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The lesson I take from all this: Playing football must really suck


Lombardi's_kid_brother

Do you play the lottery? How often?  

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  1. 1. Do you play the lottery? How often?

    • Yes - All the time (Every Week)
    • Yes - Occasionaly (Every Month)
    • Yes - Rarely (Every Year or Less)
    • Never


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Obviously, Albert Haynesworth is a dick. And he would be a dick if he was working construction or bagging groceries at Piggly Wiggly.

But what I always enjoy about these player-management battles is a) how crazy management goes when a player misses practice, mandatory or otherwise, B) how badly the players seem to want to miss the practices, c) how little it seems to matter to talented veteran players in the end, and d) how little control a player has over his career in the NFL.

The last part is sort of fascinating to me. What the team is asking Haynesworth to do would never ever ever ever even be considered in any other major sport. Let's just say - for argument's sake - that Haynesworth is one of the three best DTs in football and is best suited to play that spot in a 4-3 defense. In every other sport, that would be the end of the discussion. Shaq was always going to be a center. Kobe Bryant is a shooting guard. Sidney Crosby is a center. Albert Pujols is a power hitter.

In baseball, you will sometimes run into an A-Rod situation where an all-star has to make a position change on defense. But generally, these kinds of moves are handled with the delicacy one normally sees in the separation of conjoined twins. Contracts are written. Special coaches are hired. Therapists are brought in. All because the ball will be hit to you at a slightly different angle four times a game.

In football, it's "We've decided that you are now a nose tackle. Gain 30 pounds and sorry about the degenerative disc condition you are about to develop. Now go out there and hit someone, fatty."

And the reward for having this career change thrust upon you: you have to show up to a voluntary camp in the middle of the summer when what you really should be doing is impregnating strippers.

Yes, it's big money. But - in sports money - it's really not. Half the Yankees starters will make more in two seasons than a superstar like Haynesworth will make in a lifetime. And they will all have the ability to wipe their own ass when their career is over.

The point of all this is, if football is this miserable for the Haynesworths of the world...how bad must it suck for someone like Lorenzo Alexander?

Teach your kid to play tennis.

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I agree with you, especially with the difference in pay checks from every other major sport to football. The NFL guys get paid nothing, but they've also got a lot more people to a team though.

Yeah, you cheer for the guys, like LA, who work their butts off to make the team, and then you hope they don't end up completely disabled after they retire.

Oh, and yes, I agree also that AH is a ****.

EDIT: I don't know about Vince though, even if he weren't the first, most coaches at that time were pretty much hard nosed guys, so if it weren't him, it would have been another hard nosed screamer that we got the stereotype from.

EDIT EDIT: Yes, if it had been Bill Walsh, all coaches would be soft and mooshy and spoon with their players.

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LKB, he's a DL who is being asked to play DL. The small nuance changes to his position are reasonable to expect from an all-world type of player.

It would be like asking Shaq to run a motion offense instead of set plays, not asking him to play guard.

I think it's more like asking Shaq to do nothing but set screens, play defense, and maybe clean out the locker room. I really can't imagine anything worse in sports than playing nose tackle. It sounds just awful on every conceivable level.

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I think it's more like asking Shaq to do nothing but set screens' date=' play defense, and maybe clean out the locker room. I really can't imagine anything worse in sports than playing nose tackle. It sounds just awful on every conceivable level.[/quote']

But how different is it than what he did last year? Blache tried to use him as a permanent hole filler. Not to mention, the new coaches have said he'd play DE also, which is what he's been saying he wanted all along. Besides, he hasn't even been with the team to see what he'd be doing anyway, so, like Shanahan has said, he doesn't even know how he'd be used.

What team sport is there where you get the ball EVERY time, or you get to pick your own plays?

Maybe he should have been a pitcher.

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Of all of the sports you mentioned, football relies the most on teamwork, with hockey being a close second. Therefore, it does not surprise me that of all those sports, in football players must make the most sacrifices for the betterment of the team.

It's a simple concept, really.

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He could have forgone his $21m payout in April and moved on to find a team willing to coddle his every whim and desire. Yet, he accepted it - already knowing EXACTLY what was expected of him. Sorry AH...return the money or get your oversized ass into camp with the rest of the team.

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I don't agree with your analogies here. Positions in other sports are a bit different than in football. There's only one good analogy I can think of to other sports and that's in basketball.

It's more like you're playing basketball and you may be the best man to man defender in the league, but your team wants you to play zone. Now, your team is playing a variation of the zone in which you may be great -- even approaching best to the best, but you don't like zone because it doesn't let you be the best "man to man" defender. (or vice versa).

They're not asking him to play a totally different position -- just a different scheme they're implementing for his position.

Honestly, he hasn't even been in camp to see the system they're employing yet. It could be GREAT for him. But he's holding out because he thinks the scheme isn't good for him.

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I think it's more like asking Shaq to do nothing but set screens' date=' play defense, and maybe clean out the locker room. I really can't imagine anything worse in sports than playing nose tackle. It sounds just awful on every conceivable level.[/quote']

I was hoping your post was written with tongue in cheek. Apparently it was not.

You're exaggerating the change they're asking Haynesworth to make. They're literally asking him to like up and play football a few feet to the to side of the spot he's played since high school. Nothing else changes: beat the guys in front of you and tackle the man with the ball. Oh, and you don't have to do it on every down. Oh, and here's $100,000,000. Oh, and nothing else changes: just beat the guy you're lined up against. Have you watched any of the new 3-4 hybrid teams? Nose tackle isn't exclusively a space-eating position anymore. Consider Jay Ratliff in Dallas: He's posted 13.5 sacks over the past two seasons as a NT. That's more than Haynesworth over the same period, who was playing in defenses that he thinks suit him best.

They're not asking him to clean lockers. They're asking him to take a step to the left. Get a grip.

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They're not asking him to clean lockers. They're asking him to take a step to the left. Get a grip.

I really don't care that much about Haynesworth. I just find it amazing that even the top players in the NFL are basically at the mercy of whatever bull**** idea the coach comes up with.

In baseball, if Pujols shook off a sign to bunt...he would go to the press and say, "That ******* asked me to bunt." And everyone would agree with Pujols.

Granted, his manager is LaRussa so we are inclined to agree about his being an *******. But I digress.

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I was hoping your post was written with tongue in cheek. Apparently it was not.

You're exaggerating the change they're asking Haynesworth to make. They're literally asking him to like up and play football a few feet to the to side of the spot he's played since high school. Nothing else changes: beat the guys in front of you and tackle the man with the ball. Oh, and you don't have to do it on every down. Oh, and here's $100,000,000. Oh, and nothing else changes: just beat the guy you're lined up against. Have you watched any of the new 3-4 hybrid teams? Nose tackle isn't exclusively a space-eating position anymore. Consider Jay Ratliff in Dallas: He's posted 13.5 sacks over the past two seasons as a NT. That's more than Haynesworth over the same period, who was playing in defenses that he thinks suit him best.

They're not asking him to clean lockers. They're asking him to take a step to the left. Get a grip.

Exactly.......Kris Jenkins was destroying the league at nose tackle for Jets before going down. He wasnt just a space eater.

I imagine thats what Albert would do at NT. He would be a nightmare. But you have to be a worker, and its just not in his blood.

Which is why a guy like Albert should NEVER get the amount of money hes getting......I wish he would have just taken Tampas deal in the first place.......god that would have been nice.

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I think it's more like asking Shaq to do nothing but set screens' date=' play defense, and maybe clean out the locker room. I really can't imagine anything worse in sports than playing nose tackle. It sounds just awful on every conceivable level.[/quote']

But the point is that if you're the highest paid guy on the roster, you do what you can to help the team win. You're being paid to help the team win, not to do what is most personally satisfying.

Football in many ways is the ultimate team sport of the big 3. Baseball is a lot about the the pitcher hitter duel and NBA basketball is set up to encourage 1 on 1s. Even the uniforms & helmets in football add focus to the team rather than individual.

And players get moved around in the other sports all the time - infielders and outfielders get shifted around. How many times have we seen guys get moved to DH who didn't really want to go. Getting moved up and down in the lineup is kinda similar for that matter. Guards get moved from the 1 to the 2, forwards from the 3 to 4 or 4 to the 5. Magic Johnson actually started at all 5 positions during his career. Possibly the greatest point guard of all time started at center in the NBA finals because it was best for his team. And if it were best for the team to bunt, then Puljos would bunt (hard to envision that scenario but I seriously doubt he'd refuse because he considers himself a 'power hitter."

In any case, Haynesworth wouldn't likely have been asked to simply play a space-eating NT every down. Look at the impact Ratliff has in Dallas for an example of what a NT can do. But Haynesworth didn't even wait to see how he'd fit into the scheme before rejecting it. Haynesworth is one of the best 4-3 DTs in the league but the Redskins aren't going to play the 4-3 and he could be dominant in a 3-4. Playing nose or 3-4 DE isn't a huge stretch.

As for the relative wages of the NFL to other sports; well that is somewhat true, but Haynesworth gets a big salary by any measure. Haynesworth has gotten as much in the last 14 months as the entire payroll of the Pirates. It's not that NFL players don't make a lot of money, it's just that some baseball & basketball players make more, which is more a factor of roster size than anything else. You have to pay 12 NBA players & 25 mlb players compared to 53 NFL players - Yes the NFL makes more money but there are a lot more mouths to feed. Not to mention the difference in the number of games adds a lot - the Yankees get ticket, parking and concession revenue from 81 home games instead of 8.

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I really don't care that much about Haynesworth. I just find it amazing that even the top players in the NFL are basically at the mercy of whatever bull**** idea the coach comes up with.

The 3-4 defense is not "some bull**** idea." It's a strategy that's proven its merit over the last several years. Since 2000, 6 Super Bowl winners and at least two runners-up have played a version of the system. Shanahan has apparently decided that's what he wants to run. He told Haynesworth to get on board or get out. Haynesworth did neither; he just kept taking money and not being a team player. And he's the only guy who didn't get on board, despite being the person with arguably the least ground for complaint.

Every player of every team sport is, to some degree, "at the mercy" of his coach. That's why there's a coach at all: to get the players moving in the same direction with the same goals, otherwise it'd be chaos on the field.

So, what, the coach is supposed to change the entire defensive philosophy because one player doesn't want to play a certain position, even though he won't be asked to do it all the time? That one player can eat ****. I don't see why you insist on trying to make guys like Haynesworth the victim of a sinister or inept coach.

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But the point is that if you're the highest paid guy on the roster, you do what you can to help the team win. You're being paid to help the team win, not to do what is most personally satisfying.

And that apparently sucks. Being selfless is not fun.

Has anyone ever imagined themselves in the game winning drive of the Super Bowl and their contribution is a good solid chip block on a defensive end?

Granted, all sports have their role players. But that's not the point. Role players are happy making six figures and having road beef in Dallas and the Twin Cities. Football is the only sport that asks superstars to sacrifice while having the audacity to mean it.

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I really don't care that much about Haynesworth. I just find it amazing that even the top players in the NFL are basically at the mercy of whatever bull**** idea the coach comes up with.

In baseball' date=' if Pujols shook off a sign to bunt...he would go to the press and say, "That ******* asked me to bunt." And everyone would agree with Pujols.

Granted, his manager is LaRussa so we are inclined to agree about his being an *******. But I digress.[/quote']

Look, if the Cards were down by 1 run in extra innings in a elimination game with runners at 1st & 2nd no outs (only scenario I can think of where Pujols would be asked to bunt) and he shook off a bunt sign before hitting into a double play you really think everyone would agree with him? I don't. When you take that big check, you're agreeing to do what your coaches/managers ask you to do.

All players, hell, all employees are at the "mercy of whatever bull**** idea" their coach/manager/boss comes up with. Comes with the game. How much different is Haynesworth being asked to play in a 3-4 than a 7 step drop play-action QB being asked to play in a WCO? Not arguing the merits of changing schemes, just saying that when you join a team, you implicitly agree to follow the leadership of that team whether it's in sports or anywhere else.

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All players, hell, all employees are at the "mercy of whatever bull**** idea" their coach/manager/boss comes up with. Comes with the game. How much different is Haynesworth being asked to play in a 3-4 than a 7 step drop play-action QB being asked to play in a WCO? Not arguing the merits of changing schemes, just saying that when you join a team, you implicitly agree to follow the leadership of that team whether it's in sports or anywhere else.

I don't think that's the case. In the NBA, you would never hire a coach without first getting some kind of tacit approval from your stars. Probably the same in baseball. And in hockey, they change coaches every six weeks so it doesn't really matter.

But, as seems to be the case with all of my threads, 85 percent of you miss the point. I like to believe that's because I'm in the top percentile in standardized testing.

Question: Do you think NFL players look at their brethern in the NBA and MLB and say, "Those lucky rat ****s....Nothing but games and road trips and big money and card games that lead to gun violence. Oh...I would love to think about this longer but I am required to push a tackling sled for the next three hours."

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Look, if the Cards were down by 1 run in extra innings in a elimination game with runners at 1st & 2nd no outs (only scenario I can think of where Pujols would be asked to bunt) and he shook off a bunt sign before hitting into a double play you really think everyone would agree with him?

LaRussa would absolutely have him bunt there. God, I hate LaRussa.

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But' date=' as seems to be the case with all of my threads, 85 percent of you miss the point. I like to believe that's because I'm in the top percentile in standardized testing.[/quote']

You sound like a complete douchebag when you say stuff like this, BTW.

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Has anyone ever imagined themselves in the game winning drive of the Super Bowl and their contribution is a good solid chip block on a defensive end?

There's only one quarterback on the field at a time. At the same time, on every play, there are at least five guys whose sole job it is to, guess what, BLOCK. That seems pretty selfless to me. Those guys do that on every play of every game, and they don't make $100M.

Maybe being selfless isn't always glorious in itself, but it's selflessness that wins championships, and championships are glorious. This situation proves that Albert Haynesworth doesn't care about winning. He only cares about Albert Haynesworth. There's no place for that in the NFL, where teamwork is probably more important than in any other sport.

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