4. The Reality Is, the stench of arrogant incompetence still lingers.
In a column built on the premise of bringing a dose of reality to fandom, I can’t let the last week slide by without commenting on the absolutely embarrassing debacle that the Sean Taylor jersey retirement was.
It’s simply not hyperbole that there has never been a worse effort made by any professional sports organization to honor a legendary player from their past. Plenty of players have been simply ignored. Plenty of players have been disowned or not honored because of their own poor choices or the consequences of their actions. But once an organization makes the massive decision to immortalize a past player by retiring their jersey, the absolute bare-minimum components of such a ceremony aren’t that difficult to come up with…and this organization managed to whiff on even those bare minimums.
If they’d asked fans, we could have given them countless ideas of reasonable and appropriate ways to make the day appropriately special for Taylor’s family and fans alike. Instead, the day felt like it was thrown together with about 45 minutes of planning on a shoestring budget.
They should have honored Taylor’s memory, allowed former teammates and his family to give speeches, honored his memory and legacy with meaningful social media posts and in-stadium video montages, etc. Instead, in a transparent attempt to use the Taylor jersey retirement as cover for the bad press the organization has been getting, and thinking they could outsmart the media and their own fans, here’s what they did:
Arrogant Incompetence is the inevitable equilibrium for this organization under Daniel Snyder. We all thought it was a new era under Jason Wright and Ron Rivera. We all thought they had finally turned the corner and even though past indiscretions were still not fully resolved or properly handled.
At least, we thought, the people in charge now aren’t going to further damage the reputation or legacy of our once-proud franchise. But this Taylor debacle has made one thing abundantly clear: The Snyder Stench can seep in and rot the professional competence and reputation of anyone and everyone sucked into its orbit. Mike Shanahan, Bruce Allen, Jay Gruden, Scot McCloughan, Brian LeFemina, and now Ron Rivera and Jason Wright. Maybe it’ll be the last straw. Maybe Rivera and Wright will stand up to the Snyder’s moving forward. But it’s sure disappointing to see decisions of this magnitude being bungled by the new regime.