The Washington Post

Daniel Snyder fired groundskeepers in ’99 for ‘crappy fields’ that were dangerous

The first quarter play in which RGIII tweaked his knee. Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post.


This week, Chris Clemons’s agent blamed the “crappy” conditions at FedEx Field for causing his client’s season-ending ACL injury.

Which makes this flashback to a 1999 Sports Illustrated story about Daniel Snyder particularly eerie.

“Snyder is getting his point across,” Peter King reported. “He began his reign by firing 26 employees—13 in stadium operations, 10 in team operations and three groundskeepers at Redskin Park. ‘The stadium had out-of-control costs,’ says Snyder, who claims that the fired stadium staff wasted about $800,000 in utility costs this year. ‘They were running the air-conditioning in the off-season needlessly in the suites and club seats. At Redskin Park the fields were in bad shape. There were three guys trying to kill the players with their crappy fields, so I brought in the head of the grounds crew at the stadium to oversee the fieldwork. Shame on me for trying to make the fields perfect.'”

I mean, he uses the exact same word as Clemons’s agent — crappy — while indicting groundskeepers for potentially causing player injuries. That’s fairly amazing, in light of the backlash this week.

There was also this quote in the piece, which had nothing to do with field conditions, but which was a pretty great quote.

“In the world I come from there’s pressure every minute to perform,” Snyder told King. “So on this team, those who don’t want to play, like [waived tackle] Joe Patton, we’ll pack up all their [stuff]-and throw it out in the parking lot.”

Guess that strategy was altered before the Haynesworth Era.

(Via Washington City Paper, via @dandalyonsports.)

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