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Leonsis on the Redskins

One more thing I wanted to highlight from the interview Ted Leonsis did with Chad Dukes and LaVar Arrington Thursday afternoon. For a lot of reasons, just about every sentient sports fan in the D.C. area has explicitly compared Leonsis with Daniel Snyder in recent months, and a cynic might suggest that Leonsis hasn't done anything to avoid those comparisons.

But I'm not sure he's ever been asked about Snyder and the Redskins as explicitly as Dukes did this week.

"I'm not telling you anything you don't know, you are Luke Skywalker to Dan Snyder's Emperor," Dukes began. "Everybody in this town looks at it that way, and I don't know if that's a fair characterization or not. But what is it like working under those conditions, where one of the franchises that is very beloved is in the state that it's in while you all are thriving, and your business practices could not be any more different. It's cloak and dagger vs complete transparency with your fan base, which everyone lauds you for. What is it like working in a market where that situation is going on?"

Well, when you put it that way....

"The NFL is the 800-pound gorilla, and it's the greatest business of sport out there," Leonsis said. "And the Redskins have the greatest franchise, maybe in sports. And so I honestly never spend five minutes thinking about us versus the Redskins....

"I obsess about the Flyers or the Penguins, right, because you think you're gonna have to meet them in the playoffs. And so my belief--and honestly, sincerely, my personality--I firmly believe that if every team--the Wizards, the Redskins, the Nationals--were all competing for championships, that would be the best thing that ever happened for the Capitals, and vice versa. Because a rising tide raises all boats. This isn't a zero-sum game. And while we're getting some sponsors and some season ticket holders that, with the Redskins, are coming to the Caps, and a lot of Caps season-ticket holders are Redskins season-ticket holders, it's not a zero-sum game.

"And I love the Redskins as a fan. You know, I'm a Nats season-ticket holder, and Mark Lerner's one of my close friends. I own 44 percent of the Wizards with my partners. And I don't wish anyone bad faith, bad karma. I want everyone to be successful, because I actually think that'll make us successful. In business you don't want to be the only one in a category that's winning. Then you become a monopoly. It's great to have one, two, three four guys all doing great.

"So I honestly don't spend a lot of time, I don't model ourselves against them or whatever. We're doing what comes true and authentic to us, and our personality, our style, our operating philosophy is unique to us, right? And it comes out of who owns the team, who runs the team, and that we happen to be winning now.

"I think we have a good team and will be a good team for a long time. But until we win the Stanley Cup, we're gonna be wannabees. We'll be terrific and we'll move up in the pantheon, but the Redskins have won Super Bowls. And that's why the Redskins are a great franchise. They have that tradition and history, and you just go across sports: When you win a championships, you totally dip into the consciousness of the city. And we just had a nice run, and it was fantastic. We're first in the NHL, and we're first in the East, but none of that will matter when the playoffs start."

Earlier in the interview, 106.7 The Fan's rival sports talker came up in discussion, and Leonsis offered a pretty measured view of their programming choices.

"I think 980 doesn't cover us as much as you guys do mostly because they're owned by the Redskins," he said. "I mean, we have to be honest with that. And I understand that. If I owned a radio station, I'm not so sure I wouldn't want most of the coverage to be about the Capitals."

(In one final bit of Friday Skins news, if you haven't heard, City Paper is reporting that one of the investment groups that's involved in Six Flags is asking for Daniel Snyder and his management team to be removed while the company's bankruptcy case is being settled.

"Six Flags is clearly and obviously being used and abused by Mr. Snyder and Red Zone to further the economics of Mr. Snyder, certain members of the [Six Flags] board of directors and management, Johnny Rockets, Dick Clark Productions and Red Zone entities at the expense of all Six Flags stakeholders," the CEO of the investment group told Dave McKenna.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  February 12, 2010; 4:02 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , Media , Redskins  
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Next: Wizards' demolition is complete

Comments

Tedd even answers the question in the right way! Danny would probably get that question, not answer and have Larry Michael personally attack the questioner on his show later that day with a cheaply designed graphic based on a vague nickname of the person.

Posted by: alex35332 | February 12, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I hope Ted Leonsis sets up a monoply in which he owns all the dc sports teams.

Please visit my blog at www.thedcsportsscene.blogspot.com

Posted by: Dlewis10 | February 12, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Even before Ted, there was an incredible difference in the way the two teams treated their fans. The Redskins have always reminded me of the old Lily Tomlin sketch: "Care about customers (fans)? We don't have to care. We're the PHONE COMPANY."

I remember one incident several years ago when a young couple got two Skins tickets. They brought their infant son with them to sit on their laps, but the ticket-taker refused to let them in because the infant did not have a ticket.

On the other hand, the Capitals have always tried to give the impression they care about their fans and will bend over backwards to help them.

Ted Leonsis ought to be Dan Snyder's role model.

Posted by: StevefromSacto | February 12, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Hello,
Just wanted to say I'm suing Ted Leonsis for blowing snow into his neighbor's driveway.
Daniel F. Snyder

Posted by: kls1 | February 12, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Dan Snyder is not the only bad owner in Washington. Dan is clearly the biggest jerk in sports and if the NFL owners let him he will do to the NFL what he did to the REdskins. The Pollin family are worse owners than Snyder. They have their nephew installed in sports talk radio to spin things away from discussing just how terrible the Pollins record is. This team in DC is the worst basketball franchise in America given the amount of money that is spent on tickets, jerseys and stuff. It is pitiful. No one says a word about blowing this team up. Screw the fans. They do not deserve to see quality players. Abe was good to the community but the community was better to him. He did not know anything about basketball or hockey and he was a terrible micro manager. DC sports fans are the most pitiful group of people. The live on a championship in basketball that happened in the 70s and a football team that has not been competitive for 20 years.
The D.C. sports fan pays for garbage. Look at the REdskins. You have to be a fool to pay a nickel to see the Redskins or the Bullets. Thank goodness for Ted Leonsis. He knows how to hire quality coaches and management and let them run the team. That is it. Leonsis is also open and available to the fans win or loss. Dan Snyder is a jerk. He will never grow up.

Posted by: HelloNewman1 | February 13, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Snyder should move his Redskins we will be glad to wait for our Redskins team.
Snyder has lost the fans of the city and the only way to regain the fans is either he
(PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE!) sell the team or move them. JUST LEAVE!

I hear when Snyder goes home for dinner his Mom and Dad wear brown bags over their heads.
They don't want to be seen with him.

Posted by: 1-20-09 | February 13, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

HelloNewman1:

The Pollins "installed" Andy Pollin in sports talk radio? Man, they sure took the long way around. Andy's been in sports talk radio since the early 80s, in Texas, New York, and THEN here. And the Pollins don't even own the station! If you've ever listened to Andy, he's as hard on Les Boulez as anybody. That's a REALLY silly comment by you.

Posted by: Gunga2009 | February 13, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting the feeling that Leonsis and company are getting a bit too full of themselves. Win a damn Cup. THEN you do the victory tour. Not before.

Posted by: poguesmahone | February 13, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

"Snyder should move his Redskins we will be glad to wait for our Redskins team....(PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE!) sell the team or move them. JUST LEAVE!"

Posted by: 1-20-09

Speaking as someone raised on the BALTIMORE Colts, that is the most self-defeating suggestion I've yet to read on these boards...bar none! Perhaps you're prepared to watch NFL football without a rooting interest, except hoping certain teams lose. I've been there and its like kissing your grandmother.

Posted by: mdrockjock | February 13, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Ted is total class...such a different person than little Dan Snyder...for us Caps fans, a great thing that Ted owns the Caps, Dan would have destroyed them like he has done the Redskins.

Posted by: JCM-51 | February 14, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting the feeling that Leonsis and company are getting a bit too full of themselves. Win a damn Cup. THEN you do the victory tour. Not before.

Posted by: poguesmahone | February 13, 2010 7:44 PM

You must be joking. Did you even read the blog?

"But until we win the Stanley Cup, we're gonna be wannabees."

Posted by: Moose33 | February 14, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Moose: Leonsis talks a good game but the actions belie his words. I'm getting alot of vibes that they think they have achieved something. Both the coach and owner have written books, the GM says they are like Detroit (a former multiple cup winner) so they don't need an enforcer, they just announced huge ticket price increases. They seem a bit too full of themselves for a team that has won zilch. Leonsis' spin notwithstanding.

Posted by: poguesmahone | February 15, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

You mean the "Great Dave Mckenna"....

Posted by: lang77 | February 15, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse


BOYCOTT $NYDER OR YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM. DON'T THINK SO? WHAT IS ANY DIFFERENT WITH THE FIRING OF ZORN AND THE HIRING OF SHANAHAN AND ALLEN?

Posted by: hessone | February 15, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

"DC sports fans are the most pitiful group of people. The live on a championship in basketball that happened in the 70s and a football team that has not been competitive for 20 years.
The D.C. sports fan pays for garbage."
-Posted by: HelloNewman1 | February 13, 2010 10:15 AM

OK HelloNewman1,

Thats where you went wrong. You are entitled to your opinion, and some of what you said was hard to swallow, but may have had some truth. but when you trash us as fans, you crossed the line. You call us pitiful for continuing to go to games and buy merchandise? thats loyalty. If you find that strange, then you strike me as one of these half hearted fans who just jumped on the "sixburgh" band wagon. The 80s and mid 90s were great years for skins fans and great years will come again. the wait will be worth it. Thats the best part about pulling for bad teams, when they finally get their day.

Posted by: erleach | February 15, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

BOYCOTT $NYDER OR YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM. DON'T THINK SO? WHAT IS ANY DIFFERENT WITH THE FIRING OF ZORN AND THE HIRING OF SHANAHAN AND ALLEN?

Posted by: hessone | February 15, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse


Whats different? really? Snyder has taken a backseat to Allen and letting him call shots. The only time Snyder has been in the media lately was for giving his jet to the Haiti relief. Aside from that, Allen has been doing the Snyder stuff i.e. INTRODUCING SHANAHAN AS THE NEW COACH!! Thats always been Snyder. Also the season just freaking ended, give it time. Immediate results do happen, but small signs of whats to come do!

Posted by: erleach | February 15, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Redskins fans should be looking past 2010 and going all out for 2011. The only time the "storied franchise" wins a Super Bowl is when there is a strike or labor unrest.

Posted by: BigBlueFan1 | February 16, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

"Whats different? really? Snyder has taken a backseat to Allen and letting him call shots. The only time Snyder has been in the media lately was for giving his jet to the Haiti relief. Aside from that, Allen has been doing the Snyder stuff i.e. INTRODUCING SHANAHAN AS THE NEW COACH!! Thats always been Snyder. Also the season just freaking ended, give it time. Immediate results do happen, but small signs of whats to come do!"

Fool me once, shame on you.


Fool me 10 times, shame on me because I am a total freakin moron....

danny boy has no right to a presumption of good management. Not after what he has done to the best franchise in sports.

.

Posted by: oldnova | February 17, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Redskins fans should be looking past 2010 and going all out for 2011. The only time the "storied franchise" wins a Super Bowl is when there is a strike or labor unrest.

Posted by: BigBlueFan1


When we beat the Bills what was it the year before, labor unrest or a strike?? I hate it when people flap their gums and have no idea what they're talking about

Posted by: themightyzep2000 | February 17, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

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