If you have even a passing knowledge of American football, you undoubtedly recognize these names. The scary thing is, you may also recognize these names even if you couldn’t care less about football. Why is that scary? Because there are only two reasons to be familiar with football players if you’re not a fan of the sport: 1) they make hilarious commercials or roll with international supermodels, or 2) they’re self-contained soap operas.
Guess which category Albie and Chad fall into?
(To quote my cousin after I texted him about the Haynesworth acquisition: “Dude single handedly destroyed the skins haha, hopefully belichick can work a miracle.” Then after I texted him about Ochocinco: “Holy. Shit.”)
What’s the rap on these two characters? Well, Ochocinco is simply a world-class prima donna and part-time sideshow performer. From his ridiculous end zone celebrations, appearances on shows like Dancing with the Stars and WWE’s Monday Night Raw, and the fact that he actually changed his last name from “Johnson” to the Spanish iteration of his jersey number (85), to his “tryouts” in other sports like soccer and, yes, bull riding — the man’s constant need for attention too often trumps his equally eye-catching (though dwindling in recent years) statistical accomplishments.
Haynesworth, on the other hand…well, as Wil said, hopefully Belichick can work a miracle, because unfortunately, Big Al hasn’t just proven to be a distraction over his career — he’s been a walking time bomb.
A few tidbits from Wikipedia:
- On October 1, 2006 in the third quarter of a game against the Cowboys, running back Julius Jones scored on a rushing play. Center Andre Gurode fell to the ground, and his helmet was removed by Haynesworth. Haynesworth tried to stomp on Gurode’s head, but missed. A second stomp opened a severe wound on Gurode’s forehead, narrowly missing his right eye.
- On December 7, 2010, it was announced that Haynesworth will be suspended for the rest of the season [from the Washington Redskins]. There had been conflicts throughout the 2010 pre-season with Haynesworth and the coaching staff. After a dispute over his absence at a practice in which Haynesworth claimed to be ill, the team suspended him for “conduct detrimental to the club.” Coach Mike Shanahan said the suspension followed a refusal by Haynesworth to cooperate in a series of ways and not only because of the practice absence.
- Arrest warrants were issued against Haynesworth in two Tennessee counties in May 2006 stemming from a traffic incident on Interstate 40. Both sets of charges were dropped in June 2006. The judge in the Putnam County case tossed the charges on the grounds that the alleged offense happened out of their jurisdiction. In Smith County, the district attorney dismissed the charges. In March 2009, Haynesworth was indicted on two misdemeanor traffic charges stemming from a December 2008 car accident in Tennessee. In an accident on Interstate 65, Corey Edmonson was partially paralyzed after colliding with Haynesworth’s car. Haynesworth was driving his Ferrari at speeds in excess of 100 mph when he struck Edmonson’s vehicle, which struck a concrete barrier.
- On June 22, 2010, it has been reported that Clayton Bank & Trust is suing the NFL lineman, alleging that Haynesworth has failed to make payments on a loan in the amount of more than $2.38 million. The suit was filed in the Knox County Chancery Court on June 18, 2010. According to papers, Haynesworth entered a commercial loan agreement for the original principal amount of $2,381,688.58 on June 27, 2009. On February 27, 2009 the two parties entered into an Extension Agreement with an effective date of February 27, 2010, according to the suit. The attorney for Clayton Bank & Trust, Hugh B. Ward, Jr., is seeking a little over $2.4 million.
- In 2010, Silvia Mena, a stripper from New York, claimed in a $10 million lawsuit that Haynesworth impregnated her and left her with no financial assistance.
- In 2011, Haynesworth allegedly threw a punch to the nose of Joel Velazques, 38, of Leesburg, Va. during a traffic altercation.
Of course, Belichick and co. have taken chances on “problem” players in the past and reaped huge rewards for their risks. (See: Corey Dillon in 2004 and the Pat’s subsequent Superbowl victory, not to mention Randy Moss in 2007 and his record-setting 23 touchdowns that year.) But to have both these guys on the team at the same time (assuming all the contractual nuts and bolts shake out)…well, I hope Barnum’s got a few extra rings handy, ’cause it could be a circus this year.