Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: dcsportsbog and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Behavior Change: Skins fans plan Dallas walkout



"I think the relentless negative coverage in The Washington Post is a real difference from previous years," Redskins COO David Donovan said, in a quote that seems to grow in majesty with each passing day. "But in terms of the way our actual fans are behaving, we don't see any difference."

And from there, we go to local restaurateur and lifelong Redskins fan Alan Pohoryles.

"We feel like the only way we'll really get our voices heard by upper management is to stage a walkout against our biggest rival at FedEx field, and let the owner know we're not going to stand for it any more," Poho told me.

Maybe you know Poho as the owner of Tommy Joe's in Bethesda. But now, meet him as the founder of RFADS, Redskins Fans Against Daniel Snyder.

Poho's frustration mirrors yours, and I'll get to that in a minute. But in a moment of particular angst before the home game against the Chiefs, he decided to do something, founding this RFADS Facebook group and sending the invitation to about 80 friends. Before the 4 o'clock games were over, he was adding 150 or 200 members an hour. By the start of Sunday Night Football, when Jim Zorn was stripped of his play-calling duties, he had 1,200 members. As I type, he's passed 9,300 members. He figures at this pace, he could have 20,000 members by the Dec. 27 Dallas game, the final home game.

"It just took off, and people were [extremely angry]," Poho told me. "There's definitely something going on. When I started it, I didn't have any of this in mind. But once it took off, I realized that maybe we can make a difference."

Which led to the idea of the walkout. The general concept is that you go to the Dallas game as usual, stand for the national anthem as always, and then split. Watch it from the parking lot. Have a grand old time. Visit that Wendy's that I always stop at on my way home. Just don't sit inside the stadium. He figures if he can get some more publicity and some more members and some more media, it wouldn't be impossible to get 10,000 or 20,000 fans to leave the building.

"We're doing it to prove a point," Poho said. "Just to tell him look, we're frustrated, we're tired of it. I appreciate the fact that he's a fan, but I'm a fan, which doesn't qualify me to run a football team.....If we can get a walkout, get some publicity, maybe that will hit him where it hurts, in the wallet, because that's the only way we can force him to make a change."

Poho isn't selling T-shirts, and he isn't trying to make any money off this effort. He does have these massive banners on his truck, which you can see above. He got them a few days ago to try to reach people who aren't on Facebook, and they, too, have struck a nerve. In the hour after he put them on his truck, three guys lined up in a parking lot to take pictures. Everywhere he goes, he earns honks. People on his site want to buy signs of their own. A couple went inside the restaurant this week just to meet the guy who drove that truck.

"I have people thanking me," he said with a laugh. "I'm like, 'Look, I just created the venue.' Who am I to be the leader of this Revolution? But I've gotten so into it, because people are so behind it. I don't even know, it's just a great place for people to vent. People want to make a difference somehow."

This I can vouch for. Every day I get e-mailed stories like Poho's, people who tell me how long they've had tickets, which games they've seen, which Super Bowls they saw in person. Poho's dad has been a season-ticket holder since Griffith Stadium; the 38-year old was perfectly positioned to grow up during the glory years. And now, he's fed up.

He knows what's going on in Cleveland -- fans are planning a walkout there, and the leaders actually scored a meeting with owner Randy Lerner, who told them "I take full blame," according to the Canton Repository. He knows about all the other protests Skins fans have proposed, from the Fan Cards to the Mass-of-Humanity-T-Shirt-message. He's not even saying the Skins' owner should sell the team; he's just asking for a change.

"If there's a change before then, I'm happy to close down the group and move on," he said. And if not?

"We'll just do it, and we'll have a big party in the parking lot, and hopefully it'll work," he said. "We're not idiots. He treats the fans like we're idiots, and we're tired of it."

By Dan Steinberg  |  November 4, 2009; 1:38 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Halloween in D.C.: Lincoln and Snyder
Next: Behavior Change: Bail out the Redskins?

Comments

Hope this actually happens!

Posted by: mattylight | November 4, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Whats DSnyders email addy?

Posted by: ocskins | November 4, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I don't see this working. Dan has already done some damage control by publically apologizing to the fans for the 2-5 start. He also sent a survey to season ticket holders. But those are P.R. stunts. Some way for him to save face with the NFL and his peers. Just last week he and Vinny were reported to honestly believe they have playoff talent. Walking out isn't go change his mind about talent and it isn't going to force him to relinquish control of the team. And if you make it in to the stadium you've already paid for the ticket so you are not hurting his wallet. I'll admit it will be embarrassing and to date, nothing else has really worked but I'd like to recommend something different. Let's start a collection towards a full page ad in the Washington Post with a statement to Danny: You've Tried it Your Way for 10 Years with Little to No Success, Now Try It Without Vinny and with a Real GM. Danny isn't going to be able to ignore that as it will gain national attention and can be referenced for months (well into the offseason). Every sports outlet will have some schpeal about it. The minority owners of the Skins have to convince Danny to change. Short of no one buying tickets to games, I am not sure what will force his hand.

Posted by: neil64 | November 4, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

"In terms of the way our actual fans are behaving, we don't see any difference.

Except for the one fan who publicly stated his embarrassment to Lindsay Czarniak yesterday. We at the Redskins believe he represents an anomaly."

Posted by: WorstSeat | November 4, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to join the group as soon as I get home. Hope it happens!!!

Posted by: TheSuperhoo | November 4, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

The point is not to force any hand, it's to let him know that we're pissed! And yes, buying the tix have put money in his pockets, but he makes a lot of money on concessions and Jersey sales. Also, for every person that has non club or suite tickets, there are 5 people waiting to take them over. I like the idea of the Ad, but that sends him the same message as a walk out, but the walkout will grab national attention and he'll have to do something. He's tried his way for 10 years, he should step back and try something different!

Posted by: poho12 | November 4, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Great idea and effort. But bear this in mind, due to traffic, escalator logjams, whatever, not everyone is in their seat at the Anthem. Maybe a bit later into the first quarter or thereabouts.

I might also suggest that the fans who particpate in the walkout have some sort of large piece of paper with them when they enter (discreetly hidden from the gateminders' view) and when they leave they tape the paper to the back of the seat. The paper would have in large letters 'RFADS'. Perhaps the sign can be printed out ahead of time from the facebook site. Under the large letters could be a sentence or two about the action taken so that those around such seats and who were not aware of the walkout may read the sign and walkout as well.

Posted by: bbmcoachk | November 4, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Walk out on the Dallas game? If I was going to go to it, I wouldn't walk out on THAT game because if we happen to beat them, I would NEVER NEVER want to miss that!!!

I think that there are a lot of others who feel the same way.

Posted by: charley42 | November 4, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Walkouts are ridiculous. Wasting your time and money to walk out?

Posted by: Freddy_ADU | November 4, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I wish I could afford to not attend a Redskins game. I hope he pulls it off.

Posted by: Meepo | November 4, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure this will get the point across. Not a 2-12 record when this game is played.

Posted by: peterandmeredith | November 4, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm just glad that Snyders first name isn't Gary...

Posted by: jahs4fun | November 4, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Poho, great idea but it will never work because like Napaolean said, they are so gracious to have the loyal fan base..... you have too many loyalists that will shut up and take it and go to the game and not turn their back on the little man and he knows it. The loyal fan is forgiving for the simple words of " I am sorry". People, he is not sorry because he is not doing anything to correct it. I hope that it happens... it would be great on National TV to see the mass exodus right after kick off. You have to do it while the cameras are rolling and not during a commercial.

Posted by: rvanags | November 4, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm not walking out on the Dallas game PERIOD.

Pick another game. I've got to stand up for my team for that game.

I haven't been to a game since we lost to the Lions, because I'm not going to give Snyder my parking and concession money, ut I will be there against those darn Cowboys and I don't care if it is cold as ice, raining or snowing.

Dallas went 1-15 and the 1 was against the Redskins. Remember that!

Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | November 4, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

This thing has gone on too long. To do this in Dallas? Of all places.

Posted by: zariah | November 4, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

"I'm organizing the fans to walkout on Redskins games!!!"

Bwahahahaha!!!

Dude, I have an idea. Try getting a life.

Posted by: sonny2 | November 4, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

FIRE VINNY !!!

Posted by: Mark99 | November 4, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

i agree, snyder SUCKS- but seriously, during the cowboys game? hate snyder but love the skins and gotta be there for the players.....

Posted by: KFS583 | November 4, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

The walkout will never work; didn't you hear that Snyder imposed a walkout ban.

Posted by: nolngeraseasontixhder | November 5, 2009 12:55 AM | Report abuse

This can work and it must work!

In addition, fans should not wear Redskin colors. Wear black. All black.

This is Washington! We are Redskins fans. We CAN DO IT !!! We can cause change.

Posted by: AWWNats | November 5, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I agree that an all black campaign would be a better idea than a walk out. But Danny's thugs would take those shirt/jersey away from you before you could enter the stadium.

Posted by: cpl59h | November 5, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

http://media.www.dennews.com/media/storage/paper309/news/2009/11/05/Opinions/Column.Redskins.Management.sign.Off-3822989.shtml

Posted by: rtbajek | November 5, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Let's start a collection towards a full page ad in the Washington Post with a statement to Danny: You've Tried it Your Way for 10 Years with Little to No Success, Now Try It Without Vinny and with a Real GM. Danny isn't going to be able to ignore that as it will gain national attention and can be referenced for months (well into the offseason). Every sports outlet will have some schpeal about it. The minority owners of the Skins have to convince Danny to change. Short of no one buying tickets to games, I am not sure what will force his hand.

Posted by: neil64 | November 5, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company