“When you first buy the Redskins, there’s no instruction manual,” said Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. He’s been dubbed Chainsaw Dan by Greg Easterbrook of ESPN Page 2, and many other sports columnist and Redskins fans have credited him with demolishing the Washington Redskins organization over the past couple of years.
12 years ago at the age 34, Daniel Snyder became the owner of the three-time super bowl champion Washington Redskins, and 12 years later displeased fans are clawing at his feet ready to oust him at that same position he so proudly bid for. “To disgruntled Redskin fans, Snyder is a spoiled rich kid who has treated the team like a toy and a money machine,” says National Editor Harry Jaffe. But maybe Redskin fans and sports columnist should rethink their hatred toward one of the most vilified owners in professional sports.
So let’s look at why Snyder has received so much scrutiny. On the field, Snyder has compiled a record of 81 wins and 106 losses over the 12 year span, and the Redskins had a mere three playoff appearances. In the front office, he has been through seven different head coaches, and has signed a boatload of free agent bust like Deion Sanders (2000), Jeff George (2000), Bruce Smith (2000), Adam Archuleta (2006), Albert Haynesworth (2009), and I’ll stop their because the list of players is endless. Have I missed anything, maybe we can give him a slap on the hand with the way he handled the firing of Norv Turner or Marty Schottenheimer, or the way he got rid of the well-liked defensive coordinator Greg Williams after he named him the heir apparent to legendary coach Joe Gibbs. We can even put up a fuss for the McNabb fiasco this past year, and how he is holding season ticket holders accountable for fulfilling their contracts despite the diminishing economy. These are like the supporting facts for why most Redskin fans think that they will remain a below average team until Snyder steps down.
Here’s the bottom line I have for those fans and the sports columnist that can’t wait to rip Snyder any chance they get, the man wants to win! Snyder has turned the Washington Redskins into powerhouse as far as revenue is concerned, and all the money that he has made is being put back into the team. Yes he has made some boneheaded decisions since he took over as the owner of the Redskins, but what owner in professional sports hasn’t? Robert Kraft, Jerry Jones, George Steinbrenner, they all have been through what Snyder is going through now. Being an owner of a professional sports team isn’t easy, and it’s a job that takes patience and a lot of losing. Before Snyder bought the Redskins do you recall how good they were? In 1998, the year before Snyder brought the Redskins, they finished the season 6-10, in 1997 they ended the season 8-7-1, 1996 wasn’t that much better at 9-7, 1995 was worst at 6-10, and 1994 they were horrible with a record of 3-13. What’s key to most sports fan is their team making the playoffs. Five years before the Snyder era began, there were zero playoff appearances.
Snyder’s on-field success has been mediocre at best, and that’s honestly the only thing most fans care about. But for those who do the research and look beyond wins and losses, the Redskins are winning big time as far as bringing revenue, jobs, and media coverage to the team and the metropolitan area. Snyder bought the Redskins for $800 million back in 1999, according www.forbes.com the Redskins are now worth around $1.6 billion, 2nd in the NFL. Snyder has made the Redskins the most profitable team in the NFL with an average operating income of $76 million over the past decade which is 50% higher than the Dallas Cowboys.
Now I know most of you are saying that this has nothing to do with on-field success but it does. With the NFL lockout looming would you rather have an owner who cares and spends money on his/her team? Or would you prefer an owner who continually cuts payroll while making him/herself rich?
Snyder has already conquered one responsibility of a professional sports owner, and that’s making money. Now all that’s left for him to figure out is how to win on the field, and I think he’s going to win big in that aspect. I’m talking Super Bowl big.