Reports which have detailed Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib’s most recent tete-a- tete with law enforcement officials, along with others that express the Washington Redskins purported interest in acquiring him, have, to lack a more accurate phrase, negatively impacted my Redskin mojo of late. I confess to you that the very first thing I thought when I saw these two reports appear in tandem was the following: Not another Haynesworth. No God is that cruel, right?
I wonder if the same isn’t true for a lot of people. Not just for fans of our team, where we certainly have had a history of it, but around the league as well. Some me-first star of the moment free agent comes along, and right on schedule. Teams will suddenly, mysteriously, ignore both egregious infractions of the law and public red flags for the privilege of potentially, maybe if all the legal stuff works out, igniting that star so that it burns brightly for their home team. In their system. In their home town. You’ve seen it. Both with and without provocation, teams will spend millions for the right to compete at that level.
Well, you say, why do teams do that? Isn’t it analogous to the mind set of a just- about- to- drink alcoholic, when he says to himself: This time is gonna be different? Down the hatch! You know the deck is stacked and you still do it? Happens all the time, though.
It’s a gamble by teams, sure. That’s part and parcel of pro sports, I get it. But that’s just one angle. Isn’t there more that accounts for the continuous presence of pro football’s bad-boys on team’s roster’s? A hint of unspoken code, perhaps? Isn’t it true that the same deeply based desire to push the envelope, the one that gets young football pros crosswise with the law, the very same instinct you value so highly in that player? Think about it. That safety that’ll give that receiver just the right amount of pop next time he tackles him, and still doesn’t get the flag? You want that guy on your team. You want him. By the way, he just violated the league substance abuse policy a second time in 3 months. Sound familiar?
So, this is the culture we’ve created. Deep down, we all know it. Nobody wants a team full of boy scouts. And we all have to deal with that.