"All that's necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
When Benjamin Franklin said these words, history found itself carefully perched atop a virtual mountain of international conflict. As the men we now refer to as patriots sought the favor of history, words like these were carefully chosen and circulated to stir the masses. They continue to provide inspiration to us today, and can be applied to multiple parties in our current situation. Listen, I get that we are not in a life and death situation here like they were in Franklin's days. I am simply saying that for us to ignore what is going on here would be even more foolish than me comparing the American Revolution to our Revolution. And I would know, as I am the author of many foolish posts on this site and others.
First, let me just say this: I know some of you are getting tired of reading (or not reading) posts dealing with the state of the franchise. But I believe it would simply be irresponsible to not add to the commentary of what is so obviously happening in our little world right now. This has bled a little into other pieces I/we do and that may be unfortunate, but the fact of the matter is, these issues run very deep...these issues cut very deep. And we will continue to talk about them. You don't hear us calling for a walkout during a game. We aren't selling "Fire Snyder" t-shirts, and we aren't advocating for any overly negative actions that would further embarrass the fans or the players. I do agree though with some of the commenters yesterday that something fun has been missing recently. That is why I am picking back up my Redskins By The Numbers piece starting immediately at #29. I have been consumed with other articles and topics since the season began and left the Numbers piece to pick back up again at the end of the season (the offseason is LONG when you don't make the playoffs.) But I want to try and offer something that was fun for all of us even in the midst of all this turmoil. I realize it is a small gesture, but I hope it is received well.In addition to that, I will try and keep my ranting at least mostly limited to this Revolution post. Maybe that will bring around some of you Hogs Haven old-timers in these discussions more. Now back to the business of the day.
Daniel Snyder has stated publicly that his number one goal is to win. However, his actions to date would suggest his number one goal has been to monetize the emotional investment that so many Redskins fans have poured into their favorite team. He has spent more time figuring out how to turn fan loyalty into profits than on how to turn football players into a team. He has spent more energy censoring the hometown fans than on censoring the utterly ridiculous things that come out of Vinny Cerrato's mouth.
I don't doubt Snyder wants to win. His actions with regard to the management of this football team though suggest otherwise. At what point do you determine that the current management philosophy is not working? People are quick to label Snyder as a successful businessman because of his previous successes. Yet, what about his tenure as owner of the Redskins would point to a man who understands how to build a business? He inherited a wildly successful franchise with a rabid fanbase that was generations old. At the outset he attempted to turn dollars into wins by bringing in past-their-prime free agents. He held coach after coach responsible for mediocre results. As the product deteriorated, he alienated his own legions of fans by dismissing a man like Marty Schottenheimer who actually understood the sport and bringing in a guy like Steve Spurrier who had no respect for the professional game.
How many successful businessmen would go three years, five years, seven years down a path that continually led to the same result: not good enough to contend for a Super Bowl? Daniel Snyder has gone ten years down that path and still has shown ZERO ability to change and improve. When Joe Gibbs came back, we were led to believe that Snyder had learned to tinker and meddle less. What is more likely is that Joe Gibbs simply didn't stand for it, and Daniel Snyder was very much intimidated by the man that had overseen the greatest era in the franchise's history.
The current regime, as Vinny Cerrato so eloquently stated, believes that they gave this coaching staff a "playoff-caliber" roster. If they honestly believe that, we really are screwed.
As always, we base our hope on the premise that it will be Daniel Snyder who figures this thing out and that any future success will be on his watch. He's not going anywhere. But the idea that Vinny Cerrato will be around for another second is absolutely nauseating. Changing the head coach in the middle of a season like this doesn't do a thing. Firing Vinny Cerrato would do a LOT. Look at the Cleveland Browns. They just canned their personnel man and the quote I read was that "it didn't cause a single ripple in the locker room." Here is what I think firing Vinny immediately would do:
First of all, it would give the paying customer something to really grab a hold of in the midst of this terrible storm.
Secondly, it would give the guys who may still actually want the job a chance to evaluate what happens in the next two months and develop a plan of attack to present to Snyder in the off-season. With a little separation from Cerrato and his amazing penchant for taking 25 words to say absolutely nothing, Snyder might actually be able to think straight when it comes to listening to guys like Cowher, Shanahan, and Gruden tell him what they would do if given control of this team. It might give a guy like Roger Goodell a chance to quietly slip Snyder a short list of names to consider for the GM/Personnel/Football Operations role. These lists exist. Right now, with Cerrato mucking everything up, these lists can't help us.
Finally, it would be the easiest way to win back some positive feelings from the fans as well as respect from your peers. There is no way many people in the NFL right now have any respect for Snyder and the way he has run this team into the ground. I believe he has to care about those things at some point--and if we are not at that point now, God help us all.
Yesterday afternoon, Dan Snyder expressed sorrow and regret for the state of things. He is showing signs that he gets it. The team sent out a survey to their season ticket holders. My guess is that they will get a heaping pile of rather heated words. I am very interested in seeing what they do with those feelings and emotions people share with them.
We aren't the only ones keeping these issues on the front burner. A lot of people are expressing their angst in a lot of ways. And at Redskins Park--a place where signs have been all but outlawed, there are signs that it is at least possible we are all getting through. If action occurs and the Redskins move forward in a positive direction, everyone can feel that much better about having added their voice to the cause of helping their beloved team.