If you are a football fan, you have been occupied with the impending lock-out and the NFL draft. The draft has gone just about as predicted, with a few surprises. Despite the efforts of ex-GM Charlie Casserly to muddy the waters around the status of Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton, Cam was still chosen first. Now, all he needs is a football season to get paid.

The Redskins traded down from their 10th pick and pulled a rabbit out of the hat.

Their first pick was linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, who has a reputation of being a premier pass rusher. Along with Kerrigan they drafted two defensive ends and a defensive tackle. If I haven’t got your attention yet, take a look at the handwriting on the wall. All of these moves seem to be geared to fill the gap defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth has opened up with his shenanigans. Albert has been getting as much press as the royal wedding.

At present we are following the progress of his actions that have brought his case before the U.S. Attorney and the grand jury. Before I go any further, let me weigh-in with my opinion: It’s a bunch of crap. Albert has been accused by a waitress of fondling her breast. She claims that she had dishes in both hands and Albert in an attempt to pay his check in her bra and proceeded to take more liberties. According to a witness, Albert seeing her inability to use her hands, asked, “Is this OK?” Now, I wasn’t there, but even if he slipped his hand down her bodice, it doesn’t merit the attention of the U.S. Attorney and the grand jury. Next they will want to take the case to the Supreme Court.

It is not my intention to try and exonerate Albert, because if you follow sports in the news, you know that this man has come to our attention far too much for the wrong reasons. He came to the Redskins as the $100 million man. His contract made more than a few people catch their breath. After all, he isn’t a quarterback or running back, and he ain’t Alex Rodriguez.

But, before Big Al garnered the big bucks from the Redskins, he made the front of the sports page back in 2006 when he was with the Titans. He stomped on the helmet of Cowboy’s Andre Gurode. Since that incident, he seems to be doing everything he can to enhance his bad boy image. On top of his impending court appearance for the breast grope, he is scheduled to appear in court later this month for allegedly punching a man during a road rage incident. I am glad Big Al is making enough cash to put a decent wardrobe in his closet, because he is spending a lot of time in front of a magistrate. If you can’t act good, you may as well look good. As far as the Redskins are concerned, it seems that coach Mike Shanahan finally has the fuel he needs to fire the big guy. I have mixed emotions about this, because to start with I ain’t a Mike Shanahan fan. I didn’t particularly like him in Denver, and when they gave him the boot, in the middle of my thinking, “Good riddance,” he showed up in Washington to receive the keys to the mint. Shanahan promptly moved Al to nose tackle, which caused Al to complain. He was out of position and felt ineffective.

OK, Mike is the coach, but Al made the Pro Bowl and was paid the big bucks to come to Washington as a defensive tackle where he could be more mobile.

Mike promptly displayed his “my way or the highway” attitude and this played out with Al being benched. We won’t know the end results of this squabble until the team takes the field next season. But it seems the owner Dan Snyder should have an opinion on how his money is being wasted. As far as his recent court woes are concerned, Al should take a page out of Kobe Bryant’s and Mike Tyson’s books. If you are a celebrity making big bucks, your fame makes you fair game for some females out there looking for a payday. It is sad to say Al, but this is the price of fame.


Tim Lacy

Special to the AFRO