Among all area sports fans, 34 percent express unfavorable views about the Redskins, compared with 26 percent for the Wizards, 12 percent for the Nationals and low single digits for the Capitals and D.C. United. Among avid sports fans, 14 percent have a “strongly” unfavorable view toward the Redskins. Among the other teams, only the Wizards, at 10 percent, have a strongly unfavorable score in double-digits.
The survey was conducted during the NFL preseason and before the Redskins opened their second regular season under Coach Mike Shanahan with an impressive 28-14 win over the New York Giants.
See the full story, Redskins and owner Daniel Snyder generate strong feelings..., online at PostSports.
Meh! They need a poll to tell us that? Any Redskins blogger could have told you the same.
The story touched on the usual suspects for the findings: the championship drought, Snyder's persona, the team as a tarnished symbol of civic pride. One aspect caught my eye. The Redskins favorable rating is stronger among native Washingtonians than newcomers to the area. As soon as I read that, I recalled DC acquaintances who were now following the Baltimore Ravens in preference to the Redskins. Redskins Hog Heaven has cited the Ravens as an example of a well-run NFL franchise.
That is probably a temporary phenomenon. A continual run of seven-win seasons, which is the average for the Redskins since 1993, opens a crack that could widen the Ravens fan base in DC. The Ravens have already said they hope to expand their fan base among recent arrivals in the Washington-Baltimore region.
Does Snyder have to be a nice guy for a favorable public image? Jack Kent Cooke was not a particularly nice guy according to the stories out about him. Joe Gibbs recounted in his book, Racing to Win, his last visit to Cooke before his 1997 death. For all his wealth and accomplishments, wrote Gibbs, the man was dying alone with only attendants an house servants present. Yet Cooke would have polled well among Washington sports fans for presiding over the second Redskins Golden Age in the 'Eighties. (Wonder if those fans would have recalled that Cooke's unusual estate plan for the Redskins opened the door for Snyder to buy the team?)
It would help Snyder to be more people-sensitive, or to surround himself with peeps who are. but it is not a requirement for a high Q rating. His team has to win games.
The real tragedy for Snyder is that he squandered the very high public feeling he won for his generous support of the players after Sean Taylor's tragic death. Snyder healed the whole community and the community loved him for it. Then Joe Gibbs abruptly resigned. Snyder's and Vinny Cerrato's every action in the goat rodeo known as the Jim Zorn era is evidence that he is still not ready to run a NFL franchise. It did not help that Snyder sued grandma season ticket holders who fell on hard times, or sued for defamation alternate newspapers for stories he never actually read.
Mike Shanahan's 2010 start with the Redskins had the earmarks of Snyderrato meddling, though all sides deny it. The 2011 season is off to a better start because every Draft and free-agent move has been the opposite of Snyderrato.
That's the real issue with Snyder. It isn't that he wrongly applied his entrepreneurial skills to an 80-year old organization. It is that he persisted with it long after it was shown not to work. If Shanahan is successful--I think he could be given time--the poll results will be better. For the Redskins anyway.