You know how when you go to an architect’s home, it’s always beautifully designed and meticulously decorated? The athlete’s house is the opposite of that. Pro athletes make millions of dollars but their homes invariably look like they were created by a Windows XP program called “House Generator.” You can’t even really hate these houses, because they don’t have any qualities to object to. Sure, part of it is that on literally any given day, their boss could call them up and say, “we traded you to Cleveland, pack your bags.” But still, your home affects your day-to-day quality of life more than anything else, why not spend a little time and effort to make yours pleasing? (Full disclosure: I write this from atop a chair covered in dirty laundry, in a jail cell-like room lined with stacks of dusty books, so I can’t really talk.) So let’s look at the houses of some of DC’s leading athletes, and revel in their lack of taste. Maybe it will make us feel better about the fact that they earn in a year more than any of us will earn in a lifetime.
John Wall, the star point guard of the Wizards, lives in this sprawling McMansion in Potomac, MD. Why are so many pro athletes’s houses always so far out in the exurbs? That must complicate the groupie situation. “Hey, after the club closes, you want to come to my mansion in Potomac?” “Where’s Potomac?” “Oh, about an hour outside of the city.” I’m not sure you can even get an Uber in Potomac.
This house is just way too big. If I’m being presumptuous and John Wall is going to spend his post-basketball life adopting dozens and dozens of orphans, then fine, I’m the bad guy. I don’t think he’s going to do that, though. This house looks like a “corporate getaway” your company rents for a team-building weekend during which you do “trust falls” and a girl in Marketing gets impregnated by a guy in Sales. This is the kind of house that Segways were invented for.
The pool is nice, though. I’ll give him that. Though how much can you really use a pool in Potomac, Maryland? Ten, twelves weeks a year?
Robert Griffin III, R*****ns quarterback, lives in this $3 million home in the gated Creighton Farms community in Loudon County. There’s a lot to shake your head disapprovingly at in that sentence. Gated communities are the worst. Have you ever been too cheap to take a cab to the airport, so you took a Super Shuttle, and you ended up in a crowded van at 5:30 in the morning with a bunch of random cranky strangers? That’s what living in a gated community is like, all the time.
And look at the house. You know what this house is? This house is basic. If this house was a person, it would be the president of the Chris Pratt fan club. If this house was footwear, it would be Uggs. If this house was a coffee drink, it would be a pumpkin spice latte. You get my drift. Though if you trust the listing, that’s real gold trim on the kitchen island. If I got invited over, I’d definitely bring a chisel and pliers. According to the Creighton Farms website, the gated community offers “access to all of metro DC!” And then to prove it, there’s a map placing it well past Dulles. That’s like saying it offers access to all of the United States. “Just pick a direction and start driving!” Oh, and there’s an “artist-in-residence” at Creighton Farms, too. He paints landscapes. Guess if they’re any good.
Jay Gruden, coach of the R******s, isn’t technically an athlete, but I thought I’d include him because of the amusing backstory. Gruden lives in the same gated community, Creighton Farms, as Griffin, the quarterback. But Gruden has been systematically destroying Griffin’s career for months now, benching him, telling the media how bad he is, and pestering the owner to trade him. Griffin used to have carte blanche from the franchise and fans, but now he’s basically being run out of town because of the coach. And they live in the same gated community. Can you imagine how awkward it would be if your boss berated the crap out of you at the shareholders meeting, demoted you, and then, on top of that, you had to see him around the hood? You have to assume that Griffin goes out late at night and keys the coach’s car.
Oh but while we’re here, why not comment on the house’s general mediocrity? You know how in some schools, they have sex ed classes where they just tell the kids not to have sex, because sex is bad? This house looks like the kind of house one of those abstinence teachers would live in. And what’s with that fancy satin dressing bench in the walk-in closet? Sports coaches are the worst dressers on earth, bar none. Can you imagine this guy sitting on that and saying to himself, “What should I wear today, some tearaway parachute pants, or drawstring sweatshorts?”
You may remember Gilbert Arenas as the guy on the Wizards who brought two handguns into the locker room after getting in an argument with his teammate, and leaving them in that teammate’s locker with a note on them that said, “pick one.” Needless to say, he was kicked off the team. (Crazily, the teammate he did that to is now on trial for murder, for actually shooting someone! Arenas was lucky the guy wasn’t like, “okay, I pick this one.” *BLAM!*) This house in Great Falls, which just sold for $2.5 million, is marginally better than the others, though still underwhelming in the extreme. It’s basically just a regular house, but stretched out to ridiculous proportions. Like, look at that kitchen. I’m 99.9% sure I had those exact same cabinets in the kitchen of my college apartment in Iowa.
Still, Arenas is trying, although his definition of “trying” seems to be “put a chandelier in every single room, including the bathroom.” This house actually languished on the market for quite a while, until Arenas stripped out the huge shark tank. Yeah, he had a shark tank in his house. That’s totally one of those ideas rich dudes come up with late at night with their entourage, when they’re drunk. “I’ll, like, sit and watch them, study them, learn to be a predator on the court!” Yeah, no. Rumor had it that he was spending $5000 a month just to feed the sharks. If you have a child and you’re not forcing them to do several hours of basketball drills per day, you basically don’t care about their future.