Saturday, October 3, 2009

Love the Team, Hate the Owner

Things have not started well for my Washington Redskins in 2009. Hopes were relatively high going into the new season with some solid off-season acquisitions and improvements to a team that was 8-8 last season with a rookie head coach. Coach Jim Zorn's second time around is slightly frightening. Three games in and the Skins are 1-2 with three offensive touchdowns and a terrible god-awful loss to the Lions last week. A Lions team that had not won a game in nearly two years.

The media and fans across the area have been clamoring for radical change at Redskins Park all this week. Some blame the players, others blame the coach. And even though Jim Zorn did make some terrible decisions last week in Detroit, I really think the problem lies with the owner who has been running this franchise into the ground since 1999. Dan Snyder, the 44-year-old billionaire midget who purchased the team from a classy owner (Jack Kent Cooke) has continued to make bad move after bad move in an effort to make as much money as he possibly can with an absolute disregard for the quality of the product he is building.

The Skins continue to draft poorly and throw money around at high-priced free agents who have passed their prime. A few draft moves and acquisitions have hit over the last decade (Chris Cooley, Clinton Portis, London Fletcher, etc...), but aging lifeless players like Dan Wilkinson, Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith and Jason Taylor have crippled the franchise's ability to grow talent from the draft. While the Patriots keep drafting and honing their own young superstars, the Redskins trade away quality draft picks in a win-now mentality. Snyder has failed to learn that winning takes a long term plan and requires competent general managers and coaches who can evaluate talent.

Vinny Cerrato has been the GM of the Redskins for 9 years and has failed miserably for the most part in evaluating and drafting talented players out of college. The Skins continue to try and draft flashy players and not build depth at key core positions like offensive and defensive line. Cerrato is only in his job because Snyder is stubborn and would not be employed by any other team in the league.

The real issue here is that Dan Snyder is a problem that cannot be fixed. Until he either dies in 30-40 years or until he goes bankrupt and is forced to sell the team, we life-long Redskins fans are doomed to endure this era of idiocracy. I gave up my season tickets years ago (primarily because I couldn't afford them any more) and my brother has completely shunned the franchise he grew up rooting for. I will continue to support the players and the team but I don't plan on going to many games and put more money into the pocket of Snyder. The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan are organizing a mass stunt for tomorrow's game against the lowly Tampa Bay Bucs. They encourage fans to wear paper bags as an "F.U." to Snyder. If more and more fans start to abandon games and test Snyder's resolve by not financially supporting his empire, maybe... just maybe we can somehow force this small heartless man to abandon our beloved franchise. If that happens, perhaps the Redskins can return to the glory years under Jack Kent Cooke that spawned three Super Bowl wins. Alas... I'm not holding my breath.

1 comment:

Nate said...

Another option is to abandon the franchise, cause it sucks, and start supporting the Wizards and Caps, as they are actually competent and fan-friendly organizations. Why would anyone endure a 5 plus hour trainwreck of a game experience with the Redskins, when you can get to the Verizon Center in 15-30 minutes from anywhere around the city, enjoy a game, maybe a meal at a local restaurant, and then get home a full two hours before you would have if you went to a Skins game. The Redskins are an absolute joke, in my book. Enjoy them.