As the “Will He Or Won’t He” saga seems to have reached it logical conclusion for this season, the Ballad Of Albert Haynesworth doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. While Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre only saw the field for four plays in his first preseason game of 2010 last night, Haynesworth was relegated to the third-string during his Redskins’ weekend tilt with the Ravens. Haynesworth also accused his team of spreading misinformation about his health during the week.
Haynesworth reported for training camp on time (and paid the price for missing OTAs with those ridiculously-overpublicized sprints). Meanwhile, Favre received an All-Pro escort back to the Vikings more than a week after their camp ended. Favre missed all of their OTAs, too.
The headline wasn’t meant to imply “Why can’t Big Al be having a little more fun out there” so much as “How come Favre gets away with this foolishness and Haynesworth doesn’t?” Some people have cited racism as the impetus for this double standard. That’s crap, but don’t expect a beat writer to get into the complexities of the issue.
- This isn’t a league-wide epidemic. This is a Favre-wide epidemic. Brett Favre is not your token white guy. He’s a future Hall Of Fame quarterback who, somehow at the age of 40, is one of the best quarterbacks in the game. Albert Haynesworth is an overpaid defensive lineman. Let’s just get that out of the way right now: Haynesworth couldn’t carry Favre’s jock.
- Both guys play for two dramatically different head coaches, each in his own unique situation. Favre is playing for Brad Childress, whose mild demeanor and failed Tarvaris Jackson project nearly had his ass run out of town before Brett came to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Favre sets his own agenda in front of a coach that’s not exactly known for discipline.
Haynesworth, meanwhile, has to play for Mike Shanahan, a ruthless control freak who’s trying to set a foundation of ass-kicking in DC. Haynesworth’s $100-million contract might as well be a bulls-eye on his back, as Shanny has no intention of letting his highest-profile defender deviate from the program.
- Favre, for lack of a better way to put it, has everyone broken in. When summer rolls around, we know that The Brett Favre Show will be airing on ESPN. We’ve adjusted, and as much as we complain about it, we’re largely numb to it all. What has been irritating is how the desk jockeys on SportsCenter are now acting like they’re too good for Favre Talk…and then they show a package of WNBA highlights. That’s cute.
Favre is doing what so many of us would like to do: work for a boatload of money on our own terms. Haynesworth has one out of two of those things. It’s hard to argue that he couldn’t stand to be a little more grateful.