Dan Snyder’s shame is an opportunity for the next Commaners owner


In the purgatory of awkward ownership, Washington’s commanders are held accountable for deficiencies that may or may not be corrected, depending on whether their temperamental owner sells the team. They are a dumpster fire staring at a hose that can save them when no one knows if water is coming.

The closer the end, the more the reputation of the franchise will burn. It looks like Daniel Snyder hasn’t caught his golden parachute just yet because his hands are too wet from dealing with the many legal issues he wants to make disappear if he gets cash from the NFL. But in addition to the news that he’s trying to get compensation and avoid accountability for his many alleged misdeeds, the entire organization is facing another embarrassment for his great job: It’s been rated as the league’s worst workplace for players and their families.

The revelation came via a player survey administered by the NFL Players Association. The intent was not to insult the commanders; Needless to say, players were not satisfied with the majority of their teams when asked to rate them comprehensively in eight key categories. But even in a sport full of leadership that benefits most people, commanders look particularly bad. Even worse, this is the least surprising news of the offseason.

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However, it shouldn’t be taken as another black eye for a team full of controversies that you can follow. Remember this. Make it a priority on the potential new owner’s agenda. It’s a very easy action item that allows for immediate goodwill, and if it’s handled right, it could have a lasting effect on changing the perception of the franchise in locker rooms throughout the region and league.

Goal it’s more than just getting passing grades on the players’ report card, but that’s where the transformational level of reinvestment begins. In a league with a rigid salary cap and a parity-based structure, it’s efficient to allocate resources to create a nirvana for players to exercise, fuel their bodies and gather with loved ones. But Snyder never paid enough attention to things that, in his opinion, did not mean making money.

NFL players criticized their teams in eight areas: treatment of families, food service/meals, weight room, strength coaches, practice room, practice staff, locker room and team travel. Washington earned an F for its treatment of families and three F-minus grades for the practice room, locker room and travel arrangements. Yes, an F-minus is a real score. When I was growing up, it was a mythical sign that you joked about but thought no one would ever see. F-minus? It’s like failing without trying. What did the commanders do? Score zero and then get caught trying to cheat the Houston Texans?

They failed or failed dramatically in half of the categories, finished last among the 32 teams, or completely grabbed the cellar. The coaching staff received a D (31st out of 32 teams), and food service received a D-plus. Weight room was more than adequate for the C-Plus. The strength coaches were the exception, however, earning an A-plus due to the best grades in the league.

It’s the latest demonstration of how much adjustment is needed after 24 years under Snyder’s carefree ownership. One good thing about the depreciated values ​​of American professional sports franchises and the extreme wealth gap that limits the people who buy them is that any buyer who manages a team worth more than $6 billion will have the financial resources to pay for both. toys and maintenance costs.

When negotiating with Snyder, the suitors would be wise to include an investment of about $1 billion on top of the franchise price. That extra money includes sharing the cost of the new stadium; Thorough renovation, if not relocation, of the command facility (and the services it provides) in Ashburn; At a minimum, a robust marketing and rebranding investment that should include a fresh assessment of the new Commanders name; and various upgrades, including additional hires in business and football operations, to support a clear long-term vision.

These vital repairs make it all the more logical that Snyder is trying to use this sale to fix all of his problems. Given his debt and cash flow issues, he should be happy to accept the highest price and handle all the tragic loose ends like a responsible man.

There is no cure for his various complications, which include investigations into financial irregularities and the toxic, abusive work environment he created. But if he can sell a stadium-starved team for a record price, he should win. If Snyder wants, he can commission a picture of him and his wife, Tanya, laughing at their robbery.

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Most Washington fans are just thinking about putting themselves out of trouble. Such a hope would be an invaluable advantage for the new owner, who would gain instant confidence and not just suspicion. Then, with a solid investment plan to rebuild the organization, the Commanders have the opportunity to take quick steps toward becoming a premier franchise. The bar is so low that standard touches generate headlines and impressive praise. Get it right, and the disreputable image of commanders will improve from the current, painful assumption that they just don’t do everything right.

As long as Snyder walks, there is optimism in despair. Investors shouldn’t just look at the dire side of the team’s current situation. It’s rare to buy a franchise with so much legacy and growth potential. Snyder has spent nearly a quarter-century making the team dirty, but he could sell it for eight times the $800 million he paid to buy it. Forbes last summer valued the Commanders at $5.6 billion, making them the sixth most valuable franchise in the NFL.

Look at the top five — Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants and Chicago Bears — and you’re talking about franchises that operate in big markets, have recent success or play in stadiums. maximize revenue. Washington is living up to its brand, and it’s a brand that isn’t well maintained. Despite more than two decades of F-minus moments, it remains a desirable asset.

This is proof that owning the NFL is the perfect investment for now. But it’s also about the essence of the Washington market. Even after nearly three decades of erosion, fan loyalty continues to rage.

Fixing this franchise shouldn’t be a pain. It’s an honor with endless benefits and treatable headaches. It just needs a guardian – and a long overdue departure.

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