After a 47 year run, I have resigned as a Washington Redskins season ticket holder. Tom Boswell's column in today's Washington Post gets at the reason why.
Boswell's piece New approach could help the Washington Redskins change directions opens with:
"Rumors of an outbreak of sanity at Redskins Park cannot be totally discounted. After 11 seasons of kaleidoscopic calamity, don't get fooled too fast. But maybe the 12th time will be a charm."
but ends with:
"You can get a new coach with two Super Bowl rings and an experienced GM with an Allen pedigree; you can cultivate the owner's best traits, not worst; you can get younger and demand more discipline; you can switch defensive schemes and stop playing favorites.
"For fans who have been more peeved by the way the team has been run than by its 70-90 mark in the 2000s, the last two weeks have been encouraging. But it's the next two years that matter."
If I weren't too tied up (or too time-inefficient) this weekend I might have posted the same story almost word-for-word to highlight my lingering doubt about Danny Snyder.
For all the encouraging start of the Dannyhan era, I'm skeptical. We've twice seen good starts before from Danny when he hired true NFL professionals to run the Redskins. First in 2001 when he signed Marty Schottenheimer and next on that glorious day in 2004 when Joe Gibbs returned.
But it's not how Danny starts. It's how Danny finishes.
Snyder finished with Schottenheimer after a single season when Marty declined to amend his contract to allow Snyder more voice in running the team.
Joe Gibbs needed two seasons to get something going with the Redskins. We looked to Gibbs to tame the Snyder beast. Instead, he succumbed to it with an orgy of bad trades and roster decisions that led to the disastrous 2006 season.
Washington was unusually quiet in the 2007 offseason, just like now.
The test of the Shanahan-Allen-Snyder partnership isn't this year when the Danny is keeping his head down. The test will come later when things get very good or very very bad. That's when Snyder's impulses are at their worst.
After a good '05 season, Snyder's roster excesses tanked the 2006 team. During a bad start in '09, Snyderrato's bad moves pushed an 8-8 team to a four win finish. They weren't trying to do that. They just couldn't help themselves.
Rather than come forward to provide cover for his coach and de facto GM as they tried to get their act together, the Danny went deeper under cover. The 2009 season reflected the guy at the top. Jim Zorn and Vinny Cerrato are gone, but Snyder is still around.
Do NOT get me wrong. I remain a diehard Redskin fan. I'll always hope for the best for this team whomever is coaching it or is on the roster. Allen and Shanahan are off to a good start. I just don't think Snyder earned the right to a direct transfer of my family treasure for every game, including exhibition games, at full price.
StubHub and Ticketmaster are better choices. I can pick and choose my games through third-parties and not get my hands dirty with Snyder. Even if I pay a premium per seat per game, the outlay is a lot less than the $2,600 for my season ticket package costs. I can buy a big screen HDTV for that kind of money, not that I can afford one in these times.
The Redskins produce a muddled-won-loss record over the decade yet remain the most profitable team in the NFL. That has to stop. We, not the Danny, own the Washington Redskins.
Just because Snyder owns the franchise rights to sell us tickets, that doesn't mean he can run the team any way he wants. These old line sports teams don't get customer loyalty. They get fan allegiance. We're talking public trust here. Grossly violated trust.
So, I'll wait for Dannyhan to produce results. I'll hope for the best, cheer loudly and sit on my wallet until I see more wins than losses.