After another season with double-digit losses, their fifth in six years, the Redskins need more than just a rebuild. In a perfect world, there would be a knock on the door in Ashburn, Dan Snyder would look nervously through the peephole, and Harvey Keitel would be standing there, ready to Do What He Does. The scene would go something like this:
A cleaner! That’s what the Redskins could use. Because, let’s face it, much of this “organization” is beyond saving, beyond even donating. Better to just dissolve it in hydrochloric acid — or whatever Harvey’s chosen solvent is — and start over.
It’s all a pipe dream, of course. The Redskins never really start over. They just change the curtains on the Titanic and head off in search of another iceberg. Fire the coach? Bring in a genuine general manager? Turn over two-thirds of the roster? What difference does it make unless you can also find a way to lock the owner in a broom closet? The team, after all, is Snyder’s toy. If he wants to leave it out in the rain, there’s only so much anyone can do about it.
A better question is: How can an owner like this even exist? Snyder, you see, is only part of the problem. The other part is the league itself, an enterprise so profitable that even a stumblebum like Dan can make money — and see the value of his franchise go up and up.
In the real world, a business that has been run as cluelessly and soullessly as the Redskins would end up filing for Chapter XI — or else be absorbed by a less clueless, less soulless competitor. But here we are, 16 years later, and Snyder is still behind the wheel, just like Jim Backus in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World:
(Bruce Allen, meet Buddy Hackett.)
That’s Dan Snyder’s true genius. He sank his fortune into a venture that’s 100 percent Dan Snyder-proof! Well, maybe not 100 percent. The occasional miracle does happen in the NFL (as fans in the Music City can attest). That’s pretty much what it would take, though, for anyone other than Daniel M. Snyder to be signing the Redskins’ checks in the foreseeable future.
Which brings us back to Harvey Keitel. Are you with me on this?