E is for "Ewwwww!": How Barbara Hyde, spokeswoman for the American Society for Microbiology, reacted to last year’s news that Snyder’s vendors were selling beer in the bathrooms.
February 5, 2011 11:23 AM   Subscribe

The Washington Redskins, with a 6-10 record this season, may not be anywhere near the Super Bowl, but they're still getting media attention this week thanks to unpopular owner Dan Snyder. In November, the Washington City Paper published an A-to-Z guide of Snyder's perceived sins, including bankrupting little old ladies, running scammy fan events, cashing in on 9/11, and selling expired peanuts. The piece was accompanied by a photo of Snyder with scribbled-on devil horns and goatee -- a depiction Snyder decried as anti-Semitic. Snyder also denies several of the claims made in the A-to-Z piece and threatens legal action in letters to Washington City Paper (republished here, along with WCP's shrugging response). Above the Law expresses doubts about Snyder's claims and notes that it's the first time the owner of the unfortunately-named Redksins has ever seemed to care about ethnic slurs. Meanwhile on Twitter, #snyderlibel commences some serious Snyder-mocking.
posted by naoko (45 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You know who I don't miss. Marge Schott. Rest in hell, though.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:28 AM on February 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Dan Snyder existing is one of the few pleasures left for the lowly Raiders fan.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 11:29 AM on February 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

Meanwhile on Twitter, #snyderlibel commences some serious Snyder-mocking.

There's some good stuff in there:

Dan Snyder refuses to serve iced espresso #junkpunch #snyderlibel
Dan Snyder wears jorts. #snyderlibel

I had almost forgotten about DC's iced coffee controversy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:32 AM on February 5, 2011

The fact that the letter Snyder wrote accusing the City Paper of anti-semitism was written on Redskin's letterhead sums everything you ever needed to know about Dan Snyder. This is also the man who told asian actors to be "more like Charlie Chan" when auditioning to be the new mascot of Six Flags (a Snyder-run company that he was removed from by the board he did such an awful job of running it).
posted by KingEdRa at 11:34 AM on February 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

To honour that shitstain on the Potomac and his team, whenever talk turns to them I am forced to repost (noted jackass and plaigarist but occasionally effective shit disturber) Ward Churchill's over-the-top diatribe about racist team names:

A substantial number of American Indians have protested that use of native names, images and symbols as sports team mascots and the like is, by definition, a virulently racist practice... In response, a number of players - especially African Americans and other minority athletes - have been trotted out by professional team owners like Ted Turner, as well as university and public school officials, to announce that they mean not to insult but to honor native people. They have been joined by the television networks and most major newspapers, all of which have editorialized that Indian discomfort with the situation is "no big deal," insisting that the whole things is just "good, clean fun." The country needs more such fun, they've argued, and a "few disgruntled Native Americans" have no right to undermine the nation's enjoyment of it's leisure time by complaining. This is especially the case, some have argued, "in hard times like these." It has even been contended that Indian outrage at being systematically degraded - rather than the degradation itself - creates "a serious barrier to the sort of intergroup communication so necessary in a multicultural society such as ours."

Okay. let's communicate. We are frankly dubious that those advancing such positions really believe their own rhetoric but, just for the sake of argument, let's accept the premise that they are sincere. If what they say is true, then isn't it time we spread such "inoffensiveness" and "good cheer" around among all the groups so that everybody can participate equally in fostering the national round of laughs they call for? Sure it is - the country can't have too much fun or "intergroup" involvement - so the more, the merrier. Simple consistency demands that anyone who thinks the Tomahawk Chop is a swell pastime must be just as hearty in their endorsement of the following ideas - by the logic used to defend the defamation of American Indians - should help us all really start yukking it up.

First, as a counterpart to the Redskins, we need an NFL team called "Niggers" to honor Afro-Americans. Half-time festivities for fans might include a simulated stewing of the opposing coach in a large pot while players and cheerleaders dance around it, garbed in leopard skins and wearing fake bones in their noses... So that the newly-formed Niggers sports club won't end up too out of sync while expressing the "spirit" and "identity" of Afro-Americans in the above fashion, a baseball franchise - let's call this one the "Sambos" - should be formed. How about a basketball team called the "spearchuckers/" A hockey team called the "Jungle Bunnies/" Maybe the "essence of these teams could be depicted by images of tiny black faces adorned with huge pairs of lips. The players could appear on TV every week or so gnawing on chicken legs and spitting watermelon seeds at one another. Catchy, eh? Well, there's "nothing to be upset about," according to those who love wearing "war bonnets" to the Super Bowl or having "Chief Illiniwik" dance around the sports arenas of Urbana, Illinois.

posted by docgonzo at 11:36 AM on February 5, 2011 [3 favorites]

It's so sad. Redskins fans were awesome. "Hail to the Redskins" is arguably the best NFL team song out there*, and all of it has turned to ill will due to Dan Snyder. I know more than one person who stopped buying season tickets because of his mismanagement.

*NPR had a piece about music and the superbowl yesterday, and played both the packers' and the steelers' theme songs.
posted by frecklefaerie at 11:49 AM on February 5, 2011

I imagine his anti-semitic complaint comes from the tradition in Christian art of depicting Moses with (usually curved) devil horns, due to a mistranslation of Exodus 34, where it mentions that Moses face shone with light, but the root for "ray of light" (qof-resh-nun) can also mean "horn," depending on vowels. Sometimes this was tossed in art as a sort of "hey, I know a lot about the Hebrew Bible, check out my sweet visual pun" and sometimes it was tossed in as "Obvs Moses, being Jewish, was in league with the devil." Most famous depiction here.

Even the pretty modern depiction here (1962), known affectionately as "Number One Moses" at the University of Notre Dame shows Moses's hair sort of blowing in the wind up into horn-like points, since now it's a "clue" to help identify Moses in sculptural art.

All that said, it's pretty clearly just a devil-horns scribble.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:49 AM on February 5, 2011

Go Cowboys! Oh wait, they went 6-10 too.
posted by phaedon at 11:50 AM on February 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

This is why it's preposterous that billionaires get to "own" teams. Because they suck at it, and most of them are dicks (I exclude benevolent dictators like the Rooneys). The Packers have it figured out - run the team like a corporation, with fans as shareholders who can remove the CEO if he or she starts making bad decisions.

Of course, that system makes too much sense, which is why it's now illegal (the Packers were grandfathered in).
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:56 AM on February 5, 2011 [5 favorites]

Dan Snyder existing is one of the few pleasures left for the lowly Raiders fan.

I imagine that every day Al Davis drags his decrepit cartoonishly-bespectacled self out of a bed made of children's skulls and weeps when he realizes that he does not have the means to out-evil Dan Snyder.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:07 PM on February 5, 2011 [4 favorites]

Dan Snyder destroyed my love for football. I haven't watched a game in years.
posted by empath at 12:11 PM on February 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

Okay, guys, I have idea.

If you live with-in the Greater Washington Redskins Area, let's all agree to march on Washington after the Superbowl and demand that Snyder step down. We'll occupy The Mall day and night until he does.

It seems to be a viable tactic.
posted by empath at 12:13 PM on February 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

Gene Weingarten (previously of Chevy Volt review fame) had a great piece on him. I cracked up.
posted by stratastar at 12:20 PM on February 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

Redskin fans please educate me. Regarding the little old lady that has been driven to bankruptcy because she can't pay for her contracted season tickets.

Are tickets not enough in demand that she can't just turn around and sell these? I'm from Packer country and I know a LOT of season ticket holders pay for their season by selling 1 or 2 games worth of tickets.

Is this not an option for the Redskin fans?
posted by Bonzai at 12:33 PM on February 5, 2011

To reduce ambiguity, I propose we refer to American football as "hand-egg" from now on.
posted by killdevil at 12:40 PM on February 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

I think it depends on the seats; season tickets used to be in massive demand (the waiting list is supposedly years); but no one wants Snyder's view obstructed "Dream Seats." Nor is there demand for the way overpriced (and consistently empty) "luxury" second level seats.
posted by stratastar at 12:41 PM on February 5, 2011

Dan Snyder responds to an article calling him terrible by being terrible.
posted by mhum at 12:54 PM on February 5, 2011

It used to be that the average fan didn't have a chance of seeing a redskins game unless they knew somebody. I was able to go to a game there twice, and only because my grandfather was a big shot with Safeway and could get corporate tix. The waiting list was literally years long, and people handed down their season tickets in their wills.

There's something to be said for keeping your venue small and exclusive.
posted by empath at 1:03 PM on February 5, 2011

While Bill Maher's style usually motivates me to question anything I agree with him on, here he makes a solid point about how "NFL Socialism" supports owners like Snyder.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:08 PM on February 5, 2011

Is this not an option for the Redskin fans?

IIRC, it used to be that the terms of the season ticket contracts stipulate that if you resell the tickets, you lose them and you're still on the hook for paying for them (in a Washington Post chat the reporter says that lawyers they talked to didn't think that's enforceable). This policy changed after it was found that the Redskins were reselling extra tickets through 3rd parties, which they blamed on a "rogue employee". According to their policy page, you can resell them now but you can't make a profit and you can only use their authorized reseller, StubHub.

I went to a preseason game at FedEx field a few years back when I received free tickets, I vowed never to do that again. It was seriously the most unpleasant professional sporting event I've attended, with multiple fights in the stands (preaseason!), some drunk jackasses harassing my date and I for sitting in "their" section (nosebleeds), a total of 2+ hours trying to get into and out of the parking lot, and a general awful feeling of gouging and upselling. If anything that City Paper piece isn't thorough enough.
posted by Challahtronix at 1:12 PM on February 5, 2011 [3 favorites]

Actually I've never had problems scalping tickets on game day. Even during the 91 superbowl fun bunch season. The exclusivity of the tickets is a marketing gimmick. There are lots of season tickets that are held by lobbying firms, law firms, and government contractors that are used as swag to grease the wheels of Washington. A lot of them are sold to scalpes by the recipients. I ended up with season tickets after being on the list for a mere 4 years in the late 90s. I kept them for a year, and then dropped them and bought a big television instead.

I gave up on the Redskins two years ago after realizing that the glory years were never coming back and that there were lots of other things to do on a Sunday afternoon. Now I watch the Capitals and their first class owner Mr. Ted.
posted by humanfont at 1:21 PM on February 5, 2011

Ironically, it's impossible to oust Dan Snyder, because he's the sole owner of the team. Curiously, corporatism doesn't seem to have permeated football at all, and most teams are owned by gazillionaires (who get to extort money from their home cities, and move their teams around at will).

Coincidentally, the one NFL team who don't follow this model are the Green Bay Packers (who are playing in the Super Bowl tomorrow night). They are a public (non-profit!) corporation, and have by-laws limiting the number of shares than any single person can own. Among other things, this is why the team has stayed in their tiny hometown of Green Bay, and opted for a relatively conservative renovation of their existing stadium, instead of the fantastically expensive "teardown & rebuild with public funding" mindset that's permeated the rest of the NFL. (The Cowboys stadium cost $1.3 billion dollars!)
posted by schmod at 1:22 PM on February 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Curiously, corporatism doesn't seem to have permeated football at all

Curiously? I think it's pretty obvious that billionaires who own football teams enjoy being billionaires who own football teams.

The only way to fix the problem would be to start a new league.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:31 PM on February 5, 2011

I'm glad someone made a post about this. Thanks!
posted by inigo2 at 1:40 PM on February 5, 2011

The Packers' ownership model is something some of my Packers fan friends have pointed to as one of the top reasons they love the team. I always thought this was cool and I'm disappointed to learn (from (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates's comment above) that other teams are legally barred from doing this.
For the record, I know absolute diddly squat about football (or any sport, really), but as a native-ish Washingtonian girl and lover of local controversies, I thought this was quite a story.
posted by naoko at 1:52 PM on February 5, 2011

The Snyder-owned Redskins have turned me into a Ravens fan.
posted by peeedro at 1:56 PM on February 5, 2011

Gregg Easterbrook has been on to "Chainsaw" Dan Snyder for years. And can we please change that goddamn awful racist team name?
posted by Existential Dread at 1:59 PM on February 5, 2011

Ah, I thought this guy was one of the Duke boys when twitter lit up with that hashtag. I had no idea what was going on.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:32 PM on February 5, 2011

As a lifelong Skins fan, I am greatly enjoying the roasting Snyder's receiving, even more so because he actually stirred it up himself. My fervent hope is that there's some way of firing an owner...
posted by Dr.Enormous at 2:47 PM on February 5, 2011

I suggest you write letters to the corporate sponsors listed in this Forbes article. Ask why they choose to affiliate themselves with team with such a racist name and terrible owner. I encourage people in other countries to write FedEx since they are a major global corporation. A sponsor boycott is the only way to end this.
posted by humanfont at 3:18 PM on February 5, 2011

I am a football fan and I make a point to always refer to them as the Washington Racists or, when I'm writing, sometimes the Washington R-------s. I wish that sports journalists would do the same thing.

Anyhow, the reason they don't change the name, of course, is economics. Allegedly, jerseys and other items with the Redskins logo are one of the most popular American sports items outside of the U.S.A. They make a ton of money off of that logo. If the logo and name stopped making money, they'd change it in a heartbeat.

Thus, boycotting sponsors is one way that Washington fans could actually make a difference here.

That said, I feel like Snyder wouldn't change the name even if he was losing money on it, because he's a spiteful, petulant piece of shit. Plus, I don't think he'd recognize a positive PR opportunity if it walked up to him, grabbed onto his scrotum and screamed "I can make some people like you, Dan." When you're as rich as he is, you just don't give a shit about whether anyone likes you or not.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:31 PM on February 5, 2011

as a cowboys fan, i support any owner besides jerry making the news for egomania. of course, no one can accuse jerry jones of ruining the profitability of his team (just the actual football playing and class).
posted by nadawi at 3:59 PM on February 5, 2011

It's classic stupidity: I heard about the A-Z guide by reading a post at Romenesko about the lawsuit. He's just spreading the article more widely. Anyone who hasn't read the guide is in for a treat; I knew next to nothing about Snyder and was stunned (seriously, it's almost beyond human how completely fucked this guy is).
posted by mediareport at 4:08 PM on February 5, 2011

Deadspin has been following this closely, and it's the kind of thing they actually cover pretty well. One of the things they've posted is the sports director of one of the DC stations responding to the letter on air. He focuses pretty strongly on the letter from the lawyer saying that, essentially, the newspaper doesn't have enough money to deal with the lawsuit, even if they win, and just goes on a tear from there.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:42 PM on February 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Am I the only one who finds the anti-semitic accusations absurdly self-serving? Perhaps I'm just uneducated, but 1) I had no inkling at all that Dan Snyder was Jewish until I heard this accusation, and 2) why is the sketching of devil horns and beard automatically considered anti-semitic at all? To me it is just a juvenile way of representing someone you don't like in a negative light. I don't really understand. I can't draw devil's horns on my Presbyterian pastor?
posted by hwestiii at 7:45 PM on February 5, 2011

I propose renaming the team to the D.C. Devilbats. Ya-ha!
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:30 PM on February 5, 2011

why is the sketching of devil horns and beard automatically considered anti-semitic at all?

Eyebrows McGee gave some good historical background on this - I think that for the most part only students of Renaissance art are familiar with the Jews-with-horns notion.
posted by naoko at 8:33 PM on February 5, 2011

I can't draw devil's horns on my Presbyterian pastor?

According to Dan Snyder. that would make him your Rabbi.
posted by umberto at 8:33 PM on February 5, 2011

I once called Dan Snyder a -- shit how did I put it? -- shit head racist fuckbag motherfucker? Something like that.

Anyway, the difference between Dan Snyder and pond scum is that, over millions of years, pond scum seeded our atmosphere with life-giving oxygen, allowing people like Mr Rogers and Carl Sagan and Einstein to grace us with their presence. Dan Snyder, on the other hand, is a racist shitball fuckbag motherfucker who debases all of humanity.

Hitler. Adolf Fucking Hitler, killer of 11 million people in an attempt to wipe from the face of the Earth Jewish people, gay people, and the Roma. Adolf Fucking Hitler created the highway system. Dan Snyder, through his ownership, perpetuates a football team whose nickname is a racial slur against a people that our government once tried to eradicate from the face of the Earth, by killing them. He does so by fucking over the people who, for some reason, root for said genocidal team. Dan Snyder has literally done nothing else noteworthy with his life. Dan Snyder is one of the top ten or so worst humans that humanity has shat upon this world. He is the excrement of civilization. No, he is worse than excrement. Excrement feeds plant life. He feeds nothing but despair and hate. Dan Snyder is a disgrace to the molecules that make up his body.

Dan Snyder. He could have been his father's discarded tissue rotting away in a landfill. Instead, he exists, and we are all worse for it.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:52 PM on February 5, 2011 [3 favorites]

Dan Snyder is one load that his mother should have swallowed. And I am a Giants fan.
posted by AugustWest at 11:56 PM on February 5, 2011

[X] is a disgrace to the molecules that make up his body.

My new favorite insult.
posted by mediareport at 6:30 AM on February 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

As a Jewish Redskins fan, please allow me to say "Fuck you, Dan Snyder."

Also the team name is an embarrassment and you should change it. Or better yet, sell the team and let the new owner change the name as part of the rebuilding process that, thanks to you, will take 5-10 years.
posted by callmejay at 7:07 AM on February 6, 2011

of course, no one can accuse jerry jones of ruining the profitability of his team

Well, for all the (deserved) bluster people give Snyder for being an assbag, as of 2007 the team was the most profitable in the NFL. I don't doubt that things aren't as rosy as that, but I also don't doubt that people are still lining his pockets with gold.
posted by inigo2 at 9:50 AM on February 6, 2011

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