Monday, October 19, 2009

The Message Is the Message

The working class is rising up

In my opinion there are few people that know more about the Washington Redskins than Rich Tandler, a season ticket holder for forty years I think Rich has literally seen it all, if you want the fan perspective from any period in your lifetime check with Rich, if you are not reading Real Redskins then bookmark it or put it in your syndication reader and get informed.

It is Rich's depth of experience that informs his perspective and also why I believe he is not frothing with esprit de corps in this season of Burgundy Revolution, for those that are he has suggested that frontal attacks on Dan Snyder are hopeless, like tossing tennis balls at Panzers or trying to drain the ocean so why bother, he is not listening anyway.

No the avenue per Rich is to appeal to a higher order, and he suggests former coach Joe Gibbs or NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, anyone higher in the football food chain or someone for whom Dan has genuine respect and to whose encouragement Dan may be susceptible.

And while I believe that to be an intriguing notion academically, such an effort would ultimately serve much less purpose than exactly what passionate and fed up Redskins fans are doing now, and that is public displays of displeasure.

Roger Goodell has no motivation to collar Dan Snyder and make him improve on field performance, there need to be untouchables as well as elites and I am certain Roger is just fine with the Redskins being down in the bottom caste.

I am sure Dan is well within the bylaws in everything he does, Dan is in good standing with the league and it would be gauche for Roger to start a casual conversation over caviar and Balvenie about how Dan put the team in the ditch and up here at the league me and the boys would really appreciate it if you got some help, here call this number in the morning.

If the NFL as a corporate entity is not going to go medieval on Mike Brown and the Bengals then why would it come after Dan Snyder and the Redskins? Shit man the league told Al Davis not to move the Raiders to Los Angeles, not a single owner voted for the move and Al said piss off and did it anyway and the league was like ok Mr. Davis I'm sorry.

As for Joe Gibbs, his heart and cleared checks totaling twenty million dollars will always be in Washington, he would tell us what he told us every week as coach, it is the team's responsibility to put a good product on the field and if they do not then the team must be held accountable.

Then he would go back to his racing team and have a good laugh behind our backs, he has moved on from the Redskins for the last time. As hard as it is to accept, the worse the Redskins are in the now the better Joe Gibbs looks in the rearview and I think Joe knows his second legacy needs some burnishing and there can be nothing better for that than Extreme Suckitude Redskins Edition for a few years.

Before the ExtremeSkins berzerkers waterboard me for blasphemy, I am not suggesting Joe would applaud what is happening now, he is allegedly responsible for many of the players being on this roster, I am merely saying that his view of Redskinsland at this point in his life is one of extreme detachment, he is old, has a successful business and family matters to attend, I feel fairly certain he is not susceptible to a letter writing campaign.


If appealing to respected football ambassadors is the strategy then it kind of seems like we are already there. Hall of Fame freight train John Riggins, Hall of Fame linebacker Sam Huff, Hall of Fame quarterback Sonny Jurgenson, Super Bowl quarterback Joe Theismann and Redskins Ring of Fame inductee Brian Mitchell have all come down on the team like a ton of bricks. Dan may have varying degrees of respect for these guys as individuals, they are the guys hanging on the walls at Ashburn, they represent the unspoken presence of all the winners and hard workers that came before this generation of Redskins.

I can just imagine Dan, late at night in the archives room drunk again listening to Billie Holiday and sobbing softly with a copy of this photo in his hand:

All four of these guys are heart and soul of Redskinsland, no matter what you think of them now. Joe Theismann and John Riggins have turned into frustrated fans with outsized voices, if Dan does not respect them directly he must indirectly, they both still have active football voices and are respected by Redskins fans.

Jack Kent Cooke is Dan Snyder's predecessor and the owner widely recognized as the guy smart enough, rich enough and humble enough to step back and let the pros do their thing. Joe Gibbs, well Dan got a taste of that dish, it never tasted the same thirteen years later.

And there's that Super Bowl trophy.

Appealing to higher football powers: check.


Revolutionary Redskins fans are doing exactly the right thing, wielding the only weapon we have and that is public and persistent shows of displeasure. Stay home, even if you paid, it is warmer there and the booze costs less. Boo if you go and they suck. Display your colors upside down, buy and wear protest gear, do not buy any official merchandise.

Every call into ESPravda 980 should be about dissatisfaction with ownership, same with every comment dropped on team owned internet media. Support local journalists that risk their direct access to the team by reporting the Revolution by reading them, clicking through the ads on their pages and by linking to them on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, start email chain letters.

Spread conspiracies of nonviolent protest like the Blackout, chant under the owner's box, always answer the same when Dan Snyder comes up in conversation, especially with rival NFC Beast fans: you are angry, dissatisfied, fed up, alarm them with your seriousness, vigor and inability to be mocked on the issue. Behave like 2-14 is a forgone conclusion, feel derision turn to pity but do not feel shame as a fan, feel embarrassed for the owner.

The goal is not to hurt Dan Snyder by taking away money from him, the goal is for him to see our dissatisfaction on every corner and at every water cooler. Dan may not get out of his bubble often, his lackeys do and they will see it and it will seep. He should find every sample polluted and no friendly redoubt to rationalize and walk away feeling like he is being accountable to the paying fans and Redskinsland at large.

We cannot make him do anything, all decisions are his alone, he needs to know it is different this time, it is not going away, there is no cavalry coming, there is no Joe Gibbs figure to rescue him, we will not be angry a while before shrugging and saying same old same old, nope not this time.


All I want is good football, competitive football, that is the reason Curly R exists. Dan Snyder has had a decade and cannot get it done, he needs to fire everyone and I mean everyone, hire a competent general manager and step out of the day to day. Anything short of this and Dan risks a prolonged fan revolt, it may be abated here and there by winning stretches or if god forbid a draft pick works out, it will always from now on come back faster and angrier, the fans have taken to the streets and Dan is in the castle with the drawbridge up.

I am never ever not going to be a Redskins fan and Curly R is scheduled for renewal every season for the indefinite future.

Principle of the Revolution: The weapon of public displeasure never requires reloading.

Vancouver British Columbia steel workers, 1909 from here. Joe Theismann, Jack Kent Cooke, John Riggins and Joe Gibbs: AP photo from here.