Typical blogging behavior: You read a thousand things about the same subject, get flustered over the coverage, and then become part of the problem by complaining about it. This is foolish of me, but I can't help it. At this point it isn't even frustration but fascination... The entire Redskins universe is enthralled with the fact that Vinny Cerrato now has a radio show. This looks like the standard media announcement, in case you were unaware of the show:
New Cerrato In-Season Radio Show "Unprecedented" For NFL Exec
Cerrato To Host Twice-Weekly Radio Show Redskins Exec VP/Football Operations Vinny Cerrato will host a radio show on WTEM-AM, which is owned by Redskins Owner Daniel Snyder, that debuts tomorrow and runs "from 10-noon on Mondays and Fridays through the football season,"…
"unprecedented" huh? Well, NFL Exececutive of the Year 1988, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1999, and current Indy Colts Team President Bill Polian (they're an ok team I suppose, right?) has been hosting a radio show since at least December of 2007 so... this is precedented. Not to add fuel to any fire, but my personal take is: I don't think this is a good idea, but I don't think it's a horrible one, either. Our Executive Vice President of Stuff is going to have a radio show? I would think he has better things to do, but who cares? Half the criticism I've read of Cerrato as our de facto GM is with the things he does and thus at least half of the people must be pleased he'll have less time to do things -- from where I'm sitting, the most praised offseason in recent years has been this one, because the team has done fewer things. In any event, I've never measured the success of an NFL executive by the amount of radio shows they do, rather I'm focused on Ws and Ls. If the team bombs, Cerrato will have to answer for that. I think the show is ill-advised in that it allows the added criticism of "we didn't succeed 'cause you were busy, Vinny." But I doubt that show will itself be the reason we fail.
But don't take my word for it, because everyone else is talking, talking, talking, talking, talking, talking about Vinny Cerrato's new radio show, which I am 100% certain I will never hear a single word of in my entire life. Redskins Insider and ProFootballTalk lead the way on questioning the wisdom of doing a radio show with a bevy of other team responsibilities, through the voice other yet known NFL execs:
"I've never heard of anything like that before, and I've been in this business a long time," one NFL executive said after being convinced that this was in fact not a gag. "I can't imagine anyone else in the NFL doing this. How can you justify spending your time like that? What am I doing still in the office breaking down film (it was 9 pm at the time)?
(See: Bill Polian)
“I like Vinny,” the [unnamed other NFL exec] source said. “He’s a great guy. But that is the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard. You cannot possibly do the G.M. job adequately when you are holed up for two hours twice a week during the season doing radio.
“Why not just change the time of the show from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and go on from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.? To do it during the business day, and even worse, the morning after the game is irresponsible and unprecedented. I can’t imagine this is really going to happen.”
Maybe you read Jason La Canfora's report last night that Vinny Cerrato will soon host a two-hour, twice-a-week radio show on ESPN 980? Well, some ESPN 980 hosts heard it, and, well, let's just say they weren't exactly rolling out the burgundy carpet for their newest colleague...
Pollin: He seems to have found the time in his busy day which includes all these duties to host a show on Mondays and Fridays from 10 to noon....Now I don't know anything about being the vice president of football operations but I do know something...
Czaban: ...About doing a radio show.
Pollin: Yes. And I've done one for about 30 years, and the general rule of thumb--as suggested by our boss, the CEO of Red Zebra, Bruce Gilbert--is one hour of preparation for every hour on the air, at least that.
So, by my count, that's a 12 hour a week job Vinny Cerrato just adopted per Andy Pollin. You can find details from the man's mouth directly via TORB, including Vinny's response to this critique:
Some of the online reaction feels that you taking time to do the show will take you away from your other responsibilities. Is that a concern to you at all?
No, none whatsoever. There’s plenty of time to have everything done. I just think it’s a silly question, because whoever has that concern doesn’t know my schedule.
While I am not the least bit distressed by news that Vinny Cerrato has a radio show, I also don't think it's a silly question. The followup would be: Ok, I'll bite, what is your schedule like? And if reader(s) are interested, you are now capable of having that answered, assuming you make your way on to the show.
A few positives (or at least indifference, which is where I'm at), one: via Homer McFanboy:
Honestly, I don’t get the big deal. ESPN columnist Bill Simmons completed a fantasy football trade on his podcast this week. How great would it be to hear Cerrato on the horn with the New York Jets or the Denver Broncos chatting about possible trade scenarios? If people are willing to listen to Clinton Portis and Brian Mitchell bicker on air, then they’d definitely tune in to hear Cerrato on the phone with player agents working out when would be best to fly in clients for the suddenly vacant punter position. There’s no real way I see this show not being a hit.
(Couple quick points, that's not really fair to the criticsm. I don't think many are suggesting that the show will be a ratings-bomb, rather the concern is that Cerrato has better things to do. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't. Second, yea fans would love to listen in on the wheelings and dealings of the team. Should they get to, though? Is this business, which involves deeply personal and apparently aggravating professional and financial consequences, in need of more potentially embarrassing transparency? Even if it is, are the Broncos or Jets likely to acquiesce just because Vinny Cerrato can best be reached at the studio, on air?)
Two: Michael David Smith at Fanhouse thinks this indicates just how little control Snyder has over ESPN 980, which he owns:
"What frustrates Clinton is that Brian Mitchell is always on Clinton," Cerrato said. "I am totally on Clinton's side on this one."
And then the most interesting comment came from co-host George Michael: "That's living proof that Dan Snyder doesn't control 980," Michael said.
Snyder, of course, does control 980, but he's apparently willing to allow opposing viewpoints to be heard, including critical comments about his players and his team executives.
The point being that many were critical when Snyder purchased 980 for fear that it would become Redskins cheerleading. Whether it has or has not I haven't the foggiest; I'm not a listener.
But I don't have to be! Ryan O'Halloran at Redskins 360 is live blogging the mega epic debut of Cerrato's show today. He's got updates:
My favorite moment from the show I didn't listen to:
George: How many nightmares have you had about signing for Brandon Lloyd? Vinny: Quite a few.
(Dan Steinberg also just put quotes up, it sounds pretty meh, but I'm not a talk radio guy anyways. Whatever blows your hair back, reader(s), makes no difference to me.)
You can go snoop around here to see if you can't find the show. Not my problem anymore, as I'm washing my hands of this.
In closing, I'm young but consider myself old-school in that I have this ideal of football whereby the hardest working coaches and players will defeat the lazy guys on the other sideline. The coach who perhaps neglects family a few long nights of the year by sleeping in the office (Joe Gibbs) will beat that slacker who scoffs at the idea of overtime (Steve Spurrier). But the sport is too rife with instances of hard working players (PETE SCHMITT) who don't get a chance and absolutely great ones who might have been drunk half the time (John Riggins). Football is a complicated sport, all things aren't equal, and while 'tis best to work hard, 'tis bester to simply be good at what you do. That point was driven home by Dan Steinberg writing on Joe Theismann and Art Monk (ok, and John Riggins) under Joe Gibbs I. No slacking under those circumstances, right?
"Joe Gibbs let Mark Moseley, Art Monk, John Riggins and myself sit inside on a cold, cold day of practice while the defense was working." Joe Theismann told me yesterday. "We were treated special. One day we said, 'Jeez, it'd be great to go inside,' so we go inside and have hot chocolate. We were winning, Joe never said anything. We sat watching soap operas and drinking hot chocolate while the defense was out practicing."
Those guys won a lot of football games. While no one doubts that Monk was about as hard a worker as the NFL can have, does it surprise anyone that Riggins and Moseley were drinking hot chocolate while the rest of the team was working hard? Do you think it bothers any Redskins fans, given how many games those guys won?
Is anyone going to care whether Cerrato has the time to do the plethora of tasks assigned an Executive Vice President of Football Operations if we make the playoffs? I won't.