February 09, 2010
With football season over, there are new things to look forward to: the scouting combine, free agency, the draft ... and more stories about dysfunctional Redskins!
Ah, yes. You see, some things are seasonal, and some are everyday. Redskins goofiness is everyday.
The most recent bloviation came from formerly interesting and funny running back Clinton Portis(notes), who admitted that he tried to have fullback Mike Sellers benched. Once that was out of the way, Portis took off on former Washington linebacker LaVar Arrington(notes) and the "real" reason Arrington left the team after the 2005 season.
"In D.C., some of the players feel like it was a money situation, who getting the money is a captain. Arrington was the man in D.C. when I arrived, and all of the sudden LaVar felt like it was competition, and he left D.C. He didn't want to be in D.C. any more. He gave back 15, 20 million dollars to leave D.C. because he felt like he wasn't the main money guy, because everybody was getting [paid]."
Erm, OK. That explanation strains credulity, but the real reason for this post is Arrington's reply, which sent chills up my spine. Download the audio here, and listen as you read. It's pretty inspiring stuff, and here are a few excerpts.
"I am looking around a field, and as fate would have it, just listen to some of these names, just listen to some of these names. Champ Bailey(notes). Mark Carrier. Darrell Green. Andre Reed. Dana Stubblefield. Brad Johnson(notes). Deion Sanders. Larry Centers. Marco Coleman. Stephen Davis(notes). Dan 'Big Daddy' Wilkinson. Chris Samuels(notes), my litter mate. Jon Jansen(notes). Irving Fryar. Bruce Smith. I am on the field as a 21-year-old young man that has fulfilled the first part of a dream, to make it onto a professional team and actually be something that I wanted to be my whole life. I'm sitting here as a professional, beside myself that I am actually on the same field as these individuals...
"I respect the game. I would have never argued with Sam Huff. I would have never argued with Brian Mitchell. I would never have argued with John Riggins. I would never have argued with Sonny Jurgensen. I would not disrespect the people who were the forerunners, who were the people who set the bar where it needed to be for us to be willing to dream and try to achieve. I would never disrespect that. I would never take that and spit on that, like that is not something that is as precious as the gold that we all spend money on. I would not disrespect that.
"I protect this with my heart, I protect this with my soul, I would not do that for just attention. Understand the message, because this message is for the ones out there that are our athletes of tomorrow. We are losing a battle here. Our battle is not about who gets the most publicity. Our battle is not about who makes the most touchdowns or makes the most money. Our battle is being someone that the next generation can sit back and look at you and be proud about what you are, what you represent, what you say, what you do ... I am upset right now, because we continue to depict ourselves in a way that is not right. And for what? For some attention? What's your motivation?"
Strong stuff. You can read the transcript from our friend Dan Steinberg at the indispensable D.C. Sports Bog, and I highly recommend you do so. Whatever you may think of Arrington, and that he may have been a relative disappointment for his high draft pick, he's got one heck of a future as a motivational speaker if he wants it.
And as for Clinton Portis? Head back to the wigs and funny glasses, dude. "Southeast Jerome" would NOT respect this, were he still alive ...
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