Riggo eviscerates Snyder on Inside the NFL

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He tramples Snyder, too

He tramples Snyder, too

The Diesel is roaring now! Courtesy of the invaluable Dan Steinberg, we learn of John Riggins, one of the harshest of Dan Snyder’s public critics, going on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” program to carve up the Redskins owner like a Christmas goose. This one is a must-see for all Redskins fans.

James Brown: “John, you have been pretty doggone outspoken on the Washington Redskins and what is not working. Maybe it is an obvious question, but why so passionate? Why so intense in terms of your critique or criticism of the Redskins?”

John Riggins: “First of all, it’s what I do, JB. I have been in broadcasting for the last 15 to 20 years, so it is sort of my job. And the other part is, and I’ve been asked this question a lot, when they say do you have an ax to grind? And I think any time an older player criticizes or says anything about his former team, unless he’s throwing Bon Mots at them, that all of a sudden you get a, ‘What’s he griping at?’ type of thing. Maybe that’s the case. But truthfully, I do have an ax to grind and I just realized I have been a little bit disingenuous. But this is a bad guy that owns this team. I’ll just tell you that upfront. Bad guy. And if the Commissioner is worried about potential new owners and saying some of these guys shouldn’t apply, he might want to police his own inside guys….”

Brown: “Why is he a bad guy?”

Riggins: “Because his business practices, I think. I don’t want to say they are unethical, but I don’t think it’s a place, a climate that is created there where people can be successful. It’s driven all by his ego and everything has to come from him. And I just don’t think you can be successful in those situations and when you are dealing with someone with the mindset of a child and yet owns a franchise in the NFL. I think you have some problems there.”

Cris Collinsworth: “We are talking about Daniel Snyder . Are you saying in some way he is unethical? Because I have dealt with him in the past and I have never sensed anything close to that. Or are you saying he has made bad decisions on the football side as an owner? Or what is specifically the issue?”

Riggins: “I am saying that I don’t think that this franchise can be successful where you have people saying, ‘Oh, this person Dan Snyder wants to win. He wants to win.’ It’s all about priorities. ‘What’s my priorities? The priority is it’s all about me. I have to have my needs met, then I want to make money, and those are one and two, and then I want to win. You can see by the decisions that are made….I don’t know if you have agreed with anything I am saying so far, but at this point, I would think you would say, ‘Yeah, I’ll go along with that.’ This person knows nothing about football, absolutely nothing. I don’t think they have a clue how a football team comes together, how it works. And yet they are the ones that are basically calling all the shots through a puppet, which is Vinny Cerrato. That is my take on it….I speak for the fans because these are the people that paid my salary for all these years. They are the ones that need to know that this is a bad guy.”

Collinsworth: “There is a fine line between being a bad guy and a bad GM, if you will. Are you saying a bad guy as in the NFL needs to take a look at this?”

Riggins: “Let me put it to you this way, Cris, this person’s heart is dark.”

These are interesting comments. I don’t know that Dan Snyder is unethical, but I do agree that he seems like a bad guy. Suing improverished old ladies over ticket money. Going out of his way to humiliate employees like Jim Zorn and Norv Turner, who, whatever we may think of them as coaches, appear to be decent human beings deserving of respect. And anyone who charges $30 for parking is just asking for a reserved spot of his own in Hell.

But that’s almost beside the point. Dan Snyder isn’t the only rich scumbag to sue the recently-impoverished over their season ticket money. Jack Kent Cooke’s personal life, however entertaining it might have been, did not suggest a person of the firmest moral fiber. Eddie DeBartolo, Jr. lost his San Francisco 49ers because of his criminal associations. However, Cooke and DeBartolo were successful — their teams won 7 of the 11 Super Bowls between 1981 and 1991. Snyder is a jerk AND a loser. That’s a toxic combination. Fans will happily embrace an unpleasant team owner who brings home the jewelry. They will often harbor a grudging respect for an owner who seems like a good person even if he can’t seem to build a winner for years. [Example: Abe Pollin.] But an owner like Snyder who combines both personal repulsiveness and professional ineptitude? Fans hate ‘em.

That’s where Dan Snyder is right now and he’s got no one to blame but himself.

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