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Posted at 10:34 AM ET, 02/ 3/2011

Dan Snyder is a jackwagon (please don't sue me)

By Jason Woodmansee

I have tried to not jump on the “Dan Snyder is Evil” bandwagon. I told myself the guy just wants to win, and is just doing what any fan would do if they owned a team. I hung in there through all the coaching changes, Vinny Cerrato, the free agent busts, all of it. But this is it. I’m done. I will no longer defend anything Dan Snyder does. You hear that, Dan? We’re through.

Dan Snyder’s lawsuit against the Washington City Paper is just so appalling on so many levels, I don’t even know where to begin. Should I start with the sheer stupidity of creating a huge audience for a three month old article in the City Paper, which, let’s be honest, most people buy for the adult ads in the back? (Um, that’s what other people tell me.) Or maybe the complete misunderstanding of the basic tenets of the First Amendment and what it means to be a public figure? Or the fact that he’s accusing the paper of anti-semitism and got a rabbi to compare the City Paper to the Nazis?

But no, I’m going to go with the worst thing being that, as Redskins fans, EVERYONE IS LAUGHING AT US. It’s just embarrassing. How stupid and petty. Hey Dan, you own the Washington Redskins. It’s a sweet gig. How about you grow a pair and deal with a bit of criticism. Gene Weingarten did the best job of summing up the laughter, writing that as a Giants fan, he supports “everything you have done during your stewardship of the Redskins.” Please stop doing this to us.

I know people have been quick to jump on Dave McKenna and his piece, and well, yes, it is a bit of a hatchet job. Okay, okay, it’s a total hatchet job. But so what? Step into the public eye and people will print all sorts of nasty stuff about you, stretching the truth as much as they can. It’s part of the deal. Don’t forget, the other part of the deal is that you have a billion dollars and everyone else kisses your ass. That’s not a bad trade.

In full disclosure, I’m a Dave McKenna fan - he interviewed me in 2006 when I started the Stop Shuler site making fun of Heath Shuler’s run for Congress. There’s no doubt that he’s not a fan of Snyder, but he represents a good portion of the Redskins fan base - his concerns aren’t coming out of nowhere.

I think this has a lot to do with the fact that relationships between sports teams and newspapers have become much more adversarial over the last few years. In the old days, a team might be concerned about how the paper tells the story, but now teams have their own media outlets. This means that the Redskins and the media are not partners, but competitors. If Al’s Car Barn wants to target Redskins fans online, it has a choice between advertising on washingtonpost.com or redskins.com. The teams and the media that cover them are competing for eyeballs and ad revenue, making an awkward relationship even more so. Not only do the Redskins want to control the message, they want to sell advertising to tell it.

I have been told many time by people who work with NFL teams that “you don’t want to work for the Redskins.” They told me that each front office takes on the personality of its owner, and everyone in the Redskins offices looks over his or her shoulder, afraid of getting dressed down by Snyder or another higher-up. I always told the people who shared these stories that they were wrong - working for the Redskins would still be a dream job. It appears I was wrong.

Please, Mr. Snyder - sell the team. Fade into obscurity and I promise you people will stop writing about how you are tone-deaf, arrogant and thin-skinned. I think we’d all be better off.

By Jason Woodmansee  | February 3, 2011; 10:34 AM ET
Categories:  Jason Woodmansee, Redskins  | Tags:  Jason Woodmansee, Redskins  
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Comments

The First Amendment does not allow nor protect libel or, as you admit the McKenna piece is, "hatchet jobs."

Posted by: CapsNut | February 3, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Hatchet jobs and libel are two very different things. Collecting everything bad about you in one place is mean, but not libelous. His lawyers should know better. Or his PR people. Or anyone who works for him.

Posted by: jasonwoodmansee | February 3, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

This guy makes it hard to be a Redskins fan and makes it such a difficult decision when fans choose to support this team.

Posted by: arjefferson | February 3, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey little man. SELL THE TEAM.

Posted by: rg019571 | February 3, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

@CapsNut - please indicate which portions of McKenna's piece were libelous...

Posted by: funkey | February 3, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Well, I suggest everybody take the time to read the lawsuit itself. It is only 13 pages and not bogged down in leagleese.

https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/fbem/DocumentDisplayServlet?documentId=tirVQewp3Wt/s2j+6wUb0A==&system=prod

Love him or hate him, if Snyder is right that some of the claims made by McKenna are false (and they list the falsehoods) and the City Paper refused to print retractions, then Snyder has a case here.

And getting back to the article itself, while Marty Schottenheimer did post an 8-3 record over his final 11 games as Redskins Head Coach, #1, His record that season was 8-8 so McKenna ignores the 0-5 start. #2. Marty had been highly critical of Snyder's first two seasons while a commentator on ESPN before accepting the Head Coaching job with the Redskins. The fact that Snyder hired Marty Schottenheimer in the first place was odd to say the least given Snyder's reputation and Schottenheimer's criticisms of Snyder.


Finally It was no secret that Snyder wanted Norv Turner gone (49-59-1 over his seven seasons, more selective editing by McKenna because he was 32-47-1 in five seasons before Snyder) when he took over the team. However Snyder didn't take over until right before training camp in 1999, way too late to change a Head Coach (but a good time to change GM's if all the draft picks were camp which they were which is why Charlie Casserly was dumped at that point).

Snyder wouldn't fire Turner after winning the NFC East and the home playoff game in the 1999 season. But finally got rid of Turner during the disasterous 2000 season. Synder badly wanted Steve Spurrier to replace Turner but Spurrier wasn't leave Florida yet. He did after the 2001 season and Snyder got Schottenheimer out of the way for the coach he had always wanted.

I should also note I knew a lot Redskins fans in 2000 who hated Marty Schottenheimer's "boring" offense and were happy to see him go. A good chunk of those people now bash Snyder for dumping him.

Posted by: CapsNut | February 3, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I didn't know Snyder had a reputation that could be tarnished more than the gross mismanagement as the steward of a once proud NFL franchise with a loyal fanbase, blatantly ignoring best practices, as evidenced by the two organizations playing in this weekend's Super Bowl I might add.\

It is a shame that in the name of marketing and money that said team cannot come out with the blatant truth, that the team is not good and not "one player away" from a Super Bowl, as it is made to seem to fans each year.

Too bad a majority of the money an NFL team makes is from the tv contract, as even a drop in attendance won't hurt the Redskins bottom line that much.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | February 3, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

interesting. it would be a shame were he to actually win this case.

Posted by: funkey | February 3, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Join our new Facebook group "Redskins Fans in Support of Dave McKenna" and vote against corporate bullies!

Posted by: toxicpie | February 3, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

its seems CapsNut has two ball marks on his chin from Snyder...

Posted by: CapsBaby | February 3, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Dan, sell sell sell! Please!

Posted by: dhenken1 | February 3, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Buddy, You just make ot worse, don't jump on thw evil Dan bandwagon.. you have by just writing this bog or blog whatever?! Yes, He's sucked as an owner.. but once it gets "personal" like the so called city paper and it affects my livelihood, family I would sue their a@$ off to to make a point and stoip the lies especially ones that portray me as a criminal! If I suck as a owner vfine you can write whagt you want abpout that and that I am an a@$hole in how I treat people or employees ok, fine but that's the line right there. We know the media around here hates him anyway so i'm not surprised they azre taking their "friends" side and believing the media is always honest and truthful and speak for the people.. not! If you slander my wife, call me a forger(criminal) and it's not true, your see me in court especially if I am a public figure such as Dan Snyder.. You guys are missing the point of the lawsuit.. If it was just about Dan is a terrible owner, mean person, or all about money and not winning fine Dan Synder has heard all of trhat over the past 10 years and didn't sue anyone for slander or untruths, right? When the news paper crosed the line in November with what they alleged that crossedd the line! You guys are thinking poor little newspaper was just doing its job and big ol' bully Dan is always the bad guy the media portrays, I say media.. you start taking responsibility for what you say and write as factual, and how it is used to fire up the masses hjust to sell and promote youre ideas. We want Dan Snyder to take reposibilty.. the media around here including radio media needs to do the same!!

Posted by: gmu2000 | February 3, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

@ Caps Nut

I believe McKenna's point of mentioning the 8-3 finish by Schottenheimers 2001 Skins was to emphasize the point that they had overcome a 0-5 start and finished strong on D and with an offense led by Tony Banks. Other than the two playoff years under Gibbs in 05 and 07, this team hasn't finished strong in any other Dan Snyder Era year.

And i don't believe you can count 1999 as part of the true Snyder era. The players, coaches and contracts were all ready and in place before with little involvement from the owner. Casserly drafted them and signed them, Turner coached them and Dan stewed until he was able to get Vinny to start the parade of Fantasy Football that followed.

Now, let's be honest. With the owner breathing down their necks, the coaches were at a severe disadvantage to coach effectivley in 2000. Brad Johnson couldn't play up to par because he knew Jeff George was primed to take over his starting job, because THE OWNER WANTED IT SO!
The only reason the 2000 season was a disaster was because the owner made it that way.

Can I get an Amen?!

Posted by: jmurray019 | February 3, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

@ gmu2000

First of all, take a breath, learn to type and proof read your entries. We all will be able to understand you much better that way.

2nd of all, you're a Tool.

I don't see how you can defend Dan Snyder. The things brought up by the article seem to have been mentioned at one time or another during the past 11 years since Snyder bought the team. Seeing them all listed together really had to rile up Dan, as he saw in one place his utter failure to win, his ridiculous roster moves and signings and his despicable demeanor and treatment of other people.

And I know what I am talking about. I have first hand knowledge of the "Dark Heart" Riggo talked about and the disgusting way Snyder has treated us, the Fans.

My father was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2006. It was the last year of his 5 year club seat contract. He called the team to ask them to let him out of the final year due to his illness. My father was unable to attend games, could not afford to pay for the tickets that year due his anticipated medical bills and could very well have died befoer the contract was up.

What did the team say? They said he had to pay or they would sue him. He asked,"what if I die before or during the season?" And the response was "We will then take legal action against your estate for the cost of the final year of your tickets plus damages."
My father paid for the final year and continued his battle with a life threatening disease, which he is still battling today.

Now you defend that A-hole all you want. I haven't spent a dime on that team since this all went down with my father, nor will I as long as Dan Snyder owns it. (I do watch on TV and hope they win, despite Dan Snyder). He is a despicable human being, who leaves a path of destruction in his wake. Eventually, after talking to past employees (from the Redskins to Snyder Comm, and yes I know more than a few people that worked for him at both places) reading about these exploits, law suits and failed business ventures, the money gouging and total disregard for the fans, you have to start to believe that this ain't all a coincidence. You have to believe that some of this has to be true.
And i some of it is true and there are public records of it, then you have to consider that more than some may be true.

Posted by: jmurray019 | February 3, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Great to see many 'Skins employees being ordered to make pro-Danny comments on boards. But oh yeah they have a season ticket waiting list that's so big it could reach the moon so they don't need to make marketing calls to sell tickets, eh CapsNut?

When the Steelers play the 'Skins (or any other well managed team) why is it that on tv it seems like a home game for the visiting team? It certainly doesn't have anything to do with the L'il General's mismanagement, eh CapsNut?

Posted by: Leofwine | February 3, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line here folks, when you win all of this noise goes away. Jack Kent Cook was arrogant but he did not face the same vast sports media machine that we have today. And the skins won under him. The media needs things to write about. All these outlets, all these sportswriters and not enough stories for them to write about so thats how you get this situation.

Posted by: ged0386 | February 3, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Not defending snyder but which one of you would sell the redskins if you owned them just because disgruntled fans asked you to?

Posted by: ged0386 | February 3, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Great article. Sums up my thoughts exactly.

He needs to go......

Posted by: CF11555 | February 3, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Snyder needs to go......

Posted by: CF11555 | February 3, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

jmurray019- You take a breath bro! I didn't say any of it wasn't true.. I'm talking about the specifics and that not evertything you read in newspapers or from media is fact.. you understand? I'll try to be as perfect as you when commenting... First of all I wasn't defending SNyder the person or owner.. He's sucks at that as I said earlier. Yes, suing fans is terrible if they cannot afford to pay for their tickets.. I agree. I'm talking about the newspaper persoanlly attcking him about forgery and his wife. not defenidng everything else he has donw over the years as you mentioned.. I'm a skins fan as yo are and loved them before Snyder was the owner and will continue to watch the games and root for the team! Will you please forgive if I happen to mispell a word or make a grammatical error?(You know I've seen grammatical erros and mispellings in newspapers before.. just saying) I'll take the high road and not do any name callings cause I don't know you and am sure your a nice dude!

Posted by: gmu2000 | February 3, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I am calling out to all season ticket holders. DO NOT BUY YOUR TICKETS! I love the Redskins with all my heart and all I ever wanted was season tickets. I have only had them 6 years, but enough is enough! It pains me to give up the one true thing I've wanted since I was a child, but I can no longer support this jerk! I would like nothing more than to get 5 min in an octagon with him! SELL OUR TEAM, YOU DON'T DESERVE TO OWN IT!

Posted by: Toochilled | February 3, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I came to Washington DC in 1970 as a packer fan and fell in love with redskins. But since Synder have been owner (which he is entitled) this past year year did it for me. I had slowly been aligning my support for a real organization (Steelers) for quite some time. I am no longer rooting for the skins. Unfortunately, I am afraid Synder is going to see the fans finally stop supporting. Everyone has a limit. Sad Sad Sad day for this organization.

Posted by: rayjay1 | February 3, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

As long as McKenna was factually correct, then there is nothing to argue with. McKenna is allowed to list the facts and then interpret those facts - that's what columnists do. If McKenna's facts were wrong, then Snyder has a case. If not, then this is a monumental waste of time. I hope the judge slaps Snyder hard across the face for that.

Posted by: Misty630 | February 3, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I came to Washington DC in 1970 as a Packer fan and fell in love with the skins.Since Snyder have been owner (which he is entitled) I have increasingly become disgusted with this organization. About three ears ago, I found myself leaning toward the Seeler's organization and after this past year of skins disfunctional organization. I moved on. Aonce proud organization hasbeen reduced to the laughing stock of the NFL. Be aware Synder the fans here is slowly deflecting. What a SAD SAD SAD day for skins fans.

Posted by: rayjay1 | February 3, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Any positive comment for Snyder must be one of his minions... or perhaps a Cowboys Fan!
Get lost you losers.

Sell the team Dan.

Make a public offering - we'll buy the shares, and you'll make money.

Dan Snyder... our own Hosni Mubarak.

Posted by: johnvandermyde | February 3, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Snyder's a punk. Hey midget... do everyone a favor and SELL THE TEAM. How ya like them apples Dannyboy?

Posted by: rg019571 | February 3, 2011 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I think Feinstein's take is the correct one:

http://www.feinsteinonthebrink.com/index.php?id=717436819717680623

Now that Snyder can no longer use his coaches and admin people as whipping boys, he's letting out his venom on a writer. He can't leave well enough alone. So much for the image-repair job. Tony Wylie and Bruce Allen, I'll bet you had no idea just what you were in for. You're dealing with a petulance and mean-spiritedness that knows no bounds. Good luck. And ask yourself if it's worth it going forward.

Posted by: sad_fan-mad_fan | February 3, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

sell the team Dan , we can't stand your big behind. You have destroyed the team i love

Posted by: Mark99 | February 3, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

It not just that McKenna pointed out that Snyder is a slimy businessman with a record of scummy business practices. We all know that score.

It is that Snyder tried to pressure, strong arm and intimidate McKenna, the City Paper and their parent company.

Fair enough.

But it has backfired. And when it became clear that Snyder's juvenile reaction brought more visibility to McKenna's story than he ever could hope for, Snyder panicked and threw out an accusation of ant-Semtiism. Read the filing Snyder's lawyers files in New York:

“In its cover art the Washington City Paper the Jewish Mr. Snyder in a blatantly anti-Semtic way, complete with horns, bushy eyebrows and dollar signs. This is precisely the type if image used historically, including in Nazi Germany, to de-humanize and vilify the Jewish people and associate them with a litany of libels over the last 2,000 years.”

The Nazis! Snyder compares a marked up drawing
of him to the Holocaust.

Or rather, his "people" did. Because no one has heard from the littlest prince himself.

Now it is a national story. Good. The more light shone on this despicable little man the better.

Posted by: IMshort | February 3, 2011 8:34 PM | Report abuse

CapsNutz = Little Danny

@gmu = Little Danny

Little Danny has short man's syndrome

Posted by: napunum | February 3, 2011 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Jason, OK to write yet another anti-Danny piece, but there is no reason to sling mud at the City Paper in the process. First, no one "buys" it, it's a free weekly. Second, it's been around 30 years and is the best source for Arts coverage in DC, and, as far as I know, the ONLY source for alternative news coverage. Third, the "adult ads in the back" are a small part of the paper's appeal and while I'm sure they provide revenues, they are hardly the primary reason most people pick up the City Paper. (The Post Sports Page also carries adult ads, last time I checked, and you know the saying about glass houses...)

Posted by: jksesq1 | February 4, 2011 6:00 AM | Report abuse

Someone noted what is a classic nickname for the Skins owner. The "Little Prince"... that resonates. Sums up quite a bit about the "man"... The Little Prince, yeah..!

Posted by: ESmith5172 | February 4, 2011 7:46 AM | Report abuse

CapsNut: first, you do a grave insult to all Caps fans by using this monicker. It's clear you are a Snyder plant/employee who is envious of the only successful franchise (from a fan's view) in Washington, DC. Second, I can't believe you reference the complaint as evidence that the City Paper's claims were false. Did you even read the complaint? There were three "falsehoods": Snyder forged names...as owner of Snyder Communications, he was vicariously liable for the acts of his employees and caught "slamming" people to switch them from one telecom provider to another. This is fact. The Agent Orange quote is a bit over the top and most reasonable people would know that it was an exaggeration to make a point. Snyder did indeed refer to cancer patients and diabetes sufferers as "market segments"...one of his Snyder Communications companies (now Ventiv Health) targeted these individuals for big pharma companies. If you worked with Mr. Snyder's company in the past, you would know items a. and c. in his ridiculous complaint to be true. And finally, Snyder was removed from the Six Flags board by a group of bondholders who took over the company after Danny boy ran it into the ground. One other thing, McKenna in no way demeaned his wife's role as an advocate for breast cancer. He merely called her a spokesperson for him to try and improve his image. This lawsuit is Danny boy's attempt at bankrupting the City Paper. He has the resources to fight this suit and is hoping the PE firm that owns the City Paper will fold up shop to avoid costly legal bills. He even said as much in his pre-filing remarks. Smart, Danny. Real smart. This entire episode is par for the course with this idiot. If you are indeed a Snyder employee, you will be fired. Best you start looking for a job elsewhere. Oh, and leave your stint with the Redskins organization off your resume. And please do us Caps fans all a favor, stop referring to yourself as CapsNut. Danny'sNuts is far more appropriate.

Posted by: BillyBob7 | February 4, 2011 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Having read the actual law suit I cannot believe he actually went through with this. The thing reads like no other legal argument I have ever come across (I worked in a firm for 6 years before enrolling in law school last year). This thing reads more like a press release than a legal argument. Basically, it says Dan Snyder is a good guy and here is why, and City Paper is bad and this is why. It barely addresses the article itself, and when it does it makes no attempt to support the claims against it. Furthermore, the most specific they get about the article is referencing something that isn't even in it (that McKenna attacked Snyder's wife for having breast cancer).

This argument skirts the issue on so many levels that I can't believe a billionaire would hire such idiotic attorneys to draft something that more closely resembles what a parent of a bullied child would say to the bully's parents than an actual legal argument.

It only amplifies in my mind that this guy must have been the luckiest SOB on earth to make his money because he clearly lacks any type of common sense or awareness.

Posted by: ineptitudinality | February 4, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

His lies are multiplying. It's somehow about anti-semitism and breast cancer. Anyone with half a brain can read the article and see for themselves that that is simply false and an attempted diversion from the facts in the article.
The poor little billionaire is being persecuted by a lone journalist on a small newspaper - who dares to tell the truth. Then he goes on his own radio station (WTEM) to slander the journalist and his employees can ask him why he's so misunderstood.
He must really think the fans are stupid, and as long as they buy his products, they are.

Posted by: jos587 | February 4, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the fact that the article was a hatchet job. I also agree that writers, even for a trash publication like the S.h.ittyPaper, have an obligation (IF they want to be taken seriously, or to be read by more than 7 adolescents who find them interesting) to report facts. Not half-truths, or even non-truths. I have as much distaste for Snyder with the way he's run this franchise since he bought it. Namely, continuing the Cerrato debacle and the idiotic throwing-money-around on guys at the end of their careers (often way PAST the end of their careers) like he's Lloyd Christmas in Aspen for a decade! But outright slander (which a significant portion of the article was) does not make a newspaper. On the other hand, Snyder needs to grow a thicker skin, or sell the Redskins. When you CHOOSE to become a public persona, you had better be ready for the criticism!

Posted by: fakedude1 | February 4, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I guess I was one of the stupid fans. I bought Redskins gear, listened to Redskins broadcasts when I was unable to watch Redskins games. Win or lose I remained a fan. Like Mr. Snyder I was a fan from childhood, rooting for Sonny as a little kid and wondering why Billy Kilmer was playing. Today my fandom goes into hibernation. It's not the losing seasons, the over paid players, the coaching carousel or even Larry Michaels replacing Frank Herzog. Okay, maybe a little bit of Larry Michaels replacing Frank Herzog. But the biggest reason for going into hibernation is being a Redskin fan is no longer fun. It's not fun because as fans we have been stripped of our dignity. We no longer have to defend the coaches and players and no longer hope next year will bring solid improvement, but we have to try to defend the indefensible, the actions of our teams owner. Until this week, I had thought Mr. Snyder had been naive but had learned and was continuing to learn what it took to be a great owner. It wasn't the McKenna article that made me change my mind, it was Mr. Snyder's reaction to the article. It's a sad day for me, I've lived and died with the Redskins for a long time, but I'll pack up my Redskins belt buckle and put it away until the team is sold.

Posted by: revdrbuck | February 4, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe any attorney would file such a joke of a lawsuit. And I can't believe that any competent attorney would allow his client to move forward with this.

Actually, scratch that. Snyder has surrounded himself with yes men who just suck up and say, of course, that's a great idea even if it's the stupidest thing in the world. So his chief counsel, who has his nose so far up Snyder's ass he can tell you want Snyder ate for breakfast, just wiped the brown off his nose and said, of course it's a great idea.

I mean, seriously, the only training in law I have is watching episodes of Law & Order but even I can tell this lawsuit has no chance of succeeding!

Posted by: tonyw44 | February 5, 2011 1:59 AM | Report abuse

Well said. But, uh... no one "buys" the City Paper dude. It's free.

Posted by: Dcislander1 | February 7, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

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