Washington's “Star” DT a Stark Example of Unaccountability in Sports

Andrew PapileContributor IIDecember 10, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 02:  Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth #92 of the Washington Redskins stands on the sidelines during preseason NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 2, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the Redskins 20-10. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

In a move that came as surprise to nobody, the beleaguered defensive tackle, Albert Haynesworth, has been suspended four games by the Washington Redskins, ending his season.

And there honestly couldn’t be a more fitting end to a year in which trouble started before even a single preseason snap; the same season that began with Haynesworth signing a massive seven year, 100 million dollar contract to anchor the middle of the ‘Skins defensive line. 

Well, as Dan Snyder is now finding out, when you sign players like Albert Haynesworth to 100 million contracts, you get what you pay for.

But this isn’t even a first for Snyder; he hasn’t ever had a problem signing troubled players (DeAngelo Hall anyone?), as long as they’re talented. And you do have to give him credit for looking to better his team, but handing players like Haynesworth million dollar contracts and not expecting repercussions is irresponsible. 

You couldn’t see that maybe Haynesworth had some questionable character issues when he treated Andre Guorode’s head like a bucket of grapes at a medieval fair?

Then again, that is the difference between owners like Dan Snyder and others like, say, Robert Kraft. The owner has three Super Bowls this decade for a reason: He doesn’t put up with players like Albert Haynesworth. 

He takes the approach of “If you can’t conform to our system, we don’t need you. You’re not bigger than the team.”  This fact was extremely obvious when they brought in Corey Dillon, Rodney Harrison and Randy Moss, and these players had largely successful careers in Foxboro. Moss conformed for a majority of his time in New England, and when he couldn’t, he was gone. 

Where is that kind of attitude towards Albert Haynesworth, when has there even been?

However, what is the most troubling about the Haynesworth situation is that it is only a microcosm of a much larger problem we have in sports today.

Where is the accountability among players in today’s game? 

When you constantly make excuses for players like Haynesworth by saying things like “Everyone makes mistakes and deserves a second chance” and “The moment got the best of them,” I guess you can see why this level of accountability has gone south.

What ever happened to shut up and play football? Haynesworth has had more primadonna outbursts this year than he has had sacks (for those counting, it’s at least three to 2.5 outbursts and belly flops holding strong).

And the news of Haynesworth’s suspension is making public noise, enough so to be a lead topic on the ever gripping T.Ocho Show, and I’m sure, to nobody’s surprise, Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco were firmly on Haynesworth’s side.

As a continuation of the unaccountability that is running rampant, the dynamic wide receiver duo laid the blame on coach Mike Shanahan, citing that he has “too much control in Washington.”

That’s right, too much control. 

Imagine a head coach having too much control over a team; imagine a head coach demanding that his 100 million dollar superstar be in good enough shape to pass a fitness test before reporting to camp. 

Wow, what blasphemy. 

And I suppose this shouldn’t come as a surprise from two players who are the antithesis of team, the two players who are the poster children for “Ima do me” and “Get mine.”

But honestly, the situation is more sad than anything because Haynesworth is so talented. He has the ability to dominate an offensive lineman at will, but he chooses to let the negatives always outweigh the positives. 

So well, we don’t know where Haynesworth will play football in 2011, one thing’s for sure; we won’t see him in a Washington Redskin uniform again any time soon.