So you think you have problems? Consider poor Albert Haynesworth.
Divorced in January, his ex is back in court demanding more money. The former Mrs. Haynesworth’s return to court may or may not be related to accusations by exotic dancer Silvia Mena that she is pregnant by Haynesworth and that she taped an embarrassing conversation with Fat Al wherein he says what many men say when they don’t want to be daddies.
Ms. Mena has a paternity case against Haynesworth.
She’ll have to stand in line. A Tennessee man, Corey Edmonson, says he is disabled as the result of an automobile accident last December when he says Haynesworth dove “like a maniac” to force him off the interstate and into a concrete median. He is suing Haynesworth for $7 million.
A Tennessee bank is suing Haynesworth for repayment of a $2.4 million commercial loan.
Irate Washington Redskin fans see this legal litany as proof that Haynesworth is out of control. They want the Redskins to dump him.
Most Hog Heaven readers are younger than I. So. I’ll tell you a secret. At some point, we will all be in Haynesworth’s boat. Not of the same scale as Fat Albert’s vessel of misfortune, but big enough to make idiotic career decisions.
Speaking as a man with a little more, ah, seasoning, I can see that what Haynesworth needs is a lifeline.
Often that the lifeline comes from the employer. I’ve not worked for a small company, but the large employers I know of offer such help through their benefits package for anything from advice about aging parents to emotional problems, including addiction. They do that to keep talented workers productive.
Helping such workers is less costly that replacing them and can strengthen ties between man and company.
The Washington Redskins are a sports team, but they are a business too, with a well compensated professional workforce. What they do with Fat Albert reverberates through the locker room. Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan have to think through all the ramifications of their dealings with Haynesworth. Here are two management points to consider:
First, don’t reward the behavior by trading him. Employees take note and wiil repeat what they see others do.
Other teams already think the Skins are over a barrel. They have to wonder how they would motivate Haynesworth. Money won’t do it. As more and more teams move to the 3-4 defense, fewer and fewer teams will bid for his services. There is no value coming to the Redskins for Big Al.
Second, the Redskins defense is better off with Haynesworth than without him. Washington already smothers opponents. The defense does not disrupt them. They are less likely to be disruptive without Big Al.
Haynesworth is better off in Washington than elsewhere. For one thing, he cuts himself off from teams that will move to the 3-4. And that could be any new team he signs with. My writing partner Greg Trippiedi pointed out already that Haynesworth is will prolong his career by playing in the 3-4.
So everybody take a chill pill and calm down. Somebody give Fat Albert the number to Washington’s equilivent of the 1-800 NURSE Line.