More Redemption for Daniel Snyder, This Time On ESPN

More Redemption for Daniel Snyder, This Time On ESPN


More Redemption for Daniel Snyder, This Time On ESPN

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 23: Owner Daniel Snyder of the Washington Redskins on the sidelines against the Minnesota Vikings December 23, 2007 at the H.H.H. Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)


What’s this? What’s this? Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder will be profiled on TV? Tonight? Our Dan Snyder?

Yup. Our Danny Snyder.

Dan Steinberg previewed tonight’s 12-minute profile of Snyder on ESPN’s video magazine E:60. The interview occurs in Snyder’s Potomac, Maryland, home and will feature Redskins artifacts one might find in any fan’s home, only nicer and more of them.

Snyder reached a low point last season along with the fortunes of the Redskins. His two-pronged response was to flush team management for better people and to flush his old handlers for competent public relations.

Apparently, that guy is Redskins senior vice president Tony Wyllie, hired in May 2010. Mr. Wyllie has been busy, because the challenge has been so large. Steinberg summarized the activity:

This profile continues a recent trend in which Snyder has been considerably more visible. Just since training camp began, he’s spoken at charity events, appeared on ESPN 980, sat down with two writers from Hogs Haven, gone live on CNBC, appeared in a Papa John’s TV spot with Dallas owner Jerry Jones and another spot for NFL gear with his wife, scored the cover of Montgomery Life magazine and been profiled at length in Forbes magazine.”

That Papa John commercial shows a smiling, friendly Daniel Snyder. The NFL Gear shows Snyder to be just one of the guys…in trouble with his woman like the rest of us. Snyder shows a flair for commercials. He should work on that. By the way, I’m sure that’s Tanya (Mrs. Daniel) Snyder sitting with the man in that NFL Gear commercial.

I’ve been as critical of Snyder as anyone has. More so last year when his failings as an executive leader did the most damage to the Redskins. In any business, leadership counts most when the group is in crises. The Redskins lost the season before it began.

Snyder’s initiative was to be expected. Wyllie has shown as much shrewdness on the p.r. front as Mike Shanahan has on the football side of the house.

The show comes at a good time, after a big win over the Eagles. More wins will help. So will a more accessible owner. Jerry Jones is as controversial as Snyder is. Where Jones is out front and accountable to Cowboys fans for his decisions, Snyder has been reclusive. That’s only hurts Snyder.

Fans were prepared to think that an organizational mess was the source of last season’s ticket scandal. That’s when Snyder should have come forward to say that shouldn’t have happened and I’m going to fix it. Instead, he sent the team’s lawyer. Everything went downhill from there.

Daniel Snyder does not own the Redskins. He owns the franchise rights to sell us Redskins stuff. He’s not dealing with customer loyalty. He’s messing with fan allegiance. That makes him a semi-public official. He’s accountable. Owning the franchise does not convey a right to mismanage the team. That applies to every owner of all old-line sports team embedded in their community’s DNA.

The road to recovery for Snyder and the Redskins may be the story of the year.

“E:60” airs Tuesdays at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN from October 5 through November 9, 2010.

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