Yesterday, I listened to remarks made by Lavar Arrington, a former NFL linebacker who was drafted by the Washington Redskins in 2000 and played with the team for four years. After his contract negotiations broke down, Arrington left Washington and eventually played with the New York Giants until an injury sidelined him. In 2007, he was cut by the Giants; he doesn't play football now. And yet...
It's a common practice for star athletes to engage in smack talking, no matter the sport. Football, of course, is no exception. As a fan, I write most of it off to the easy recklessness that comes from living in the peculiar fairy land that often results from getting too much money too fast, too much fame too fast.
On Superbowl Sunday, a Redskins player, running back Clinton Portis, appeared on TV somewhere during the endless, irrelevant pregame coverage and made a couple of glib remarks about Lavar Arrington. Portis joined the Redskins in 2004. He missed much of the 2009 season with an injury.
One player dissing another in a sentence or two is nothing new. What is new is how Lavar Arrington responded, speaking live for 17 minutes on a Washington, D.C. radio show. I think what he said, and how he said it, is one of the most arresting things I've heard in years. I found things in it to help me with the horses; I found things in it to help me with my life.
Arrington Feb 8 2010
(Audio file embedded in this article in the Washington Post.)