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Frank Herzog says Skins' play is "insulting"


(1996 photo by Lawrence Jackson via AP)

I know you've had enough of this stuff. Can't stop just now. Sorry. You can boycott the bog for a few more days if you must.

The great names are just streaming out of the past to express dismay about the Redskins, and Frank Herzog joined that train this week. Herzog hosted an hour-long town-hall discussion with John Riggins on WTOP Tuesday morning; the full hour is available on WTOP's Web site.

For the most part, the show consisted of Riggins and fans unloading on the Redskins' front office and sharing each others' pain, but there were a few nuggets from Herzog himself. Here was his intro, for example:

"While the franchise itself still flourishes, the Washington Redskins football team is in the worst shape we've seen in the modern era of pro football," Herzog said. "For the first time in five years I have agreed to sit down and talk on the air about the Redskins. I do it for two reasons: I find the play of this team insulting to the tradition I was privileged to be part of, and I get to talk to John Riggins."

Herzog mostly just facilitated the anger, but it wasn't hard to sense some of his frustration.

"Redskins fans were the most patient people in the world," he said at one point. "They put up with RFK Stadium long after it was outmoded, the parking situation, the traffic and everything else at FedEx Field. But they always got a quality product, and that's the problem now."

Even his brief moments of reminiscing were obviously done with a purpose, as with this one.

"Jack Kent Cooke brought Bobby Beathard in and said build me a football team," Herzog recalled. "It was Beathard who hired the coaches. He took them all to the Alpine Restaurant over in northern Virginia. In fact, a lot of the assistant coaches said that's what signed us to the Redskins, was the great food. He got Joe Gibbs, he got the assistant coaches, and then he went about the process of building the team. And Jack Kent Cooke stood back and let him do it."

So Herzog wasn't exactly breathing fire, but he didn't have to be. The dude sitting next to him sure was.

"The bottom line here, there's one word to describe what this franchise is all about right now, and that's decay," Riggins said in his opening monologue. "The decay started 10 years ago. It started [with] the owner of this team. I think in the beginning they had great intentions, and to that extent, when Marty Schottenheimer was hired and it was turned over to him, it seemed like maybe, perhaps, that the right path had been chosen, and that is to bring in a professional and let a professional run this.

"And in all honesty, we're talking about a product, there's no question about that, that's what the Redskins are. But they're so much more than a product to people, because they tug at the heartstrings, and that's what is making this so painful. I would use the analogy, an owner of a hospital. How many people would go to this hospital if the guy that owned the hospital, with no medical background or training, was down in the OR helping the surgeons out? And I think that's what we've come to here....

"You come back to this, where there has to be a path taken now by the ownership of this team, and there's two choices. One path is to sell the team. The other path is to basically hand the team over to a Bill Parcels type of person and then go to Mongolia and live in a yurt."

Not good enough? Try this one.

"Really, this is almost a hostage situation," Riggins said later. "This franchise has been taken hostage by someone who has the mindset of a child, because everything revolves around them, and it's gonna be difficult, until that mental adjustment is made, that adjustment in personality. But that's gonna be a lot of sessions on the couch with somebody."

Want more? Ok, fine, there was this.

"This also is again about the fans, and I think that they have reached a tipping point," Riggins later said. "And I think we're going to see a reaction from the fans, and you have to look at it, this is the entertainment industry here. You know, if the movie isn't any good, people usually don't go to it. And this movie is no good, and I have a feeling that the fans are going to start--particularly this being the day of information, the age of information--that there's enough that they can share on the internet. And you're going to start seeing some uprisings and perhaps maybe even the prospect of FedEx being blacked out. The fans are not powerless. That's what I would tell them. You're not powerless, but you have to unite and you have to let your voice be heard, and that's the only way that you're going to perhaps change things. Because if you're going to go along with the status quo, you're going to get more of it."

The last question of the day came from an unhappy fan who believed Skins supporters should unite in anti-Snyder chants at FedEx Field. He asked Riggo for his opinion.

"Well I'll tell you what, if it was up to me, I think the best way to send your signal is just the opposite of that," Riggins said. "Because all you're displaying is your passion and how much you love this franchise. I would say as much as it hurts, stay home. Don't go. That would send a very loud message."

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 22, 2009; 10:06 AM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Next: Schefter calls Skins job "desirable"

Comments

Why was this posted twice?

Posted by: sitruc | October 22, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm gonna get the papers get the papers.

Posted by: Section117 | October 22, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting this. Seriously.

Posted by: Pepper5 | October 22, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see you Jimmy Two Times!

Posted by: Section104 | October 22, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"I know you've had enough of this stuff."

No, I haven't.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | October 22, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

The replacement of Herzog with Larry Michael is a perfect metaphorical microcosm for the Snyder era. Herzog was a wonderful talent whose soulful passion touched and united the common fan. Michael's none of those things, but he's good for the bottom line. So there ya go.

Posted by: TheFunBunch | October 22, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Great shout-out for the Alpine. The de facto prom date destination for us Yorktown grads back in the 80's.

Posted by: LouLewis | October 22, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Did Riggins have a falling out with Snyder? A couple of seasons ago he was on Snyder's radio stations and was even defending the guy. What happened? Not saying his points about the team are wrong, it just seems odd that he turned so fully on Snyder.

Posted by: Solnoir | October 22, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I really miss Frank. I always thought he was the perfect one to be between Sonny and Sam. He was the TRUE "voice of the Redskins". Larry Michael is just a joke.

Posted by: VaBroker | October 22, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The Redskins are a product that Snyder owns, just like Johnny Rockets, Six Flags, and other holdings. Snyder doesn't care. You can't even hit him in the wallet, because if the revenue suddenly dries up at FedEx and in the NFL apparel line, it'll show up somewhere else.

Snyder's not selling, and he's not going to change his style of football team management, because nothing is wrong. Nothing will be wrong.

The Redskins as a legitimate, competitive team is long over. The three Lombardi trophies and five Halas trophies are in the case. It's in the books. From here on out, the Redskins are a product, not an extension of Washington/Northern Virginia culture. They used to be, with Riggo and the Hogs on the field, and Hartzog on the radio, and on Bumper stickers on my grandmother's 72 Dodge Dart. But they're not anymore.

They are a franchise. I expect no changes.

Posted by: Meepo | October 22, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

"Touchdown, Washington Redskins!"

*Sigh*

Posted by: 4-12 | October 22, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

But just let me say this: what if all those people who buy into season tickets annually, instead drop the money toward a fund that would be used to purchase the Redskins collectively? Gather enough money, make contributors shareholders, do the legal things to make the operation a legitimate corporation. The Redskin price is 1.6 billion dollars. It's a lot, but if all the huge fan base were to contribute some money that would otherwise go to line Daniel Snyder's pockets, up to 2 or 3 billion dollars could be raised, with the help of a wide consortium of small business owners, large business owners, CEOs, and fans who devote their Redskins stuff-buying budget into actual Redskins shares.

I haven't bought a Redskins item in 10 years. I would throw in a few dollars annually into such a drive.

I'm not a business man. I'm a diehard Redskins fan, one who will love the team regardless of owner shenanigans. Maybe that wouldn't work. But bellyaching about what an owner should do (BUT WILL NEVER, EVER, NOT EVER DO), is ineffective at best.

Posted by: Meepo | October 22, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

!@#ing classic

"This franchise has been taken hostage by someone who has the mindset of a child, because everything revolves around them, and it's gonna be difficult, until that mental adjustment is made, that adjustment in personality. But that's gonna be a lot of sessions on the couch with somebody."

Posted by: nativedc | October 22, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

If the owner sucks, look to what the Green Bay Packers did. The fans are the owners. And when the Packers stink, the fans blame themselves.

My wife comes from south of Green Bay. So the Redskins community feeling may now be corrupted by the likes of Snyder's hands, but I really catch on to the Packers' community vibe. I mean it, it's just like the Redskins were during the Cook era. Only instead of some deranged owner calling sometimes deranged shots, it's the Packers' shareholders.

Posted by: Meepo | October 22, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Riggins is right whatever you think of him. The loudest message fans can send is to BOYCOTT THE SKINS by not going to the games and stop purchasing Redskin paraphernalia. I was a season ticket holder until this year and a fan for forty years. Snyder ruined the game day experience buy overcharging for everything, making it very difficult come and go from the game, having to put up with thousands obnoxious Cowboy, Giants, etc. fans that got tickets from brokers who bought them in the thousands straight from Redskins.

Posted by: mattphillips | October 22, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, the NFL doesn't allow the type of ownership that the Packers have anymore. The Packers are grandfathered in, but no other team can do that.

As for Hertzog and Riggo, well, they're pretty much just reading my mind on this.

Posted by: acoberst1 | October 22, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

From all the various websites I've been reading, Monday night is going to be really interesting from a fan reaction standpoint.

Posted by: CHICO13 | October 22, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

"But just let me say this: what if all those people who buy into season tickets annually, instead drop the money toward a fund that would be used to purchase the Redskins collectively? Gather enough money, make contributors shareholders, do the legal things to make the operation a legitimate corporation. The Redskin price is 1.6 billion dollars."

Posted by: Meepo | October 22, 2009 11:17 AM

No matter how much money could be raised, Snyder would not have to sell if he did not want to.

"If the owner sucks, look to what the Green Bay Packers did. The fans are the owners. And when the Packers stink, the fans blame themselves."

Posted by: Meepo | October 22, 2009 11:23 AM

Yes, Packers fans can purchase shares of the team, but they are nominal shares with no rights other than the ability to attend the shareholder meeting (this is insignificant because the shares are designed in such a way that the public can never outvote management). Basically, they are memorabilia that help raise funds for the team.

Posted by: crazycarl16 | October 22, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I never get tired of the 'troll' bashing. The midget dictator deserves all of it and then some. I'm surprised he hasn't bought the Post and killed all the sports columns/blogs like this one. I heard he tried to buy 106.7 but was rebuffed. He's not interested in winning; he wants to win only using his stupid methodology and he'll keep plugging away and throwing good money after bad until it works. We're doomed until he is out of the picture.

Not the same without you Frank...I cannot listen to that marblemouth pretend broadcaster that barely warms YOUR seat.

Riggo, never stop saying what needs to be said. $nyder must go...

Posted by: kahlua87 | October 22, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Thanks "4-12" for bringing back that memory of a better time, a better team.

Once again,

"TOUCHDOWN! Washington Redskins!"

Posted by: AWWNats | October 22, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

You lame Redskin fans need to get a life. Same with Riggins and the rest of the Redskin ex-players who got so much to say now. Look, the skins are not a great organization and never was. They didn't want black players on that team until 1962 with B. Mitchell. They have a name that's insulting to many. This is a whole new team folks and it ain't the way it was, so get a life and stop being nostailgic and move on. Stop living your life through what used to be and deal with what's in front of you. If you don't like the product you see on the grid iron then don't go to the games.

Posted by: JGibbs123 | October 22, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Having an empty stadium on Monday night would be great, but if you take a look at the stands in the 3rd qtr, the beer lines are already clearing the place out. Not sure I buy Riggo there.

It's going to be a slow protest, and it's already happening. Give up the season tickets. Don't renew. Expose the myth of the waiting list, which is now really a marketing list. Tell Snyder the franchise isn't worth nearly the $1.8B figure we keep hearing.

And stop watching. I listen on the net a good deal, but I've stopped bothering to go to the bar every week. If the numbers go down, the whole NFL feels it.

Does Snyder *directly* make less money if the team's not on nationally? Does he *directly* make more money if it's shown in more markets?

Finally, stop TiVoing. Your TiVo and DVRs phone home and say what you've watched. These are fairly reliable and (therefore) respected numbers, and the NFL will feel your not watching it.

Posted by: WorstSeat | October 22, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

True, Packers fans essentially can't hire and fire; the Packers employ a general manager who does that.

But the structure that is the Packers makes the team a little more sensitive to the community in which it resides. They won't move, they won't demand some insane stadium (that's why they overhauled Lambeau in recent years). No, they won't win Stupor Bowl year in and year out, and most years won't compete for it. But the wonderful thing about the Pack is that they'll try to play.

If the NFL doesn't allow teams to be structured the way the Packers are, then somebody should compete with the NFL. My only concerns in the football world are the Redskins above all, and the Packers out of marriage. The NFL can suck it. It's despicable.

Posted by: Meepo | October 22, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't detect any protests being made. I do detect one fan after another declaring that they have a life, and that they have no time for Snyderatto.

It certainly won't change the Redskins' situation. But people will move on to more issues with which they have power to change things.

I love the Redskins, and I'll probably pay attention to whatever they do, but there's no changing unless the Daniel goes away.

That said, the Nats are in town. And the Capitals. And change the Wizards back into the Bullets, for F sake.

Posted by: Meepo | October 22, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Man, it was GREAT to hear Frank Herzog talk Redskins again. I grew up hearing, "Touchdown, Washington Redskins!" Frank always painted a perfect picture of what was going on and I know because I always turned the sound down on the TV set to listen to him Sonny and Sam. I still turn the sound down, but the broadcasts just aren't the same without him. Sadly, the Redskins have become a real freak show and, when I see the games Danny is playing with Zorn, imposing his will and power on him, it tells me that Vinny is here to stay and we'll continue to have Sundays where the Redskins look like a JV squad while the worst of the NFL's worst look all-world.

Posted by: stwasm | October 22, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Why was this posted twice?

Posted by: sitruc | October 22, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm gonna get the papers get the papers.

Posted by: Section117 | October 22, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

The most funny thing Ive read in years!!!

Posted by: ocskins | October 22, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Herzog and Riggins, architects of the greatest play and play call in Redskins history....

...Thiesmann hands off to Riggins...good hole...He's gone!....the 35, the 30, the 20...HE'S GONE! HE'S GONE!!!.....TOUCHDOWN WASHINGTON REDSKINS!!!

Still gives me chills whenver I hear it.

Posted by: Predator48 | October 22, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I have started my own "Blackout", I am not watching the rest of the season! I will blog and read about them, but I will not facilitate the ratings for a Dan Snyder product.

Posted by: JohnWWW | October 22, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sick of it at all. The more hate directed at the man in charge the better for Skins fans.

Posted by: nganassim | October 22, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Man I miss Herzog. "Redskins moving left to right on your radio dial!" And nothing beat his "TOUCHDOWN! WASHINGTON REDSKINS!!!"

Posted by: page7 | October 22, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

all skins fans are retards

Posted by: BMACattack | October 23, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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