John Kent Cooke says dad would be "appalled"
When it's open season, it's really, really, really open season. The Post hit for the cycle on Wednesday, with non-flattering articles about the Redskins in the Sports, Financial (Pearlstein column), Metro (Chief Zee column) and Style (John Kent Cooke profile) sections. As another blogger pointed out, the Food section is clearly asleep at the wheel here, failing to produce a negative Johnny Rockets story when the time was riper than a FedEx porta-potty.
But Mike Wise's John Kent Cooke profile was undoubtedly fascinating, as was the follow-up interview on 106.7 The Fan (listen here), which had the added intrigue of ripping Daniel Snyder on a radio station that's competing with Daniel Snyder's radio station. Wise and the younger Cooke will be on WashingtonPost.com at 2:15 on Thursday to chat about the story; submit questions here.
As for the radio interview, the money quotes were the first and the last ones of a 25-minute conversation. First, Cooke mentioned why he was finally speaking out now: "I, like the fans of the Redskins, have had enough," he said. And last, when Wise asked Cooke what his dad would think about the '09 Redskins, he said this:
"Well, I think that he would be appalled, absolutely appalled that it's come down to this."
In between, he ruminated on what makes a good sports owner, how the franchise seems to have lost its way, and the final years with his father. He also again told the story of his breakfast meeting to discuss a possible partnership with Snyder, a meeting that turned sour.
"Without belaboring the story, I was not impressed with him," Cooke said. "After the meeting was over--it was a breakfast meeting--I called my friend from the car on the way to Redskins Park and said, 'They have not made a pole long enough for me to touch that man.'...I don't give a damn about reverence. He was arrogant and he was selfish and I could see that he would not be a good partner, a minority partner or a majority one as it turned out."
When they stopped talking about Snyder, Cooke happened to admit that the game-day experience at FedEx Field is far inferior to that of a home entertainment center. And as I've often said, for whatever faults Snyder might have, it's not his fault that the stadium is where it is, which is the overwhelming top problem with the Skins' game-day experience. The Cookes get credit for that monstrous mistake, and the younger one even seemed to admit it.
"First of all, I say that [on television] is the very best way to watch it, because you get the instant replays, you don't have to worry about parking, you don't have to worry about getting out of the stadium," he said. "I hate to admit it, since I was instrumental in [helping] building that stadium, that the very best way to watch a football game is on television."
Not everywhere, sir. In some cities, it's actually great fun to watch a football game in person. Go to Baltimore some time. Regardless, if you're wondering what Cooke's philosophy on player personnel would have been, this is what he had to say.
"I would not have chosen anyone particularly, I would have relied on [the football staff] and their advice," he said. "And that is one of the problems that they have now, they should be listening to qualified people. They don't have the qualified people to begin with, and they don't listen to anybody."
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