City Desk

Cheap Seats Daily:Will Dan Snyder Sign La Canfora’s Paychecks? Is Joe Biden the Anti-Arnold?

Jason La Canfora goes to work for Dan Snyder?

That's essentially what Pro Football Talk is saying. According to the site, La Canfora has been hired away from the Washington Post by the NFL Network, the future cable powerhouse owned by the NFL, which is run by the NFL owners, none brasher than Snyder.

On some levels, the departure was inevitable. La Canfora was good enough at his job, as the Post's Skins beat writer and the force behind Redskins Insider, the paper's most popular sports blog, to cause the Skins organization to launch a campaign against him. Snyder's message board, extremeskins.com, his media mouthpiece, Larry Michael, and his, well, everything else, Vinny Cerrato, all went crazy trying to attack La Canfora.

Michael had "The Sourcerer," a silly feature used on a Skins cable TV show to belittle everything La Canfora wrote. And then things got really ugly when Snyder gave Cerrato, who would "no comment" every question from La Canfora for his Post stories, a radio show on the sports station he owns, WTEM. Cerrato railed against the beat writer as soon as he got on the air.

The lowpoint of the feud came with Cerrato and Michael accusing La Canfora of tattling to the NFL in hopes of getting the league to launch a tampering investigation of the Redskins. (Tampering? Snyder?)

La Canfora fought ugliness with ugliness, calling Cerrato a liar and mocking the organization in emails to detractors. As predicted in this space many times, the beat wasn't big enough for both Cerrato and La Canfora to stay on another season.

Cerrato kept his football job, though the radio gig was such a disaster it can't come back. So it's La Canfora heading off, leaving writing for talking, as all typists aspire to do.

But, working for Snyder?

Aw, what the heck? That's the eventual fate of us all.

***

Speaking of tampering: An odd story out of Nashville holds that the Titans ARE NOT behind the much-discussed tampering investigation of the Redskins.

Ever since Snyder signed Albert Haynesworth, there's been grumbling from the Titans that the Redskins had opened negotiations with the run-stopping, pass-rushing behemoth before the free agent signing period opened on Feb. 27.

That's a no-no, punishable by the loss of draft picks. But now, amid all sorts of talk that the NFL is interviewing suspected tamperers at Redskins Park, the Nashville City Paper is reporting that the Titans never "filed a written formal complaint," and that the team doesn't want to be seen as vindictive after losing Haynesworth.

So, if nobody from the Titans kickstarted this whole Redskins inquiry, who did? Who would have enough animus against Snyder's organization to try to cause big trouble for the burgundy and gold?

Hmmmm. Let's pin it on Jason La Canfora!

***

Yesterday, the Dallas Cowboys had a ribbon cutting ceremony for their new billion-dollar-plus stadium yesterday.

At least $350 million of the stadium's cost came from public moneys.

Your move, Dan Snyder!

(If I had the funds lying around, I'd chip in another $350 million for the Cowboys new home so long as they promised that the move meant we'd never again have to watch Clint Longley highlights on Thanksgiving from the old place.)

***

Here's what big talk gets you: Bigger bond!

The guy who allegedly told investigators in Florida that he'd sold steroids to Caps and Nats, Richard "Andy" Thomas, found out yesterday that his bond had been nearly doubled, up to $425,000.

(It's great to see bonds and steroids discussed in the same paragraphs again, ain't it? Just like old times!)

Apparently, Thomas has said he was drawn to PEDs so he could "be like Arnold" Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger doesn't get enough credit for being the godfather of steroid abuse in this country.

Other than from the White House and City Paper, anyway.

No names of Caps or Nats players that Thomas allegedly sold the drugs to have yet been released.

Speaking of names: How do you get "Andy" out of Richard? Sounds totally like a "Don't call me 'Dick!'" move. Dick's totally out of vogue, you know.

***

Joe Biden is the Anti-Arnold Schwarzenegger!

Vice presidents get accused of falsely taking credit for big things even when they don't.

Maybe that's why, hot as the topic is these days, Biden never mentions that he led the way to having steroids made illegal in this country.

But, hell if he didn't: In May 1989, back when he chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden called a hearing about the use of steroids in the NFL. According to a Washington Post report on the hearing, Atlanta Falcons guard Bill Fralic told the committee that "approximately 75 percent" of all "linemen, linebackers and tight ends" in the league used steroids. NFL czar Pete Rozelle testified at the same hearing that random testing detected that only "6 to 7 percent" of players were juiced, but Biden said he "would have trouble not believing Fralic."

Biden had sponsored S.1829, a Senate bill making steroids a controlled substance, in the 100th congress, and, according to the vice president's office, later wrote the Senate version of a House bill that outlawed possession of the drugs.

Again: Biden is the anti-Arnold!

(Full disclosure: I occasionally play in a really bad band with people who work for the vice president. We could use some performance enhancers.)

***

Because polls are the future, the folks at wizardsextreme.com, a fan site for our Wiz, are asking readers to vote on their all-time favorite Wizards/Bullets player for every jersey number. Though participation has been less than spotty, and current team members are doing far too well in the votes, it's a fun concept and a good excuse for a trip down memory lane. Currently, #5 is up, and Juwan Howard, who was basically run out of town, is winning big. Kwame Brown, also run out of town, has zero votes.

The first poll, over #0, of course went to Gilbert Arenas in a romp. Kevin Duckworth, despite his recent death, got zero votes.

***

Few things make me madder than a spelling bee being treated like a sport. But that's our lot, now that software has rendered the required skill less useful than Betamax repair. Even the best sports blogger of our age has fallen for this scam.

Obviously, spelling's only been given sports status to provide cheap programming for ESPN.

Step up and pay the athletes, ESPN!

Out of protest, I'm canceling my regular Friday lunch with the best sports blogger of our age today. Well, out of protest and because I'm going away for a while...

***

Story tips? Wanna Play the Feud? Tube amps for sale? Send to: cheapseats@washingtoncitypaper.com.

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Comments

  1. #1

    Snyder sucks, but La Canfora sucks even worse. I know many people take "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" approach to La Canfora, but he was a pretty poor journalist. More of a gossip coulmnist than a true journalist. If you wanna see an amazing sports journalist, look no further than Mark Maske. He is underulitized in my opinion.

  2. #2

    hi, can i use some of your articles in my school assignment?

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