Dan Synder and Bruce Allen are captains on the Titanic
I went to see the hit movie ‘Joker’ last week. I liked it as much as everyone else did, and thought it was put together very well. There was a pretty clever line spoken by Arthur Fleck during his descent into madness.
“I used to think my life was a tragedy, now I realize, it’s a comedy.”
This line resonated with me as I thought about how to approach writing this piece on the Washington Redskins. It made realize that the utter dysfunction and ineptitude of how the organization has been run the last two decades is not sad. It is in fact, positively hilarious.
The Redskins are an absolute joke. They just fired their coach, have a delusional owner and employ a general manager that seems to think he is doing a great job after their 0-5 start.
Former Redskins head coach Jay Gruden never had a chance. From the moment he was hired, he was doomed to fail. He could have been the second coming of Joe Gibbs for the Redskins, but it would not have mattered. The front office and management would stop him from succeeding in every way they knew how. Not because they wanted to, but because they are blind to the fact that they are the problem.
The Redskins owner, Dan Snyder, might be the most oblivious man in sports. Snyder wants so badly to be a part of every single football decision that he forgets that he is just the owner. Most owners handle the business side of things for a team, which Snyder does in fact do. The problem is, he tries to do everything else too.
Snyder refuses to let people just do their jobs. He hires people to handle football operations but won’t get out of their way. He has the final say on draft picks and free agents and contract negotiations.
Snyder seems to be okay with the lifeless product that gets put on the field every week if it means he is at the forefront of all the choices that get made. If he stepped aside and let people do their jobs, perhaps the toxic culture in Washington might change.
Speaking of culture, let’s chat about Washington’s general manager Bruce Allen.
In a press conference following the firing of Jay Gruden, Allen has said the culture in Washington is ‘Actually damn good.’
What? Was he joking? Were people supposed to laugh? Absolutely nothing is good about the Redskins culture. Nothing. Need some proof?
For starters, their best player does not want to show up for work. Left tackle Trent Williams has been holding out for months. If the best player on your team, one of the guys that are supposed to be a leader, is not even there, that is a problem.
Now, how about that coach the Redskins just fired. Sure, coaches get fired all the time. It’s usually never a good thing, but it happens. The problem is the Redskins are now on their 9th coach in 20 years. That is mind-bending. Since 1969, the Pittsburgh Steelers have only had three coaches. The Redskins have tripled that amount in less than half the time.
How about the way players get treated. Remember when Kirk Cousins was on the Redskins? Yes, that actually happened. Well, Allen once called Cousins ‘Kurt’ multiple times in the same interview. Weird that a general manager would not even bother to get a dudes name right. Kirk is such a hard name, right?
Or how about the time Snyder and Allen disrespected Cousins in the locker room. In his first career start, Cousins kept the Redskins playoff hopes alive with a comeback win over the Browns. After the game, Snyder and Allen came down to see the team. Instead of congratulating Kirk or shaking his hand and telling him he did a good job, they breezed right on by him.
Their only concern was with the rookie phenomenon Robert Griffin III and the status of his knee. Apparently, this sight pissed off some players in the locker room. When then-head coach Mike Shanahan heard about it, he actually confronted Snyder. Of course, Snyder didn’t care, and Shanahan was fired two seasons later.
Does that seem like a good culture? Give me a break.
The pattern continues for Allen and Snyder. Hire a coach, don’t let him have any decision making power, surround him with a talentless team and fire him when he does not win enough.
Until Snyder changes his ways or Bruce Allen is out of Washington, do not expect anything to change. Also, do not feel bad for them. They do this to themselves, they deserve zero sympathies. Instead, laugh at them, and be thankful they do not run your favorite football team.