There were enough other things that I wanted to mention about Dan Snyder’s mid-week mini media tour last week that I figured it deserved another post. Here goes.
The Ground Rules
Fox 5’s Dave Feldman and NBC 4’s Dan Hellie went on Mike Wise’s radio show on Friday and discussed their interviews with Snyder. That led to this nugget from Feldman:
“At first we were told we could get this interview but we just had to discuss his charity [work],” Feldman said. “And we said ‘Look, thank you, but we’re not gonna do an interview if it’s just his charities.’ And then we were told ok, you can ask the questions and nothing’s off limits. So at first they sort of wanted to protect him, and then — I give [PR honcho] Tony [Wyllie] credit — he said ‘Alright, go ahead, ask what you want, Dan’s a big boy, he’ll take care of himself.’ ”
Feldman also said they insisted there not be a time limit on the interview, a request that was granted. And both men said they thought Snyder came off well, and that similar interviews would help his public image.
“Tony Wyllie — although I think it was an awful decision to sue the City Paper — has done what I thought was impossible and seemingly softened Snyder up a little bit,” Hellie said.
UPDATE: I’m told The Post was also offered an interview with Snyder on condition that it only be about his charity work. We declined, and were not offered the no-holds-barred option.
The Redskins Nation Interview
Snyder also did a two-part interview with Larry Michael for the team-produced Redskins Nation program on Comcast SportsNet. This was probably closer to what Wyllie originally hoped for from the Fox 5 and NBC 4 pieces: the 12 questions included three about the lockout, two about the return of LaVar Arrington to Redskins Park, one about the Redskins Charitable Foundation, one about a recent scholarship grant, one about Redskins Reads, one about 4th and Life, one about the Thanksgiving Harvest Feast program, one about the Think Pink Campaign, and one about the Play 60 campaign, which Michael preceded with this remark: “I don’t want to tell anything out of school, but this man, I mean, you can look at him. You’re in great shape. You’re in great shape.”
Michael also asked this: “Dan, you know, your charitable foundation has done SUCH wonderful things in the community, and I think a lot of times – and I know I’m the home team here folks – but somewhat overlooked, I think. But this is a football town. Any thought on the fact that the charitable things that you do are not the headline news?”
The Blowback, Part I
When talking about mistakes, Snyder seemed to specifically refer to the Jim Zorn hiring, which he has also mentioned previously as a mistake. That didn’t sit well with 106.7 The Fan producer Chris Johnson. Rant follows:
“I just want to say this: I think he gets away with trying to get a pass about recent history. You know, he’s just talking about Jim Zorn here, he’s not talking about what’s gone on during his entire 12 years here. He’s just trying to say yeah I made a mistake with Jim Zorn and I probably would have done that differently with the people involved, but now I brought you Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen, football people, and I’ve stepped aside. It’s like, well, hold on a second here Dan, what happened with Norv when you fired him during the season? You also hired Marty Schottenheimer and then decided to fire him after one year. Then you brought Steve Spurrier here for two years, paid him a ton of money and then you got rid of him, that didn’t work either. Then you brought Joe Gibbs back here. So it’s not just about Jim Zorn and the goofiness that happened there for two years that Zorn was here and then you’ve cured it all. They just keep trying to sell this, in my opinion. It’s like what he kept saying [Wednesday], he kept saying ‘I failed, I failed because I haven’t brought you a Super Bowl.’ Super Bowl???? Super Bowl???? You’ve had three winning seasons. You haven’t even made a championship game. This doesn’t have anything to do with a Super Bowl. How about just make the playoffs consistently? How about finish over .500?
I think other fans might agree with this critique.
The Blowback, Part II
John Riggins, on Twitter, focused on the questions asked by the Fox and NBC interviewers. But he did so as only Riggo can. Via Twitter:
My close personal friend and leader of all things BURGUNDY AND GOLD has raised his handsome head. What a wonderful interview with Barbie & Ken, & of course, another business partner at Fox, Slobvonivich, got a semi exclusive. This is journalism at it’s best. Tony Wylie must get no sleep writing these scripts. Today’s a don’t miss!
The Blowback, Part III
The Washington Times’s Dan Daly focused on Snyder’s factual claims, and found them lacking. He was particularly miffed that Snyder claimed he shook things up so dramatically in his first season because the team was coming off a 3-13 campaign, when they were actually coming off three years that went 9-7, 8-7-1 and 6-10.
It just goes back to what I’ve been saying since, well, pretty much since Bastille Day 1999: The Redskins owner has a warped perspective of his club and his contributions to it, and it affects the team’s ability to be successful – on the field, at least.
So that was fun.