LaVar Cracks on Snyder, Gibbs
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.
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