Memo to Dan Snyder: Thank you for your stewardship of the Redskins

Since purchasing the Washington Redskins in 1999, Dan Snyder has provoked heated emotions in the team's fans.
By Gene Weingarten
Thursday, February 3, 2011; 12:00 AM

To: Daniel Snyder, owner, Washington Redskins

From: Gene Weingarten

Re: Your lawsuit against the Washington City Paper because of an unflattering article about you.

I just want you to know you have my full support in this matter, as I support everything you have done during your stewardship of the Redskins. You rock. I wish you good health and long life and hope you run the franchise for many, many years to come. I say this with utmost sincerity as a lifelong fan of the New York Giants.

I know you are taking some criticism today from carping media types. They seem to think that you are not only behaving like a petty, vindictive bully but also that you are being strategically stupid - by bringing a vast new audience to a three-month-old, otherwise-obscure alternative-media piece, which can be found here.

I understand why you were upset by this article. By unkindly focusing only on the negative aspect of your ownership, the author, Dave McKenna, is suggesting that you are an avaricious, imperious, conscienceless plutocrat with callous contempt for the fans; a man whose Napoleonic, pouter-pigeon swagger conceals a doofus-like understanding of the game and whose pernicious, autocratic meddling has consigned the team to perpetual mediocrity and its players and coaches to a perennial state of harrowing anxiety, all of this starting virtually from the moment you arrived and continuing to this very minute.

This could cause a casual reader to conclude you are the most malign and incompetent owner in the history of organized sports, which is completely unfair. Because of his agenda, McKenna fails to contextualize all of this - neglecting to mention, to use just one obvious example, that former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott used to let her dog poop on the playing field.

But I digress. The point I want to make - and I think I can speak not only for myself but for all Giants fans - is that you have been very, very good to us, and we appreciate it. It's not easy being an ardent supporter of a football team. In this sport, the cliche is mostly true: On any given Sunday, any team can defeat any other team. Such is the nature of this game, which is so often influenced by injuries and so often subject to the effects of intangibles like momentum. This keeps the devoted fan in a constant state of stress. You can't take any win for granted.

But thanks to you, twice a season we can. Nothing is certain, of course, but when a Redskins game approaches, we at least know that we will be facing a team in spiritual disarray, whose players have been assembled largely by whim and impulse and ego, coached by a person as insecure as a teenage girl at a prom, with a nose zit.

It helps. It helps a lot.

After another losing season in which your recently acquired $78 million over-the-hill quarterback got benched and your corpulent $100 million defensive lineman simply refused to play, it is heartening to see you focusing your resources on trying to punish a newspaper.

Yes, it may be a dreadfully arrogant and stupid thing to do. But the point is, you seem to want to do it. And believe me, what makes you happy makes me happy.

Gene Weingarten is a columnist for The Post's Sunday magazine. His e-mail address is

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