City Paper is not for tourists
The civil war in Redskins Nation claims another victim: The fan-organized meet-and-greets at Redskins Park before and after away games have gone underground.
For years, messages about the wheres and whens of the pep rallies/wakes were posted each week on Dan Snyder’s message board, extremeskins.com, so fans could celebrate with or lift the spirits of Skins players and coaches as they returned from the road. The gatherings have long been put together by the renowned husband-and-wife superfan tandem known as Pez and Huly.
But, starting with yesterday’s game in Atlanta, the couple’s announcements will no longer be made public. Turns out that there’s just too much hate in the community to let everybody in on the soirees without inspiring fan-on-fan ridicule.
A memo about the shift was posted on the Redskins official message board yesterday:
“Extremeskins Members: Huly and I and other members will continue to hold the Send Off and Welcome Home events at Redskins park. For the rest of this season, we are (tentatively) NOT going to post a thread for it, because we believe that the fans who still want to sincerely attend and support their team should not be attacked within the thread for doing so. We will contact the typical members who normally attend with meet-up times. However, if you would like to attend, please contact Huly or myself.Thanks,Pez
(Pez and Huly happen to be the couple also behind the all-points bulletin for Stephette Hogette, the bogus Hogette, a few weeks ago.)
(AFTER THE JUMP: Skins fans flock to FedUpField South, take advantage of First Amendmentish freedoms denied by Dan Snyder? Will Dan Snyder have the brains to reverse the signs ban at FedEx this week? Will Ron Nolan, an early victim of Dan Snyder’s dickishness, return the disfavor? Sam Huff spews the painful truth, and Larry Michael surrenders? Brett Haber has crisis PR advice for Dan Snyder?)
The Georgia Dome turned into FedUpField South for the Redskins/Falcons game, as a lot of visitors fans showed up just to vent about Dan Snyder in ways that the owner has banned from his stadium.
The Great Dan Steinberg once again traveled with the insurgency and got a lot of photos of folks with their posters.
The animosity thrown at Dan Snyder has waned a bit since John Riggins went from offbeat to ugly with his “dark heart” riff.
Snyder could stem thehemorrhaging even more by pulling the disastrous Redskins sign ban this week, as Denver comes to town, and going back to the old allowances for home games.
What would it cost him? Snyder should have learned by now that the networks limit shots of the Snyder-bashing signs on national broadcasts, since the NFL doesn’t want any more harm to come to one of its cornerstone franchises. (How else to explain how few shots of Redskins fans’ discontent showed up on “Monday Night Football” two weeks ago or during the FOX network broadcast from Atlanta yesterday? One of the few that made the airwaves from the Georgia Dome: “Skins need a stimulus plan!”)
My sense is even the local media is just about burned out on the sign-ban story. From a competition standpoint, Redskins games are already worthless, with half a season to go.
If Snyder doesn’t loosen up, the rest of the year will turn into a “How can we humiliate Dan Snyder and get away with it?” contest in the grandstand, both on the road and, especially, at home.
I’m no Eric Dezenhall, but from a crisis PR standpoint, lifting the FedExField sign ban would be the easy and smart thing to do. Snyder’s put a world of hurt on his business this season through one tone-deaf move after another.
We’ve been told since 1999 that Snyder’s a marketing genius, with zero proof to back up that reputation. Let’s see how he handles this.
Not all those who’ve been screwed over by Dan Snyder will be in the stands this weekend: Denver defensive coordinator
Ron Mike Nolan, who held that same position with the Redskins from 1997 to 1999, was among the first guys to whom Snyder revealed his prick side.
During the 1999 season, shortly after taking over the team, Snyder repeatedly delivered vanilla ice cream to Nolan’s office at Redskins Park as a supremely dickish way to say he thought the defensive scheme was too bland. Though involved parties kept that story hushed for years, by now it has become among the most infamous examples of Snyder’s mean and horribly unsuccessful managing style.
Nolan’s Broncos are 6-1. Snyder’s Skins are 2-6. Denver’s defense has given up an NFL-low 96 points this season.
If this were pro wrestling, Nolan would ship a pallate of Rocky Road to Snyder’s box before the game.
Hints of the horribleness from yesterday’s various Redskins broadcasts:
*Repartee between Sam Huff and Larry Michael, very early in the second quarter during the official broadcast of the Skins/Falcons game on the Redskins Broadcast Network:
Huff: “I think we’re in a heap of trouble.”
Michael: “Yeah, we are.”
(When Larry Michael lets even the most honest slam of the team go unchallenged, things are bad all over.)
*Al Galdi on the team’s postgame show he hosts on Dan Snyder’s sportstalker, WTEM: “This season is a necessary evil. There are basic things about this franchise that need to change.”
Galdi then quickly added “I’m not breaking any news by saying that.”
*WUSA‘s Brett Haber offered some basic crisis PR advice for Dan Snyder during last night’s 11 o’clock news telecast: “Dan: Smile, like once a year!”
It’s ugly out there.
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