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An interview with a paper bag head

WRC, the "Official Broadcast Station of the Washington Redskins," has become a basement broadsheet of the Revolution. NBCWashington is just littered with anti-Redskins propaganda this morning, including a video interview with a Paper Bag Head Man, and a long piece about the creator of the Trade Snyder shirt that was prominently featured in a Washington Post photo by Jonathan Newton in Monday's paper. (See the photo here.)

Now, let's get the obvious out of the way: Does it fill me with warm and happy feelings to see the Jewish owner of the Redskins pictured with devil horns, a devil tail and big wads of cash spilling out of his hands? Um, no, not really. Unless I'm missing something, that's sort of way, way, way, way out of bounds.

[And look, I'm not trying to make a big deal about this. I don't really get offended by anything, and I'm not really offended by this. Just seems to me an unfortunate choice of iconography. You can buy the shirts here, if you're so inclined.]

Either way, it reflects the anger we've all seen. As for the shirt's creator, Matthew Hoffman, he told the station that the shirts sell for $10 to cover costs, and that he's not making any money on them.

"I love the Redskins and this is the only way I think change can come about," he said.

And for the first time, I'm wondering if this Revolution thing is going to end in anarchy and chaos, with the original instigators forced into hiding, where they'll sit around sipping tea and talking about John Riggins and wondering what the hell happened to their sports town.

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 20, 2009; 10:05 AM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Next: Does Cris Carter think D. Hall is stealing money?


"Now, let's get the obvious out of the way: Does it fill me with warm and happy feelings to see the Jewish owner of the Redskins pictured with devil horns, a devil tail and big wads of cash spilling out of his hands? Um, no, not really. Unless I'm missing something, that's sort of way, way, way, way out of bounds."

Why? Many people, myself included, either don't know or didn't realize that Snyder is Jewish, and this caricature doesn't do anything to point out that he is. You know, like depicting him with a yarmulke on his head or anything like that. Upper class fancy suit-wearing men would have more claim to being offended by this depiction of Snyder than Jews would, if you ask me.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | October 20, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

In 1978, a few fans hired a small plane to fly over the Meadowlands during one game day with a banner that read, "15 years of lousy football ... we've had enough." That was the beginning of the end of misery for Giants fans. It didn't turn around overnight, but it started.

Eventually, the Mara's found their way including bringing the Tisch's in. Perhaps an educational tale for current Redskins ownership. Otherwise, someone's going to spring for a banner over Fedex field.

Posted by: joemktg1 | October 20, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I didn't know he was Jewish.

Would the image be aceptable if he wasn't?

Posted by: VTDuffman | October 20, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I thought Snyder was a scientologist. In no way shape or form does that photo have anything to do with Judaism. Bit of a reach, Steinberg.

Posted by: Andymr | October 20, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Wow - if you're going to be so PC-touchy Steinz, why not declare the entire Burgundy Revolution as anti-Semitic?

Ridiculous. The guy is a lousy owner, be he Jewish, Christian, Muslim or... miscellaneous.

Posted by: thediesel | October 20, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

And, yes, it's a very safe bet that he's a Scientologist. Tom Cruise doesn't just hang around wealthy businessmen for kicks and giggles.

Posted by: thediesel | October 20, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I wasn't aware of any particular connection between the horns-and-pitchfork-and-tail version of the Devil and derogatory depictions of Jews. Is that a thing? I genuinely had no idea.

Posted by: yatesc1 | October 20, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

There is a long tradition of depicting Jews with horn's etc and taking money. I don't know the intention, but these types of descriptions go hundreds of years back, so it is a touchy subject. However in this case, I think it may just be a coincidence. If it drew Synder with a big nose and doing that, then I would be concerned.

Posted by: Natstural | October 20, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I want a shirt. Rise up with the Burgundy Revolution! Cue Revolution by the Beatles.

Posted by: ridgely1 | October 20, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Yeah I don't buy the idea that depicting Snyder in horns is anti-Semitic any more than I'd buy Cerrato in horns being anti-Italian.

Goodness Dan this whole blog is dedicated to satire -- I see your point but I see a lot more anti-semitism in people saying the Lerners are "money grubbers" as one sees sometimes on message boards than depicting Dan Snyder as Satan.

Posted by: vahh8 | October 20, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Give me a break with the racist sensitivity BS.

He's a devil because he wants total control and doesn't care if he fails, so he only cares about himself, and because he's bringing so much misery to all the fans. He's holding money because he spends a ton of money on coaches and free agents.

Steinburg I love your stuff, you have the post with the most - but the notion that the shirt is racist is what's out of bounds, not the shirt itself.

Posted by: REXskins | October 20, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

(Bleeding-heart-on-my-sleeve pinko reactionary Jew-loving PC liberal-liberal-liberal Portland-living pantywaist raising my hand to agree with Steinbog on this.)

Posted by: NateinthePDX | October 20, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I am pretty liberal, but I don't divine an anti-semitic message from the shirt at all. The guy is greedy and would be whether he were a jew or a gentile.

I've seen Don King depicted the exact same way......

Posted by: keino83 | October 20, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Seriously? Someone who covers the REDSKINS is going to complain about a [probably unintentional] negative portrayal of a group of people?

Posted by: I_am_Jacks_computer | October 20, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Dan, I'm Jewish and did not put that together until now...

Posted by: The_Spear | October 20, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

The problem I have with the shirt is that it's ugly.

Posted by: The_Spear | October 20, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Buy your shirts on ebay!!

Trade Snyder!!


Posted by: tradesnyder | October 20, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Have none of you seen Borat? Jew horns? Does this not ring a bell?

I suggest all those that weren't aware that depicting Jews as the devil is a blatant and age old derogatory depiction read this book:

I have no idea nor do any of us what Mr. Koffman's intentions were, he may very well not have known Snyder was Jewish or that depicting Jews this way was an age old derogatory depiction. However, now that it's been pointed out and now that he's been made aware, he should consider pulling the shirts off ebay/craigslist etc.

Posted by: Barno1 | October 20, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I still don't see why all the hate is being directed @ Snyder. Sure he has kept Vinny in power for some unknown reason, but he does spend money to get players that might help the team win. I really think that if Vinny is gone the team will get on the right track a lot sooner than most people think. Most fans of other teams would love if they had an owner with deep pockets...

Posted by: hlywd11 | October 20, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Barno, just STFU. Seriously. Your act is old and tired, and each week this team loses you are exposed as an even bigger buffoon. I wonder what the point is in defending the ongoing ess-show that is the Redskins, but I assume you have your reasons.

Posted by: thediesel | October 20, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

If Snyder isn't evil then why did suddenly just disappear?
What a colossal prick this man is.

Posted by: TC13 | October 20, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse


I posted my apologies for my insanely optimistic Redskins predictions after the game on Sunday. You may have missed them. Either way, I'll say it again: I'm sorry for my relentless Redskins predictions. I was wrong. Way wrong. You have every right to pile on me, I asked for it.

As for STFU, well I actually said I'll be taking a break from the blogs except to continue to apologize and respond to comments directed at me. However, fighting against Antisemitism and other forms of racism and discrimination is something I've been involved in for a while--so I put in my 2 cents since most on here seemed unaware of the derogatory depiction of Jews as the devil. That's it.

Take care.

Posted by: Barno1 | October 20, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

diesel, I guess you have reading comprehension problems. Barno's post was about the depiction of jews as the devil throughout history, which is true; you're out of line in this case.

Posted by: OffseasonChamps | October 20, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Jewish, you say? Well in that case it's OK for the rest of us to come down on him. B/C #1, he's among the tribe of God's chosen and #2, it means his Mom still loves him. So, he's got that going for him. Which is nice.

Posted by: TheDubb | October 20, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

If you want to be really offensive to Snydey's new bestest buddy. Make a tee-shirt of snyder shaking hands with galactic overlord Xenu and laughing.

Posted by: jbanks979 | October 20, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Dan, I'm Jewish, I'm a Redskins fan, and I totally approve of Snyder depicted as a greedy Satan. Totally. Now, draw him with peyos, a yarmulke and a yellow star of David, then there's a problem.

Posted by: shekb | October 20, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Considering the team is actually called the Redskins and people routinely dress up in all sorts of outlandish "indian" garb I'm pretty sure that racial stereotypes are acceptable in Ashburn.

Besides which those aren't devil horns they are the manifestation of the body thetans that have taken over young Daniel.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | October 20, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Anti-semitic? How about anti-greed and anti-stupidity? He mistreats his fans (remember the woman pictured crying on her couch due to the unyielding policy of the Snyder organization). He spends $100 million on ONE lineman when he needs to restructure both lines. Don't get distracted by making this into some kind of racist issue. This is about football, pure and simple, Steinburg, stop trying to change the subject.

Posted by: publicservice2 | October 20, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse


Dan being hypocritical for pointing out one form of racism/stereotyping without pointing out another (and I have no idea if he has discussed the name "Redskins" in other forums) does not refute how the t-shirt plays into a long history of anti-semitism. There's no logical relationship between the two.

Posted by: lord_rockumus | October 20, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I think without some reference to his jewish heritage, this is not offensive. They are portraying him as a person who is evil and greedy, not as a jew. I don't think that Dan Snyder is widely perceived as any sort of "face of American Jews," and to make any sort of big deal out of this is certainly a stretch, looking for something to complain about when no harm, intentional or unintentional is present.

Also, good point by I_Am_Jacks_Computer: Covering a team called the "Redskins" and trying to go PC really doesn't work at all...

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | October 20, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

My goodness, do I loathe political correctness.

I subscribe to that crazy idea that "all men are created equal," and therefore we're all equally subject to the same skewering.

If something allegedly perpetuates an old stereotype, and most people today never knew or still remember that said stereotype ever existed, and someone else complains that the old stereotype is being perpetuated, then I ask:

Who is really perpetuating the stereotype -- the people who didn't know about the stereotype, or the person complaining about it?

I submit that it's the latter.

Posted by: freakzilla | October 20, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Jew, here. As much as I'm a Stienz fan, I've gotta say he's off base on this one. Like others have mentioned, there are no "Jewish" icons in the picture (stars, yarmulkes, hook nose, etc.) except for Snyder. No one's mentioned that the creator of the shirt is named "Hoffman." Jew? Self-hating Jew? Gentile who thought making a Devil-Synder with hands full of cash was funny?

Posted by: DrBeaker | October 20, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I had absolutely no idea Snyder was Jewish. Agree with the others, there are no symbols of Judaism which would be a red light, just personification of a very greedy man as the devil. Steinz, I love the bog, but this is just too much.

Posted by: Josh86 | October 20, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

where do i begin, this is a first for me but i needed to share this story. i have 3 season tickets to the skins and this sunday couldnt find anyone to go with (they said i was crazy to go) i stood just past the morgan metro stop for three hours and was able to scalp my parking green pass for $20, at 1245 still no takers on my tickets i end up selling them for $5 each. gets better when inside i heard the anouncement to check out the out of town scoreboard and noticed the scores were two weeks old they had the kc oakland score up and jets v. ne, no wait gets better watching the in house tv from my seats they switched to the vikes game. iam at a skins game looking at old scores and watching the vikes from my seat. Now come on whats up with town, i ve only lived here for 6 months. oh yeah iam a J E T S fan and they didnt end my sunday any better....

Posted by: UnionYes | October 20, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

i co-sign all the people saying to leave any religion connection out of this, it obviously wasn't intended by the shirt. wtf, get over it people of all religious backgrounds.

Posted by: dpkennedy | October 20, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Our only chance for a good football team in DC is to land a UFL expansion team.

Posted by: UnionYes | October 20, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Nuts, i think someone sorta beat me to it (and of all people, it was the much-despised devil of the Bog comment boards).


"Throw Dan Snyder down the well!
So my Redskins can be free!
(So my Redskins can be free)"

Posted by: JohnnyBlades | October 20, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

P.S. - tsk tsk, Steinberg, with the greedy hoarding of the web traffic.

Posted by: JohnnyBlades | October 20, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I'm Jewish and I don't think the shirts go far enough!!

Please, it's a great shirt. He screws us with $8 beers, sues the fans and has destoyed the franchise. Seems devilish to me.

He'd lose the tail and horns mighty fast if he'd stop playing fantasy football with our team.

Posted by: mfray | October 20, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I've been selling one since May... not as blatant and not as popular, but effective nonetheless!

Posted by: SoxFan93 | October 20, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

The photograph that the art on this shirt was based on is the first image that comes up when you search "Dan Snyder +redskins" on google images.

Not sure what, if anything, that means, just a random factoid.

Posted by: Goat_74 | October 21, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Steinberg,

From one Jew to another, you are way to smart of a person to be peddling this race-card garbage.

The Redskins have a proud legacy that has been chipped away to the brink of destruction by old Danny Boy.

I think that the title of your article "An interview with a paper bag head" could be misconstrued as being deragatory toward Arab or Hindu Americans? Did you think about that? Or are you trying imply that those individuals who wear paper bags over their head, to display their displeasure with Dan Snyder as Redskins owner, are somehow akin to KKK Klansmen who wear sheets over their head?

I can't believe WAPO would even publish your garbage. Dan Snyder is a terrible owner and needs to go. You are a terrible writer and you need to go...My two cents

Posted by: skinsdude | October 22, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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