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Posted at 2:51 PM ET, 12/22/2010

Shanahan on his relationship with Dan Snyder

By Dan Steinberg

(By John McDonnell - TWP)

Perhaps my favorite part from the 2009 season of Vinny Cerrato Unplugged came in one of the final episodes, when Cerrato was guaranteeing that Jim Zorn would finish out the season. Before the sun went down on that show, he managed to transition from Zorn's job security to the menu of their lunch meetings with Dan Snyder:

"The frustration is very high, everywhere around here, but the relationships internally within this organization quite frankly remain the same. Later today Dan and I and Jim have our weekly Friday lunch, like we always do, and like Dan's done forever with the head coach, to go over the upcoming game. You know, we'll sit there, we'll have lunch, we'll bring in our pizza or Dan's health food and all this, and chitchat about, you know, 'All right Jim, tell us about the game, what do you think about Philly, what are we gonna do, how are we gonna do this?' You know, and that's what we've always done over time."

It would appear that the Friday lunches are no longer. When Mike Shanahan sat down with Comcast SportsNet's Kelli Johnson for his weekly interview, he was asked how he communicates things like the benching of Donovan McNabb to the guy in the corner office.

"It all depends, it all depends what the situation is," Shanahan said. "I have conversations with Dan, but usually once a week. And you're so busy doing your football stuff, and you're concentrating doing that, that I usually talk to him maybe on a Saturday or after the football game."

"Maybe on a Saturday" or "after the football game" sure sounds a lot better than a weekly Friday lunch to go over the upcoming game. As for the specifics of the McNabb benching, Shanahan said if there were reports about Snyder being unhappy with the move, they hadn't gotten back to him.

"He's always been great with me, been very supportive, so if there were any comments he made, that was off the cuff to somebody else," Shanahan said. "I don't know about it. But he's always told me to do things the way that you think they should be done, and he's got the confidence in me to do it the right way, and he wants to build a football team the right way and an organization the right way. He knows there are gonna be some tough decisions, and to make the best decisions I could possibly make."

So, he was ok with the benching?

"Yeah," Shanahan said. "If he wasn't, he didn't share that with me."

In other McNabb news, the Skins's online store lists 24 available McNabb items, which I believe is more than for any other player. The possibilities include a McNabb plaque, a McNabb pennant, McNabb earrings, a McNabb pint glass, a McNabb shot glass and a McNabb hat pin.

By Dan Steinberg  | December 22, 2010; 2:51 PM ET
Categories:  Media, Redskins  
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Next: Who started the "We Want Pittsburgh" chant?



POTOMAC, MD – Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder shocked holiday guests at his Potomac, MD, mansion this morning when they awoke to find him running around and shouting something incoherent about discovering the “true meaning” of the NFL football season.

Snyder claimed to have been visited the night before by the ghost of former owner Jack Kent Cooke, who warned Snyder that he would meet three spirits later that night, and he should heed their warnings or suffer the consequences.

While Snyder initially dismissed Cooke’s presence as “more gravy than grave" -– he soon awoke to discover the Ghost of Football Seasons Past -– who took Snyder on a tour with some of the best players in team history to review the franchise’s once-proud legacy. Snyder looked on in amazement while generations of fans cheered games that were fought hard and won proud -– while bringing glory to the city.

He also met a younger version of his self -- a short and precocious child of modest means and temperament -- who even then secretly nursed a hidden rage and jealousy toward fans who could actually afford to attend Redskin football games, when he couldn’t do the same.

Soon, the scene faded and Snyder met by the Ghost of Football Season Present -– who told Snyder to grab the hem of his robe as they flew to the host cities of other NFL franchises. Several teams were already selling post-season playoff tickets, while their coaching staffs worked tirelessly to help their teams finish strong going into post-season play.

And beneath the Christmas trees of countless homes around the nation, brightly wrapped packages held team jerseys and other memorabilia that fans would proudly share and wear on Christmas Day and many days to follow. Snyder also visited several homes in the Washington area –- home of his own franchise -– where such packages were far fewer -– as many Redskin fans have grown weary of Snyder’s continuing mismanagement and apathy toward the fans.

Finally, Snyder met the grim specter of the Ghost of Future Football Seasons -– a frighteningly silent, gray and soulless spirit -– sort of like FEDEX Field in the last few games of the last 10 or 12 seasons –- when all hope has been lost and any possible chance of joy and merriment long forgotten.

Snyder was told to look long and hard at the thousands of empty seats around the stadium –- because it would only get worse. And in that moment of soul searching, Snyder finally declared, “I can change, yes really I can.”

He added, “And I can change this team too. I can help it become more competitive, and less of a soul-sucking experience for players and fans alike.”

And as Snyder awoke to yet another post-season when his team would again fail to compete for championships, legacies and glory, he declared: “Get me Vinny in here now. I’ve been missing that SOB something fierce for too damn long!"

Posted by: Vic1 | December 22, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Vic1, except for the end, that was a beautiful fantasy. It will NEVER happen, but we can dream.

Shannahan has one more season. No Super Bowl next year, and Danny fires him, becomes GM, coach, and the little kid who runs out and picks the Tee up after kick off.

Posted by: Leeguru | December 22, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Why did clicking "Sign in" pop up spam?

Anyhow, those 24 items are no longer on sale. Bizarre. I missed my chance.

Posted by: WorstSeat | December 22, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Vic1, that was priceless.

Everything that has happened to this franchise — all the embarrassment, all the losing, all of the turmoil — is the responsibility of Snyder.

His stewardship of this franchise has been abysmal and an's nothing more than a shell of what it once was.

Merry Christmas Skins fans.

Posted by: Rocky420 | December 23, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

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