They said what?!? Albert Haynesworth on the Redskins, Evan Longoria on Rays fans and an end to our mosquito crisis

Not Haynes-worth it

The least hard-working man in show business is at it again.  Just when we thought the Albert Haynesworth saga couldn’t get any more draining, the heaviest hundred million dollar man in sports came up with another gem of a soundbite.

For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Haynesworth’s resume, let us review.  After attending the University of Tennessee, he was drafted fifteenth overall by the Tennessee Titans.  After a few successful seasons, many were quick to call him the best defensive tackle in the league.

After making consecutive Pro Bowls in 2007 and 2008, Haynesworth became a free agent.  The Redskins signed him to a record $100 million contract.  Since signing that contract in 2009, he has failed to live up to expectations, making Allan Houston and Grant Hill deals look like sound investments by comparison.

This off-season, he arrived to training camp overweight and disgruntled.  And on a recent local radio show, Haynesworth came out with this blast about the very organization that made him rich:

“Just because somebody pay[s] you money don’t mean they’ll make you do whatever they want or whatever. I mean, does that mean everything is for sale?  I mean, I’m not for sale. Yeah, I signed the contract and got paid a lot of money, but … that don’t mean I’m for sale or a slave or whatever.”

Wow, where to begin?  As one SportsChump subscriber pointed out “Like the world isn’t already polluted enough without that bullshit.”

Look, I’ve had a number of shitty jobs and even shittier bosses but I was always grateful for the opportunity.  I wasn’t blessed with the skill set to play professional sports and I have never had the good fortune of making six figures, never mind eight.  (Memo to self: call Irma Nici’s pimp for possible side work.)

You’re right, Albert. The Washington Redskins don’t ‘own’ you, but as your employer, they do expect you to do as you’re told, just like every other boss since the history of time.

While attending classes in Knoxville, did you by any chance to sit in on an American history or civil liberties class?  Comparing your plight to the most vile period in our nation’s history diminishes the immeasurable suffering of previous generations and will only further alienate the fan base you’ve already lost.  Are you listening, LeBron?

Don’t get me wrong.  Albert Haynesworth has every right to speak his mind.  We also reserve the right to judge him for his stupidity.

Vacancy

The best team in the American League has had a difficult time drawing fans lately.  In the Tampa Bay area, there have been a number of excuses for poor attendance: stadium location, depressed local economy, uncommitted fan base, below-average ballpark accommodations.  But one thing Rays fans can NOT complain about is the performance of their home town team.

One day prior to clinching their second playoff spot in three years, Rays’ all-star third baseman and face of the franchise, Evan Longoria, spoke out in response to the empty seats.

“I’m not trying to take a low blow at the fans. I’m actually trying to rally the troops and get more people in here.  I’m not trying to say that we have bad fans or any of that because, believe me, I’ve been here since ’06 and I love the Tampa Bay community. It’s just tough to see, and I felt I was the right guy to say it.”

He went on to say…

“It’s disheartening,  It’s something I’ve been wanting to say for a long time. It’s not a jab at the fans. It’s not a kick below the belt, but it’s something we’d like to see. Obviously we want to bring a championship to Tampa.”

Local radio personalities and journalists have since blasted Longoria for speaking his mind.  Personally, I commend him.

In this day and age of athletes’ loyalties going only as far as their next paycheck, I actually found Evan’s comments refreshing.  This is a guy, one of the best players in the league, who signed for considerably under his market value because he wanted to stay put.  His name is never seen on any police blotter.  With rumors running rampant that Tampa will cut its payroll in half next season, this might be his only chance at a World Series title.  Longoria was just venting.  If you painted a masterpiece, wouldn’t you want everyone to see it?

Shortly after Longo’s comments, the organization did its best to squash the heat he (and pitcher David Price, who Tweeted similar comments) created. They gave out 20,000 free tickets to their final home game of the season and had almost 37,000 fans show up as a result, filling the stadium.

I appear to be in the minority here but I felt Longoria was just doing what he thought was his part.  Superstars are vocal.  Superstars are leaders.  Do you think Michael Jordan would sit idly by if the Chicago Bulls were at half capacity in their heyday?

Were Longoria’s comments insensitive to an area who’s currently suffering?  Perhaps.  Is he out of touch with the common man?  Maybe.  Could he have donated a portion of his salary to get local kids into the games?  Sure.  But what’s worse, having your team’s best player speak out or having him remain perfectly silent?

While the community remains in disagreement about where and whether a new stadium should be built and more importantly, who will pay for it, there is one thing Tampa Bay can definitely agree on.  Their team might just be the best in baseball.

Longo wants to win.  He wants the support of his community and even though he might be the richest person living there, there’s nothing inherently wrong with him speaking his mind.

SportsChump takes a bite

Who knew we were in the middle of a mosquito crisis?

On a pleasant Sunday drive through Florida’s beautiful Pasco County, I discovered that the Sunshine State’s mosquito problem has gotten so out of hand, we need an elected official to help rid of us this plague.  Enter Jessica Jordan Griffin, who is running for Mosquito Control Commissioner.

Nothing against Mrs. Griffin.  I’m sure she’s a wonderful person and will probably make a better Commissioner than Bud Selig, but she had campaign signs literally littered for miles.  Her political propaganda far outnumbered any mosquitoes I encountered.  Perhaps the little bloodsuckers are already running scared.

That got me thinking.  What inspires someone to make it their life’s work to ridding the planet of a particular insect?  Does Mrs. Griffin hate mosquitoes any more than your average citizen?  Did a band of rogue mosquitoes destroy her home town?  What’s her campaign slogan?  Griffin: When Calamine lotion just ain’t cuttin’ it?  And are those buzzing electric lamps not doing the trick?

Look, I don’t mean to make light of an issue that is apparently affecting thousands of residents state-wide.  I’m not a fan of mosquitoes. I don’t know anyone who is.  But our tax dollars at work?  I think I’ll just opt for the Off!

More power to Mrs. Griffin.  I wish her the best in her political endeavors.  And if she does become next Mosquito Gestapo, at least I’ll know who to call next time I get bit.

25 thoughts on “They said what?!? Albert Haynesworth on the Redskins, Evan Longoria on Rays fans and an end to our mosquito crisis

  1. Of course Longoria has the right to speak his mind. Of course he has no idea about the struggles of some fans. How could he?
    I tried to write a post about the attendance problem at the Trop, but I couldn’t do it without it sounding like a whinny rant. Sort of like Evan’s.

  2. Chris

    Well they made it having won the AL East let’s see if they can rally on from there in the postseason .

    Haynesworth is simply proving because they spend $100 million on your ass it doesn’t mean that you’re worth it ! And he was saying that he had sleepless nights as to whether or not he’d cash his $21 million bonus check ?

    tophatal ………… :)

  3. Aer….

    As you well know, the local media trashed Longo for speaking out. It seems these days we’re more interested in what our athletes are doing OFF the field (Longo, Haynesworth, Vick, LeBron) than what they’re doing on it.

    I’m not sure whether that’s good or bad.

  4. As I mentioned on your site, Al, we’ll see if the Rays are able to capitalize on those extra home games.

    And what else can we say about Haynesworth that hasn’t already been said?

  5. I think we’re just going to have to agree to disagree on this one, Al, as apparently I’m disagreeing with most on this one.

    I don’t think Longo was denigrating the fans. I think he was upset they can’t draw. Again, were his comments insensitive to the plight of the community? Sure.

    But athletes have said a lot worse lately.

  6. WOW, I missed those Haynesworth comments. I felt a little sorry for him for a little bit there when everyone was beating up on him, but not anymore. In the four days that he couldn’t pass those fitness tests, he made more than I do in a year, sad…

    I feel for the Rays players, they know this is their last hurrah together, since some of the team will move on to free agency. I commend him for speaking his mind, and don’t see why everyone is so upset with his comments.

    Haven’t seen too many mesquitos in Cali lately, we actually have minimal bugs since I live in the desert they call LA…

  7. I know that’s why you tune in to the Chump, Chap. I’ll have something up soon on LeBron’s comments as well, so stay tuned.

    Longo’s comments were big news here in Tampa, man. Essentially nobody had his back. I just felt he was misunderstood. And you’re right, they could very well disband this team next year. Then attendance will REALLY suffer.

    Maybe Griffin’s already been out west and is moving this way, huh?

  8. I heard Lebron’s comments, comical to say the least. Not sure how you could add race into the mix when he made himself the sixth most despised athlete.

    Yeah, the way I see it is this is really the Rays last run with this roster. They had a nice three years, but this looks like the end of the road to me… I’m not saying they don’t have the young guys in the farm system to stay competitive, but I don’t see a lot of people picking them to win the AL East next year.

    Griffin did a good job out here, I haven’t seen a lot of mesquito’s since I was a kid!

  9. Hey Chris,

    I agree with you on the stupidity of the Haynesworth comments and I agree that to a certain extent he needs to suck it up but I must say I don’t put all of the blame on him.

    The Redskins should never have invested $100 million dollars in a nose tackle. It’s business decisions like that which have led to this once proud franchise falling on relative hard times in the last decade. I mean, c’mon man. Hiring Spurrier? Bringing in Deion Sanders when he was so far past his prime (I think they’re still paying Deion)? Putting zero value in the draft? This is a troubled franchise and has been since Snyder took over reigns of the team.

    Additionally, I can at least see where Haynesworth is coming from. There is a big difference between playing nose tackle and playing a three-technique defensive tackle. It requires different size and a different skill set. Guys like Haloti Ngata, Kris Jenkins and Vince Wilfork were born to play nose tackle. Haynesworth was not. Nose tacjle is a tougher position physically and those guys have to play at a size that keeps them from getting blown off the line of scrimmage. They also tend to have shorter careers than DT’s. Imagine Tom Brady being resigned by the Pats and being asked to play fullback or a medical practice hiring a doctor to be an OB/GYN and then being told we need you to be a podiatrist or a proctologist. I don’t think Tom Brady or that doctor would be too happy and I can see why Haynesworth is not happy either.

    I’, not condoning Haynesworth’s behavior but I can at least see where he is coming from.

  10. Chris
    If Haynesworth is unsure what to do with $21 million then it shows that the guy hasn’t got the balls or the mindset to play in the NFL.

    As to the Rays the experience they garnered in ’08 will go a long way in making them a much better team this time around.

    tophatal :)

  11. Sixth most despised athlete, Chap? Current? All-time?

    Let’s see, now you have me guessing. Are there currently five athletes more despised than LeBron?

    Tiger? T.O.? Roethlisberger? Vick? Favre? Yeesh, this is tough! I’m gonna have to get back with you on that.

    And word is that Joe Maddon is now going to start Shields in Game Two over Garza. Guy goes by the numbers so he’s got his reasons.

  12. I remember being ravaged by mosquitos during a trip to Florida as a kid. Haven’t been back since.

    You won’t have to deal with those pesky little bugs out here in SoCal…how about giving the left coast a try Chump?

  13. Frank…

    If I learned anything from anyone here in cyberspace, it’s to pick a side. It was you who taught me that.

    Professional sports is what it is and many of us are to blame. Rich owners, commissioners, arbitration, free agency, television contracts, the fans, in fact, dare I say, EVERYONE involved in one way or another is to blame.

    Look, the Bucs were even rumored to be in the mix for paying Albert that 100 mil so the market value was there.

    Regardless of who did it and how, it was a bad investment. A very bad investment.

    But the fact that he got that contract doesn’t excuse his actions. Lots of guys are making that much money and they don’t show up to training camp with donut crumbs on their jerseys, nor do they make light of their situation by comparing it to those who came before them who were considerably less fortunate.

    If he really wants to win people over, he should give half that 21 mil to the NAACP.

  14. I agree, Al.

    The Rays won’t be intimidated by the Phils this time around.

    What’s your take on Maddon starting Shields over Garza in Game Two?

    Let the second-guessing begin.

  15. Drew… I love Cali and Vegas. I could just never get used to being three hours behind.

    Football at 10 am? YIKES!!!

    Although it was fun to roll out of a club all stewy, plop down at the Mandalay Bay sportsbook reeking of smokes and booze and plop down whatever remaining money I had on what team floated my boat.

    Ahhh…. good times.

  16. Just try watching the 10am games for a couple weeks and you’ll be hooked! I can’t even imagine waiting until 1pm for the FIRST game of the day…ridiculous.

    Cali rules. Case closed.

  17. I can’t remember what exactly the study was for the sixth most despised man, but it was for this year. I think it was some USA Today study on who people like and hate, and Lebron was sixth most hated haha. It wasn’t all time, so TO didn’t make the cut :)

  18. Pingback: Sports Chump » Clue-less: A tale of five NFL coaches

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