Back in the old days, a spoiled, crybaby athlete was a rarity.
There was no such thing as free agency, and big, multi-million dollar contracts never happened—not even for elite athletes.
That all started to change in 1976.
As a youngster, I remember when Reggie Jackson got what was then a record deal to leave Baltimore and join the Yankees.
Jackson was going to make the unheard of salary of $600,000 a year for five years. The contract was for five years and $3 million and it created a buzz throughout the world of sports.
Jackson opened the floodgates to bigger and bigger contracts and we all know what happened next.
Free agency came to the NBA, NHL, and NFL in the late 80s to early 90s and with it came the berth of what I like to call—Spoiled Athlete Syndrome, or S.A.S.
S.A.S begins when an athlete gets a big, fat contract and all the money turns him into a whiny, spoiled, crybaby.
Albert Haynesworth is the current poster boy for S.A.S. but sadly he's not alone.
Major League Baseball had the worst case of S.A.S. ever on record.
His name was Barry Bonds and he may go down in history, not just as a steroid abuser, but as the most hated man ever by his own teammates.
Haynesworth is the latest in a long line and he's doing a fine job of holding the mantle for future generations of spoiled athletes.
First he signs the richest contract ever by a defensive tackle—Seven years and $100 million with $32 million guaranteed.
How does he show his love for Washington?
By dogging it last year, criticizing teammates and coaches, and underachieving for all of 2009.
Sir Albert said he won't play in a 3-4 defense and wants to be traded. He threatened to be a no-show for training camp, but when the Redskins publicly stated they would ask for some of their money back, Haynesworth quickly changed his story and will be there.
Fun times ahead for Mike Shanahan in Washington.
Haynesworth has inspired me to make a list of the top 10 biggest crybabies in NFL history. It will actually be a top 11 since Sir Albert was included in this introduction.
The list could have been much bigger, but top 10 is a nice, neat figure.
The criteria is based on those who played from 1980 on. I chose that because the guys before played the game for different reasons than just money.
I had a hard time trying to find someone from the 70s on back who had S.A.S. If you have one, comment below and let me know.
Enough with the long intro, here are the Top 10 biggest crybabies in NFL history.