Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth got a $21 million bonus from the Redskins last April.
I have a good friend, a freelance video photographer in Washington who was just happy to get some work shooting the Redskins training camp last week.
The freelance video market in Washington, just like everything else in this economy, is not thriving these days. So my friend has really had to hustle to bring in a decent income. All Haynesworth had to do to continue earning pharaoh's riches under the terms of his seven-year, $100 million dollar deal was show up at camp in shape.
He couldn't even manage that.
My friend showed up before 7 a.m. Friday to get shots of Haynesworth failing a conditioning test for the second time in two days. Albert had to pass the test because he skipped Organized Team Activities during the winter to protest new coach Mike Shanahan installing a 3-4 defense, an alignment Albert didn't particularly care for.
Haynesworth's comments after his second test? "I don't give a s---."
My friend is nearly twice Haynesworth's age but has significantly more than twice his professional desire. This is Exhibit A of the great disconnect sometimes found between pro athletes and the rest of working America.
Could you imagine anyone in any office anywhere today throwing a hissy fit and threatening to quit after being told "you get to keep your job with the same salary and benefits, and we'll throw in a whopping bonus but we're going to change the company structure a bit to be more efficient?"
That's what happened this week at Redskins training camp. Albert Haynesworth didn't like the 3-4. All he had to do was show up in shape. That's not asking very much. He's 29 years old. He has a high-paying job.
He needs to take a look around, outside of training camp at a nation of the unemployed and underemployed, and inside camp at one photographer standing just a few feet away from him to understand just how fortunate he is.
Before arriving in Wisconsin, Mark was a TV sports director at stations in Greensboro, the Quad Cities and Fort Smith, Arkansas. He got his first job at the ABC affiliate in Syracuse during his junior year at Syracuse University where he majored in TV and Radio at the Newhouse School.
Mark is an avid fan of all sports. He covered the Packers at Super Bowl XXXI in New Orleans and has also reported on the Final Four, the Daytona 500, the Rose Bowl, the NLCS and the PGA and U.S. Open golf championships. He covered the GMO for 20 years. Mark played soccer in high school and is a passionate supporter of "The Beautiful Game." One of his greatest experiences was attending a UEFA Champions League game hosted by Real Madrid at Bernabeu Stadium.
Mark was born in Philadelphia but has happily made the transition from cheese steaks to cheese heads and is thrilled to now call Wisconsin home. He is currently president of Concannon Communications LLC and working on projects involving, writing, producing, voice-overs and public relations.