- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 25, 2006

LaVar Arrington was recognized as a stronger thespian than player in his last two seasons with the Redskins.

His role as “The Enforcer” with the Easterns Automotive Group became a local classic, fashioned in the memorable tradition of the wide-screen television pitch of the ‘80s starring Joe Jacoby and Mark May, typecast as the strong, silent types who are shown with their arms folded and a look that said: “Buy this television screen or else.”

Arrington’s character is pathologically opposed to bad credit undermining your buying power, because at Easterns Motors (motors), your job’s your credit (credit).

The depth of Arrington’s acting ability no doubt would cause the lips of James Lipton to pucker in customary fashion, if Arrington ever should secure a guest spot on “Inside the Actors Studio.”

There is Arrington in these mini-dramas fighting the good fight against bad credit, pulverizing its corrosive effects on your dreams, and really, there is no other entertainer who can muster his passion, his commanding screen presence and his sense of timing, such as when he tells Bad Credit: “Stay down, punk.”

Or when he says: “Let Easterns Motors put you in a car today. Let Easterns Motors finance it all the way.”

Arrington brings a certain credibility to his role that is not equaled by the rest of the athletically noteworthy cast: Brendan Haywood, Carmelo Anthony, Clinton Portis and Laveranues Coles.

Unfortunately, Arrington will not be able to provide interference for anyone with bad credit in the months ahead after tearing his left Achilles’ tendon in the second quarter of the Giants-Cowboys game on Monday night.

Arrington was starting to look like his old self, with a quarterback sack that resulted in a safety and a deflection of a pass, before the tendon snapped for no apparent reason other than wear or bad luck.

It is said not to be a career-ending injury, although it certainly is not a career-enhancing one.

Recovering from the injury could be especially problematic for a linebacker who depends on his explosiveness to subvert the opposition’s playbook.

Arrington has been accused of a number of things in his career but never a student of the game.

That inference was made again by the Redskins in their first meeting with the Giants earlier in the season.

That possibly is an unfair characterization but one that contributed to his departure from the Redskins.

Arrington’s fall is dramatic for someone who was the face of the Redskins not too many seasons ago.

He made three Pro Bowl appearances and sold a lot of jerseys that bore his name on the back. It all came apart because of injuries and an uneasy relationship with Gregg Williams.

Now Arrington is with another franchise, his transition on hold and his future uncertain at the relatively young age of 28.

Arrington insisted he was starting to feel at ease with the Giants and in the process of discovering his previous self. He told relatives to watch the game and the player who had disappeared from the big-play radar.

And then the cruel twist of fate intervened.

Arrington crumpled to the turf without prodding, and he knew soon enough that it was serious and that his 2006 season was done.

Arrington no doubt is struggling to come to terms with the painful realization that he must start anew after undergoing surgery this week.

He so desperately wanted to indict the brain trust of the Redskins with his play on the field.

That possibly never will be now.

He is a high-velocity player who has dropped into the abyss of doubt.

He probably will learn that going up against bad credit is considerably easier than overcoming a torn Achilles’ tendon.

His 2006 has been taken away from him.

But no one can take away his heartfelt work that restores the hope of those who don’t pay their bills.

You walk in and you drive out at Easterns Motors.

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