People living in the DC metro area have a special fondness for the Washington Redskins, a team whose glory days are 20 years in the past. This past season was possibly the worst in the team's modern history, as they went 3-13, and played in an extremely weak division.
The current owner—Daniel Snyder—bought the team in 1999 for $800 million, and has been generally hated by all but the players he dotes on. Indeed, Snyder has been called a "jock sniffer" by none less than Frank Herzog, longtime announcer for the 'Skins, who left on bad terms in 2004. Noting that he is not an impartial observer, it is still relevant to quote some of Herzog's recent thoughts:
First and foremost, you’ve got to remember one thing, This is Dan Snyder’s train set, and if he wants to run the locomotive off that round curve and crash it, he can do that. Because he owns it. And until you buy two or three hundred million dollars worth of the football team, you have no say. And that’s the way it is for the fans. So Dan Snyder’s gonna do what he wants to do, and the question is, what’s he gonna be able to do? Now he’s got to get a new coach.
A prospective coach is gonna look at the situation and say, why should I go there? The guy is obviously a jock sniffer. All he wants to do is be buddy buddy with the football players, which automatically makes me half the coach I could possibly be, because they could go to the owner. Why do I want to do that? And then, if I’m gonna do that — if the money’s gonna draw me — I have to set up a relationship with Dan Snyder where we can agree about how things are gonna work, what the hierarchy is and what the chain of command is. Then, if I can get all of those problems solved, I have to turn around and look at the football team where the No. 1 priority is a quarterback who was an option quarterback who’s trying to be a drop-back quarterback and it’s not working. He couldn’t learn under Mike Shanahan’s simple system; what makes me think he can work under my system? It’s a nightmare.
Right now, things are very very bad as far as the Redskins are concerned in the whole NFL community, and among the coaches. They know what’s waiting for them here, and I think they’re going to be very, VERY careful before they take the job.
This off-season should be...interesting.