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A box filled with long faces

Top: Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise with Dan Snyder, right, in the Redskins owner's box on Sept. 11, 2006. Bottom: The same box -- fewer celebs, less crowded -- on Monday night. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images; John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

It's not easy sitting in the Redskins owner's box this season. The mood in Dan Snyder's box Monday night: "Funereal," one guest said sadly.

One glance tells the tale. A lot of people staring glumly out at the field. "If you win, it's a blast, if you lose, it's no fun at all," Snyder spokesman Karl Swanson told us Tuesday. "It's like any other suite in the stadium."

Um, not really. The most coveted seats at FedEx Field used to be Snyder's luxury box on the 50-yard line: primo view, open bar, gourmet food, TVs in the bathrooms, and VIP football fans: Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx at the 2006 opener; regulars like Bernie Shaw, Al Hunt, Judy Woodruff, Sam Donaldson, Alan Greenspan, Andrea Mitchell and Chris Matthews. Snyder, described as a gracious, generous host, spends most of his time talking to wife Tanya (she's never missed a game), Redskins veep Vinny Cerrato or minority owner Dwight Schar.

But with the team's downward spiral, things have turned uncomfortable. At the Oct. 18 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, the fans began a chant just below the box -- "Sell the team! Sell the team! Sell the team!" -- clearly directed at Snyder and guests.

"I was stunned," said sports broadcaster Tony Kornheiser, a former Post writer who now works for Snyder's station WTEM and sat in the box. "No one had heard that before, and they felt terrible -- badly for him and his wife. It's like when a politician throws out the first pitch and gets booed."

This was the first time the fans took their complaints directly to the owner's box during a game. Awk-ward. "I never heard anything like that at a sporting event in my life," said another regular guest.

Things weren't much better Monday. ESPN showed a fleeting shot of the box: Instead of his usual front-row seat, Snyder stood in back. As is policy, the Redskins declined to release guests' names, but we're told the list included a number of former athletes: Olympian Carl Lewis, former Hoyas coach John Thompson and NFL Hall of Famer Bruce Smith.

Why not stay home? Loyalty and support for Snyder, one guest told us. "It's easy to go when they're winning," he said. "It's harder to go when they're losing."

By The Reliable Source  |  October 28, 2009; 1:03 AM ET
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Next: Read this: Keeping the faith edition


Did they guests see Synder's Police Goons roughing up people for exercising the right to freedom of speech?

How entertaining is it to watch the Police take away some ladies sign wishing her soldier husband in Iraq good luck?

How entertaining is it to watch Synder's Police Goons make people remove shirts with slogans or pictures on them?

All the guests are nasty.

Boycott all the companies that advertise on the games.

Posted by: proudgaycuban | October 28, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

More proof that Snyder is a pathetic loser. A 45 year old guy whose "regulars" in his box include Greenspan, Al Hunt, Bernie Shaw, et al. Seems more like an AARP meeting. Weren't these Jack Kent Cookes buddies back 15 years ago? I guess he can't even buy friends, no wonder he is so loyal to Vinnie Cerrato.

Posted by: wleffi | October 28, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

The problem is the Redskins will never be winners again under Dan "Short Man" Snyder....AND

...Dwight Schar..oh-my-gosh...Chairman of the Republican National Finance Committee (pioneer for Bush Cheney)...Director of 6 Flags...up to his eyeballs in failed Snyder enterprises...home building company tanked...

these two are leveraged beyond belief which is why the FAN BOYCOTT is the best strategy. Don't go to the games, don't buy their stuff, they are teeterng on the brink of disaster so Fans should just push a little..

The NFL will force a sale to protect the value of the other franchises and considering the speed with which the Snyder/Schar regime is flushing the value of this franchise down the toilet I'll bet that is already in the works!

I'll bet Schar's gay son who he paid to disappear is glad he got some cash while the getting was good. I'll also bet Schar is an overcompensating short man too!

Gosh, I'm not even a big football fan but the prospect of our community being rid of these pariah is thrilling.

Posted by: SoCali | October 28, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear this is all going on in DC! I sure loved the Redskins for the 20 years I lived in DC! Good or bad, they were fun to watch.

Posted by: lsanthem | October 28, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Sports broadcaster Tony Kornheiser was stunned that fans at the Oct. 18 game would chant, "Sell the team! Sell the team! Sell the team!" Kornbeiser also felt sorry then for Snyder and his wife. Another guest in the owner's box said that he had never heard anything like that (the chants).

Clearly, Kornheiser and the other guest in the owner's box are examples of the "elites" being out of touch. Rather than feeling sorry for Snyder and his wife, he should feel outraged at the ways in which Snyder has come up with ways to take ever more from the wallets of fans while being blind to Snyder's gross mismanagement of the team and betrayal of the trust of the fans. Tony, how about speaking these truths to the owner's power?

From the ground level, this is clear: Snyder's performance requires that he be fired. He continues as primary owner of the Redskins will the financial support of fans. So, firing him means: don't buy tickets to games, don't watch or listen to the games (if one goes, note the advertisers, boycott them -- and let them of the boycott, and why), no purchase of tickets to 6 Flags or to any event at the stadium and of anything else with which Snyder is involved.

Painful, yes, at first, but then refreshing. I'm no longer financially enriching Snyder and supporting his record of gross mismanagement, and I can look to celebrating the day when he is no longer associated with the Redskins.

As ever more fans join in the firing of Snyder and the financial boycott of Snyder becomes massive, this non-violent action will acquire increasing power, hitting Snyder where it really hurts: financially. Eventually, faced with an increasingly empty stadium, declining revenues from all sources and a franchise with sinking, Snyder will be forced to sell.

Posted by: jimb | October 28, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Snyder is like the little fat kid that lost a little weight after college, and wants to be loved soooooooooooooo much!

But his plain to take over the world has failed. Go underground young man.


Posted by: cbmuzik | October 28, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Invite me - invite me. I will gladly sit in the owner's box and cheer for Washington. Hey it's about the team too.

Posted by: rlj1 | October 28, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I hope his suite it stays uncomfortable and the chants continue. Good job to the fans!

Posted by: Riddler1 | October 28, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Snyder has acted like a jerk from the beginning. I watch the games on tv and I won't put a single dime in Snyder's pocket.
To me, the winning and/or losing has nothing to do with it. If the Redskins start winning, I'll still hate Snyder. If the Redskins win or lose, he'll still sue old ladies. Of course, with the losing, Snyder's getting his just desserts for being such a clueless owner.
Snyder is the reason that the Redskins are terrible. Period. But we can't fire him. I'm down with the boycott, but like I wrote above, I've been boycotting for years.

Posted by: djwonder36 | October 28, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Looks like suits and ties are mandatory in that suite - for a football game! No, thanks.

Posted by: Voter4Integrity | October 28, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

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