City Desk

Dan Snyder Doesn’t Muzzle the Staff!

Steve Czaban went all ground and pound on Dan Snyder on ESPN 980-AM this week, and all the while made the Redskins owner look bigger.

Czaban, longtime co-host of the afternoon drive-time show "The Sports Reporters," began with a rant about Snyder staying invisible during the Trent Williams and Fred Davis pot suspension saga and having Mike Shanahan do all the talking for the organization.

The fans deserve more, Czaban said.

"I hope the owner is heard from," Czaban said. "It's like there's a dead rat in the restaurant. I don't want to hear from the chef saying, 'Oh, I'm sorry." No, I want to hear from the owner who says, That's unacceptable and we're not going to let that happen again!' That's not healthy."

When co-host Andy Pollin and guest and fellow ESPN-980 staffer Thom Loverro briefly defended Snyder's no-show in WeedGate, Czaban got angry.

"Any other owner in this league woudn't be hiding under the sheets right now!" Czaban fumed. "Every other owner has a better ear for customer relations! I'm not the one who had to take 10,000 seats out of my stadium to avoid blackouts! He did! He can't just disappear and say, `Oh, I'm afraid to go out there because I'm stung by the criticism!' He's got to learn how to own a team, and be involved in a way that's not meddling that he needs to find if he's going to run a decent team! Otherwise, it's gonna be a long string of celebrity coaches that failed, or dictators that he's totally detached from, or back in and meddling with guys like [Jim] Zorn! He'll never get it right! Right now he's got a dictator who is detached from accountability running his football team into the ground! He's afraid to even get out in public!"

Loverro again interrupted to say that Snyder might be content with Shanahan's stewardship of the Redskins.

Czaban wouldn't have it.

"He's two games behind Zorn!" Czaban exhaled. "He's run through three quarterbacks and he's just had two stars suspended for weed use! Yeah, he's doing a great job! Doing a heckuva job, Brownie!"

Czaban's long anti-Snyder riff was noteworthy for its volume and because he would seem to have a lot to lose. When Czaban speaks his mind, after all, he does so on a station owned by Snyder's radio outfit, Red Zebra Broadcasting, which bought the former WTEM in 2008.

Czaban now also has a morning show on the Snyder-owned SportsTalk 570-AM.

But management clearly has Czaban feeling comfy expressing himself in the workplace. Just like Czaban always did before Snyder took over.

Even the boss would have to admit that Czaban's monologue was great radio.

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  • Fingerman

    Yeah, I don't think it's ever been a question that people on 980 were censored or told they couldn't criticize the boss. The reason Snyder bought that station--and the big problem with him buying it--is so it could focus on the Redskins to the detriment of every other sports team in town. Now that it's not the only sports station in town, it's not as big a problem, but what Snyder wanted was not nonstop praise about the Redskins (which could never sustain a sports station), but nonstop talk about the Redskins, therefore making sure the Caps, Nats, etc., don't get too popular or threaten the king in town. I mean, really, 980 has "Redskins at 1" every day on that station, even during the months and months of the offseason. Is that really necessary in April? And yet, there's no regular employee of that station who can actually discuss hockey intelligently without bringing out an outside analyst (and besides Thom Loverro, really nobody who can discuss baseball intelligently either.)

  • Joe

    What happened to John Riggins radio show? It disappeared in November, right after the Penn State debacle broke. Riggins was the first person I heard who said Paterno must go. Paterno was fired the next day.