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Colin Cowherd Speaks Out on the Redskins

Everyone's favorite syndicated deep-thinking radio host, Colin Cowherd, spent several minutes focused on the Redskins yesterday, and while the results may have been as enlightening as a Lehman Brothers seminar on fiscal responsibility, they're nevertheless worth noting. Because, of course, Cowherd's show airs locally on ESPN 980, the official Jury Duty provider of Sports Bog content and the flagship station of Daniel Snyder's media empire.

And so even as some folks in that media empire's constellation continue to flail away on behalf of the maroon and black, Cowherd has set himself up as a Redskins antagonist, albeit one who's salary is indirectly and partially paid by the team's owner.

The crux of his complaint, aired yesterday morning, went like this:

"I've been critical of the Redskins for a lot of reasons," he said. "One, go look at their last seven, eight drafts. Weak. Way below average. Daniel Snyder has overpaid, in my opinion, he has not paid attention to the draft as much as he should, and he has overpaid for free agents. There are certain signs with the team I'm not in love with. I don't think you should be putting front-office personnel on the air, I think that's problematic. I don't think the Patriots or Steelers would do that.

"That said, it's not my team. Not my radio station. But, I've been critical of the Redskins this year...I pretty much buried them, played funeral music for the Redskins after Week 1. But there's a reason I did that, and that is I do not believe they have the playmakers to compete with Dallas, Philadelphia and the Giants.

"Ok, through three games: Dallas 96 points, Philadelphia 90, Giants 83, Redskins 60. that's a problem. And you have to remember, the Cowboys have scored 96 points, and that's against the Packers and Eagles defense, two of the best in the NFC, especially the Eagles defense. So the Cowboys are scoring a ton of points and they've played two really premier NFL defenses. So it's nothing against the Redskins. Their division is brutal, they have the worst quarterback in the division, they have the freshest youngest coach, they don't have enough playmakers and yes, some of their front-office signs to me are problematic over the last seven, eight years."

While I wouldn't necessarily use Week 3 points scored to judge a team's number of playmakers (Colts: 52 points), there's nothing terribly controversial here. In fact, there weren't really any classic Cowherd moments until after the break, when he had evidently heard from some irritated Skins fans and decided to re-visit the issue.

"I'm getting all the Redskins people who think I just pick on their team here," he said. "And I said it before, you look at their drafts and I don't love their drafts. And who are their three best players right now? Jason Taylor, he's hurt. The three best talents on that roster are who, Jason Taylor, uhhh, Clinton Portis? Ok, Jason Taylor free agent, uhhhh Clinton Portis came over, you know, was that a free agent or a trade? Randle El came from the Steelers. Uhh, who's the other, Santana Moss? Trade. I mean, the only really star they have from the draft, and I wouldn't even say star, I think emerging star is the Landry kid from LSU, the safety. Jason Campbell's not a star. Give me a break. I mean, c'mon, give me a break."

(Fyi to team staffers: file "Cowherd" just before "Czaban" and just after "Canfora, La" in the "Enemies" folder. You're welcome.)

Look, I certainly couldn't speak wisely on the three best players for, say, the 49ers, nor would I or anyone else try to defend the Redskins' recent draft history, nor does this feel like the best week to defend the Redskins from media bullies, much less media bullies who appear on Redskins media properties. But that was idiotic, even considering the source.

Randle El one of the team's three best players? Landry the only star from the draft? Of the team's three offense/defense Pro Bowlers last year--Chris Cooley, Chris Samuels and Sean Taylor--all three were drafted by the team. Two are still on the team, and I wouldn't blame the front-office for not longer having Taylor, a man that Cowherd has likely heard of. Can't way to see what rating FactCheck.org gives to this segment, and I guess the Redskins get a small dose of credit for allowing a national host to spew nonsense about them on their own network.

(And speaking of the network, here's what Cowherd had to say about that: "When when I used to work in local radio I never liked being on the stations that had the rights to the teams, because you always had to be nicer to the teams. I wanted to be on the station with no rights, then I could just take on everybody, be honest about everybody....

"There are guys who do local work who are not afraid to sling some arrows, and that's great. And we respect those people, and we know who they are. And, you know, what has happened in Washington D.C. is, the guy who owns the Redskins owns the radio station.

"And it's tough, that's a tough spot to be in. He's paying your salary. You've got to be kind of careful, careful when you're in D.C. if you're too critical of the Redskins, Daniel Snyder may just say, 'You're out of there.' But that said, the people on that station have been fairly critical of the Redskins, as they should be.")

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 25, 2008; 10:44 AM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Comments

(Fyi to team staffers: file "Cowherd" just before "Czaban" and just after "Canfora, La" in the "Enemies" folder. You're welcome.)

Czab and Cowherd can state their opinions, the Skins are fair game. La Canfora actively tried to damage the team over a personal grudge. Once again by defending him you are quickly becoming the Larry Michaels of the WP.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Great blog article, Mr. Steinberg.

Posted by: Believer | September 25, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Colin Cowdung is the worst thing on radio. He starts fake controversies to get listeners. His droning voice, endless self-congratulatory comments and clueless interviews sound like the guys in the barbershop who go on constantly about if they were the GM. He is overtly jealous of Snyder, hates Cerrato and doesn't like the fact that when crap falls out of his mouth about the Redskins, fans call him on it. The quicker they get someone intelligent in that slot the better and it doesn't have to be a homer either. You can be critical of the Redskins as long as it doesn't get personal. Have your facts right (I'm talking to you La Canfora), know the Redskin's history and leave Snyder and Cerrato out of it.

Posted by: jamnew | September 25, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I certainly hope things like this as well as the high point spread gives the Redskins extra incentive this week. Not like they need it, but I would be very angry about the lack of respect. This is our chance to start building it.

Posted by: CT Skins Fan | September 25, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Please explain how Stein in like Mr. Journalistic Integrity Larry Michaels?

Posted by: Crabhands | September 25, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@ Anonymous

Your face is quickly becoming the Larry Michaels of the Sports Bog.

Keep up the good work Danny and Jasno!

Posted by: Mustachio | September 25, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

(Fyi to team staffers: file "Cowherd" just before "Czaban" and just after "Canfora, La" in the "Enemies" folder. You're welcome.)

Czab and Cowherd can state their opinions, the Skins are fair game. La Canfora actively tried to damage the team over a personal grudge. Once again by defending him you are quickly becoming the Larry Michaels of the WP.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 11:00 AM

Put this malarkey on FactCheck.org. Poster is wrong about this.

Posted by: Colin | September 25, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

It's a sad day when I feel the need to point out that Anonymous' moronic comment is giving anonymous posters a bad name.

At least be funny, insightful and/or factual. You failed at all three.

Posted by: BucktownSkinsFan | September 25, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, we can't have anyone holding personal grudges. Can we, Vinny?

Posted by: prophet | September 25, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I remember the first time I heard Cowherd on the radio. He took over for Tony Kornheiser 4-5 years ago. Having Cowherd replace Tony is like having Mini Me replace Shaq. Before the 2006 season he berated the Chargers for being such a lousy franchise, similar to what he did to the Redskins. He even had fans call in and tell him why the Chargers were any good. Of course, Cowherd muted the fans or talked over them and repeatedly told them how they'd be lucky if the Chargers won 6 games all year. The Chargers finished 14-2 in 2006. Hey Colin: great prediction, moron.

Posted by: Redskins 30, Cowboys 24 | September 25, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Wow, Cowherd, way to go out on a limb. Nobody bashes Snyder for his history regarding draft picks. Nobody ever bashes him for his free agent signings. How brave you are! How bold! How original!

This guy is a clown. I'm sure there's no coincidence that his "rant" comes in the week after two more days of his already-abbreviated show are pre-empted in DC.

Posted by: BDC241 | September 25, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

-


Cowherd Sucks! Plain and simple, his voice is annoying and just comes off as arrogant. Never liked him.

-

Posted by: joeblazin | September 25, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Quality post. I hear more intelligent commentary about the Skins from my 5 year old nephew than from Cowherd.

Posted by: Rudes | September 25, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I too remember the first time I heard Cowherd, I hated the show immediately. He came off as an ass who thought he knew more than he did. I never listened to XXX just because of him. My time at 980 has gone down a bunch just because I wont listen to him and sometimes forget to turn the dial after 12.

Posted by: Cliff | September 25, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Snyder buys the rights to his life in 5...4...3...2...

Posted by: StetSports.com | September 25, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Snyder has absolutely no control over what National ESPN shows say. ANd the skins still suck

Posted by: Marc | September 25, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Jason La Canfora is not out to ruin our team.

JLC:
- a talented writer and analyzer of stats

- maybe not as "inside" as he used to be

- his cautiously optimistic approach to front office moves is warranted based on snyder's tenure, IMO

- revels in the good of the team, as well

- the claims of a personal vendetta against the team and its owners may have some credence, but just like the front office itself, any assumptions made about that are questionable


As fans, we recognize that some of the wheeling and dealing of Snyder's era have been marked by shady and clandestine actions. This is a regime that has managed to make the team the first to cross the $1 billion mark with raising merchandising/parking/ticket prices while continuing to deliver a mediocre product year after year.

Though I believe Dan Snyder has taken a fantasy football approach to players and coaches for the team—which hasn't hurt the marketing effort at all—I still think that deep down he really most wants to win games, not just turn a maximum profit on the investment.

That being said, the price hikes, the 32-day head coach hiring debacle, a hostile sports radio takeover, adding "obstructed view" seats to an already gargantuan stadium and numerous other indiscretions by this owner should make all Redskin fans, like La Canfora, question every move that this front office makes.

The front office is far from infallible and definitely not beyond second-guessing. Between the two sides of the JLC/Cerrato/Larry Michael story, it seems that La Canfora contacted league offices to find out if there were potential pitfalls from the unconventional move of putting Vinny Cerrato on the radio to defend the organization. Of course, those who could have been potentially hurt by this took offense—but their response was juvenile, at best.

JLC could have found out the regulations pertaining to tampering online or by other means quite easily, I'm certain, but I think that by asking the league office, he planned to find out about any other potential risks that might be involved. Though unconventional, the GM radio show is not unprecedented and with that experience, the league offices may have had a few tips or words of wary that the front office has probably already heard about and JLC could pass those concerns along to a questioning readership.

Just like radio hosts, sportscasters and blog writers, the fans seem to want to gravitate to the most polarizing of views. The talk of "They're great!...They're Horrible!...They deserve a promotion!...They're just trying to stir the pot!" needs to end and we need to get into some kind of mode where we can discuss our teams rationally, while fleshing out our thoughts completely and seeing both sides of the story before sharing our blatantly opinionated comments.

Can we do that?

Cowherd even complimented the Redskins fans on his show today, if anyone heard that.

For the record: I like our owner. I'm not too sure about the front office structure in general, but I like Dan Snyder. I still expect more from the team and I'd be in favor of a little more value during the gameday experience than things like an $8 beer.

(And I also could do with a little less Cowherd.)

Posted by: Alan Scott | September 25, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Cowherd + Skins bashing = Bog gold.

Posted by: Stalk Much? | September 25, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

How this tool continues to have a job is beyond me. I never liked his show from the first time I heard it and his comments in the wake of Sean Taylor's death sealed the deal for me.

Thanks to the merger of the 2 sports talk stations I am getting reacquainted with WJFK and my previously neglected CD collection in my car.

Posted by: Jeff | September 25, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Why should anyone lay off of Snyder or Cerrato?

I love the Redskins. I've been a die-hard fan since birth.

BUT, the fact is, Snyder and Co. have repeatedly traded away valuable draft picks for aging "stars" that are past their prime, and rarely make a measurable impact.

I watch every game hoping that the Skins will win, but I'm very skeptical of our chances of winning the NFC East, let alone a Super Bowl under Cerrato. When will Snyder finally hire a REAL GM that actually has a clue what he's doing?

Posted by: AlecW81 | September 25, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Cowherd also was suggesting last year the day after Sean Taylor was killed that of course Sean Taylor had something to with it. He basically made Sean Taylor look like some thug who had it coming. How dare him say crap like that without getting all the facts! Taylor died sleeping with his girlfriend and child, he was attacked in his house for no reason. But of course Cowherd painted the picture for all of America that Taylor deserved what he got. Cowherd is a clown, please find local programming or anything else to replace him.

Posted by: JR | September 25, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse


Dan,

You're too smart to be listening to that show.

Posted by: odessasteps | September 25, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Never really liked him the first go around. But I really started to hate him when he crapped on D.C. as a sports town as a whole that's what did it for me.

Posted by: Tim | September 25, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey Cow, don't you look stupid. Keep your trap shut, you've just proven what a moron you are- READ IT - REDSKINS 26 cowboys 24. SAY SOMETHING, YEAH, SAY SOMETHING - YOU FOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Stupid Cowherd | September 29, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I have a special hate for Colin Cowherd. As much as people get on Mike and Mike for not being particularly insightful, at least they don't try to portray that role. Cowherd is the worst, because he's an idiot who doesn't realize that he's an idiot, and he tries to be controversial, but just sounds stupid. His first mistake in this town was replacing TK with a boring show. I am by no means a Redskins syncophant, but his visceral hate for the Skins is obvious. His criticism for the Skins lies in things that happened in 2000 rather than now...come on, the draft pick thing? Only someone who doesn't follow the team would still think that they still only do the splashy free agent thing. Now if you want to say that they shouldn't have picked three receivers with their first three picks instead of a stud defensive linemen, I can go with that...at least you'd show you're informed. The national media has an anti-Skins bias...look at how the game was called yesterday. You wouldn't have known the Skins were acutally playing if you had only sound and no picture. And for all the talk about Dan Snyder, at least you don't see him on the sidelines.

I digressed big time, but to cut it short, 980 really needs to get rid of the Cowherd show the other three days of the week. Put something local on...bringing back Feldman & Maloney would be great!

Posted by: Colin's a Tool | September 29, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

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