Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mr. Snyder, We're Ready For Your Close Up

The much anticipated (by Skins fans, at least) E:60 feature on Dan Snyder last night was disappointing, to say the least. Not only did it lack any kind of journalistic teeth, but it lacked even the basic balance you would have expected.

One of my local sports radio brethren who was included in the piece, Eric Bickel of the Sports Junkies, had an excellent take on the disappointment of the piece in his blog entry on MASN.

Dan says very early on in the interview with Nichols that he is very shy around the media because he's taken such a beating over the years. He plays the victim card very nicely. But it's a joke. Please give me all the incidents where Dan Snyder was unfairly criticized?

Was he unfairly criticized when he started suing his own fans last year when they couldn't maintain their season ticket plans in the middle of a recession? Was it a low blow to complain about how he has jacked up ticket prices to levels that have essentially priced out the average fan, while producing only two playoff wins in 10 years?

Maybe nobody should complain about having to pay $25 for the privilege of parking a mile away from the stadium and taking a bus into the game? Or how about the time he tried to ban walking to the stadium, just because he wanted to make as much off of parking as possible? I'm sure fans loved when he tried to make everybody purchase tickets using a Redskins credit card too.

Look, everybody makes mistakes. And Snyder is slowly owning up to some of them, to his credit. But let's paint the whole picture please. This is a guy that's been a ruthless businessman through the years. He's fired long-time employees and public relations people at a rate equivalent to the number of coaches he's gone through.

When you hide in the middle of an entourage and fly in on your chopper or private plane, fans have a hard time relating to you. Ted Leonsis is a very wealthy man too; yet you can go up to Ted at the Verizon center and shake his hand. He'll talk to you about the team. He seems to care about your opinion. He'll even give you his email address. If Dan Snyder is in the room, it's like he's surrounded by the secret service. It's absurd. I've witnessed it firsthand.

These are just some of the issues that have upset the fans over the years - In my opinion, none of them unjustified either. So who's really been the victim here? I'd say it's us the fans.

REACT: Indeed, the fans only got quick and short mention in this piece, which I suppose was by design. It was supposed to be a "who is Dan Snyder" piece not a "how pissed off are Redskins fans" piece.

Still, these kinds of fluff pieces by E:60 only further weaken the brand of that show, which by its looks and faux "newsroom" intro, aspires to be in the 60 Minutes or Real Sports league.

Well, clearly, it's not.

UPDATE: Holy, shit, I AM AN IDIOT!!!! It turns out, the Lombardi trophy DOES have names of players and owners and coaches on it! I never knew! They are engraved on the rear panels of the tri-panel stand. I had previously riffed on this on various radio shows, and I have Dan Sndyer like free-agent egg on my face right now. Apologies, Dan.

1 comment:

  1. Czabe, I remember the day I heard that Snyder was buying SportsTalk 980. The first thing that popped in my head was "oh shit, Czaban's gonna get canned." Here we are 2 years later, and you are still employed by 980. I have to give you and your fellow Sports Reporters credit for not "sucking up" to the boss and continuing to criticize him when it's warranted. I guess I have to give Snyder credit as well, for apparently being able to take the criticism. The Eagles once fired an employee for a "tweet" that criticized them for letting Brian Dawkins go. I guess Snyder has a lot thicker skin? Or maybe he's just a smart businessman and doesn't want to mess with a ratings success? Fascinating dynamic at work here. I wish that you guys would address it on your show sometime (does Snyder censor you guys at all? were you ever in fear of losing your jobs? etc).