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The Washington Post says fans are running away from the Redskins this season. The Redskins say everything about the team’s relationship with the community is the same.

Well, almost everything’s the same: “I think the relentless negative coverage in the Washington Post is a real difference from previous years,” Skins spokesman David Donovan told the Post‘s Steve Hendrix. “But in terms of the way our actual fans are behaving, we don’t see any difference.”

Wait, the going’s getting tough, and the Redskins are going after the Washington Post? Novel!

(AFTER THE JUMP: How come Dan Snyder doesn’t make Dan Hellie wear licensed Redskins gear? Black Sunday for Redskins 2009 opponents? Dan Snyder curse rubs off on Tom Cruise, too? Would you go to a Million Fan March to protest the state of the Skins? Would you give money to buy an anti-Dan Snyder Metro ad? Heath Shuler gets back on the field? Gary Clark gets his RFK party, sorta?)

But, here’s some other differences I’ve noticed: Donovan now is clearly the media heavy for the Skins, a role that until recently had been played by Karl Swanson, a longtime Snyder associate who was close enough to the boss to get talked into investing in the Six Flags takeover/debacle.

Donovan first took over Swanson’s duties during the Post‘s amazing series on the Redskins management selling thousands of tickets to scalpers and suing grandmothers into bankruptcy for not paying premium ticket bills on time. Swanson seems to have a smaller role with the team than Jim Zorn now.

Bigger difference: Donovan’s title in today’s Washington Post story is given as “chief operating officer.” In the Post‘s ticket series, Donovan was identified as the Redskins “general counsel.”

So what happened to Mitch Gershman?

He was the COO since 2006, and in that role used to put his name beside tripe about the team’s waiting list being “over 200,000” names long.

Gershman’s gone? Who knew? And Swanson’s not yelling at the media? Sounds like the winds of change have blown through Redskins Park…

(Full disclosure: I freelance music reviews for the Post.)


Conflicts of Interest (Cont.): On the Jim Zorn Show, the Redskins infomercial which airs Saturday nights on WRC-TV, Zorn told Redskins flack/WRC news staffer Dan Hellie that he’s going to be the one relaying the plays from Sherm Lewis to Jason Campbell, or whomever is playing quarterback tonight vs. the Eagles. Hellie didn’t follow up with any comment about how Zorn’s words were sorta bombshelly.

For several days now, all the word was that the other Sherm, Sherm Smith, would be the one sending in the recently retired bingo-caller’s plays to the field. That probably means that this show taped a while ago. Or was Zorn rolling his own?

You never can be sure if Hellie just didn’t wanna offend a fellow Snyder co-worker. The Zorn show is a production of the Washington Redskins. Hellie works for the WRC news department when he’s not moonlighting on Dan Snyder‘s PR staff.

How come the Redskins don’t force Hellie to wear Redskins licensed gear on TV, like they force Lindsay Czarniak, the other WRC news staffer employed by the Redskins, to wear? How come she’s the only one forced to wear Snyder’s work uniform? Seems very unfair.

(A WRC official called me recently saying that he wanted me to stop writing that Hellie and Czarniak are working for the Redskins. I asked why, since Hellie and Czarniak are working for the Redskins. Hellie’s co-host on the Snyder infomercial, for crissakes, is Larry Weisman, a Redskins PR man. The WRC official then said that Hellie and Czarniak are “lent” to the Redskins by the news department, so they don’t really work for Snyder. I almost pooped my pants.)


Maybe we’ll find out soon that the Redskins defense really is good. But it’s a little early to pay attention to the team’s high ranking on that side of the ball. How easy has the Skins’ 2009 schedule been? The Skins opponents went a combined 0-5 yesterday, and got outscored 158-46.

Only the Giants, with 17 points, scored in double figures. Tampa Bay and St. Louis got beat by an aggregate 79-13.

Of all the Redskins opponents thus far, the Detroit Lions did the best yesterday. They had a bye.


Tom Cruise has not escaped the Curse of Dan Snyder.


A Redskins fan describing himself as a 38-year-old from Haymarket, Va., went on Snyder’s message board to propose a “Million Fan March,” where all disgruntled Skins fans would meet up at the Mall—-like, the National Mall, near the U.S. Capitol, not the Haymarket mall with the Cinnabon—-and let the nation know of their woe.

For better or worse: The guy’s serious. Another campaigner has started raising money to buy ads via Metro telling Snyder to sell the team. As of this morning, he’d raised $526 out of a desired $8,250.

Snyder shoulda just let those bags in, I’m telling you!


The annual Congress vs. Cops football game is moving indoors. Tomorrow night, a squad made up of members of the U.S. Senate and House of Reps, plus some retired Redskins ringers, will take on a Capitol Police team in a flag football game at the D.C. Armory.

Heath Shuler and Jesse Jackson Jr., both fine college players in their day, will be joined by Ken Harvey and Gary Clark on the lawmakers’ side. No ringers on the lawmen’s team have been announced.

Doors open at 6 p.m. Kickoff is 7:35 p.m. The event is free! For more info go to www.longestyardDC.org.

Bottom line: Gary Clark will get to hang out near RFK Stadium after all! Good for him.


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