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What I'd ask Daniel Snyder

(By Gary Cameron - Reuters)

After I wrote mean things about the questions that were asked of Daniel Snyder on ESPN 980 last week, some people suggested I was overly mean. He was being interviewed by his own employees on the day of maximum preseason optimism, so to ambush him with pointed, accusatory questions probably wouldn't have accomplished much.

Both because of his position and the scarcity of his public interviews, Snyder remains the most valuable sports interview in the D.C. market. Which got me thinking, what would I actually ask Daniel Snyder if I were granted, say, a seven-question interview?

Let's assume that I was trying to actually elicit interesting and newsworthy information and soundbites, and not trying to score political points. Let's also assume, for the purposes of this hypothetical exercise, that I wasn't trying to get blogworthy nuggets about his taste in mustaches and gourmet cheese or his outside business interests, but was actually after football-ish information. I'll give it a whirl.

1) What's a realistic expectation for the Redskins record this season, and how long would you expect the rebuilding of this franchise to last?

2) What lessons do you take away from the Albert Haynesworth free-agent signing?

3) How long do you expect Donovan McNabb will be a member of the Redskins?

4) By a variety of measures, you appear to have the oldest team in the NFL. How did that happen, and does it concern you?

5) After two years of not making the playoffs, Jim Zorn was fired and Vinny Cerrato left. If the Redskins don't make the playoffs over the next two years, would you have to reconsider the job statuses of Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen?

6) You grew up during the Redskins' glory years, but the team has now won two playoff games over the past 17 years, and has the oldest fan base of any major Washington franchise. Is there a danger of losing a generation of D.C. sports fans?

7) ESPN recently ranked your team 105th out of 122 pro franchises in stadium experience, including 117th in game-day environment. How would you assess the FedEx Field experience, and how could you improve that ranking?

I dunno, it's not an easy game to play. Feel free to offer better suggestions below. And it turns out the bloggers from Hogs Haven have scored a Snyder interview for Tuesday, so they're also taking suggestions.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 3, 2010; 11:01 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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8) Do you feel the Washington Post as a news organization covers you and your team objectively?

9) Why did you pull the Washington Post's season tickets several years back?

10) Have you heard of any other team in any other sport where a beat reporter from the largest local paper hadn't talked to the General Manager for 2-plus years?

11) What do you think of LaVar Arrington's delusional fantasies in which he believes you intentionally deceived him out of $6.5 million?

12) What do you think of John Riggins' nasty personal attacks including the one in which he said that you have a black heart?

13) Do you think fans who believe you make free agent decisions based on jersey sales are insane or just really, really stupid?

14) Do you feel your charitable endeavors haven't received nearly the same amount of news coverage as Abe Pollin's, and why is that?

Posted by: Barno1 | August 3, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

15) Who is this "Barno," and what exactly have you got on him, anyway?

Posted by: JohnnyBlades | August 3, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Snyder has been an awful owner for what seems like forever, however his apparent new approach (giving more responsibilities to people other than him) looks like a good start to maybe some success. That is not necessarily a prediction for this year.

Posted by: Dash10 | August 3, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

#7 needs to be #1. Seriously, need to fix the game day experience. Other teams put the Redskins to shame on game day.

Posted by: tgerbracht | August 3, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Dan Snyder Role Playing take #1:

1) What's a realistic expectation for the Redskins record this season, and how long would you expect the rebuilding of this franchise to last?

DS: I don't make preseason predictions. The goal is to get better each and every day. We like the group of players we have, and Mike Shanahan is the right guy to lead them.

Posted by: Kenbeatrizz | August 3, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Have you ever reached out to Ted Leonsis (or even considered it) to get advice on how to be a better owner?

Also, have you ever considered putting on some disguise, leaving your comfortable perch in the owner's box and experiencing your stadium like you did as a regular fan 15 years ago? Do you have any understanding of how bad the the stadium really is for the fans (aside from the woes on the field)? How do you get feedback on the experience for fans? Do you even care about it if people continue to pay? You might find that adding thousands of seats without any additional facilities makes you a lot of money and a lot fans unhappy as they wait (and wait and wait) to use the restroom (and pay dearly for the privilege).

Posted by: buster5 | August 3, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Dan Snyder Role Playing take #2:

2) What lessons do you take away from the Albert Haynesworth free-agent signing?

DS: Well, obviously Albert is an important part of this football team, and we're looking forward to a great season from him. Any time you change things in an organization, there are going to be disagreements, but we are trying to do what is best to improve our football team.

(Dan Snyder, if you are reading this, please note my supreme skills of subtle evasion.)

Posted by: Kenbeatrizz | August 3, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

3) How long do you expect Donovan McNabb will be a member of the Redskins?

DS: We love Donovan, and we hope to have him here for many years to come. I know Bruce Allen will be working very hard to make sure that happens.

Posted by: Kenbeatrizz | August 3, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Some of the "game day experience" issues are completely out of Snyder's hands and weren't his fault to begin with. He isn't the one that built the stadium in Landover. He can't do anything about traffic on the beltway folks. He can't move Fed Ex to downtown DC.

The new HD jumbotron is a nice addition this year. And I think the tailgating experience has been great for years at Fed Ex once you're actually in the lot.

Posted by: Barno1 | August 3, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"When was the last time you watched a game from the stands?" is a great, great question. That should have been on my list.

Posted by: DanSteinberg1 | August 3, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

1. Can you spot me a few bucks?

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 3, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

16) Why doen't Barno get a life and stop posting things he knows nothing about on the WP blogs??

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | August 3, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"I am not capable of running 300 yards without tweaking my knee. Can I have $22 million?"

Posted by: dcunitedfan3 | August 3, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

17) Now that you have "officially" stepped back from dabbling in player acquisitions, is the rumor true that you have taken over staffing of the Redskinettes? And is it true that your first acquisition will be Lindsey Lohan?

Posted by: skinssox01 | August 3, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

From Barno1: Some of the "game day experience" issues are completely out of Snyder's hands and weren't his fault to begin with. He isn't the one that built the stadium in Landover. He can't do anything about traffic on the beltway folks. He can't move Fed Ex to downtown DC.

This is a joke, right? Shouldn't you identify yourself as a Redskins PR person? Your previous post defending Snyder was bad enough but really? The Post is merely reflecting what I hear from every Redskin fan I know (just as Hayneswoth’s behavior reflects the organization of which he is a part).

Indeed, the location of the stadium and some of the traffic issues are beyond his control. However, he has made worse the things well within his control. When it opened, the capacity at FedEx was 78,600. It is now 91,700. Snyder added 13,000 seats without adding any additional facilities (especially bathrooms where you can wait up to 40 minutes in atrocious conditions). Oh, and how about that the food? You get to wait (again!) for food from a venue that had a 36 percent critical violation rate from health inspectors (per ESPN). The experience is terrible and Snyder is responsible for the vast majority of that poor performance.

Posted by: buster5 | August 3, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

How does it feel to know you destroyed a once proud franchise?

Posted by: Scoonie97 | August 3, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I love your questions, Steinz! Some tough questions, but all fair and sufficiently journalistically rigorous.

On another note, I bet we could have gotten more for JC if we held him until now with Favre not coming back (allegedly)

Posted by: DocHolliday1906 | August 3, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

What did you know and when did you know about the season ticket holders who were sued because of their financial difficulty in keeping to the season ticket contracts? Why doesn't your organization try to come to an amicable solution instead of going straight to litigation?

What did you know and when did you know about stadium security confiscating anti-ownership signs, placards, and t-shirts? Is this how a team should treat its fans?

What did you know and when did you know about supposedly hot commodity tickets being sold to third party ticket brokers and then resold to opposition fans?

How long is the season ticket holder waiting list exactly?

Posted by: playahatah | August 3, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Snyder, how does it feel knowing that Barno will easily, and happily, slurp up all your man-juice, while coddling your your own "footballs" in his hands while doing so?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 3, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

How do you justify having no water fountains, refusing to let fans bring in their own water, and then charging $5 for a small bottle of Dasani, even if the game day temperature is 100 degrees?

Posted by: Dellis2010 | August 3, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

18) Does Mark Kessler have unflattering pictures of you?

Posted by: mgonter | August 3, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

You inherited a team right before the '99 season started, a season where the team went 10-6 and made the 2nd round of the playoffs. Since that season, the Redskins have made the playoffs twice, each time as the NFC's 6th seed. You have held Norv Turner, Schottenheimer, Spurrer, Zorn, Casserly, and Cerrato accountable for this failure. Why not yourself?

Posted by: Dellis2010 | August 3, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Everything better than what Larry "Adware" Michael and sellout Larry Weissman asked (whom I used to LOVE).

Posted by: nojunk4me | August 3, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I also love the choice of "I'm clueless" pic.

Posted by: nojunk4me | August 3, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps I'm just being naive, but Snyder needs the media just as much if not more than the media needs Snyder. If journalists aren't asking the "tough" questions of Snyder it's because they're spineless, not because they would actually get blocked out of the loop. Heck, even these questions in your post are pretty bland and pointless except maybe the free-agency and stadium experience questions.

Posted by: prgeyer | August 3, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Why do the rich people in the club level and exe. suites get to choose food from good resturants and the people who sit in the regular seats have to eat the unhealthy crap that is offered to them from the unhealthy vendors?! I sat in the nose bleeds and that crappy unhealthy food made me sick! Love the Redskins but hate the stadium!

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | August 3, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

During your 10+ year tenure, the Redskins have spent a huge portion of their salary cap on premium free-agent Defensive lineman, many who are join the Redskins realizing it will be their last contract. Conversely, we have invested less than a handful of high-end draft picks in the defensive line. What explains the disconnect in prioritization?

On a related point, have the Redskins analyzed player productivity (relative to expectations), when a drafty or young free-agent joins the Redskins knowing the biggest pay day (i.e., 2nd & 3rd contract) is yet to come. It just seems like best way to get the best efforts out of players is grab them when you know they have a more compelling reason to play beyond their contract.

Finally, when the Redskins do decide to make a splash in free-agency, why don't you condition roster and milestone bones on continued performance and off-season team participation. It seems like the Redskins could easily cover themselves.

Posted by: SDRussell | August 3, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

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