Saturday, October 31, 2009

Redskins = Bad Franchise

First of all, Happy Halloween - that great festival that seems to be turning more and more into Christmas each year. However, that's not what I am writing about today.

Here in the DC area, there has been a lot of talk about the Redskins NFL franchise and what needs to be done to improve both on the field and in fan relations.

A quick summary - the Skins are 2-5 with a couple of very bad losses (Detroit and Kansas City) and a fan base that is beginning to howl over the way they are being treated by ownership and management. The team has changed the rules recently concerning what kind of signs fans may bring into FedEx Field, as Dan Steinberg has been noting with increasing regularity. The fans are getting frustrated, the players and coaches are getting frustrated because the appearance has been made that the powers that be don't give a solitary hoot.

On one hand, the owner, Dan Snyder, doesn't have to give a solitary hoot about the fans. As long as he is making a profit, it probably won't make a difference. Granted, it isn't good business practice to treat your paying customers with contempt, but if people continuously fork over the cash to attend games, then there shouldn't be much complaining.

Which brings me to another point - one that I am sure is going to cause many to howl - professional sports franchises are NOT public trusts; they are private businesses. Yes, they can foster civic pride and all that jazz, but at base, they are private businesses. As long as Dan Snyder owns the Washington Redskins Dan Snyder is going to do what Dan Snyder wants to do and no amount of lawsuits and threats will stop him from doing that. There is only one thing that will give him pause - losing money. My advice ultimately is - forget the signs, the t-shirts, and the protests...


Until the games start getting blacked out here in DC, the Danny is just going to laugh all the way to the bank year in and year out and nothing else can change that. Stop going to games and plunking down your money. Nothing else will work. Don't buy tickets, concessions, beer, food, parking spaces, apparel, and so forth. The Redskins are a terrible franchise and that will not change until the fans make themselves heard through pecuniary means.

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