Monday, April 02, 2007

April Foolish

I intended to debunk the April Fools stories, but find it's already done at Go there and scroll down to POSTED 3:24 p.m. EDT; UPDATED 5:03 p.m. EDT, April 1, 2007 and see the story OTHER RUMORS NOT TRUE.

I doubt that most fans fell for these gag stories. One story claimed that Daniel Snyder would sell his interest in the Washington Redskins if the team failed to make the playoffs this season. Essentially, Snyder would fire his meddlesome self for poor performance. No one who follows the Redskins would fall for that one! Besides, I don't want Snyder to sell the team. He is a DC native whose base of operations is in the area. He's committed here and committed to spending money to improve the team. He does everything but spend money intelligently.

Marty Schottenehimer had total control of the team under his contract. Snyder fired Marty when he refused to amend the agreement to give control back to the owner. Steve Spurrier quit after two seasons, concluding that college was the place for him after working two seasons with Snyder. Spurrier expected the owner to hire a real general manager, leaving the "ol' ball coach" free to "coach 'em up." Snyder didn't and Spurrier wasn't. I and Kenny Rogers credit Spurrier for knowing when to walk away.

The Lance Briggs deal has the earmarks of being drawn up on the back of a napkin over drinks in a bar at night. Snyder alone cooks up the deal with a sports agent; not his team president, not his coaches, but an agent with a knack for getting Danny's money. Suddenly, this deal supersedes what we thought we knew about team needs.

This is in stark contrast to Chicago. When the Bears got the trade offer, GM Jerry Angelo immediately took discussions to the down low. He consulted his player personnel guys and coaches to figure out how to make the most of the opportunity. Howard Bryant of The Washington Post says the Bears will counter-offer today. They want the Redskins to throw in a players or more picks for Briggs. Most Redskins fans want more picks from the Bears. Skin Patrol hopes Chicago saves us from our folly by rejecting the whole idea.

Chicago knows that the front office is for more than what they do. They are also for what they think and know. They know the front office is as important as players for making the team perennial winners. They consult the staff for solutions. The Redskins' front office thinks the owner knows. The front office staff are this owner's enablers; the yes men who only says "no" when the owner tells them to. The Redskins are not perennial winners.

Owning the franchise does not confer a right to mismanage the team. The team can be better if Snyder makes one simple change. Come back tomorrow to see what it is.

Photo: AP/Hillary Smith Garrison,

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