With a salary cap, a draft system that rewards the worst and penalizes the best, and rules that strive to create competitive balance, it’s hard to find consistency in the NFL.
That’s why it’s refreshing to know that the team in the nation’s capital is exactly and precisely as functional and focused off the field as on.
Today was supposed to be the debut of “The Man Cave,” on ESPN 980. That’s only interesting because the show was going to be hosted by former Washington Post beat writer Jason Reid, on the station owned by team owner Daniel Snyder.
As is sometimes the case in team-newspaper relationships when the team in question stinks and the newspaper does not, not everyone in the front office was a fan of Reid’s work. Though to the best of our research, he never once got the score of a game wrong, during a stretch when they had exactly one winning season in a seven-year span (40-72).
So this is where it gets interesting.
The show never did go on the air this morning. According to local media blog DCRTV.com, the show was canceled yesterday, and program director Chuck Sapienza (who presumably created the show and hired the talent) was fired as well.
Reid now works at ESPN.com, though his Twitter bio still lists him as the host of that show that never made the air this morning.
According to Dan Steinberg of the Post, a team source said the “widespread perception” was that top team officials “were miffed by the hiring of Reid, a sometimes harsh critic of the team in recent years.”
Because the team has been pretty bad lately, the local talk radio circuit doesn’t have a lot of positive to latch onto. Having done a little radio, let me tell you, there’s only so many times you can rehash that fabled 2005 playoff win, since there hasn’t been another one to go with it since then.
And while no one else has been fired from ESPN 980, it hardly seems coincidental that team president Bruce Allen did an interview on rival station 106.7 The Fan last week.
Perhaps there’s far more to this one than meets the eye.
But boy, on the surface, it sure looks like exactly what it looks like.