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Saving Dan: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Not Losing Friends and Alienating People

With his franchise in free fall, will Dan Snyder make the changes necessary to turn this around? Probably not.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dan, here's a depressing stat for you:

The same amount of time has passed between man landing on the Moon and the Redskins' last Super Bowl appearance (1992-1969=23 years), as has passed between the Redskins' last Super Bowl appearance and today (2015-1992=23 years).

This means that theoretically the Redskins never made it to the Super Bowl in 1992. There are actually conspiracy theorists who believe that it was all filmed in a studio to make America believe DC had a good football team. This means there is a legitimate chance the Redskins won't win a Super Bowl before manned missions to Mars begin in 2030.

22 different teams have made it to a super bowl since 1992. This means we're not even in the top 3rd most successful organizations of the last quarter century.

You know you're in a bad place when the state of your franchise reads like the beginning of a Michael Moore documentary.

You've been steering this ship for more than half of this time, Dan, albeit full of Crown Royal. Is it clear to you how fucked up this is? They're out there selling your tickets for $5 right now because the suck-level of your team has reached critical mass. That's how much they charge to watch a high school team play. What the hell are you doing?

I'm not going to harp on your failures like Jason Reid because I think he does a fine job stirring the dysfunction that is Ashburn, Virginia. I'm actually going to offer some solutions so that we might reach some sort of positive trajectory before our GoFundMe campaign to buy you out of majority ownership succeeds.

These are common sense things that I thought most people knew, but apparently, you fail to grasp. Nothing novel here, just straight-forward decisions and choices people make who run competent, successful businesses and football franchises. I've broken this plan into four main components, each with a few action points you can hopefully work on before your entire fan base dies off or kills itself - or colonizes another galaxy.

First off - your personality:

  • Stop being a douche bag. This is simple. Don't give out apples for Christmas bonuses, don't sue people who criticize you, and don't treat the people who work for you like shit.
  • Have some humility. Accept you know nothing about football or running a football team and let someone else do the football work for you so you can focus on destroying a once great franchise in other ways. Stop surrounding yourself with yes-men and have the insight to realize that serving people old beer and old peanuts is shitty and makes people hate you.
  • Be a normal person. Do an interview for once with questions that weren't picked out for you. Be active in the community. Be a people person, or at least fake it.

Is this stuff really all that hard? I understand you've been rich since you were young so I guess that means you have no concept of how to treat people, but get your head out of your ass and start being a leader or at least find people to surround yourself with who are leaders. This leads me to the next component:


  • Hire a real GM. Bruce Allen is not a competent general manager or leader of a football franchise. Hiring cronies is something that mediocre people do. Bruce Allen is the most crony-hiring mofo in the NFL and it's led to one winning season in five years. I don't care if you fire Bruce or make him Vice President of Glad-handing, he literally has no business running a football team.
  • Go heavy front office. If I was you, I'd probably hire like 5 different co-GM's to help run this shit. There's no way you can hate them all and if you throw enough shit at the wall, you're bound to have something stick, right? Here should be your top two candidates:

  1. Eric DeCosta - Assistant General Manager, Baltimore Ravens
  2. Nick Caserio - Director of Player Personnel, New England Patriots

Research these guys. I'm pretty sure they'll be better than AJ Smith, who is someone you should also fire immediately. Just google AJ Smith and just justify to yourself why that was a good idea. Seriously.

  • Fire Tony Wyllie. I personally like Tony Wylie (when he isn't denying my credential requests for SB Nation, denying my requests for field passes to games with 7 people in attendance, or calling me to "ask" me not to write a story or making no-name players unavailable for interviews). He isn't a shitty guy, he's just been tasked with an impossible job: handle PR for the most dysfunctional franchise in the world. I'm going to assume he wasn't dumb enough to come up with half the bad Redskins PR gaffes over his tenure - but I think the fans and media deserve an actual media relations professional, not a henchmen for the Snyder's Gestapo.


  • Give Jay Gruden one more year then let your new GM decide his fate moving forward. I'm pretty sure no one else in the NFL were ever considering hiring Jay Gruden as a head coach. You let your quasi-GM/President of Mediocrity pick his old buddy to be your new whipping boy. Much like the kid who runs up and hops on the rollercoaster when it isn't his turn, let Jay have one more ride before you let a professional remove him from the building. I'm not saying Jay Gruden can't be a successful coach somewhere, it just will never happen in a building you're in charge of.
  • Fire Jim Haslett and promote Raheem Morris. Since the new GM will likely get rid of these guys anyways after next year, I think you keep Raheem around for the continuity. Fire Haslett because this is what is called "accountability". When you hold people "accountable" then it's easier to take you seriously and work for you. Keeping bad coaches on the payroll with no history of success is bad for morale. Does Haslett have pictures of you naked with Vinny Cerrato or something? Fire this dude AND MOVE ON. At least the players like Raheem and he doesn't look like a weasel.

Don't talk to your head coach about football decisions. Talk to your GM.


  • Let RG3 compete for a spot on this team next year. Again, this will be up to the GM you should be hiring right now, but in my humble opinion (which is as good as yours or Bruce Allen's at this point), I think it's cheaper to keep him and he might actually push the other bags of dog shit you have on your roster at the QB position to compete and be better.
  • Build offensive line. See: Jerry Jones/Dallas Cowboys.
  • Build Secondary. See: NFL franchises who employ actual professional athletes to play defensive skill positions. Actually, even the Cowboys will make the playoffs this year with a defense mostly comprised of dudes who worked security at Redskins games for the past five years. (That was a joke, please don't recruit your security guys to play football - they'll inevitably end up on someone else's roster and flourish.)
  • Flush out the old. SERIOUSLY, YOU NEED TO CUT HALF THE TEAM. I don't want Shanahan guys, I don't want Gibbs guys, I don't want Gruden guys. I just want the guys the real GM you are hiring right now (right? You're hiring him right now, right?) wants.

If you were a real person, and not just a caricature of a sniveling, Scrooge McDuck-esque robber baron, I would have left out "coaching" and "personnel" because any legitimate franchise owner knows that you have no fucking business meddling in the coaching decisions or personnel decisions of a football team. However, because you're not actually able to keep your hands off the thing you ruined, I wanted to still give you a few pointers.

I don't hate you, Dan Snyder. I honestly would love nothing more than for you and the Redskins to win Super Bowls and us all come to love and adore you, but this is not possible if you don't change. You have poisoned this organization from the day you walked in the door. Have you never watched a TEDTalk? Have you never read an inspirational book in your life? THEY ALL SAY THE SAME THING: winning and success starts at the top. We can't go anywhere without a legitimate leader at the helm of this team. Either hire competent people to turn this around, or stop poisoning the front office and locker room every year with ineptitude.

You are a lame duck dictator. Your people are starting to revolt. And while this revolution will be televised, no one is going to watch it, because no one wants to watch your shitty team embarrass themselves anymore. It's no longer "our team", it's your team, and we hate it.

Wake. Up.