Sports

Dwayne Haskins’ In-Game Selfie Could Have Been Deadly, According to Science

Dwayne Haskins raises a football in celebration.
Dwayne Haskins celebrates after defeating the Detroit Lions at FedEx Field on Sunday in Landover, Maryland.
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

It had been a while since Washington’s fans saw their team win a football game at home—399 days, to be precise. There’s no point in counting (or watching, for that matter), but the odometer nevertheless threatened to tick into the 400s on Sunday before the unthinkable happened: Washington didn’t lose a football game. Their 19–16 win over the Detroit Lions wasn’t pretty, but those brave and stupid souls who trudged out to Landover, Maryland, got to witness the rare sight of a home quarterback kneeling in victory formation. It just wasn’t the team’s starting quarterback, Dwayne Haskins. He was busy taking a selfie with a fan.

Haskins, a rookie, had just led his team on back-to-back drives that set up two field goals. The first one tied the game, and the second gave Washington the lead with 16 seconds remaining. Lions quarterback Jeff Driskel threw an interception on the ensuing possession, but Haskins didn’t notice—he was already celebrating.

When the offense went back on the field to secure a rare home victory, they did so without Haskins. “We were looking for him,” interim coach Bill Callahan said after the game. Veteran backup Case Keenum sprinted out to take the final snap in Haskins’ stead.

“I was so hype, I broke a water bottle. I look up and we’re in victory [formation]. I thought the game was over with already,” Haskins said, adding, “but I’ll get it next time.” According to recent trends, that “next time” won’t be for another 400 days or so.

Callahan, for what it’s worth, didn’t sound too upset. “I’m happy we won,” he told reporters afterward. Others weren’t so eager to give Haskins a pass, however.

“How do [you] miss the last snap of a game because ur taking selfies. That’s unprofessional & wrong,” former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann tweeted. Note that Theismann had given Haskins his blessing to be the first Washington quarterback since his retirement to wear the No. 7 jersey. Also note that Jaime López-Verduzco, the fan who took the photo with Haskins, responded to Theismann’s criticism with a brutal Twitter meme.

Oof. Let’s take a look at a replay to see what happened there.

We will not speculate on the extent of Theismann’s Twitter injury, but here’s another angle for you.

The Washington Post spoke with López-Verduzco, who moved to D.C. from Texas in September and was attending his first Washington home game. “This just shows that Dwayne is very in touch with his fans,” he said. “It also says a lot about his character, if he’s willing to share such a special moment with the people who support him and the team.”

While it’s easy to accuse Theismann of being out of touch, his concerns shouldn’t be ignored. If anything, he underestimated just how dangerous Haskins’ actions were. According to a study by researchers in India, there were 259 selfie-related deaths between 2011 and 2018. “The mean age was 22.94 years,” the study reads, and “about 72.5 percent of the total deaths occurred in males.” As a 22-year-old man, Haskins wasn’t just taking a selfie—he was playing chicken against the Grim Reaper himself.

Haskins was lucky to survive, but at what cost? A 2018 Swansea University study found that those “who repeatedly post photos and videos of themselves online showed a 25 percent increase in narcissistic traits.” Some would argue that we shouldn’t take the results of a single study all that seriously. I would argue that those people are fools. Football is often called “the ultimate team game,” so we’ve never seen what would happen if a narcissist played behind center. Listen to Joe Theismann: If Haskins doesn’t stop posing for selfies, then Washington might become a laughingstock. Haven’t the home fans suffered enough?