Back in September of 2008, rookie safety Chris Horton made a lasting impression in his first career start with the Washington Redskins.
In a Week 2 matchup, the New Orleans Saints committed three turnovers. All three ended up in the hands of Horton, who was thrust into the starting lineup only after an illness forced Reed Doughty out of the lineup.
The seventh-round draft pick was all over the field – recovering a fumble and intercepting Saints quarterback Drew Brees twice during Washington’s 29-24 victory. The effort was impressive enough that Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Blache borrowed a phrase from hockey, dubbing Horton’s feat a “hat trick.”
That week, Horton was given the nickname “The Predator” by a high schooler who happens to be my next-door neighbor. I posted something here on the website and, from that moment on, the nickname stuck.
Now, here’s where things get interesting.
Last month, nearly two full years later, Redskins receiver Devin Thomas took time out of his busy offseason schedule of modeling, appearing in music videos and hanging out with former Dancin’ with the Stars contestants to go see the new “Predators” remake, starring Adrien Brody.
Apparently the third-year receiver liked the movie, because he went on Twitter as soon as the movie and began referring to himself of “The Predator.” When fans pointed out that one of his teammates already had that nickname, Thomas posted the following:
“im the real predator chris just has the dreads!”
With that in mind, I caught up with Thomas to address the situation and to see why he felt, after two years, he should take over rights to the nickname. I mean, it was my website that got this whole thing started anyway.
“You shouldn’t have given him that nickname,” Thomas said. “The man never watches the movies. I have ‘The Predator’ on my ribs. The ribs!?! Who gets ‘The Predator’ tattooed on their ribs unless they’re really about ‘The Predator?’
“I’m about ‘The Predator,’” he continued. “I don’t have the dreads. He has the dreads, yes. So he might look like ‘The Predator.’ But when it comes to the real name, the movie, the concept of Dutch, Dillon, Billy, Poncho, Hawkins and all of the characters from the first movie – that’s me. I’m ‘The Predator.’ I ain’t got time to bleed.”
Have you talked to Horton about this? Do we need to set up something so you two can talk this out?
“If you want to,” Thomas said. “We talked about it a year or two ago when ‘The Predator’ stuff first popped up, and he didn’t really know about the movies. So I was already a little upset back then. He got the nickname ‘The Predator’ because of the dreads, but he doesn’t really know about ‘The Predator.’”
Apparently this beef has escalated to the point that teammates are being asked to pick sides.