No owner in the National Football League is criticized more often than Dan Snyder of the Washington Redskins.
While some of these criticisms have merit, "Snyder bashing" is well overdone in the media.
One of the most prominent knocks against Snyder has been his perceived over-involvement (and interference) with the football operations of the Redskins.
Before he was fired, Vinny Cerrato was portrayed as Snyder's puppet, a figurehead carrying out Snyder's personnel decisions. During the Cerrato era, there were many overpaid free agent signings, questionable draft picks, and a steady procession of new coaches. To some degree, Snyder opened himself up to this criticism.
Now, the reign of Cerrato is now over. Snyder has seemingly given complete control to new coach Mike Shanahan and general manager Bruce Allen. As a symbolic sign of his hands-off intentions, Snyder sat in the audience during Shanahan's introductory press conference.
The new regime change seems to indicate that Snyder is willing to do anything to field a winning team, even give up power over decisions.
This about-face seems contradictory to the media's constant portrayal of Snyder as a pompous, impatient, interfering dictator. While appearing to be a complete change of attitude, these recent moves were actually a continuation of Snyder's motives since he first became owner of the Washington Redskins. He wants to win, no matter what the cost.
While a lot of Redskins fans dislike Snyder, they should appreciate the fact that the Redskins have an owner that wants to win so badly. While some of his moves have been misguided, Snyder has always had good intentions throughout the years. He wants to win a Super Bowl as badly as any Redskins fan.
Snyder has apparently been humbled by his time as an NFL owner. Judging from some of his most recent decisions, he has become much wiser in how a successful organization must be built. He actually listened to the pleas of the fans for a new coach and a new general manager, and he accepted full responsibility for his past failures. Any such man should be respected for owning up to his shortcomings.
After his transparency in admitting his mistakes and making moves to rectify them, Snyder deserves more than the media's constant potshots at his reputation. Unfortunately, like the falsified stories of his recent $600K purchase of alligator desks, the media will continually look for ways to nitpick at Snyder, no matter what he does.
Regardless of the media dogging of Dan Snyder, it looks like he has the Washington Redskins organization back on the track toward respectability. When it happens that the Redskins are once again a perennial contender, as it appears they will be soon, Snyder's critics will be silenced.