Former NFL OL Shawn Andrews: Time with Eagles was 'like I was in a living hell'
Former Eagles offensive lineman Shawn Andrews had a turbulent five-year stay in Philadelphia from 2004-2008 during which he made two Pro Bowl appearances, but he has recently shared some unsavory memories of his experience with the team.
Andrews, now 30 years old, described his time with the Eagles to Sync Weekly that, "It just felt like I was in a living hell." The environment caused Andrews to contemplate suicide and eventually seek psychiatric treatment, which ultimately led to the end of his tenure with the team.
The issue came to light when Andrews agreed to join 97.5 The Fanatic's Mike Missanelli on the air for an interview to talk about the Jonathan Martin-Rich Incognito bullying situation. The segment quickly sidetracked when Andrews said he was disgusted with how he was treated in the locker room by his Eagle teammates, especially quarterback Donovan McNabb.
“I could be sitting in the players’ lounge with a group, having some laughs, and he’d get his say in so the attention can shift,” Andrews says. “He was the type of person that had everything in the world he could want, but that still wasn’t enough. He wanted the attention on him. There was a whole lot of that behavior. He wasn’t just that way with me. I’m thinking, ‘Every day I strap on my shoulder pads and helmet, I’m here to protect you.’
“[McNabb] was a big part of it — he was a big part of my issues there. Bully is a strong word, but he was degrading to me and spread rumors. It’s bothered me that I haven’t really spoken about it.”
Andrews claimed his teammates were two-faced:
“For a long time I just watched people. I interacted, but I just watched people,” Andrews says. “There were so many people that were Christian and going to church and saying, ‘Rookie, be seen and not heard,’ and then I see them in the back of the club doing some not-so-cool things being married. Everything under the sun — trying to tell you how to act. One guy out of the two who I thought I would fully respect during my time in Philadelphia, one of them let me down big time. Every time you see him, he’d have a Bible in his hand, and be coming from Bible study, but I know so many things about him that so many people would not be happy about.”
Rumors spread that Andrews was gay and he felt he was treated differently in the Eagles locker room because of those rumors:
Andrews says the questioning and rumors became so great among teammates that he waited until everyone was out of the shower before he entered the shower, so as to not raise suspicion that he was looking at others. Either that, or he raced to a shower in the corner where he could face the wall and not be accused of peeping.
“If you want to question some one, I’d see guys in the shower talking face to face,” Andrews says. “If you want to go further, I’ve even seen a teammate piss on another teammate. They think it’s funny. They are having a conversation and the whole time one guy is peeing on him and the other doesn’t even know. This is the stuff that goes on, and I am the one having to defend myself. There were a lot of immature dudes on the team.”
Now that football is behind him, Andrews admitted there were happy moments in his career. Those moments didn't come with the Eagles:
Before his retirement, there were two times when Andrews found happiness — his three years at the University of Arkansas and his six-month stint with the New York Giants.
The Giants were the best case for Andrews. He says the Giants organization embraced him immediately, which was in stark contrast to Philadelphia. From the cooks to the custodians to teammates, positivity was abundant.
“We were in the weight room the day after a game, stretching, and Eli [Manning] came up to me and said, ‘Shawn, thanks for protecting me,’” Andrews says. That never happened in Philadelphia. I had heard that Tom Brady bought his linemen Mercedes. That ‘thank you’ was my Mercedes. That meant a lot to me, but the entire organization was like that."
Andrews claims to have moved past those times and has found new passions in his life. Now, he performs stand-up comedy and enjoys cooking.
(h/t to Deadspin)