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HH Writers Challenge: Draft a Starting Lineup for Redskins Using Athletes from MLB, NHL and NBA

Dan Ciarrocchi's up next for our writer's challenge.


Post-apocalyptic crap seems to be what’s “in” these days, so picture this:

Imagine a world where a combination of The Walking Dead and Katniss Evergreen or whoever wipe out what’s left of the NFL. Now, athletes from the three remaining major sports are offering their services to bridge the gap between the extinct NFL and the NFL of the future by playing on now empty professional football teams. How nice.

So now, there’s a fantasy draft taking place across the league to determine who plays where, and the Washington Redskins have foolishly put me in charge of the roster. The war room consists of only me, but if you have any objections to my selections there’s always the comments to post your gripes which I’ll happily ignore because I’m an NFL GM now.

Quarterback: JaVale McGee

It’s time to bring normalcy back to Washington. I don’t know about you, but I felt awfully weird going an entire season without the on-field ineptitude of Rex Grossman. Joshua Morgan did his best to reproduce this in Week 2 versus the Rams, but it just wasn’t enough. I need more. That’s why JaVale McGee needs to come back to D.C. and don the burgundy and stupid.

Everyone cringes in anticipation when McGee has the ball, so I say let him have the ball 70 times a game. And with his height, he could run a quarterback sneak from the 5-yard-line and still conceivably get in. He’d so do it, too. It would be the closest thing in football to attempting a dunk from the free throw line and failing, which we all know he loves to do. Of course, an offense with McGee under center is never getting close enough in enemy territory to attempt this, but as long as we’re dreaming, this scenario deserves to be on the table.

Running back/Kick Returner: Usain Bolt

I know I’m bending the rules here, but come on. If you’re telling me that seeing the world’s fastest man with a football, wearing pads and running away from NFL behemoth’s wouldn’t put your butt in a seat, then I don’t know what to tell you. It would be like watching Forrest Gump return kicks, except Bolt doesn’t run like he’s trying to keep his lunch money taut between his buttcheeks. Believe me. I know.

Wide Receiver: Bryce Harper

There’s just something about the wide receiver position these days where it’s no longer good enough to just get open, make catches and that be that. No, you need to be able to jaw at your opponents to get in their heads and make these catches happen. Pierre Garcon does it. Anquan Boldin does it. Bryce Harper would probably make one catch out of 70 but still piss off his defender to the point he crawls back into the womb. Then Harper would flip off the womb.

Wide Receiver: Matt Wieters

Catchers are probably good at catching, right? Let’s give it a go. He has size, hands, blah blah, blah.

Tight End: Kevin Durant

See, the popular answer here would be maybe a LeBron James, or Ron Artest Metta World Peace. Both have joked about joining the NFL at some point, and the tight end position would seem like a logical fit given their sizes and athleticism.

But if you put them in football uniforms, you may as well paint big red targets on their butts and throw them in a rodeo ring with an army of venomous bulls (It’s a post apocalyptic world, I can invent whatever the hell animal I want). You are giving people an open invitation to tackle the crap out of these guys, something that could never happen to them in the NBA, unless the culprit has a death wish placed on his career. These guys would not last five games without Ndamukong Suh wrapping himself in barbed wire and catapulting himself at their Achilles tendons when a play is dead.

So instead, I’ve gone with a safer option at tight end, Kevin Durant. He’s well-respected, a freak athlete, and I say we make his dream come true and let him play for his favorite childhood team. Imagine the reception he would get from the fans. Any quarterback who hurls the ball in the corner of the endzone and asks him to “go up and get it” knows Durant will cash in. Not to mention how great he would be in hail-mary situations on offense or defense. The game would be over before the ball is ever thrown.

Left Tackle: Pedro Martinez

Yes, he’s undersized, but he plays way bigger than he actually is. Look how he disposes of would-be pass rushers and tell me he couldn’t keep quarterback JaVale McGee’s jersey clean.

Sure, he pretty much acts as a turnstile here, but I love me some gamblers, especially when the payoff is huge like this. Grabbing guys by the ears and flinging them into the ground may be risky, but if it works, it demoralizes a pass rusher to a point where he would never want to line up across from Pedro ever again. Art in motion. Even Joe Buck is speechless after witnessing such a pulchritudinous maneuver. Not even Randy Moss elicited that kind of reaction from Joe.

Right Tackle: C.C. Sabathia

He has the size. The footwork? Not so much. Whatever, it’s still an upgrade over Jammal Brown.

Left Defensive End: Zdeno Chara

Just put Chara somewhere on the line. He doesn’t even have to rush the passer or anything. Just make sure he’s around the play and have his arms of his 6-foot-9 inch frame ready to shoot up and bat passes away. Also, he’s allowed to carry a hockey stick onto the field because f--- you.

Right Defensive End: Dwight Howard

I don’t care if “lowest man wins” in football, I’m putting a seven-foot-tall monster on the line. One hand slap to the helmet from Dwight Howard and that’s an instant concussion for the poor sap lining across from him. Unless Roger Goodell outlaws hands in football, I’ll take my chances with Howard.

Defensive Tackle: Prince Fielder

This is only if he successfully recruits his dad to play alongside him. Package deal.

Middle Linebacker: Alex Ovechkin

I’m convinced that Alex Ovechkin has a sick fetish for ramming into people at full speed, regardless if it’s for the good of his team or not. Good coaches cater to player’s strengths, so I say we milk Ovi’s desire for all it’s worth and put him on a constant collision course for 60 minutes.

Outside Linebackers: Fulton Reed and Dean Portman from D2: The Mighty Ducks

Hockey enforcers are the way to go here, and since Derek Boogaard’s no longer with us, I have no more favorite hockey fighters except for fake ones.

This is an ideal position for Fulton Reed. We all know skating isn’t really his thing, so he’s probably more comfortable on the gridiron than ice. Also, he did get killed by Devon Sawa’s possessed hand in Idle Hands, but still came back from the freaking dead to help his buddy out. That kind of persistence and teamwork is what wins you ballgames. I’d draft him in a heartbeat.

Cornerbacks: Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo

Basketball fans tell me these guys are pretty good defenders. I’ll take their word for it and put them in coverage.

Safeties: Adam Jones, Mike Trout

This just wouldn’t be fair. Actual centerfielders playing centerfield for the defense. And not just any centerfielders, but the rangiest there are. You could run cover two, or just have Trout in the box because Mike Trout could be the hardest hitting safety in major league baseball. Have you seen that guy’s neck? Me neither. It’s like Clinton Portis from the shoulders up.

Kicker and Punter: Dennis Rodman

Assuming the football is actually a cameraman, this will work out.

And lastly...

Special Teams Gunner: Gilbert Arenas

Other Entries in the HH Writers Contest:

Kevin Ewoldt's incorporation of "OMG They Killed Kenny" into Redskins culture