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John Kent Cooke says dad would be "appalled"

(1992 photo by Bill Sikes - AP)

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 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."

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 22, 2009; 7:40 AM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Next: Frank Herzog says Skins' play is "insulting"


I've got a ten spot on Home and Garden being the next section to take a dig at Lil Dan...any takers?

Posted by: walkdwalk | October 22, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Hard to imagine that anyone thinks location is the biggest problem with that stadium. Yeah, it's not great, but I'd put it way down the very, very, very long list of why that place sucks.

And all but location can be traced back to Dumbass Dan Snyder

Posted by: thediesel | October 22, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I have no problem with ANY section of the Post reporting the truth about Snyder. The truth in this case is abominable. The man is in the middle of destroying a once-great franchise - something that ought to be held in the public trust has been treated like a profit center. Money is the only thing Snyder understands - he CLEARLY doesn't understand anything about football, or people.

Posted by: kemp13 | October 22, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse


Definitely! They could re-visit that story from a few years ago when Snyder cut down the trees at his home.

I guess it's probably not a possibility, but I would love it if Mr. Cooke would put together a new group and approach Snyder about purchasing the team from him.

Posted by: CJMARTIN04 | October 22, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

John Cooke should be able to speak intelligently about poor owners of sports franchises since he was one. Things are bad now, but the years under John Kent Cooke with Norv Turner as head coach weren't exactly glory days either. I'm not sure why John Kent Cooke feels the need to pile on at this point. It would be like Norv Turner lecturing Jim Zorn about how to go to the Super Bowl.

Posted by: sonny2 | October 22, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

John didn't have the cojones to one-up a yahoo with a lot of dough. If he really had the heart and soul to run a team, he would've made a legitimate run at buying it. He should've taken Snyder as an absolute insult to the team that he was and is, but instead he dismissed him, and drove in his nice car back to his stadium office.

Why should I care about John Kent Cooke's regrets? He still shows nothing more than a bitterness at having lost out to a jerk.

The JKC story is done. Daniel Snyder is here to say. Until a bigger, jerkier Daniel Snyder protege comes into $3 billion with which to buy the team and load it full of talentless buffaloes.

Posted by: Meepo | October 22, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"Wise and the younger Cooke will be on at 2:15 on Thursday to chat about the story;"

** "Younger" Cooke? What, did you really think someone might think the older Cooke would be on at 2:15? Yeesh.

Posted by: brad40 | October 22, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Given the media's love of sports curses, I am surprised that the notion that JKC is haunting the team from beyond the grave hasn't caught on. Maybe if Snyder let us call the stadium by its rightful name, things would turn around.

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

meepo, Daniel Snyder got two bites of the apple, John Kent Cooke did not. Why the trustees gave Snyder two chances is beyond me.

And sonny you are right the end of the Cooke era wasn't great. But don't you think John Kent Cooke would've gotten it right by now. I do. Eventually the right GM and the right coach would've been here. Snyder is further away from getting it right than he was before.

Posted by: templetontherat1978 | October 22, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I have to say that Milloy's column mocking a sick old man like Chief Zee just so Milloy could push his agenda was as slimy as it gets. Milloy is a dirtbag, frankly.

Posted by: poguesmahone | October 22, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"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."

Wrong wrong wrong wrong. The stadium was built to hold 72,000 and the cars accompanying. Snyder decided to squeeze in a solid 20k seats more, and the attendant problems that come with extra bodies followed. Jack Kent Cooke stadium was just fine. FedEx is an absolute sh!thole, and 95% of that can be traced to $nyder.

Posted by: ThisGuy | October 22, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: publicservice2 | October 22, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

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