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The beating that Vinny Cerrato took from listeners to his WTEM talk show this morning was so severe, fans could understand if the Redskins personnel chief puts himself on injured reserve.
Cerrato originally signed on to do the twice-weekly show a few weeks into the season, after the Redskins had beaten Dallas and Philadelphia and everything about the team looked swell.
It was an odd job for a guy in Cerrato’s allegedly lofty position to take; his official title is executive vice president-football operations, putting him second in command to Dan Snyder in the team’s hiearchy.
But Cerrato was flying so high — and who could blame him at the time? — that he used the airwaves to go after his and Snyder’s chief antagonist in local media, Washington Post blogger/beat reporter Jason La Canfora.
Longtime Snyder employee and former WRC sportscaster George Michael served as the “Vinny Cerrato Show”‘s original co-host, and egged Cerrato on as he took on his enemies.
Well, Michael bailed weeks ago, and all optimism about the team had left the area by the end of yesterday’s ho-hummy loss to the Giants.
A typical segment from Cerrato’s latest show:
“I’m going to blame the person they say is in charge,” railed a caller. “If that’s you, you need to step down or hire somebody who knows what they’re doing. You don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to picking players.”
Michael’s replacement, Frank Hanrahan, tried to help by talking down all the callers while Cerrato stayed mum. But Hanrahan’s troubleshooting efforts just made Cerrato seem weak and afraid to confront the discontent.
For the first time in its history, the “Vinny Cerrato Show” could legitimately be called great radio. And now it’s going to take an upset of the Ravens next Sunday night to make the program boring again.
If the Skins lose, Cerrato, for his own sake, shouldn’t even show up.