On Sunday, the retired banking executive forked over $1,600 to have an advertising firm fly a banner over Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., for two hours before the Miami Dolphins hosted the Redskins in a battle of winless teams. “Help Skins Fans Fire Bruce Allen!” the banner read, a direct shot at Washington’s team president, who has presided over two playoff appearances and zero postseason wins during his 10-year tenure.
“Under Bruce Allen, it’s just been horrible,” Coltman, who has followed the Redskins since 1956, said in a telephone interview after watching Washington improve to 1-5 from the Hard Rock Stadium stands. “It seems to me it’s a total lack of understanding of how to manage something. You can’t allow internal competition and internal politics to interfere with the objective. … That’s what Bruce Allen has done historically, and he’s going to keep doing it unless we change it.”
“I decided that I at least ought to express that this was not a Jay Gruden issue,” Coltman said. “It was a management issue, a process issue, and we got to change it.”
Coltman joked with the advertising firm he contacted about the banner that he originally wanted to fly, which carried a different message for owner Daniel Snyder: “Dan, what does Bruce have on you?” The actual message flew above the stadium from 10 a.m. to noon. It’s unclear whether Allen or Snyder noticed it, but fans on social media and in the stands sure did. Many told Coltman he was a hero and offered to buy him beers.
“It was very exciting to see everyone pointing at it and taking pictures of it,” Coltman said. “I had people telling me it was on Twitter and Facebook. That’s what I wanted. I wanted it to spread around social media, and hopefully the team will think about other options than keeping the same Allen regime in charge.”
Coltman, who spent most of his career living and working in Philadelphia, gave up his Redskins season tickets about five years ago but still attends a few games every season.
“I want to want to go to every game, but you’ve got to have a winner every once in a while,” he said. “The NFL needs a good team in Washington. If Dan Snyder is a good businessman, he needs to realize he’s losing his customer base. He’s not going to sell the team. If he wants to keep Allen for the [new] stadium deal, fine, but darn it, keep him out of the politics of the football team. Let’s get a pro.”
Coltman took a photo with several fans in “Fire Dan Snyder” T-shirts after Sunday’s game. He said he was happy to see a Redskins win, even an ugly 17-6 triumph over the winless Dolphins that hurt Washington’s chances of landing the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft and may have decreased the likelihood, however slightly, of Allen being relieved of his duties.
“I hope Dan Snyder paid attention and might try something different,” he said.