Last year Dan Snyder opened up his thick checkbook and dropped a grip of cash - $100mil to be exact - on All-Pro Tennessee D-Lineman Albert Haynesworth and now he's getting paid back by a slow fat guy who is dragging down the franchise at a time when fan optimism should be at a high.
In his first season in DC, Haynesworth's numbers bottomed out while playing in just 12 games, leaving most Skins fans thoroughly underwhelmed with the man who was supposed to be the best defensive player on the planet. After going 4-12 in 2009, this past off-season Snyder made a couple of new major moves (as he seems to do every few years), bringing in former Bronco's coach Mike Shanahan and luring Donovan McNabb from division rival Philadelphia. The coach and the QB bring a load of playoff experience and a pair of Super Bowl rings, plus a level of maturity that it appeared this team needed to make the leap back into relevancy in the NFC East.
Unfortunately, they still had Fat Albert to deal with. Since taking the reins of the team in early January, Shanahan has had to put out countless Haynesworth fires, ranging from threats that he was going to leave the team, to a refusal to play Nose Tackle. After not showing up for camp and alienating a host of his teammates, Albert didn't mind cashing one of Snyder's big checks (basically obligating him to join the squad) - and after a talk with the new coach it seemed like he was back on the right track.
Then he showed up wildly out of shape - which seems like it would be hard to do considering he is "in shape" somewhere around 350 lbs - and has failed to pass a fairly mundane set of conditioning tests that everyone else on the team has completed, and thus kept himself out of practice. Because of the lack of depth on the Skins D-Line, Shanahan may eventually let him practice without having passed the test and his natural ability and size may be good enough to earn him the starting role, but the real losers here are the fans.
This is the time that every football fan should be excited about - the months leading up to a new season where you can forget about last year and start to believe that your team may actually have gotten better and stand a chance. And, who could blame the folks in DC for getting a little stoked, with the addition of McNabb and Shanahan, the team seemed like it was growing up and taking a new direction. Unfortunately for them, however, Charlie Weiss's departure from Notre Dame left a void in the sports media - so now all the news that Skins fans get to read about seems is another discontent, overpaid fat guy ruining it for their team.