Indignant over another Pro Bowl snub, Washington Redskins middle linebacker London Fletcher stepped out of character Wednesday and vented his frustration, calling himself "the Susan Lucci of the NFL" and deeming his career "Hall of Fame worthy."
"I don't know if it was because I wasn't a first-round draft pick, I don't do some kind of dance when I make a 10-yard tackle, I don't go out and get arrested," Fletcher said. "I believe in playing the game the way it's supposed to be played. You line up each and every week, each and every play, and you go out and get the job done.
"You look at my body of work and I've done that for 11 years, but because I'm not going out causing a lot of controversy, holding a private meeting with the coordinator saying this, this and this, causing a lot of strife on my team, I don't garner a lot of attention."
Fletcher is the leading tackler in the NFL this decade and has never missed a game in his 11-year career, even playing through a severely sprained foot earlier this season. He is widely considered the MVP of the Redskins this season, and the anchor to a defense ranked fourth in the league. Still, it is rare to hear him brag about himself or stray from the politically correct party line when addressing reporters.
"My career has been Hall of Fame worthy," Fletcher said. "But some coaches and some players get caught up in the hype reading the newspapers or listening to some national TV game as opposed to watching the game with no sound. ... I put myself up against anybody playing the position, anybody."
He went on to call the snub "BS."
Speaking to News4's Dan Hellie, former Redskins linebacker Ken Harvey, the team's current director of responsibility, said Fletcher excels at the kind of tackles that win games but do not necessarily win notoriety.
"He's not a show-boater," Harvey said. "He's a baller, and he has the stats to back it up."
Though solid throughout his career, Fletcher has never been able to place himself among his position's elite. San Francisco's Patrick Willis and Carolina's Jon Beason were the NFC selections for inside linebacker this year in voting among fans, coaches and players, and it would be hard to argue with either choice.
"I understand they can take only two middle linebackers, but to have it happen year after year after year after year after year. I'm an eight-time alternate. I'm the Susan Lucci of the NFL," said Fletcher, referring to the soap opera star who was nominated for an Emmy 18 times before finally winning.
Fletcher saved his harshest words for players who don't play injured and said he was angered by players who celebrate trivial plays.
"There's a lot of guys who would cancel Christmas, so to speak, when they got hurt," Fletcher said.
Fletcher conceded his old school attitude might not mesh in the modern NFL.
"I'm just an old, grumpy middle linebacker," the 33-year-old said with a smile.