Here's a tip o' the hat to Ken and Kevin over at SBN's Hog Haven for scoring an interview with Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder.
Here are three things to like about the interview:
1. Dan the Man made himself available to the fans. It's rare that Snyder publicly holds himself accountable for the fortunes of the Redskins. That's a sharp contrast to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who may be no more loved in Texas than Snyder is around here. Compared to Snyder though, Jones is more available to fans through the media. You might not agree with him, but you know where he's coming from. That's something Snyder has to get comfortable with.
2. A blog scored this interview. No doubt the team selected Hogs Haven for its connection with committed fans. Talking to Kevin and Ken isn't the same as facing Ryan O'Halloran or Rick Snider. Ken and Kevin asked the questions without making it investigative reporting. Never-the-less, the event gave Hogs Haven media credibility. Some of that rubs off on the whole sports blog movement.
3. Snyder used the word "stewardship" to define his ownership. Here's the quote:
"...you're responsible as the owner of the team... so because you own the team, it's your fault. On the other hand, I don't look at it that way. I really see this as a stewardship...it's something that the fans own the team and my responsibility is to try and do the right thing."
Snyder was asked if it was hard to be hands-off with team management when he was blamed for everything anyway.
In 10 years of ownership, I don't think he ever used that word. Words are cheap. Action counts. The Redskins is not Snyder's personal plaything. It's certainly not his to mismanage. Maybe he's starting to get that.
Snyder's image bumped up when he hired Bruce Allen as general manager. Snyder is most dangerous the year after he hires a new coach. His true test will come in the 2011 offseason. He has a ways to go.
There is one little test Snyder could pass now. Snyder's full page portrait and a full-page bio appears on the opening spread of GAMEDAY Magazine, the programs sold at home games. That was the case when he bought the team. It was the case when Joe Gibbs was here, as if Snyder had anything to do with the trophies Gibbs won. He did not, but the placement made it seem as though Snyder himself was the most critical factor to Redskins success. It always irked me, all the more so when the team loses.
When I buy a GAMEDAY this season and see head coach Mike Shanahan and GM Bruce Allen on that opening spread, I'll be ready to believe that maybe, possibly, perhaps things are beginning to change around here.