For everything that is wrong with the Washington Redskins organization, you have to credit them for one thing: The players that they secure, specifically through the draft, are some of the most engaging and approachable rich men you could ever hope to meet, let alone cheer for each week.
Daniel Snyder has proven to be little more than a money-grabbing narcissist whose lack of business vision is trumped only by his arrogance in personnel affairs with the Washington Redskins.
But Snyder’s tenure has overseen the drafting and signing of several players who have fully integrated themselves into the Washington sports community, and the pulse of local pop culture.
This group is headed by Chris Cooley, the tight end known more widely known for hot pants than touchdown receptions.
The refreshing thing about Chris Cooley is he disarms you at every turn: As a fan, as a media consumer, and as a person.
Just when you think his playing ability should be classified as under utilized or overrated, he can break out for 12 catches, 170 yards and three touchdowns in a two-game span.
When you think his photos and comments should have him publicly censored, his intelligence and candor render any backlash or judgment of his maturity null and void.
And if you were to think he was a clueless douche-bag, you would likely see him in a batting cage somewhere, where he would be more than willing to pose for pictures or just chop it up with you.
And among all of the approachable millionaire athletes in the city—Gilbert Arenas and Alex Ovechkin included—Cooley is the one that regularly gives you the Eastern Motors charm 24/7.
It doesn’t stop with insightful opinions or witty commentary about the games he plays or the organization that employs him: It stretches to NCAA brackets to trade rumors to the grammatically-challenged fans that oppose him.
How many times have photos of Cooley in sexually-suggestive situations surfaced on the Internet?
How many times have allegations of him being gay littered comment sections?
And how many times has he actually given a crap about any of it?
Has he ever come out and vehemently insisted he’s not gay? Has anybody asked him to?
He comes across as the kind of person who thinks to himself, “even if I were gay, I’m still too dope for you to make a big deal out of it.”
And I’m willing to bet for a lot of football fans, gay and straight alike, his willingness to mock stereotypes and insecurities goes a long way. Pause.
He says what he wants, when he wants, and rarely is he required to make a definitive apology for his comments.
Unlike his teammate Clinton Portis, there is an appropriate framing to his commentaries and perspectives beyond whatever he’s thinking about at the moment.
He regularly tightropes the company line of the Redskins and the NFL, and the freedom of information so many blog writers and readers thoroughly enjoy.
Chris Cooley may play for a horribly-managed team, but you can’t fault his talent or his personality as a member of the Washington Redskins.
The Skins better be glad they have this guy, and he doesn’t want to leave the area. Because if they do believe trading him away would be best for the organization, then the same freedom of speech that makes Chris Cooley will be the same freedom Redskins fans will use to explain why they will never cheer for the team again.