Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Danny

I love rooting against the Washington Redskins. Not the Redskins themselves so much as their owner, Chainsaw Dan Snyder. (A nod to Gregg Easterbrook of’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback for the “Chainsaw Dan” sobriquet.) It was hard to root against the Redskins when that meant rooting against Joe Gibbs, but now that Gibbs has retired again, let the games begin.

Rarely has anyone made cheering his demise as easy as Chainsaw Dan. He stepped up right away with the current job search. Gibbs hired Assistant Head Coach – Defense Gregg Williams four years, with a strongly rumored understanding that Williams would be the Head Coach in Waiting. (The Redskins invented bloated coaching titles. On any other team, Williams would be the Defensive Coordinator. Granted, he can get pretty defensive when anyone questions his methods, but that’s a different story. Don Breaux, the Offensive Coordinator, is third on the offensive coaching depth chart, behind the Associate Head Coach – Offense, and the Assistant Head Coach – Offense. The Redskins were also the first to hire a Quality Control Coach. The team has made the playoffs three times in the past eleven years. That guy should definitely be renting.)

I digress. Assistant Head Coach – Defense Head Coach in Waiting Williams has been interviewed by Chainsaw Dan four times in the three weeks since Gibbs re-retired. This is after watching him work every day for four years. If ever anyone is looking for an excuse not to hire someone, this is how you do it. Sooner or later Williams will get pissed off, pass gas, or pick his nose in an interview, and Snyder will have his reason. Unless, of course, Chainsaw Dan only wants to keep Williams hanging long enough for all other coaching vacancies to be filled, thus preventing him from coming back to haunt the Redskins for at least a year.

In related news, the current coaching staff was finally called by Gibbs sixteen days after his retirement with updates on their status. This is the first any of them has heard from anyone in the Redskins’ hierarchy about their jobs. Like Williams, their contracts run through this season, so they won’t be sleeping in cardboard boxes under the Sousa Bridge any time soon, but still, this is classless.

So far we’ve established why you might root against Snyder: he’s an asshole. To his credit, he goes out of his way to make it easy for you, so he’s also a douche bag.

Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported that former New York Giants head coach and Robin Williams look-alike Jim Fassel was the front runner for the Redskins’ head coaching job. This prompted a storm of protests from fans to the Post web site, and sports radio stations. One day later, Fassel was no longer acknowledged by the Redskins as their front runner. The reason given: poor fan reaction.

This is why the Redskins win every off-season and suck the rest of the year. It’s all about the media, and the spin. Snyder made his billions in marketing; he talks people into buying stuff they don’t need for a living. He sells out that white elephant of a ballpark by whipping the fans into frenzy of high expectations every year with flashy free agent signings and coaching changes, then weathers the storm all year when they alternately suck, or play barely well enough to make the playoffs. (This year’s combination of things breaking exactly as they had to would, in a different context, be more than enough for Shrub to justify invading China.)

The best thing about sports is that the true bullshit stops when the teams take the field, rink, floor. Sooner or later, someone has to hitch up his jock and kick ass, or go home. Snyder doesn’t get this. He still thinks he’s so smart he can market other teams into laying down for him like they’re rednecks who can barely make the rent on the trailer who think they need a hemi to drive to the bank to cash their welfare check. It hasn’t worked, and it won’t. Which leaves me with endless vistas of enjoyment spread before me, watching the petulant look Chainsaw Dan gets in the owner’s box every time the Redskins disappoint him yet again.

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