City Desk

FOXSports Gets It Wrong Saying Dan Snyder Gets It Right

foxsports_logoFoxSports just ran the 2010 version of the annual Dan Snyder Finally Gets It Right story.

Snyder does almost no interviews, just one big sitdown per preseason sometimes. And dang if whomever gets granted that audience doesn't write crap. This year, it's Alex Marvez's turn.

Marvez, identified here as "the former president of the Pro Football Writers of America,"  puts a fab spin on the Redskins state of affairs, ignoring reality and simple facts along the way.

The focal point of Marvez's case that Snyder now  Gets It is his hiring of Bruce Allen, half of what the writer calls the new "dream team" of football men at Redskins Park.

"Allen helped build the rosters that led Tampa Bay to one Lombardi Trophy and two other playoff appearances in seven seasons," Marvez writes.

Dreamy, indeed. But what Wiki page gave you those stats, Alex? Allen didn't lead the Bucs to any Lombardi Trophy, at least not a Vince Lombardi Trophy, which goes to the Super Bowl champs. Tampa Bay won its only Super Bowl after the 2002 season. Allen came to the team after the 2004 season.

And as for those "seven seasons"? Allen got fired by Tampa Bay after five years, during which the team went 5-11, 11-5, 4-12, 9-7, and 9-7. With no Vinny Lombardis.

Yes, fans, for all the recent spin on Allen's genius, he didn't even have a winning record at Tampa. The team went 38-42 with Allen running the show.

Though, there were two playoff appearances for the Bucs under Allen, or one less playoff appearance than the Redskins made with Vinny Cerrato holding a title  in the personnel department.

I realize now I used a lot of numbers to slam Marvez. I hope I got 'em right.

And, in fairness to Allen, in all his local appearances lately, he does seem like a really smart and good guy. And his daddy could coach!

Marvez, for all the screwups, still doesn't deliver the biggest howler of these Snyder Redux stories. The genre's gold standard, "The Dan Snyder You Don't Know," was authored by Harry Jaffe for Washingtonian after he landed the 2006 interview with the Redskins owner.  I reread Jaffe's story constantly for inspiration (and — sorry, Harry! — write about it only slightly less than constantly).

Here's a portion of Jaffe's work:

No one has questioned Snyder’s corporate dealings. He likes to say he has never been in court.

“I am a goody two-shoes,” he says. “Business ethics are important to me.”

Kapow!

To write that, Jaffe chose to ignore, well, everything about Snyder's corporate history, including the FCC's citing Snyder's pre-Redskins business, Snyder Communications, for "slamming," or switching consumers' phone companies without their consent. And investigators for the State of Florida accusing Snyder's firm with having  "forged the signatures of hundreds of customers on letters of authorizations purporting to authorize a change of customer's resubscribed interxchange carrier."

In the Washingtonian story, Jaffe also praised Snyder as a patient owner: "Snyder stuck with Norv Turner through the 1999 season, which was lackluster." The real record shows that 1999 was the best season that the Skins had under Snyder, since he took over the team just a couple months before the season started and therefore had less impact on its roster than subsequent teams. The 1999 Redskins won the NFC East, Snyder's only division crown, and played the only home playoff game in his years as owner. And Snyder "stuck" with Turner through all that!

Snyder fired Turner midseason the next year. The Redskins had a winning record at the time of the firing.

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