits for either Alabama or Ohio State to stumble.
The only thing more absurd about Boise State playing a limp schedule but still demanding a berth in the BCS title game is a preseason college football poll that spoon-feeds it to them.
Lakers will be under radar for once
Question: How many doctors are allowed to visit the mound during a Stephen Strasburg start?
I’m happy Vin Scully has decided to return in 2011 for his 62nd year in the Dodgers’ booth and also relieved that he wasn’t at the center of a custody battle between Frank and Jamie McCourt.
A golf scorecard came to light recently that showed the late John Wooden had once accomplished both a hole-in-one and a double eagle in the same round in 1939. Efforts to locate witnesses to the feat are ongoing.
I’m just thinking ahead here, but if LeGarrette Blount sticks with the Tennessee Titans, and they go on to win the Super Bowl, and the team gets invited to the White House, I bet they wheel him in there like Hannibal Lecter.
Either Rusty Hardin is giving Roger Clemens some terrible advice, or Clemens is ignoring all of Hardin’s good advice but Hardin has decided to hang around anyway for the paycheck. Either way, I think he can kiss “Attorney of the Year” goodbye.
Someday his playing career will be over, and NFL fans will turn their attention to Brett Favre’s decision about whether he wants to broadcast or not.