As the Washington Commanders prepare to enter the national spotlight tonight on Amazon, a new report from ESPN puts the team’s owner in the crosshairs. Again.
ESPN.com has published a lengthy and detailed article about Daniel Snyder. It surely was carefully vetted by lawyers and calculated to be published today, as the Commanders prepare to visit the Bears on Thursday Night Football. The story also will resonate into next week, when the league’s owners gather in New York for a quarterly meeting.
Often in #longreads, finding the best stuff requires the patience of Job and/or an electron microscope. In this one, the most telling information, in my assessment, comes at the very top of the article.
“Cradling a drink in one hand,” the article explains, “[Snyder] tells members of his inner circle about the dirt he has accumulated on fellow owners, coaches, executives, even his own employees — all the stuff he’s learned from other sources, including private investigative firms. He never says exactly what he knows, only that in his 23 years as owner of the Washington Commanders, he knows a lot. And that in the zero-sum world of billionaires, this is how you survive. Snyder recently told a close associate that he has gathered enough secrets to “blow up” several NFL owners, the league office and even commissioner Roger Goodell. . . . ‘They can’t fuck with me,’ he has said privately.”
That meshed with something I’ve said and written on multiple occasions. They are afraid of Snyder. They’re afraid of what he knows, and of what he will do with that knowledge. Some believe that Snyder, one of the few people in possession of the notorious Jon Gruden emails, leaked those items to the media. If that’s true, Snyder quite possibly intended it to be a warning to anyone else who would try, in his words, to fuck with him.
The report comes at a time when a Congressional probe apparently is moving toward its conclusion, and when the NFL has commissioned another investigation of Snyder. The letter his lawyer sent last week to the House Oversight Committee shows that Snyder is girding for a fight. If he will indeed fight dirty, that’s reason for the league to press pause before trying to gather the 24 votes needed to activate the eject button.