The League

Dave Goldberg
Sports Reporter

Dave Goldberg

Covered the NFL for the AP for 25 years and now is a senior NFL writer for

Riggo is right


I don't have to listen to John Riggins to dislike Daniel Snyder. I just have to remember when he bought the Redskins a decade ago and started firing people who had been with the franchise for years.

Why? Because he could.

So when Riggins says Snyder has a "dark heart,'' I don't think back to Riggo's various transgressions, like his inebriated: "Loosen up, Sandy, baby" to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. I just think of an insecure 33-year-old NFL owner who had to show some loyal low- and middle-level employees who was the boss.

OK, Snyder has matured to the extent that we all do in a decade.

But he's still feuding with Redskins season-ticket holders. He still runs a stadium that is one of the least pleasant to visit in the NFL. And, worst for his fans, he still can't figure out how to put together a winner. He is, as I've termed him over the years: "Dan the Fan,'' someone whose idea of building a team is similar to ideas promulgated by people who call talk shows and suggest: "Why don't we trade Jason Campbell and a No. 1 pick to the Patriots for Tom Brady?''

That latent insecurity was obvious in his response to Riggins: ordering up a press release that has defensive coordinator Greg Blache defending him. "There's times he's come to me when he's heard about issues in my family and offered his assistance ...,'' Blache is quoted as saying or Snyder. "He's one of the most generous, kind individuals you'll ever meet.''

Look, all owners in all sports are subject to criticism when they lose. Including, occasionally, from ex-players.

The smart ones ignore it, instead of denouncing the denouncer. Al Davis, who's down there with Snyder on an "NFL's worst owner'' list, did the same thing this week, attacking ESPN for alleging that his coach, Tom Cable, struck an ex-wife and a former girlfriend.

The most obvious way Snyder can make Skins fans happy is to win.

Absent of that, he can put his team on the right track to doing that by doing what every smart owner in every sport does: hire the best person he can find to run the team and getting out of the way. There are examples to the immediate to the north of him: Jeffrey Lurie in Philadelphia; John Mara and Steve Tisch in New York and Robert Kraft in New England.

Do that and even Riggo might forgive him...

By Dave Goldberg  |  November 6, 2009; 12:44 AM ET  | Category:  Washington Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Spot on Riggo. Snyder's ownership record and his contempt for his employees and fans speak for themselves. Don't let up.

Posted by: jimd3 | November 6, 2009 6:51 AM

Greg Blanche sounds like the brainwashed soldiers from "The Manchurian Candidate" - the most bravest, kindest man I ever knew.

Posted by: biffgrifftheoneandonly | November 6, 2009 7:22 AM

You said it all, totally agree

Posted by: kathymac1 | November 6, 2009 7:36 AM

Riggo is RIGHT , Blache is RIGHT , the two are different issues, Snyder the Football man is clueless and has a dark heart, Snyder the human man "MAY" have a heart, we the fans are looking for a Football man,

sadly Dan Snyder does not understand that he should come out admit his 10 years were a good try but now he will change 110% but that will not happen

Posted by: taxiteam | November 6, 2009 8:16 AM

Snyder: FU. Hated by every Skins fans.

John Riggins: one of the greatest Redskins of all time. Beloved by fans. Was the primary participant in the greatest moment in Redskins history. Has the temerity to question the intelligence and motives of Snyder, one of the worst owners in professional sports.

Posted by: c_e_daniel | November 6, 2009 9:12 AM

Dan Snyder is single handedly destroying the Redskins brand. I am not even a Redskins fan and it pisses me off. Little boys who seek to run a franchise like a fantasy football team will never be successful. I wish all NFL teams were owned like the Green Bay Packers. This fool may never allow this team to become successful by preventing someone who knows what they are doing from running the team.

Posted by: Dessalines | November 6, 2009 10:50 AM

What I find amusing is that Riggins probably does not give a rat's *** what folks here, or anywhere else, think of him.

Nobody in this town with anything to lose has the cojones to take on F'tard Snyder because he spreads around too much dough. Riggins is out of that circle, and has plenty of room to speak. I don't care if F'tard Snyder is evil or dark, but he has no business running this club and suing his own fans.

Redskins, 2-14. Please.

Posted by: ennepe68 | November 6, 2009 12:07 PM

Riggo is right. Synder has never run a business that did not go bankrupt (other than the Washington football team, so far), but has somehow managed to amass a personal fortune of over $1 billion. How do you do that ethically? Or better yet legally?

Posted by: mcstowy | November 6, 2009 12:37 PM

I think the the most truthful statement that Riggo said was that Snyder knows nothing about football.
Good article Dave.

Posted by: indycho | November 6, 2009 3:31 PM

We may have actually seen a turning point in the maturation process of Mr. SNYDER. The realization may have actually dawned on DANO that he is NOT God's gift to the NFL and WASHINGTON REDSKINS. If RIGGO pushes him over the precipice of truth into a nirvana of self-examination, great!!!!!! And let's have more of it.

Posted by: glawrence007 | November 6, 2009 5:47 PM

Any team with a patently racist name like the Redskins deserves a jerk for an owner and losing season after losing season. It's incredible that any football athlete with any integrity would play for the Redskins, or any fan with any class would support the team.

Posted by: Eureka1 | November 6, 2009 11:59 PM

Riggo will only be wrong if he lets up, he needs to keep saying these things!

Posted by: TGT11 | November 7, 2009 8:18 AM

Riggo speaks for many of us, but he has to keep it up.

Posted by: TGT11 | November 7, 2009 8:28 AM

Riggo is right on with his comments about The Danny. The Danny laid off hundreds of people at Snyder Communications the week before Christmas. The Danny promised the people at Redskins park jobs and fired them. The Danny choses to have Vinny Me speak for him. The Vinny Me is a dunce. The Danny owns a radio station and he afraid to talk to the fans. The Danny needs to do something to show that he gets it. Having Vinny Me say that the Danny does not talk during the season and making him available to selected press is part of the problem. Having Blache say he cannot talk to the press then talking to the press is about the stupidest thing anyone could do. Get your s..t together over there. Grow a pair and talk to the fans. Try to act like a man even if you are little boy. Tell Vinny me to shut the f... up. Take Vinny me fishing. By the time you lose the next nine games you will need to explain how this ship is goign to get righted.

Posted by: HelloNewman1 | November 7, 2009 8:31 AM

Snyder is struggling, for the reason that in Washington, the Redskins are more a cult, than a team. Winning doesn't count enough to push team members to "professionalize" their off-the-field behavior, because they become instant cult favorites, despite their obvious lack of superior football talent.

Up in Pittsburgh, or out in Green Bay, they don't put up with that vacuous, unjustified hero-worship. Campbell is below second-rate, and Vinnie would have been gone the moment he appeared on TV with Doc. Pathetic. But cultish.

Riggo doesn't get it, because he was such a hard-ass, 100 percent player. Times have changed, and Snyder has nothing to do with the malaise.

Posted by: bamarsh | November 7, 2009 10:19 AM

Thanks Dave,
One of the things that I have always appreciated about John Riggins is his willingness to tell it like it is - seems to be a quality of yours as well.

Posted by: bhalseyp | November 7, 2009 10:44 AM

Of course Riggins was right, about time someone of such clout spoke the truth about SnydeRATto. For shame those whiney, wimpey local sportsters (Wise, Stienberg, et. al.) for taking up for this awful man. God. I hate Snyder.

Posted by: bestmick1 | November 7, 2009 2:21 PM

Dan Snyder is a spoiled rich kid who needs to have his toys taken away before he completely breaks them.

Posted by: sofraj1 | November 7, 2009 9:39 PM

Isn't it sad that someone like Danny Snyder can have more money than God still can't field a team that can win games?

Even sadder, it appears that Mr. Snyder won't admit he is the cause of this mess?

Unless Snyder's definition of winning or losing is strictly based on his profit margin?

If that's the case, he is winning as he laughs all the way to the bank!

Posted by: m_calingo | November 8, 2009 12:22 PM

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