Dan Snyder, the Redskins and all our other failures

What’s so amazing is the intensity of anger directed at Snyder. When those watching from their grossly overpriced seats aren’t booing the team, which is remarkable in itself, they are turning to the owner’s box and chanting, “Sell the team. Sell the team!” or “Fire Snyder!” (Full disclosure: I am one of those who have paid to be in the stands.)

Why are so many so wrought up about this that the team suddenly decided to ban all signs carried by spectators into the stadium, presumably out of fear poor Dan would be embarrassed by what the television cameras showed? Perhaps the answer is that he is a symbol for all the management fat-cats who have also run our entire economy into the ground and actually added to their wealth in the process, while most of us have seen the bottom fall out. He is not only in the NFL, but in a league with mortgage bankers, health insurers and all the other Snidely Whiplashes of modern America.

“Poor Dan” is actually RICH Dan, who has added to his wealth since 1999 by gouging the fans in every way he can. At the same time he has used his ownership to run the operation in the most inept way he could. He has never let his near-ignorance of the game interfere with his constant meddling. What we’ve witnessed, then, is strikingly similar to the hubris of those who ignored the warnings over time that their shoddy conduct was eroding the base of the businesses they had been entrusted to run. They saw them only as an immediate profit and personal cash cow, with no regard for those who put their faith in them.

The inevitable happened. The economy tanked and millions have been forced into hopelessness. What added to the contempt against Snyder was the disclosure that when suddenly desperate season ticket holders couldn’t pay the exorbitant prices for season tickets they could afford before their finances collapsed, Snyder sued them in court. Think foreclosures.

So consider Dan Snyder and his Redskins a metaphor, a metaphor for heartlessness and incompetence that have brought things to ruin with little hope that next season will be much better, since the same people will still be running things. No wonder so many are angry. A few have played the game terribly, but it’s everyone else who has lost.


Visit Mr. Franken's website at www.bobfranken.tv.