Dan Snyder’s radio station asks if Ted Leonsis gets a free pass

February 7, 2013

Okay, the headline here is kind of a cheap shot. Several ESPN 980 hosts have been remarkably blunt about pounding Dan Snyder over the head in recent years, despite his ownership interest in their station.

Still, the fact remains, Dan Snyder’s radio station — which once honored Ted Leonsis with a Lunch With a Legend event — spent several segments on Wednesday asking if Ted Leonsis gets a free pass in this town. And also, many listeners seemed to agree that he does.

“For 14 years in this town, Dan Snyder and his ownership of the Redskins has been criticized more than any other ownership of a sports team in this town, I think justifiably so for the bulk of it,” Kevin Sheehan began. “We’ve criticized the Redskins and their ownership and the way they’ve been managed many times over the last several years. Before they fired Cerrato and Zorn, I said they were a bottom 20 percent franchise in the league, and that may be generous, the way they were run.

“But I would ask you and everybody else this: Does Ted Leonsis deserve a pass, the pass that he seems to get, as sort of an owner that’s accessible, that communicates, that seems to be cutting edge, that people seem to like?” Sheehan then asked. “Does he get a free pass, when you consider the two franchises that he owns and their recent performances. First, the Caps having the worst record in the NHL as we speak, never having been beyond the second round in the playoffs since Ted bought the team. The Wizards currently with the second-worst record in the league, they had the second-worst record in the league last year, they haven’t sniffed the postseason for several years and they’re not gonna sniff it this year. Am I exaggerating the free pass, first of all, and secondly if I’m not, does he deserve it?”

“You know, being nice – or at least appearing to be nice – will get you a long way,” Thom Loverro then said. “But when people are doing business and buying a product, eventually you’ve got to deliver the product. And I think the bloom is starting to come off the rose with Ted. I’m sensing much more of a sense of anger out there….Really right now the questions are being raised as to whether this [Caps] team is going to have to be blown up, meaning this grand plan Ted had to dominate and be a Stanley Cup contender for years, may be coming apart. You combine that with his insulting indifference to what’s going on with the Wizards…I think the lack of transparency with the Wizards, and his indifference to the fans that have spent decades of frustration with this team is just accentuating what’s becoming a wave of negative feelings towards him.”

“I think that more and more people are frustrated,” Sheehan said. “He was THE owner in time just a short two and a half years ago. I think when they got swept in Tampa Bay…some of his outward I know better than you and we run things the right way, I think that starts to wear a little bit thin when you haven’t produced anything in the postseason for either one of your teams. I think he used to get a free pass. I don’t think he really does much anymore. And I don’t think he deserves to get a free pass.”

(Image via @recordsANDradio)

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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