An Open Letter To Dan Snyder
Okay, so I'm the last dude who should ever be asking you for a favor, but I see a little opportunity for us to do some business together. Well, actually, you would be doing all the business and I'd be at best worthy of a meager finder's fee, but hear me out.
You and I both see all of these US billionaires buying English Premier League teams (Glazer at Manchester United, Tim Hicks is on Liverpool, your boy Kraft tried to buy 'Pool first). Jerry Jones hasn't bought any clubs over there yet, so let's beat him to the punch. I've got just the club for you - my beloved Leeds United. Yeah they are horrible and haven't been in the Premiership in years, but let's look beyond that at the big picture.
Trust me, this makes sense. It's a failing team - once glorious, only about 7 years removed from the semifinals of the Champion's League (the top club competition in Europe) - dropping from the EPL to the Championship now all the way to the second-worst flight in England. All of their stars have moved on, and there is talk the club could fold/go into receivership/etc..
So let's look at the bright side.
Leeds will come much cheaper than Liverpool or Man U and have a rabid fanbase (sure, its reputation is far from pristine and the hooliganism is disgusting at times), but the club has deep roots and lots of supporters. The facility, Elland Road, is already up to the highest standards in Europe (and could easily be expanded from its 40,000 capacity, hint, hint).
For, as much as the Redskins are a marketing machine, it's all regional. Dude, go global. You can sell Leeds United merch all over the world. People buy soccer jerseys in Europe and Africa and the Middle East and the Far East. No one there even knows the Redskins exit (ex-pats aside). Ask Hicks how much Liverpool brings in in Asian markets alone.
So, how do you increase the brand, with Leeds struggling for so long? Simple. Buy some players. Here's the best news of all: There is no draft to get the way of player procurement. It's all about the Benjamins. You see a player you like - all you gotta do is buy him. There's barely even any "trades" in world soccer. Basically, every team in the world already has an internal price figure on the head of all of their players and if you make them a cash offer that meets that pricetag, the player is yours.
And how about this - you don't even need to know anything about the sport to succeed. A few years back Chelsea was flailing away and then this Russian oil baron, Roman Abramovich, buys the team, goes out and buys every top player he can get his hands on, and faster than you can say Spurrier, he broke Chelsea's 50-year rut without an EPL Championship. Now, Abramovich is one of the best known names around the world - sure, not for all the right reasons, but still - and he gets to hobnob with royalty all over the world, his team is routinely in the semis of the Champions League and, despite spending tons on salaries and transfer fees, he's raking in the cash. (Now, you can still end up clashing with coaches over there, too, as this Mourinho fiasco points too, but the upside is huge).
Want so more good news? NO SALARY CAP!!!
If you want to develop young players in your youth academy, that's great. If not, so be it. It's totally up to you.
Trust me, you become a bigwig in soccer and you can leave Tom Cruise in the dust. All the celebs will want to hang with you. Shoot, where were Tom and Katie last spring when Real Madrid clinched the La Liga title? Right inside the Bernabeu (stadium) bro, in the best seats in the house, watching Becks play his last game before heading to LA. At some point you, TomKat and Becks could maybe move on from Leeds and purchase a true world power ... but let's start here and get my boys heading back to the big time.
So, what are the drawbacks?
Well, if you think you take a beating on Redskins Insider, go ask Becks about the British tabloids. They'll savage you in ways us American media schlubs would never even consider (but trust me, just like over here, winning shuts everyone up). Oh yeah, and many fans have not taken kindly to Americans with no soccer history buying their storied clubs (but, again, just win baby and you'll be the most popular guy in Yorkshire, which is nice).
You could funnel some of the funds from the soccer team to the Redskins to help the cause back here if need be. You could use the soccer team to help market the Redskins to a more global audience and, best of all, just maybe you could bring some hardware to Elland Road.
So whatdya say? At least give it some thought. As for me, well, cash is king, but seriously, I'll settle for a gig in the Leeds PR department, grossly overpaid if at all possible (doesn't seem out of line to at least ask) where I can help restore the luster to the club one reporter at a time.
Randoms: Chloe is in full-blown Disney Princess mode now (I believe that is inevitable as these young gals approach age 3), and will literally wear a Sleeping Beauty dress for three days in a row. One the plus side, she'll also jump into the pack and play in the basement and jump up and down and rock out with me to NOFX, Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains. She's totally fallen in love with "Bro Hymn" by Pennywise because if sounds like a soccer anthem, like the chants we hear at DC United games ...
Also, if you haven't totally exploited the use of mascots to get your kids into sports you gotta get a move on. It's gold. These books with the various sports mascots are addictive. We read books, tell stories and sing songs before bed every night, and I've had to create theme songs for Wally The Green Monster (sung to the tune of "Dirty Water" of course, the Oriole Bird (I still have a 45 of "Oriole's Magic" so that one's legit), and when she asked for a Philly Phanatic song I ended up signing a bunch of jibberish about baseball to the tune of "Flying High Now" from Rocky, because all I could think of were chessesteaks and the Italian Stallion in the heat of the moment. She seems to be dabbling with wanting a San Diego Chicken song, too, and other than fish tacos I'm drawing a blank, so any suggestions on how to swing that ditty would be much appreciated ...
Rocco is doing well, too, and looks like his days as a future O Lineman are dwindling, 'casue he's already down to like the 75th percentile in weight, which I find weird because he would eat a dismembered foot if it was within range of his chunky little arms and fingers ... Spent a few days in DC with Lauren during the bye weekend. At the risk of further outing myself as a Metrosexual, anyone in the vicinity of the Filene's Basement near the Mayflower Hotel really must check it out. Killer selection of stuff; ties (Ben Sherman ties for $19!) and cashmere sweaters ($60) were particularly well represented.
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