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Good bye to Vinny, part II

Saying good-bye is never a one-stage process. So if Stage I was Gloating, we're now on to Stage II, which I'll refer to as "Even More Gloating." In many parts.


This is the first time Vincent Cerrato was ever quoted in The Washington Post. It was right after Charley Casserly was pushed out of the GM's job. Cerrato started strong.

"The biggest thing is, I know how hungry the fans are for a winner," Cerrato said. "I know the energy Mr. Snyder has brought to the organization....In this league, you win from the top down. You win with ownership."

Christmas Cards

The best Cerrato nugget of all time was uncovered by my friend and former neighbor Dave McKenna. And I quote:

One of Cerrato's specific duties under Holtz was mentioned in a 1991 article in the Washington Times headlined "Dear Kid." For the piece, writer Elizabeth M. Cosin got access to the holiday mail that colleges had been sending football prospects at DeMatha Catholic High School. Among her findings: "Georgia Tech coach Bobby Ross personally signs all his Christmas cards. Lou Holtz of Notre Dame got recruiting coordinator Vincent Cerrato to sign the appropriately understated white-on-white greeting.

Cerrato had been working for Holtz for seven years at the time.


This photo comes via @dcuniverse. It's promoting a mobile ad company. "You can't really make it out, but that smaller red sign in the corner says Done." Good times.


Because I like you, here's another classic scene from "Kindergarten Ninja." And as a Bog commenter points out, "FYI 'Kindergarten Ninja' is available on Netfix. I queued it up this morning."

Untitled from Dan Steinberg on Vimeo.

Prince of Darkness

Tampa columnist Gary Shelton just flayed Bruce Allen on Friday, among other things, calling him the Prince of Darkness. That was kind of a downer. I keep hearing how terrible Allen's relationship was with the Tampa press. On the other hand, "I'd rather have the Prince of Darkness as my GM than the Earl of Ineptness or the Baron von Bootlicker," as someone wrote to me.

Approval Rating

On Mister Irrelevant, Vinny's ouster received a 98 percent approval rating. That's just amazing. "Breathing," "eating," and "sitting on the sofa drinking beer" don't get that sort of approval rating.


Peter Perl wrote one of the defining pieces about Daniel Snyder. It was also the first mention in print of Cerrato and racquetball. Here's the money passage.

We are joined by his regular racquetball partner, Redskins personnel director Vinny Cerrato, a lean, muscular former college quarterback at Iowa State. They play a ferocious match for the next half-hour, and Snyder is getting beaten. Only now do I see what Snyder meant when he told me several times in the past weeks, "I'm still a kid...I'm just a kid." As he is losing, he pouts. He grimaces. He curses. He shakes his head in disgust. He hits the wall with his fancy racket. Then he kicks the wall with his new Reeboks. He gets so mad at one point, he jumps up and down in a tantrum, pounding both feet simultaneously.

Then Snyder rallies, and he comes back to tie Cerrato at 10-10. Now, he's taunting, "C'mon! C'mon!" He turns to shout a challenge at Cerrato after winning a point, "C'mon, [two-word expletive]!" After much more cursing, kicking and theatrics, finally, Cerrato prevails.

Afterward, I ask Snyder why he is so driven to win, all the time, in all aspects of his life. He answers dismissively: "I don't have a clue." Then he and Cerrato share a laugh about just how competitive they are: Not long ago, Cerrato learned his wife was pregnant with their first child, a boy. Snyder and his wife, Tanya, who have two young daughters, were coincidentally expecting their first boy. So, from the obstetrician's office, Cerrato announced his big news by calling Snyder and leaving a message on his cell phone: "My boy's gonna kick your boy's ass." Then Snyder called back and left his friend a most unusual congratulatory message that consisted of only two choice words.

Another Quote

When Steve Spurrier was first hired by Daniel Snyder, Cerrato still was working as an ESPN analyst. The Post contacted him for comment about Spurrier.

"What he does will work," Cerrato said of Spurrier. "It's worked against the best people in college. A lot of number one [draft] picks went against them. What he does worked at the top college level. It worked at Duke. It's worked well over a lot of years."
A Photo

"Everything that was wrong with the Cerrato Era, in one image," is what I call this one.

One More Quote

Daniel Snyder publicly praised Cerrato in 2003.

"Put his work history on paper," Snyder said, "and you will have a smile on your face."


Here's this week's special Redskins Insider podcast.

Also, Annys Shin (who also happens to be my wife) wrote a great great story about Tanner Cooley for this Sunday's WaPo magazine. And Tanner will be chatting about the story and his life on the site on Monday. Submit questions here.

By Dan Steinberg  |  December 18, 2009; 12:31 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Bruce Allen and the D.C. bond
Next: ESPN reporting everything on Shanahan


Dan....your stuff is just awesome.

Wish you worked for FANHOUSE so more people could see it

Posted by: thesquire2 | December 18, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Can we please start the RUSS GRIMM 4 HEAD COACH rally?

Nobody is talking about RUSS.

He was qualified to become the Steelers head coach, and then ran the offense to get the Cardinals into the Super Bowl.


Posted by: thesquire2 | December 18, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I am offering to drive Vinny out of town to ensure that he is gone!

So long SUCKER....

Posted by: mb15 | December 18, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

How come your wife wouldn't take your last name?

Posted by: supuradam | December 18, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

That last photo would only be better if that was Danny obscured by Vinny. Danny's head looks like it's up Vinny's arse!

Posted by: DocHolliday1906 | December 18, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

hey steinz, i'm guessing from your wife's last name that she's korean. being korean myself, i feel some kind of weird connection to you now. random question but does your refrigerator smell like kimchi? if so, i'm so sorry.

Posted by: d_skillz | December 18, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Can the post sponsor a screening of Kindergarden ninja?

Posted by: alex35332 | December 18, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"On Mister Irrelevant, Vinny's ouster received a 98 percent approval rating. That's just amazing. "Breathing," "eating," and "sitting on the sofa drinking beer" don't get that sort of approval rating."

You're ducking the question. Is it better than sex?

Posted by: section309 | December 18, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

awesome stuff Dan, as usual.

boy, the bog is going to miss Vinny Cerrato.

i can't get enoough of this stuff, and especially enjoy the pictures of Vinny when he has the bugling, crazy eyes thing going on.

Posted by: terp4303 | December 18, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Baron Von Bootlicker, love it.

Posted by: goslin57 | December 18, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I remember Washington Post Magazine way back maybe in '01 had a Danny profile with racketball in the article, I don't think this quote was lifted from that article, but it was the same exact pathetic super dork banter, just two total loser guys trying to put on like cool people. It was horrific that the owner of the Redskins was such a total geek. And the sportstalk guys were ripping from that article on the racketball stuff on the air that same day. I remember I was glad I wasn't the only one who was nauseated by it.

Posted by: kls1 | December 18, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Hate to say it, but suspect we haven't seen the last of Vinny Bugeyes. I predict that he'll soon be worming his way back into the affections of Dan Snidely, who still refers to old Lizard Lips as a close friend, advisor and confidante.

Posted by: Vic1 | December 19, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Dan, You seem to have extracted your revenge in full. Please let go of Vinny. You know these are the days for forgiving.

Posted by: KarK | December 19, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse


Your personal attacks against Cerrato were childish and petty.

Posted by: rickyroge | December 19, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Boy, the acting is SO bad in that movie that Cerrato was the least worst actor! (I just couldn't use the word 'best'.)

Posted by: charley42 | December 20, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"I've never known such happiness!" as having got answered my fervent prayers for deliverance from two-thirds of the Terrible Trio, long overdue as it was in the case of this mafioso who I earnestly believe was a plant from the Five Families of New Dork, following on the worn heels of Sonny Swishbutt the gone-blind kicker who should've found his stuff piled at the curb in Crashburn the second his solitary self-paid flight from Mad Cow Country landed - especially after Sonny breathtakingly dared to say "I wish WE had made" them two field goals that cost us so important a victory. And it might have been us who popped the Saints' cherry instead of those whatever-they-are next door to Fort Worth had the flabby reflexes of Redskins mismanagement acted more swiftly to toss Swishbutt out ON his butt and get a more efficient replacement. Now we have only to wait until the Final Curtain on this miserable season for Doctor Z's pinhead to fall, may he skulk back to fake/pseudo/semi/quasi-Washington whence came he from them Sea Urchins and issue forth never again. But please NOT to bring no more of them Denver Nags hither in the person of their ex-head coach, unless as it might be to get Champ Bailey back from that idiotic trade for that headringer Portis. We're stuck with Snidely Danny for the duration, worse luck, but even with that noose around our necks a Miraculous Turnaround is still possible. "Let us pray."

Posted by: KenSirhan | December 20, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"As he is losing, he pouts. He grimaces. He curses. He shakes his head in disgust. He hits the wall with his fancy racket. Then he kicks the wall with his new Reeboks. He gets so mad at one point, he jumps up and down in a tantrum, pounding both feet simultaneously."

This mental image made me laugh out loud. I think I'll picture it anytime the snyderskins are losing and feel much better (knowing that he's probably doing the same thing in the owner's box).

Posted by: jbanks979 | December 21, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

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