City Desk

Cheap Seats Daily: No Justice, or No Job, at Redskins Park?

The official announcement won't come until later today, but for those on the edge of their seats: Cheap Seats Daily has learned that Dan Snyder is about to be named Cheap Seats Unsportsman of the Year for 2009.

Snyder wins this dishonor pretty much every year. The second he retires it'll be renamed the Dan Snyder Unsportsman of the Year Award. Sort of like the Lombardi Trophy, only opposite.

This year, like most since Snyder bought the Redskins, the selection process for the Unsportsman hardware was as lopsided as a Saddam Hussein presidential vote. Snyder was at his worst all 2009 long. There ain't enough digital column inches to go over all his yearly badness.

But my personal favorite tidbit: Snyder now makes his employees give up their right to a jury trial as a condition of employment.

(AFTER THE JUMP: Johnny Rockets gets an award, but Snyder gets slammed anyway? Abe Pollin's adopted class gets represented at his memorial service? Dimebag Darrell gets a memorial, too? What's Cheap Seats Daily doing writing about Dimebag Darrell? Open Letter Tracker™ gets put back in service already?)

That means that if he screws over a worker, as he has been accused of doing a lot in his run as Skins owner, the screwed over worker's only avenue for recompense is to appeal for justice through an arbitration firm selected by...Snyder!

When Snyder's treatment of employees is put before a jury, as it was in the case of his former nanny, Juliette Mendonca, he doesn't fare too well.

Mendonca filed suit in Montgomery County saying Snyder stiffed her on overtime. A jury agreed. Awesome grafs from WTOP's writeup of the 2007 trial:

Mendonca testified that an angry Dan Snyder confronted her around midnight in 2004 and with papers in hand he told her, "Do you know how much you make? I pay you more than my Redskins park people! I can't afford to pay you like this!"

And:

About an hour after beginning deliberations, the six-member jury asked the Montgomery County Circuit Court judge for a calendar and calculator.

The verdict came in about two hours later.

Guess he learned his lesson about juries. So, as the staff of the Redskins ticket office found out the hard way, if you want to work for Snyder, it's no jury, or no job. Or no to both, in the case of the fired ticket office workers.

How un-American is that? Or, perhaps, how American!

Yet Mayor Fenty and Jack Evans keep threatening to throw D.C. residents in bed with Snyder. What the hell are they drinking?

***

Unsportsman of the Year ain't the only hardware Dan Snyder's taking home, however. His food chain, Johnny Rockets, has just been named Fast Food Chain of the Year by Foodservice Equipment and Supply.

Alas, even when something goes right for Snyder, his football operation gets slammed. Foodservice Equipment and Supply takes a shot at the team in the lede of the Fast Food Chain of the Year announcement:

Where Lake Forest, Calif.-based retro-themed burger chain Johnny Rockets has found itself mentioned in the press this fall, it has often been in the context of a side note about its charismatic owner: Dan Snyder, whose Red Zone Capital Management private-equity firm also owns the struggling Washington Redskins football franchise.

The announcement says there are "more than 250 units" of Johnny Rockets around the world now and that Snyder plans to hit "the 1000-store mark within the next decade." When Snyder bought the chain in 2007, he said he'd hit the 1,000 mark in five years, a boast that fast foodies scoffed at. There were 203 locations at the time. And much of the subsequent expansion comes from Snyder installing Johnny Rockets huts at Six Flags theme parks, a public equity company he controls.

By the way, if you want to get in bed with Snyder: The Johnny Rockets franchise at 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue is for sale.

Maybe Mayor Fenty or Jack Evans should buy the damn thing.

***

Tiffany Alston, one of the fifth graders from Seat Pleasant Elementary that Abe Pollin "adopted" and mentored through the years, spoke at his memorial service yesterday.

From the AP story:

"He instilled the community with doctors, lawyers, teachers, public servants and police officers. ... Thank you, Pollin family, for sharing him with us," Alston told the crowd of about 1,000 seated in the arena's lower level.

The Washington Post's writeup of Pollin's service at Verizon Center put the crowd at 2,500. Accurate or not, Abe earned the big number.

***

Speaking of memorials, as we veer off: The fifth anniversary of Dimebag Darrell's death comes this month. You don't have to be a fan of metal in general or Pantera even particular to be in awe of Dimebag.

He had a nickname we can all aspire to. RIP, Dime.

And, say what you will about metal fans, they're smarter than sports fans in at least one arena: Open-letter writing. According to Cheap Seats Daily's fabulous new Open Letter Tracker™, while "Open Letter to Tiger Woods" gets 293,000 Google hits; "Open Letter to Dimebag" gets zero.

Zero!

Right on, metallurgists!

(However, Korn's Brian "Head" Welch released a video of his musical memorial to the dead shredder, "Letter to Dimebag." The Open Letter Tracker™ technology is not yet able to count music videos. But "Head" is another fabulous nickname.)

***

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

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