Beyond the Sound-bites - The Truth about Dan Snyder

Daniel M. Snyder purchased the Washington Redskins and their new stadium in 1999. By 2001, this lifelong Redskins’ fan began to think Snyder was copying Jerry Jones’ marketing strategy a bit too closely. I believed that so strongly that I contacted Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News in the summer of 2001 and told him it seemed to me Dan Snyder was the ‘bastard son of Jerry Jones”. I’m not proud of that comment, and Mr. Cowlishaw, to his credit, wasn’t very receptive to it. Let’s face it though; Dan Snyder made more than a few decisions that irritated and embarrassed many of the Redskins’ faithful. That whole deal where training camp attendees were charged $10.00 each was particularly vexing. Dan Snyder’s dream come true – owning the Redskins and restoring them to greatness – felt more and more like a nightmare to me. Nonetheless, I believe in giving credit where credit is due. And in Mr. Snyder’s case, credit is due. Over the past 5 years, he’s run the team much more wisely than he did prior to Joe Gibbs’ reincarnation. Of course, you wouldn’t think so listening to the mainstream media.

Look and listen; you could see and hear the winds of change blowing

The hiring of Joe Gibbs … I don’t know what terms Gibbs demanded upon rejoining the Redskins as Head Coach. From the outside looking in, it appears he was allowed to have a tangible, positive impact on the team’s front office. You began hearing less about Snyder and Vinny Cerrato, and more about Gibbs. You also began hearing criticism of draft selections, few as they were, rather than hindsight mocking of big-ticket, past-their-prime free-agent signings. The right topics were gradually being discussed. Foundational change was in the air.

The hiring of Jim Zorn … Zorn may or not be successful in his first stint as a Head Coach. Time will tell. But, I haven’t heard anyone argue that Dan Snyder failed to state his rationale for anointing Zorn as Gibbs’ replacement. Snyder knew what he was looking for, and ultimately, he acted on his best judgment rather than impetuously going with a big name. Question Snyder’s judgment and his criteria all you want, but at least he acted in a logical manner that can be explained in terms other than “I’m the owner, I’ll do as I please.”

The QB trade that didn’t happen … Dan Snyder took a lot of flack in the electronic media for exploring the possibilities of a trade for Jay Cutler and for the right to draft Mark Sanchez. But, he didn’t make the trade. He discussed it, so what? Media pundits pounced all over him for that, suggesting he had irreparably damaged Jason Campbell’s psyche. The worst example of that occurred earlier this week. The NFL Network displayed a caption that read ‘Redskins’ QB Quandary’. Are you kidding me? Did Jason Campbell sound for one minute like he thinks there’s a quandary? Has Zorn sounded like he doesn’t know who his starter will be this season? Puhlease! Besides, if the owner of the team explores the possibility of a trade, that’s his job. Coaching Campbell up in the midst of those considerations is Zorn’s job, and playing to his peak level regardless is Campbell’s job. Everybody at Redskins’ Park is doing his and her job. Some in the media apparently think their job is to try and invent the news rather than simply report it.

Today’s Dan Snyder is not the Dan Snyder of old. He doesn’t refer publicly to his wife’s comments about which punter to sign. He spends millions on star players who are still in their respective primes. And, he didn’t trade away the 13th pick in the draft just because he could have made a splash. When it comes to Snyder, it’s about time the mainstream media reported today’s news and stopped clinging to yesterday’s sound-bites.

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Tags: Snyder Redskins Gibbs Zorn

  • Sports Scatter

    I agree on one point…this whole QB trade/QB draft thing was very clearly invented by reports, but not so much the media as some lame fan bloggers. Somehow, the lame media took these bloggers as sources and turned this into some kind of ongoing issue.

    The only facts were indeed that the Redskins made inquiries, as did about 15 other teams on each of the said players. The Redskins never put Campbell on the trading block, and I don’t believe Cerrato or Zorn even rate Cutler or Sanchez as better. Nor do I. The whole thing was an example of the media only having power because watchers/listeners/readers grant them that power, not because they’re a credible source of anything anymore.

    There is far more confusion than knowledge being dispersed over the Internet these days. And, the confusion seems to get more regurgitated than the knowledge on the popular televison and radio networks because of its sensationalism. Somehow the media believes a bunch of lame Broncos fans are sources just because they have an RSS feed.

  • truthseeker

    Sports Scatter – strong insights, indeed. Well-written too. If you don’t have your own blog, maybe you should. I like your edge.

  • Daniel Lehrman

    Well put.

  • Redskins Guy

    Amen! Snyder is no saint and he’s hardly perfect, but I’m tired of watching him get beaten up just because he’s an easy target.

  • truthseeker

    Redskins Guy – thanks for the affirmation.

  • truthseeker

    You too Daniel. Appreciate your feedback.

  • Larry Brown

    I really have to agree to disagree with you on many of your arguments. In fact I would say your original thought of Dan Snyder being the bastard son of Jerry Jones may have been and STILL IS the most accurate account of this situation. Why you ask, Jim Zorn! Jim Zorn was selected, because like Phillips in Dallas (on his last chance) and in Zorn’s case no experience was because their owners wanted guys they could push around. Jerry is the owner, CEO and General Manager, here in DC we have an owner, CEO and no one titled GM so we can only presume the GM is the same as the owner! When Marty turned all of Danny’s poor free agent decisions out the door and rebounded the worse team in the NFL into an 8-8 team excluding Danny he got fired! Danny wants to be in charge of everything just like Jerry, but Jerry did play Div 1 football at Arkansas, and well Danny still plays midget football in Alexandria!

    Throwing your QB under the bus! Not a good idea let alone 3 times in 6 weeks. Maybe a motivational tool, but I believe suggesting Colt Brennan is getting a chance to compete would have been more appropriate! Our drafts have been horrid and we waste too much of the salary cap! For Haynesworth money the Eagles and Giants fill three holes with very capable players, we get 1/11 and think we hit the jackpot. Last time I checked the Steelers and Patriots don’t make stupid moves like this!

    Success in this league has been based on a good draft, where you get a lot out of low priced players. But not in Washington, we pay top dollar for proven Pro Bowlers who never seem to make the Pro Bowl playing in Washington. Finally on the draft, when you have one of the worst offenses in football and you draft NO offensive players what does that say? And how bout those 3 receivers we drafted in the second round last year. At least 22 receivers drafted later or unsigned free agents outperformed all three combined!!!! Yeah it looked a lot like the 2009 Dallas draft didn’t it!

    Dan Snyder should fire himself as owner, CEO, and fire Vinnie Cerrato as his raquetball partner as well!

    Jack Kent Cooke should be his model. Hire a good football coach, a good GM and just sit in his box sign checks and collect championships!

  • Rick Georges

    Having been soured by threatening phone calls and letters from the Redskins, because I didn’t pay for my season tickets fast enough, I consider myself a “former” Redskin fan. The news today that the Redskins have been accused of tampering with the Haynesworth signing should be no surprise to those who have watched the deterioration of the franchise since the new owner took over. Defend Mr. Snyder if you like; the proof is in the pudding. I will never buy another ticket to a Redskin game. I will support the players, and watch on TV; but, the Redskins will get no more of my hard earned money. Now that I think about it, spending $1,000 to be accosted by rude drunks, spend 2 hours driving to an from FedEx, and braving the weather to watch mediocre football is nuts. I will sit in my easy chair in Florida, sip my drink, and watch in HD on the big screen.

  • http://landryhat davedallasfan

    thats my sentement as well, rick georges, as a cowboy fan

  • kenny

    to say synder picked zorn, knowing what he wanted, not going after a big name, is a joke. The truth of the matter is that no top notch coach or GM will work for Dan Dynder because he wants to be the GM. Believe it that no respected head coach(cowher,mooch, etc) that has a NFL resume will work for him. If they were to hire a Polian,knowing he onlt takes job with full control, maybe then they could get a reputable coach but as long as synder is calling the shots, the Jim fassels of the world will always be on his short list. people who are desperate for a job or the flavor of the month assistant who can’t resist his money and the big stage redskins nation is. Look at spags, he rather take the sorry ass rams job and money then get his first HC job working for the most disfunctional front office in football. Until they get rid of vinny and hire a real GM , with real authority to build the team, we are stuck in medocrity and this front offices only ability is to shoot from the hip on every decision. I root because i was raised to, but my eyes and ears tell me under this regime, our chances are slim and none and slim just got cut after another shoot from the hip front office decision. Campbell, i love you, your ability and the class in which you carry yourself but RUN, don’t walk away from this team when you become a free agent after the year. They don’t deserve a class act in a classless, clueless organization. hey vinnie, go do another radio show, what professioanls!