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Jero
09-22-2006, 08:59 AM
Unbelievable. But hardly surprising.


Washington CityPaper
CHEAP SEATS Sept. 22, 2006
Patriot Games
Redskins put a price tag on commemorating 9/11.
By Dave McKenna
Pentagon-themed hat helps bolster Snyder’s bottom line.

The horrors of 9/11 had already been used by power brokers around these parts to sell wars and incursions on basic liberties.

So why not some hats?

On the day’s fifth anniversary, a few hours before the Redskins’ season opener, ads appeared on Dan Snyder’s new media plaything, the Triple X ESPN Radio network, imploring fans to get their special baseball caps for Monday night’s game with Minnesota. These hats would “commemorate Sept. 11,” said the spots, and they could only be ordered via the Redskins’ official Web site.

On the front page of the team’s site was a picture of the sacred cap, called a Pentagon Flag Hat, a black hat with the team’s trademark curly “R” in gold with a patch in the shape of the Pentagon and the colors of the American flag sewn on the side.

If the pull of a 9/11 tribute wasn’t enough, fans were told in the Web-site copy that the caps are “expected to be worn by the Redskins coaches” during the Vikings contest. Anybody who wanted to commemorate the deaths of 3,000 or so with a Skins hat would only have to pay $23.99.

That means the commemorative cap was a tad pricier than the You Can’t Handle the Skins Tee or the We Love Our Coach Tee, products featured alongside the 9/11 garment in the online catalog, which both go for $19.99.

There’s no mention anywhere on the site that even a single penny of the Flag Hat’s $23.99 would go anywhere but into Snyder’s pocket.

“Pre-order now!” the copy implored.

Snyder’s waved the flag before. Flyovers of bombers and jet fighters are common at FedExField. America Supports You, a Pentagon public-relations campaign to build affection for the war machine, is a big advertiser on Snyder’s radio network. And Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, took time out from overseeing this country’s war successes to be in the owner’s box for the Vikings game.

But the hawking of the Pentagon Flag Hat puts those efforts to shame.

Coming from anywhere but Redskins Park, this sort of financial exploitation of the biggest tragedy in American history—“Pre-order now!”—would cause jaws to drop. Around here, it’s just business as usual. The team dropped the “commemorate Sept. 11” verbiage from its Web site after two days, but the hats were still for sale.

Welcome to another year of the Dan Snyder Marketing Plan. The caps are evidence of the tenacious scheme responsible for putting the Redskins, with a value of more than $1.4 billion, atop Forbes’ recent list of the most profitable franchises in sports. None of the other NFL teams from other 9/11 death sites—Giants, Jets, and Steelers—put commemorative products for sale during the opening week of the 2006 season.

Redskins spokesperson Karl Swanson says the commemorative cap was put up for sale because the team sold a similar hat shortly after the 9/11 attacks. The sales five years ago, Swanson says, were used to “raise money for the survivors fund.”

If, as the adage says, patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, maybe the unveiling of the diabolical commemorative Pentagon Flag Hat shows that Snyder is running out of ways to gouge the populace.

Then again, maybe not. Jim O’Brien, a 30-year Skins season-ticket holder, says he didn’t think he could despise the current ownership more—not after watching his end-zone row get more cramped during Snyder’s incessant expansions of the stadium, or finding it harder and harder to get in and out of the stadium with all the corporate tents blocking more of the Everyman entrances and exits with each season.

But at the Vikings game, his awe and loathing of Skins management were renewed during a trip to the stadium’s concession stand. It all started when he ordered a bag of peanuts. The 5-ounce bag wasn’t in burgundy and gold but royal blue and white.

“I see this big logo on the bag for Independence Air,” says O’Brien. “And I’m thinking, Aren’t they out of business?”

He went home and did some Googling and discovered that, yes, indeed, the airline is out of business: Independence Air began hinting at bankruptcy in 2005 and flew its last flight on Jan. 5, 2006. According to the bags for sale at FedExField, the peanuts were packaged for the Redskins by a Charlotte, N.C., company called Strategic Presence.

Ed McLamb, who heads the firm, says that his company used to provide peanuts for Independence Air and for the Redskins, in Independence Air bags.

“We haven’t done that since a little before Independence Air went out of business, though,” he says.

The Redskins have had peanut problems before. Three seasons ago, the team deviated from a tradition as old as sports when it stopped selling peanuts in shells. At the time, Redskins officials tried to calm angry fans by saying the move wasn’t made to reduce the cleanup budget but was meant to prevent fans with peanut allergies from being affected by stray peanut pieces.

O’Brien was among those angered when the shells disappeared, but the ’Net searching really left him peeved.

“You gotta figure they didn’t place a peanut order for a couple weeks before the company went out of business,” he says. “So the Redskins are selling nuts that weren’t even made this year. Unbelievable.”

Nut experts say that’s a little long in the tooth for salted, roasted legumes. Patrick Archer of the Peanut Council, an advocacy group for the American peanut industry, says that the recommended shelf life of a foil bag of peanuts is “about three months.”

“Beyond three months, they gradually start losing their flavor,” Archer says, “and eventually start turning rancid.”

Swanson says the team’s food-service business is outsourced to a company called Centerplate Inc. In a prepared statement issued through the Redskins, Centerplate spokesperson Gael Doar writes that the Independence Air peanut inventory was purchased in November 2005. Doar adds that the suggested shelf life for the products was one year and that the company nevertheless “believed that we had disposed of all of the cases of peanuts with this Independence Air logo.”

“We regret that this occurred,” Doar wrote about the sale of the long-dead airline’s nuts, “we are currently investigating the situation and we are confident that it won’t happen again.”

redskin_rich
09-22-2006, 09:46 AM
This is pretty disgusting if true, both stories. I remember when they sold the hats in 2001 and I thought it was a good idea at the time, though I never bought one. Then I saw them at the opener and thought it was a dated thing and not worth bringing back for an anniversary but I still assumed a % of the proceeds would go to a fund for the surviving families of the Pentagon attack.

As for the peanuts, I don't know if I believe it but I wouldn't know, I don't buy anything but a few beers in the stadium. It's inexcusable if true.

shally
09-22-2006, 09:54 AM
This is pretty disgusting if true, both stories. I remember when they sold the hats in 2001 and I thought it was a good idea at the time, though I never bought one. Then I saw them at the opener and thought it was a dated thing and not worth bringing back for an anniversary but I still assumed a % of the proceeds would go to a fund for the surviving families of the Pentagon attack.

As for the peanuts, I don't know if I believe it but I wouldn't know, I don't buy anything but a few beers in the stadium. It's inexcusable if true.

all those millions for free agents got to come from somewhere.. what's in your wallet?

Spence
09-22-2006, 10:04 AM
None of this surprises me. Snyder would dig up his grandmother's bones and sell them on his website if he thought anyone would buy them. I know a lot of people on this site love Snyder, but I think he's an embarrassing weasel with a Bonaparte complex.

The more I get of Snyder, the more I miss The Squire.

redskin_rich
09-22-2006, 10:05 AM
all those millions for free agents got to come from somewhere.. what's in your wallet?
Typical apologist reply... Prices for food and drink are pretty standard at any venue, whether it's pro football, basketball, baseball or a concert, I've grown used to that. But selling expired food, that was probably bought at a substantial discount and then selling it for the normal high prices is criminal. This, of course is assuming that it's true. I don't know, I would like a better source than the City Paper.
The hats were just a stupid marketing idea but Danny has had plenty of those, so I'm not that surprised at that.

shally
09-22-2006, 10:18 AM
Typical apologist reply... Prices for food and drink are pretty standard at any venue, whether it's pro football, basketball, baseball or a concert, I've grown used to that. But selling expired food, that was probably bought at a substantial discount and then selling it for the normal high prices is criminal. This, of course is assuming that it's true. I don't know, I would like a better source than the City Paper.
The hats were just a stupid marketing idea but Danny has had plenty of those, so I'm not that surprised at that.

whoa... you missed my slant.. i am not at all excusing snyder's behavior at all. if true, it is reprehensible. i am just saying it makes sense in light of the overall tenor of ownership. and i was saying it is you and all the other fans who are being bled to pay for the way this team throws money around..

CarMike
09-22-2006, 10:22 AM
Its amazing to me how quick we forget all of the good things Snyder has done as soon as something like this gets mentioned...:rolleyes:

smoot
09-22-2006, 10:24 AM
Its amazing to me how quick we forget all of the good things Snyder has done as soon as something like this gets mentioned...:rolleyes:
frankly i think that snyder has been a great owner, if not one of the best since gibbs came back to town. however......ethics wise as a business man, he's probably near the bottom. frankly though, i dont really care a whole lot about his ethics as long as he continues to do what gibbs says

Spence
09-22-2006, 10:26 AM
Its amazing to me how quick we forget all of the good things Snyder has done as soon as something like this gets mentioned...:rolleyes:Like what? He's done one good thing in eight years: Hire Joe Gibbs. I'm not impressed with all the money he spends. The Steelers spend far less money, but they win a lot more. Snyder ran Brad Johnson out of town and forced Jeff George on Norv and then Marty. He hired Marty to run the whole show, then fired him after one season and made himself the General Manager. He hired a woefully unprepared Spurrier. He signed a ton of guys from the Jets, not one of whom actually worked out for us. And for what his team has accomplished on the field, his tickets are pretty damn pricey. [Second-most expensive in the NFL, last time I checked. That might have changed.]

Since Snyder started making personnel decisions, following the 1999 season, the team is eight games under .500.

redskin_rich
09-22-2006, 10:26 AM
whoa... you missed my slant..
Yep, totally missed it, my apologies.

Spence
09-22-2006, 10:32 AM
Snyder made his money in marketing. Marketing guys judge their success by how many headlines they get. That's why Snyder thinks he's won the Super Bowl during the offseason. Unfortunately for him, the NFL still gives the Super Bowl to the team that wins games in winter.

CarMike
09-22-2006, 10:37 AM
I'm not talking about owning the Redskins. And I don't keep a list of all he does thats good for the community. But there have been several topics started here pointing some of the good things he does for the DC area.

The man is not as evil as some would believe he is.

JMO

shally
09-22-2006, 10:42 AM
Like what? He's done one good thing in eight years: Hire Joe Gibbs. I'm not impressed with all the money he spends. The Steelers spend far less money, but they win a lot more. Snyder ran Brad Johnson out of town and forced Jeff George on Norv and then Marty. He hired Marty to run the whole show, then fired him after one season and made himself the General Manager. He hired a woefully unprepared Spurrier. He signed a ton of guys from the Jets, not one of whom actually worked out for us. And for what his team has accomplished on the field, his tickets are pretty damn pricey. [Second-most expensive in the NFL, last time I checked. That might have changed.]

Since Snyder started making personnel decisions, following the 1999 season, the team is eight games under .500.

truth be told, if snyder were snyders boss he would have fired himself by now based upon his performance on the job-- except in the bottom line.
in that manner he has succeeded wildly.

and i still like the thomas signing from the jets. that has been a winner.
and trading coles for moss is inthe win column as well. so it is not totally bleak..

Spence
09-22-2006, 10:44 AM
I'm not talking about owning the Redskins. And I don't keep a list of all he does thats good for the community. But there have been several topics started here pointing some of the good things he does for the DC area.

The man is not as evil as some would believe he is.

JMOI don't know think of Snyder as evil. Just as an arrogant rich guy who made money at one thing and believes that means he is smart enough to do anything. I think he looks at guys who run NFL teams and thinks those guys are not as smart and rich as he is, so he should be able to do a better job than them. But running an NFL team requires incredibly specialized knowledge. Bill Cowher probably couldn't make a dime in marketing, but he knows how to win football games.

The Orioles have a similar sort of owner.

CarMike
09-22-2006, 10:47 AM
I don't know think of Snyder as evil. Just as an arrogant rich guy who made money at one thing and believes that means he is smart enough to do anything. I think he looks at guys who run NFL teams and thinks those guys are not as smart and rich as he is, so he should be able to do a better job than them. But running an NFL team requires incredibly specialized knowledge. Bill Cowher probably couldn't make a dime in marketing, but he knows how to win football games.

The Orioles have a similar sort of owner.

I'll agree with that.

RedskinsDave
09-22-2006, 10:48 AM
He's done little more than take us for granted. Sure, the Gibbs hire was great. Pretty much everything else either leaves me saying "huh?!" or makes me mad (see ticket and parking increase). If anyone thinks Snyder has been one of the better or one of the best in the league you really need to tell me where I too can buy some stock in the team because only dividends could make someone think that.

SkinsKY
09-22-2006, 11:43 AM
He's done little more than take us for granted. Sure, the Gibbs hire was great. Pretty much everything else either leaves me saying "huh?!" or makes me mad (see ticket and parking increase). If anyone thinks Snyder has been one of the better or one of the best in the league you really need to tell me where I too can buy some stock in the team because only dividends could make someone think that.

I think Snyder gets a pass from many because they give him a passing grade for effort, with money spent on players being the effort. I have kids that I coach that will never be good football players, but they sure try hard. I'm not convinced that Snyder will ever be a good owner, but he tries hard. In his mind, I think he's doing what he thinks is best for this team, but it's always slanted towards what's best for his pocket. I thought we would have a quiet offseason this year, but we didn't and jersey sales are no doubt higher this year as well as other merch. For run of the mill fans like myself and most here, what has Snyder done for fans and the football team? Like Dave, Spence, and others, my answer is not much besides Gibbs.

HailVictory
09-22-2006, 11:59 AM
I think there are few fans out there that like his "weasliness"(word?). I like the fact that he was a childhood Redskin fan who made his $ on his own and did what many of us here would do if we had the $- buy our favorite team. He has come along way from the BS and deion days, culminating in the hiring of Gibbs. If he keeps progressing with Joe, and doesn't backslide in the post-Gibbs era, then we'll be fine. Bottom line- I love him in the off season, and pick him apart after we lose.

CarMike
09-22-2006, 12:17 PM
Maybe if I were a season ticket holder i'd look at Snyder differently.

skins74
09-22-2006, 12:35 PM
None of this surprises me. Snyder would dig up his grandmother's bones and sell them on his website if he thought anyone would buy them. I know a lot of people on this site love Snyder, but I think he's an embarrassing weasel with a Bonaparte complex.

The more I get of Snyder, the more I miss The Squire.


Yeah and he is aligning himself with Tom Cruise on top of it all. I think I'm going to puke.

BurgundyNGold
09-22-2006, 01:05 PM
I guess for some reason when the Gints are wearing NYPD and NYFD merged Gints gear on the sidelines it's OK, but when the Redskins attempt to commemorate the attack on the Pentagon in a similar fashion it's unbridled commercialism?

What a joke.

And could you have found a newspaper that was more extreme to one side or the other?

SkinsKY
09-22-2006, 01:17 PM
I guess for some reason when the Gints are wearing NYPD and NYFD merged Gints gear on the sidelines it's OK, but when the Redskins attempt to commemorate the attack on the Pentagon in a similar fashion it's unbridled commercialism?

What a joke.

And could you have found a newspaper that was more extreme to one side or the other?

If Snyder was selling the hats to fans and keeping all the profits, then yes, that would be unbrilded commercialism. That's the issue. It's not whether or not coaches are wearing them. I would have no problem if Joe or anyone wore the hats, but to sell them without donating at least some of the proceeds to a charity is cashing in on a national tragedy.

BurgundyNGold
09-22-2006, 01:23 PM
If Snyder was selling the hats to fans and keeping all the profits, then yes, that would be unbrilded commercialism. That's the issue. It's not whether or not coaches are wearing them. I would have no problem if Joe or anyone wore the hats, but to sell them without donating at least some of the proceeds to a charity is cashing in on a national tragedy.
I don't know that the Gints weren't doing the same thing.

MoeRedskins
09-22-2006, 01:33 PM
Is it possible for me to change me back to my original screenname?

BurgundyNGold
09-22-2006, 01:33 PM
Is it possible for me to change me back to my original screenname?
What was that?

redskin_rich
09-22-2006, 01:36 PM
Is it possible for me to change me back to my original screenname?
:lol1:
What was that?LoveJoeHateDan.

BurgundyNGold
09-22-2006, 01:42 PM
:lol1:
LoveJoeHateDan.
Ha! Why did he change it? :whoknows:

Axegrinder
09-22-2006, 01:43 PM
Snyder must have missed the class on ethics in business.

Spence
09-22-2006, 01:51 PM
Snyder must have missed the class on ethics in business.No, he took the class, but Ken Lay was teaching it.

Axegrinder
09-22-2006, 02:07 PM
No, he took the class, but Ken Lay was teaching it.
Well,I guess that class is dead.

The Skinsinator
09-22-2006, 04:22 PM
No, he took the class, but Ken Lay was teaching it.
LOL joke of the day. After our start this season I'm even beginning to question if he cursed this franchised but I'm not jumping the gun yet but my expectations were much higher. I wonder if he would ever relenquish his role as owner for the sake of the franchise? Nope not a chance. Not with this new lavish business he has. :D

MoeRedskins
09-22-2006, 10:15 PM
Ha! Why did he change it? :whoknows:

I no longer love Joe.

DarkLord91
09-22-2006, 10:37 PM
Another reason Snyder is evil: He killed the dancing six flags ad guy! I loved that guy!

Skinzsnut
09-23-2006, 11:28 PM
Yeah Snyder sucks, my friend DJ'd at one of his parties a while back and he stayed two hours extra and Snyder wouldn't even pay him overtime. He's a Jerk.

jporterweb
09-23-2006, 11:54 PM
I see things for Pearl Harbor from time to time to commemorate that.... But, I never see where donations will be made to a fund for the families of the victims or anything like that. Maybe it's been long enough that its ok. Personally, I don't think it's been long enough to be doing movies on 9/11 or anything like this... However, who are any of us to say anything about it? If there aren't outcrys about this for other simliar events, why is there one about this one? I've seen TV shows use Katrina for ratings and by the same token more money. But I've not seen public outcry... I think, while this is not a very classy move, we need to give him a break here. He's only doing what every other major company in the US would do... well most of them anyways.

MONK_in_HOF
09-24-2006, 10:29 AM
Things like this are what led me to discontinue my season tickets. While I like the fact that Snyder willing to spend, his means of earning this revenue many times tasteless. For the amount of money he milks out of the fans he should put a large portion, or what he is allowed, back into the team, if not the stadium also, and not just to add more seats. It wouldn't hurt add a little more recognition towards the Redskins tradition at FEDEX, as well as improving the experience for the true fans. I actually think it would be helpful to the team if Snyder wasn't so willing to go above the market to acquire free agents.

santanadasavior
09-24-2006, 10:53 AM
Things like this are what led me to discontinue my season tickets. While I like the fact that Snyder willing to spend, his means of earning this revenue many times tasteless. For the amount of money he milks out of the fans he should put a large portion, or what he is allowed, back into the team, if not the stadium also, and not just to add more seats. It wouldn't hurt add a little more recognition towards the Redskins tradition at FEDEX, as well as improving the experience for the true fans. I actually think it would be helpful to the team if Snyder wasn't so willing to go above the market to acquire free agents.

I agree that this is tasteless and it disgusts me, but season tickets. You have very strong morals and I praise you for them.

MONK_in_HOF
09-24-2006, 11:06 AM
I agree that this is tasteless and it disgusts me, but season tickets. You have very strong morals and I praise you for them.

Well I would rather sit at home and watch the game where it only takes a minute to use the bathroom, I see replays, and I am not constantly told to sit down by Redskins "fans". Also the couch prices don't rise every year, and I save a ton on beer. :stout:

gibbs4pres
09-24-2006, 11:31 AM
The more I get of Snyder, the more I miss The Squire.


This may be the quote of the year so far. Nice post Spence!!

All Hail!!!

HanburgerBum
09-28-2006, 03:10 AM
Yep, totally missed it, my apologies.


If you are still looking for a Dan Snyder apologist, I am your man.

DS was an agressive, impulsive, inexperienced owner when he first took control. He made a ton of mistakes (signing aging, big name players, hiring Marty, hiring Spurrier). But, Snyder turned all that around when he signed Gibbs and gave him control of football operations. Now, Dan just signs the checks and honors all of Joe's requests. The reason he has become a great owner is because he is willing to spend to win and he has learned to delegate authority.

Also, Snyder was apparently instrumental in effecting the comprise that led to the trust agreement amongst the owners and subsequently the pact with the players. The agreement calls for significant contributions from previously unshared income going from the richer teams to the poorer teams. So, DS acted against his self-interest. Snyder's statesmanship to promote competitive balance and maintain labor peace should not go unappreciated.

As for "peanut-gate", I don't think it's a big deal. Who cares if the Skins sold some stale peanuts? Don't by any next time, if that bothers you. As for the 9/11 hats, it's a mistake to tread on a national tragedy to turn a profit. But, apparently the 9/11 association has been discontinued.

Dan generates huge revenues, but he plows a big chunk of it back into the team. Who else has two assistants making 2 million each? I think it is hypocritical to enjoy the benefits of an ownership willing to spend to win and then whine the first time something as insignificant as stale peanuts hit the fan.

redskin_rich
09-28-2006, 07:20 AM
Dan generates huge revenues, but he plows a big chunk of it back into the team. Who else has two assistants making 2 million each? I think it is hypocritical to enjoy the benefits of an ownership willing to spend to win and then whine the first time something as insignificant as stale peanuts hit the fan.
Snyder may share an interest with the fans in having a successful team but he is also a business man and I believe he puts making money, far and away, above providing the best possible experience for the fans. Furthermore, there are a lot more issues to complain about than wins to celebrate since Snyder has owned this team. I've actually been on the fence about him and defended him here many times but some things I find indefensible.

lakewinola
09-28-2006, 07:55 AM
Like what? He's done one good thing in eight years:


Make that 2 good things. He did add additional port-o-pottys in the parking lots this year.

lakewinola
09-28-2006, 08:03 AM
Make you wonder about how old that hot dog was that you ate 2 weeks ago?

MONK_in_HOF
09-28-2006, 08:31 AM
Snyder may share an interest with the fans in having a successful team but he is also a business man and I believe he puts making money, far and away, above providing the best possible experience for the fans. Furthermore, there are a lot more issues to complain about than wins to celebrate since Snyder has owned this team. I've actually been on the fence about him and defended him here many times but some things I find indefensible.

These are my feelings as well. In some cases I am 100% behind Snyder and back him all the way, other instances make me scratch my head and wonder. I like the fact that Snyder is willing to spend to improve the team and that he is truly a Skins fan. But I also think he takes advantage of the faithful fanbase and revenue is a priority over these fans that drive this revenue.

HanburgerBum
09-28-2006, 02:10 PM
Snyder may share an interest with the fans in having a successful team but he is also a business man and I believe he puts making money, far and away, above providing the best possible experience for the fans. Furthermore, there are a lot more issues to complain about than wins to celebrate since Snyder has owned this team. I've actually been on the fence about him and defended him here many times but some things I find indefensible.


Well, to me, the most important function of an owner is to do whatever it takes to win. And, that generally involves a willingness to spend and the ability to hire the right people and letting them do the job. The rest is BS and irrelevant. I believe Dan Snyder is now a great owner, very much like Jack Kent Cooke used to be.

It's true that going to the stadium has often proven to be a hassle. But, I don't know if there is any good way to avoid it. When you go from a 55,000 seat venue to a 92,000 seat venue, it is virtually impossible to improve on individual seating, on traffic, on parking, etc.

Prices are high (tickets, parking and concessions), but how would the Skins lead the League in revenues otherwise?

I have come to accept the high cost and hassle as part of being a winning NFL franchise. Now, if the Skins turn losers again, I may change my mind.

redskin2117
09-28-2006, 03:36 PM
Just business at its finest. I'm not surprised at all. I wouldn't make Snyder the exception though. The guy's greedy and when people have that trait it runs the show. I believe the exception is a billionare with deeply ingrained attributes of honesty and integrity. If someone gets between them and their money- LOOK OUT! I wish I could make it out to see a game. I'd pay for the tickets, the parking and whatever else, but I sure as hell won't be eating any peanuts.