Earlier today, Events DC, the quasi-governmental body that which now operates the stadium and is putting on the anniversary shindig, released a list of featured guests and expected attendees.
The roster’s full of vintage local heroes who were with the Redskins during the fairly glorious 1970s (Brig Owens, Roy Jefferson, and Charley Taylor, among others) and others from the supremely glorious 1980s (Raleigh McKenzie, Doc Walker, George Starke). There’s also some lightly remembered folks from the expansion Washington Senators and even a few from the USFL’s Washington Federals (Phil Dubois? Buddy Hardeman?), and assorted politicos (Eleanor Holmes Norton and Mayor Vince Gray).
The name that really jumps out from the guest list, however, is one that’s not on it: Dan Snyder.
The Redskins owner, of course, brings up how much RFK once meant to him about as often as a baby brings up dinner. And we know how much Snyder loves anniversaries. And it’s well known the stadium folks and Snyder’s organization have been talking for the last several years about the team making some sort of comeback on these grounds, even if it’s just for a new Redskins Park.
Rumors about the Redskins’ return to D.C. have picked up ever since Gray and some city councilmembers flew to Florida to inspect the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ training center.
So I was surprised that Snyder’s passing up this climactic anniversary function. I asked a source with the party planners if Snyder was invited: “Yes of course he was invited,” was the reply.
When I asked Redskins spokesman Tony Wyllie, he replied only, “We will have representatives there.” Maybe a desire to not raise any eyebrows before a deal with the RFK Stadium people is actually done caused Snyder to not send in an affirmative RSVP. Or, continuing in this French vein: Perhaps he’ll be off holidaying on his new-to-him $70 million boat somewhere on the Riviera.