Dear 14-year-old Albert,
It’s 34-year-old Albert again. I left out a bunch of stuff in the first letter because it made us seem less cool, so I was like, whatever, I’ll write a second one because delusion doesn’t come with an off switch.
So, where to begin? The traffic assault in Leesburg? Ugh, so many things to not be accountable for!
You’ve probably got questions. That’s normal. The answer to your first question is yes, it was the contract’s fault that time you got rhabdomyolysis. I know! I’d completely forgotten about that, too! That was the time you were hungover and they made up a diagnosis to make it seem less embarrassing. But it was still embarrassing! LOL! Word of advice: Assault that porcelain BEFORE Mike Shanahan makes you run. Trust me on this. OK, what’s next? Oh, yeah, there’s a shopping center called ‘Reston Town Center’. It doesn’t exist yet, but it will. Get used to it. You’re going to eat there a bunch for a couple years.
Now, I know I told you to stay in Tennessee. Remember that, right? I told you that you’d be the victim who signed a massive contract to play football. That $100 million wasn’t guaranteed but that $41 million was! We’re gonna get that when we leave Tennessee. You know what we don’t get? A free pass for going over 100 mph in the Ferrari and running someone off the road (you get a Ferrari, bro!) and … yada yada yada … you’re gonna owe some money from that.
Speaking of owing money, when you borrow that $2 million-plus from that bank in Tennessee, don’t pay it back. You ain’t no punk, son! Only suckers pay back their loans. People will forget about it the longer it drags out. By the time they read this, you’ll be like, ‘The Redskins contract made me do it even though we got this loan months before playing a down.’ Anyway, when you get old enough to write a letter to yourself, mention you’re from a small town a couple of times because people from small towns don’t have to obey the rules like those big city folks. Oh, and there’s a paternity suit from a stripper in New York.
Moving on, there’s going to be some stuff written about you, said about you, correctly observed about you, that you’re not going to like. Don’t worry about it. No one, and I mean no one, can talk you out of your dream to swim the butterfly stroke on national TV. You’ll get your chance! It may not seem like it because you’re going to miss so many division games with minor injuries but you totally do. Now, your team is gonna be losing by a lot and it’s going to serve as the low-water mark for millions of fans who have suffered more indignity than any fan ever should, 100 times over. Do NOT let that stop you! Lay down, big man! You’ve earned it! You’re from a small town and it’s your right to not run after that QB (he just keeps running!). You’ll be on your tummy (soft), on the brown grass (long story, LOL!) and I don’t want you to freeze up like I did. Do the butterfly! By the way, do it on the field, not to that waitress (does ‘butterfly’ mean ‘grope’ in your time, too?).
OK buddy, I know this is a lot to take in. You’re just a kid from a small town who’s a small town kid from a small town whose town is small, but he’s just a kid from that small town. In the interest of time, I’m just going to quickly list some things you’re gonna do. Ready?
*You haze rookies in D.C. after the coach said not to and it’s before you play a snap for the team.
*Instead of playing hard in a different scheme and making the coach look foolish for misusing you, you’re going to pout like a spoiled kid who gets the wrong flavor of ice cream after his tennis lesson with a private coach from a Scandinavian country with 7 Ks and 4 Js in his last name.
*You’ll never be in shape.
*You’ll show up late to practice and get sent home causing a veteran teammate to audibly exclaim that this was an ongoing theme that needed to be addressed long before. You get away with it!
*That contract you’re gonna b—- about? You’re gonna buy an enormous boat. You may not love football anymore, but you took that money and wasted it on an ostentatious middle finger in the form of an aquatic monstrosity that looks like it was painted by three guys who got fired from that show with Xzibit for being too high.
*You’ll stop trying with New England. Literally. Stop trying. Say, for the sake of argument, you don’t like your job or even parts of it. It’s unusual, I know, but it can happen. Best thing to do is just not try. You’ll hear from so-called ‘adults’ that will say stuff like ‘being a man means doing what you have to do instead of what you want to do,’ but like, who says you have to do it? Your head coach, coordinator, position coach, teammates and peers you let down with your obstinate failure to put forth a modicum of effort? I don’t know. I never listened. I’m still that same small town boy from that small town. I’m you, 14-year-old Albert … except with a boat and years of fortifying myself in my make-believe prism of innocence.
So that’s about it. Lots to look forward to! Oh, almost forgot, there’s a second reckless driving charge, a no contest plea to a simple assault — after allegedly inappropriately touching a waitress — and I’m still working through a reckless boating charge (that boat, tho!), and I’ll let you know how that one turns out!
A Lying, Delusional, Quitter Who Stole From Several Teams, Committed Crimes, and Found a Way to Blame the Money I Made.
Editor’s Note: This is a satirical second letter written as Albert Haynesworth to his 14-year-old self, actually written by comedian and talk show host Danny Rouhier.