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LaVar Cracks on Snyder, Gibbs

LaVar, in his playing days. (2004 TWP photo by John McDonnell)

Nearly every time I've seen LaVar Arrington in person or in his role as Comcast SportsyNet analyst in recent weeks, he's danced around the question of his lingering ill feelings towards the Redskins, or at least toward the franchise's decision-makers. Actually, he's done the same nifty bit of mental gymnastics that many fans have also pulled off in recent years: loving the uniform, loving the fans, soaking up the history, but blowing poison darts in the direction of the current leadership group.

Of course, if you're running a sports-themed restaurant that will traffic on your celebrity among Skins fans, you might want to tone down that dual rhetoric, because some sizable portion of Skins fans consider even love-the-franchise hate-the-franchisees to be near-treason. I myself got an e-mail calling me a "scumbag" for pointing out how many Steelers fans were in FedEx Field last weekend.

And so, as a business owner, has LaVar toned down the rhetoric, at least in public? Er, no. The Washington Times ran a lengthy LaVar profile over the weekend, and by the end of the story he was detonating massive stinkbombs in the general direction of Redskins One.

He could have "rivaled Lawrence Taylor" had he played in the proper system. Gregg Williams was "corrupted by the front office agenda," although they've mended their relationship? And the sainted Joe Gibbs?

"I called Joe Gibbs a coward for leaving," Arrington said. "You came in, you made some money for your NASCAR team. No one else is going to say that. I'm sure more people thought I was a [jerk] for saying that. Joe wouldn't call me because he knows. There are a lot of people who know the truth about what went down with me and the Redskins."

Going out on a limb, I'm going to guess that the portion of the Skins fan base that values loyalty above all else won't be too tickled by calling Gibbs a "coward." And, dare we wonder, did LaVar also comment on Daniel Snyder?

"I think Dan Snyder is scared to death of me," Arrington said. "He won't look at me. I tried to shake his hand at that luncheon. He shook my hand and was like, 'How you doing, LaVar?' and kept moving. I'm probably the only person that's ever stood up to him and never backed down. I actually humbled myself to call Dan after Sean passed away to try to bury whatever me and him had going on between us. He called me back, and it was almost like he was reading a script. I root for the Redskins because how I feel about the fans outweighs how the organization treated me. I always take pleasure in taking jabs at Dan because people like him need that. There's got to be a person out there who's not afraid to do it."

There's a special cell under Redskins Park, in which special little chairs have been set aside for guys like this. With any luck, LaVar and JLC will be able to make small talk there one day. In the meantime, go visit his restaurant.

By Dan Steinberg  |  November 11, 2008; 9:40 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: Morning Look: Redskins Have a 12th Man


Lavar Arrington is the biggest buffoon to play for the Washington Redskins in three decades. Not to mention that he was EXTREMELY overrated. But putting that aside, why is it a bad thing if Gibbs came back to make money? More power to him. As for Gibbs' departure, at the end of last season, given the strain of the Taylor murder and the late season playoff run, Gibbs' looked like death warmed over. Frankly, he did the right thing for his health; he isn't a young man. Arrington is not going to get anywhere taking on Joe Gibbs.

Posted by: poguesmahone | November 11, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree. Arrington calling out Gibbs in this town is like JLC calling out the Bog.

It won't help your cause. It will only hurt you.

Posted by: StetSportsBlog | November 11, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

An axe to grind never looks good. If LaVar takes the high road then fans would probably figure it out themselves. Now he looks like a whiny, disgruntled ex-Redskin (see Brian Mitchell). How the hell can you own a sportsbar less than a mile from Fed-Ex field and trash the Redskins like he does. I see he's not a good businessman either.

Posted by: rickyroge | November 11, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

The Redskins from top to bottom did Lavar wrong. They tried to play us for fools saying things like "Hes not in on certain situations, blah blah blah". It was ridiculous. I dont know about his Gibbs comments, but Snyder does need to get crushed back down to earth. FedEx sucks, the gameday atmosphere sucks, and you get nothing for your money and then they leave a fan favorite like Lavar out to dry. Snyders lucky Skins fans are so loyal...

Posted by: rc2223 | November 11, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I have a negative opinion about Arrington, but he is no longer relevant and not worthy of me caring to share my thoughts on the past.

However, it does say something about Arrington in that he can't move on without running his mouth.

Posted by: truthaboutit | November 11, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Gibbs Nascar team is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. His 1 season salary wouldnt be enough to sponsor Tony Stewarts car for 1 race. He was getting wht, 5 mil a year to coach the redskins, he was paying each of his drivers in the neighborhood of 10-20 mil. yeah he really came back to the Redskins to make money for his NASCAR team. And he left because his grandson has Leukemia. Gibbs did his job, he straightened out the entire organization from top to bottom and left the organization in much better shape than he got it, this is the reason that Zorn has been successful. I have nothing but respect fro Lavar and I too thought he had a chance to be the best linebacker ever, and his speech at Sean Taylors funeral was one of the best. I hope his restaurant is successful and wish him nothing but the best in the future.

Posted by: wjeremy26 | November 11, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Lavar was WAY overrated. The Skins should have let him go instead of letting Pierce go to the Giants. Pierce was and is better than Lavar.

Lavar also needs to get rid of the hair. I can't take a word he says seriously with it. You know it's bad when I rather listen to BMitch.

Posted by: hardcoco | November 11, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

arrington who??? is this the poser who went out and got a zx14 and wrecked it like he wrecked his career??? is this the same guy who when the redskins were going to the playoff's for the first time in years was worried about nothing but himself?? i am pretty sure if he had his head in the game then and actually helped the team make it past seatle and into at least the conference championships, he wouldve gotten the bigger contract that he thought he deserved...gibbs took the team to 2 playoffs in 4 years..what other coach has done that... arrington is a scrub, sure he got a big sack and a big sack there...but his problem was, he wasnt consistant, the only thing he was consistant at doing was getting injured... now job gibbs with a 50% playoff rate, was pretty consistant... i actually like the food at the restaraunt, but i wont be attending there anymore.... chicken and waffle accross from them is way better, it doesn't have all the fancy tv's and dj booth's, but the place is tight

Posted by: hinds057 | November 11, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I would like to issue an appeal (no a heartfelt plea) to Comcast SportsNet to please, for the love of god, STOP USING LAVAR AS A CORRESPONDENT/ANALYST!!! The guy just likes to hear himself talk, and if you really listen to what he's saying, it's just a bunch of drivel and doubletalk in an effort to sound tough and controversial. Some of his remarks on Washington Post Live have even come across as disrespectful (I've seen the shows excellent host, Russ Thaler, literally cringe a few times at things Lavar has said). Unfortunately, Lavar's TV career will apparently mirror his football career..... lots of flash and charisma, but performance that fails to approach the hype.

Posted by: chombie13 | November 11, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

why does this guy even warrant an interview. He just doesn't get that he doesn't get it. He lives in my town and I see him drive around in his Mazarade and every time I see him on Comcast he sits there like a buffoon and has nothing of any substance to say. Or he take 2 minutes to navigate through his own thoughts and try to make some "off the wall" point. He's dumb, and he doesn't get it. He takes pop shots a Joe Paterno for gods sakes. He had the privilege of playing with JoPa and the Washington Redskins and he's a millionaire because of it. Shut up and go away.

Posted by: steven5 | November 11, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

somebody ask this washed up (no where EVER close to LT) bum how that HGH worked out for him? Ever wonder why some athletes are "injury prone" or have the same injury over & over.....STEROIDS! He might have had a okay career, but ownership probably didn't like that your punk a$$ was in 1223 & Dream every other night!

Posted by: mrhandsome | November 11, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused.

I thought LaVar Arrington was the guy that signed a $68 million contract, a $49 million contract, missed an average of 4 games a year, and retired at 30.

Why he be complaining about Joe Gibbs making some money and leaving early? It's gotta be a different LaVar.

Posted by: jeff1801 | November 11, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Lavar Who?

Posted by: Diogenes1 | November 12, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Lavar did not do his job while at outside linebacker. He did not drop back into coverage and cost the team two games.

Posted by: uniquepostid25 | November 13, 2008 7:39 AM | Report abuse

I think Lavar was authentic in his interview, and told the true as he saw it. I happen to agree with most of what he said. Snyder's leadership style exemplifies the eat-people-s**t-money mentality of corporate America back then, and still today. I also saw truth in his Joe Gibbs comments - I wouldn't call him a coward - but his heart didn't seem to be in it - nascar clearly is where is heart is. As I like to refer to him, 'Lavar Arrogant’ was a great linebacker whose heart was in it for the skins. I, for one, loved him - and it pained me to see him treated in the way he was. I am glad he has found happiness in being a family man and entrepreneur, and wish the best for him and his family.

Posted by: quietwar | November 16, 2008 7:27 AM | Report abuse

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