Defensive tackle and vending machine aficionado Albert Haynesworth had a difficult year by any standard. First Big Al got “tricked” into possibly siring a rugrat with some rump-shaker in New York. Good thing Big Al is pro choice, or else Emily’s List would never endorse him when he decides to run for Mayor.

Next, ex-Broncos Beef Jerky impersonator Mike Shanahan rode into D.C. to coach the Redskins and publicly promised that the lolly-gagging was coming to a halt. Oh Shanny…this is the Redskins, the lolly-gagging will most certainly continue unabated.

This lead to an escalating and embarassing (for Redskins fans) series of pissing contests between Shanny and Big Al, from conditioning tests, to wars of words, and finally, phantom illnesses. Big Al swallowed $21 million fishies just before channeling “Roots” regarding the tenuous relationship between NFL players and the coaches and owners. Now Haynesworth has apparently gotten into a kerfuffle with a motorist.

Give the thank-you-wave after you turn into my lane Washington Post: identified the Civic driver as Joel Velazques, 38, of Leesburg.

Velazques told ESPN that after their vehicles jockeyed for road space, a person he recognized as Haynesworth got out of a Ford truck with Tennessee license plates. Velazques said Haynesworth came to the driver-side window of his car, and after Velazques rolled down his window, Haynesworth said to him twice, “You’re not so tough now,” and then punched him in the side of his nose, ESPN reported.

Velazques said he followed Haynesworth but lost him along the way. He told ESPN he called 911 and gave a statement to a Fairfax officer.

Fairfax Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Ian M. Rodway said an officer assigned to the incident compiled a photo lineup and showed it to the man, who identified Haynesworth as his assailant.

On this site, we try to remain objective and fair and always keep in mind that athletes are sometimes unfairly targeted because of their high-profiles and wealth. Oh, he’s done this before? Nevermind:

Haynesworth, who was suspended by the team for the final four games of the season for insubordination, has had previous troubles on the road. In December 2008, he pleaded guilty to driving 103 mph in a 70-mph zone on Interstate 65 south of Nashville and was placed on 30 days probation. Four days after that plea, he was speeding on the same stretch of Interstate 65, in a 2008 black Ferrari, when he allegedly swerved across two lanes and slammed into another car, driving it into the concrete median.

The driver of the other car, Corey Edmondson, was seriously injured and needed a hip replacement. He has filed a civil suit against Haynesworth, which is pending. In July 2009, shortly after he had signed a $100 million contract with the Redskins making him one of the highest-paid defensive players in NFL history, Haynesworth pleaded no contest in Brentwood City Circuit Court to a reckless driving charge. He was placed on three months probation, ordered to perform 25 hours of community service, attend an eight-hour driving school and make a $5,000 contribution to an organization that provides counseling to emergency responders.

And in 2006, while a member of the Tennessee Titans, Haynesworth was charged and later cleared in a road rage incident that occurred near Interstate 40 in Cookeville, Tenn. A woman and her son-in-law claimed that Haynesworth, in a Ford F-650 pickup truck, tried to run them off the road as their vehicles crossed paths, and the pair traveled to two counties to take out warrants against Haynesworth. Haynesworth said he was the victim of the road rage, that he had tried to let the two cars pass him but they kept following him. Prosecutors in both counties investigated and dismissed all charges.

Big Al has a lot to learn about planned parenthood and conflict resolution. Like making sure the girl stands near a flight of stairs when she tells you the news, or challenging your teammate to a gun fight.

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