The college and professional football seasons come to a head around this time of year. For collegians, awards are handed out; bowl games are scheduled; and players retire to spend time with their families and friends. They’ve earned a break from the grind that begins in the dog days of summer. At Auburn, from August and throughout autumn, the NCAA code of amateur austerity was tested mightily by a man of god. Cecil Newton, pastor and father of Tigers QB and Heisman Tropy winner Cameron Newton, was implicated in a scandalous effort to enrich himself in exchange for the services of his son.
Far away in the nation’s capital, where politicians are almost as duplicitous as football coaches, Mike Shanahan embarked on a year long detour of deception. Working in cahoots with fiendish owner Daniel Snyder and newly well-heeled GM Bruce Allen, “Coach” Shanahan sold a bill of goods to the Redskins faithful. The bill of goods was read from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as if it were signed by the hand of God, or at least by St. John (Elway).
Shanahan pledged to bring genius, a prodigal son (his very own boy, Kyle), and a fancy, new Steelers-ish, Jets-like, Ravens-esque 3-4 defense capable of roping speeding Cowboys, crushing immense Giants, and clipping big bad Eagles. Claims about dealing with Rams, Lions, Vikings, and swash-buckling Buccaneers will require a reviwe of the fine print. The genius was bringing a vaunted zone blocking running game (with Willie Parker and Larry Johnson in tow), and all the bells and whistles used by the league’s leading passer Matt Schaub. Shanahan, of course, would not be bringing Andre Johnson. Nor would Snyder or Allen be seeking a reasonable facsimile of Johnson in the persons of Anquan Boldin or Brandon Marshall. No. The remaining magic would be provided by none of than the QB that Mike always wanted, always saw a bit of Elway in, and always respected as a professional: Donovan McNabb.
Well, Cameron Newton never did find his way to Mississippi State. And magic never found its way into the Fedex Field, unless by magic you mean the disappearance of a Top 10 defense. Jim Haslett, the only non-genius in the cohort of Shanahan the Elder, Shanahan the Younger, Herr Bruce, and Mr. You Know I Know Snyder, is responsible for that. Washingtonians have taken to calling him the very names he heard in New Orleans and St. Louis after less than remarkable stints in those cities. Some have even begun calling him Jim Hasless and Jim Hasbeen.
Mike Shanahan, like Cecil Newton, is a dad who works hard for the money. But, more than anything else, he works to protect his finest creation: Kyle. Cameron’s genius shone like the North Star every week for the American public. Perhaps his brightest moment came when he led his team to a thunderous comeback over the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide. Cameron Newton re-wrote the record books, and emerged unscathed (for the most part) from inquiry led by an obsessive and vindictive media who derive inordinate pleasure from Negro pain.
Mike has sought to establish and build the legacy of his spawn by using the precise methods approved by our national media: Negro pain. He began with the biggest, roughest, toughest, head-stompin’, bit-chompin’, cuss-bombin’, grandmother lovin’ SOB he could find. “Hey, hey, hey! It’s Faaaat Albert!” The $100M man in the middle of a rock solid 4-3 defense got a memo saying, “Suck it up chubby. We’re making a change and you’re doing grunt work from now on. Deal with it.” Haynesworth probably could have responded differently, but he’s not a kinder, gentler defensive tackle. He’s a grown ass millionaire who doesn’t give a fuck. Mike Shanahan, too, is a grown ass millionaire who doesn’t give a fuck.
The grown ass millionaire with the “coach” title and the Super Bowl rings was always going to win the war…if not each and every little battle over conditioning and attendance and professionalism and communication. Haynesworth is at home for the season. Fear and Loathing Checklist Item #1: Check. On to number 2. Way back when, the oldest, mildest, bomb-throwin’, low-ball chuckin’, media savvy quarterback that Mike ever did see publicly said that this team could NOT WIN WITHOUT that biggest, baddest Negro on this here plantation.
Treasonous — no doubt.
Months later, that old, mild QB with the rocket arm and the questionable aim had the temerity, gall, balls, guts, nerve, and uppity-tude-ness to question the utter supreme genious-ness-ness-ness of KYLE, aka, Shanahan the Younger. And that was it. To the bench!!!
Daddy Mike, as he should be referenced from now on (he FORFEITED the RIGHT to be called COACH SHANAHAN when he FORFEITED a game against the DETROIT LIONS), intervened to save Kyle’s job prospects. The world was supposed to know Kyle was a genius because, well, look at the 3rd place 5-8 Texans…aren’t they great???? Look at Matt Schaub! Isn’t he a world-beater? Isn’t he elite? See! See! See!! McNabb must sit. Rex must play. Grossman who entered the Lions game, proceeded to fumble and surrender a touchdown on his first play, merely re-enacted the worst of his days in Chicago. It was the most beautiful wreck I’ve seen since the Titanic went bloop-bloop-bloop.
Daddy Mike’s act of paternalism is shrouded in a bunch of “I know what’s best” gobbledygook. Here’s what I know: Mike was fired in Denver. Mike knows how to preside over mediocre to awful defenses. Mike forfeited a game vs. Detroit. Mike changed the defense BEFORE the right personnel were in place. Mike kept Graham Gano around because he was too overwhelmed to run down to the local middle school and get a real kicker. Mike cut Parker and Johnson because they were too (he never said.) Mike didn’t make a push for Marshall or Boldin because he was pleased as punch with guys he’s already cut. Mike is full of shit. Straight up.
And since Daddy Mike is full of shit, it is very difficult to believe much of anything he says about his genius boy. The Redskins and Texans, running essentially the same offense, are both 5-8. Matt Schaub has Andre Johnson AND the league’s leading rusher, Arian Foster — and he’s STILL throwing games away by throwing off of his back foot to avoid hits that are not imminent. Coach ’em up son.
Cecil Newton, at some point, may have wanted to grab some material wealth for himself and his family before his anointed time. Or, perhaps more accurately, he wanted a piece of the pie that is routinely handed out in the SEC. Football has displaced cotton and it is now king in the South. As the prime king maker in all the land, he sought (without adequate discretion) to enrich himself and reinforce his throne. For that, he has been vilified.
Daddy Mike has already been to the promised land — twice. He took a team of spitters and stompers (Ok, that was the same guy — Romanowski) to the top of the heap. With this team, he never even tried. Haynesworth is today’s version of Romo…except some can’t see the similarities in their style for the dissimilarity in their tone. Fat Albert could have been King Albert, were it not for the stubbornness of a guy who hasn’t won anything since “Slick Willie” Clinton was boning chunky interns with bad skin in a bad place.
Today, Daddy Mike decided to do Baby Kyle another solid and REMOVE the 20 lb. Negro-rilla in the room. He decided to provide his dear boy with a three-week film roll that demonstrates his unequivocal genius. Baby Kyle and T-Rex (the T is for TERRIBLE) are going to turn the world upside down and thrash (Please, not James Thrash!) the Cowboys, Giants and whomever else dares to suit up against the juggernaut. McNabb, for his part, has been demoted to 3rd string so that Daddy Mike and Baby Kyle can see who runs the offense with the most fidelity, purity and truth. McNabb can go home to sunny Arizona and make plans to work with either Larry Fitzgerald or Sidney Rice in 2011.
The Redskins, a team that is a handful of plays from being 10-3 (I shit you not!), have wins over the Packers, Bears, Cowboys, and Eagles. They barely lost to the Baby Kyle’s Texans — and only with the help of Hasless’ hapless defense that surrendered a whopping 497 yards to Mr. 8-8 (aka Matt Schaub). Many moons ago, the same sorry 3rd string bum who needs to be shown the door was passing for 426 yards of his own – and was wielding a 27-10 lead over Baby Kyle’s protege. Did Daddy Mike forfeit this game too? Maybe it was just too much Schaub! Maybe Hasless just couldn’t defend the genius offense that Kyle’s successor’s were using — even with Kyle right there to lend a hand!
The Washington Redskins are not in as beautiful a place as the Auburn Tigers — and they won’t be. Cecil’s principal business was aiding the best efforts of his son. Moreover, he was subject to vindictive go-getters at Mississippi State and at Florida. Not so with Daddy Mike. The Redskins are now the captive audience of a mendacious, mean-spirited, Napoleonic tyrant. Albert Haynesworth knew it. The fans know it. The players know it.
Don’t you, too?