He’s blown through a steady succession of head coaches and an ever-rotating cast of high-profile players — but Dan Snyder has been steadfast when it comes to the guests in his owner’s box.
“He is absolutely loyal,” said Andrea Mitchell, a regular in the primo seats, along with her husband, Alan Greenspan, for many years now.
Indeed, an invitation from the Redskins owner to watch the game from his midfield perch seems to be turning into a lifetime perk for some. The cast of characters hasn’t changed much in years: Snyder’s wife, Tanya;
old-school media luminaries such as Bernard Shaw, the former CNN anchor who retired a decade ago, and longtime Fox anchor Chris Wallace; political establishment types such as Bill Cohen and Janet Langhart, Harry Edwards, a senior judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and Joanne Kemp, the widow of Jack Kemp.
One recent new entry: White House press secretary Jay Carney . Snyder’s only gestures toward Hollywood trendiness came when he brought Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx to the 2006 season opener.
Snyder has kept an unusually low profile this year (the Redskins declined to comment on his guests), and so have his pals in the box — although during last week’s primetime broadcast of the game against Dallas, network cameras offered a glimpse of Greenspan, Wallace, Fox contributor Brit Hume, former head coach Joe Gibbs and former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann.
Among those spotted in the box during the game against the Seahawks Sunday, in addition to the usual guests: former senator George Allen (R-Va.) and his wife, Susan, and Fox anchor Bret Baier.
Of course, the owner’s box isn’t always the best place to enjoy the game. It can be a little stifling there, one guest told us, with a focused and intense Snyder cursing like a sailor when things go wrong. At those moments, “you want to stay out of his way,” Wallace told ESPN magazine in October. The magazine also reported that after losses, Snyder would stay in the luxury box until 4 a.m., “pounding drinks, downing burgers and pizza and blaming himself for being, in the words of a friend, ‘his own worst enemy.’ ”
This season is different: Snyder still swears and gets irritated if guests arrive wearing the opponent’s colors. But the mood has lightened considerably with the arrival of RGIII and clinching of the NFC East title. Says Mitchell: “It’s certainly a whole lot more fun to win than lose.”
Flashback: A box filled with long faces: The funeral mood in Dan Snyder’s suite, 10/29/09
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