Five Years Later, Norv Sticks It to the Dan

It must be a great day to be Raiders Coach Norv Turner, who beat his former boss, Dan Snyder, in exactly the kind of game Snyder said Turner couldn't win.
It must be a great day to be Raiders Coach Norv Turner, who beat his former boss, Dan Snyder, in exactly the kind of game Snyder said Turner couldn't win. (By Jonathan Newton -- The Washington Post)

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By Tony Kornheiser
Monday, November 21, 2005

Who do you think is having the better day today, Norv Turner or Dan Snyder?

One is delirious. One is dumbstruck. Take a guess who's who.

Norv Turner may well be having the best day of his life. He got a big fourth quarter from a quarterback who'd given him next to nothing for three quarters, and won a close game late in front of the owner who had fired him. How sweet is that? Today's a great day to be Norv Turner and, really, how often can you say that? He jammed it right at the guy who said this was precisely the kind of game Norv Turner would never win. (And, to be fair, Norv almost never has. If Norv had $5 for every time he got beat close and late, he could probably pay to reforest Snyder's property.)

It's almost five full years since Snyder fired Turner, on a Monday, one day after Turner's Redskins lost here to the Giants, 9-7; another close game Turner didn't win. After the game Snyder kept Turner on ice in the clubhouse area, instructing him to sit and wait like a truant. About two hours later, Turner shrugged and drove home, tired of being treated like a schoolboy. The next day Snyder canned him. The Redskins were 7-6 at the time. Hardly any coach gets fired in the middle of an NFL season, certainly no coach with a winning record. Snyder was saying, I'd rather have anybody coach my team than Norv Turner.

As it turns out, three people have coached for Snyder since. They're the brightest lights on the marquee: Marty Schottenheimer, Steve Spurrier and the legendary Joe Gibbs. None of them has yet been 7-6 with the Redskins.

Norv Turner isn't a great coach, and Kerry Collins isn't a great quarterback. But in the fourth quarter yesterday, their luck turned good, if only for a moment. And as Dan Snyder watched from his plush seat in disgust, Norv Turner, bouncing lightly as a feather, made his way off a familiar field with an unfamiliar blush of success.


© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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