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."
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."
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.
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.
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."
"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.
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