On this, the 16th anniversary of Michael Westbrook sucker-punching teammate Stephen Davis, let's talk about some of the more bizarre intra-squad feuds in recent DMV memory.
1. Stephen Davis v. Michael Westbrook
Apparently this was a fight that was a few years in the making. What was brewing below the surface erupted on August 19th, 1997. After a short altercation during practice, Davis allegedly called Westbrook pejorative synonym for "homosexual"..that one that rhymes with the larva of a housefly. What followed was one-sided ass-whoopings I've ever seen. What made the situation worse were local media cameras that captured the entire sequence.
Westbrook was fined $50,000 and later apologized to Davis and the rest of the team. Westbrook later found out that he was way better at pummeling other people than he was at catching footballs. After retiring from the NFL in 2002, the former first round pick began a career as a successful mixed martial arts fighter.
2. Gilbert Arenas v. Jaravis Crittenton
Wizards across the chest, but always Bullets to the core, apparently.
During a card game on a chartered team flight in 2010 , star point guard Gilbert Arenas and his back up Javaris Crittenton had a dispute over what allegedly was a large debt Arenas has incurred.
A few days later on Christmas Eve, Arenas and Crittendon alleged engaged in a standoff in the Wizards' locker room, brandished pistols (bringing any firmarm into Washington, DC without a license is, of course, illegal).
Both players were handed down lengthy suspensions by the NBA. Arenas was sentenced to 30 days in the half-way house and two years probation. He would only play in 24 games for the team before being traded to Orlando. Crittenton was released by the team immediately following his suspension and is currently under investigation for a 2011 murder in Atlanta (shocker).
3. Albert Haynesworth v. Mike Shanahan
Before there was #Grifining, there was #Haynesworthing
In 2010, Mike Shanahan was hired to replace Jim Zorn and restore order to the once proud franchise. Shanahan's no-nonsense style and discipline would be a welcomed presence as opposed to Jim Zorn's inmates-running-the-asylum methods. Among the headaches Shanahan endured in that first year was one Albert Haynesworth, who after receiving a $100 million, including $41 guaranteed, was already showing signs on insubordination.
Well, Shanahan decided early on that not one ounce of buffoonery would be tolerated from good ole' #92, starting with him showing up to training camp in shape.
Before Buttersworth was permitted to attend team activities, he was made to pass a mandated fitness test. Haynesworth was the only player required to take the test because he was the only player not to attend 50 percent of the team's offseason workouts. Fat Albert did pass the test, but not before two embarrassing and highly-publicized failures.
Finally, after two God-awful years of dealing with groping waitresses, punching fellow motorists, refusing to switch positions and whatever the hell this is, the Redskins shipped the disgruntled lineman to New England for a draft pick.
4. Rod Strickland v. Tracy Murray
Questions began to surface in December 1997 when Wizards' guards Rod Strickland and Tracy Murray showed up to a road game in Charlotte looking like they just left a bar fight. Murray had a bandage covering a large gash beneath his blackened eye, while Strickland had scratches on his shoulders.
Turns out the fight occurred between the two players...in a hotel room.
According to the Washington Post, Tracy Murray was taped making disparaging remarks about Strickland to a woman in a Los Angeles bar. Strickland retaliated by confronting/beating the crap out of Murray in the team hotel right before the game against the Hornets. Eye witnesses said Strickland landed several blows to Murrays face before teammates separated the two.
The Wizards fined each player $25,000 dollars.
5. Marty Schottenheimer v. Vinny Cerrato v. Daniel Snyder
In the midst of the 2001 Redskins season, which in itself was one of the most bizarre seasons as a Skins fan (the team started 0-5, losing those games a combined 144-33, only to finish with a respectable 8-8 record) was the lingering feud between head coach Marty Schottenheimer and VP of player personnel Vinny Cerrato.
It was no secret that Schotty and Vinny did not see eye-to-eye on many issues regarding the Redskins. Marty wanted total control of the decisions made and resented the VP for standing in his way on several occasions. Rumor was that the head coach gave owner Daniel Snyder an ultimatum; either Cerrato would go, or he would.
Although Schottenheimer eventually was able to rid the team of Cerrato's services, Snyder fire Marty shortly after the 2001 season, opting to hire Florida's Steve Spurrier and re-up with his go-to yes-man.
In and interview with Sirius NFL Radio in 2009 when asked about Snyder and Cerrato, the former ball coach remarked, "When you send Dan out along with Vinny Cerrato, Vinny's going to tell him whatever he thinks Dan wants to hear. I've said for a long time, in my opinion the problem down there --obviously it starts at the top with Dan--but it is Cerrato. I don't particularly respect (Cerrato). He and I had our issues when we were there. Basically what he said was, 'Marty, Dan may be listening to you during the preseason,' he says. 'But wait until I get up in the owner's box during the regular season, and then we'll see who Dan listens to.' Now how's that? How's that? And of course, he was gone within the week but re-hired shortly after I departed. So now, Dan, he's made his choice (some) time ago, but I'm not a big fan of Cerrato and his work."