Monday, September 21, 2009

It was a dark and stormy night

Scene: The palatial Potomac mansion of Redskins
owner Daniel Snyder.

The wee small hours of Sunday night. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder sits alone in his private office after his Redskins have just crushed the St. Louis Rams, 9-7. He has just finished watching the Giants win the inaugural game at the new $1.2 billion Dallas Cowboys stadium. As he looks out the french doors, he see the black Potomac River slinking down to the Chesapeake Bay. His view is unimpeded by any of those pesky trees that used to be there.

He is still visibly upset by the fans booing the Redskins after a win. He is even more upset that Jerry Jones has a newer, bigger, and far nicer stadium than his. And that the ungrateful fans are selling carloads of tickets on the secondary market.

He hears the faint sound of distant thunder.

Snyder: Funny, I don't recall any rain in the weather forecast.

Suddenly, there is a brilliant flash of lightning and an ear-shattering crash of thunder. The lights flicker briefly before the 100 gigawatt generator kicks in. Three men are in the room. One is a long, lean Texan drinking a cup of coffee.

The second is a large Italian looking man with a glass of red wine.

The third man looks familiar to Snyder. He is dapper, rather elderly man. He is sitting in Snyder's favorite chair. He is holding a martini glass in his right hand, and has an unbelievably beautiful young woman sitting in his lap. The young woman has a full glass of champagne in one hand.

Snyder: Who are you? What are you? What are you doing here?

Jack Kent Cooke: Why Daniel, how quickly you forgot our last meeting. I'm disappointed. Allow me to introduce my friends. The gentleman drinking coffee is Sammy Baugh, of course. (Baugh nods). The gentleman to my left is Vince Lombardi. (Lombardi also nods).

Snyder. That's nice, but does this have to do with me?

Cooke: Daniel, Daniel, Daniel. I'm so disappointed in you. We're the Immortals. We're the men who made the Washington Redskins great.

Lombardi: We're not all here yet, Jack. George Preston Marshall is having his wife re-write Hail to the Redskins. I think they're trying to find a word to rhyme with "mediocrity". And Edward Bennett Williams is looking for ways to keep the Supreme Court from ruling on the Redskins copyright.

But the reason we're here is because we are not happy with the state of the Redskins. Life in Valhalla is not much fun when we have to take abuse from the other Immortals. It's no fun getting a free cruise on the S.S. Raft of Grief from George Halas and Tom Landry. When Immortals get angry at you mortals, well, you can imagine the consequences. If you want a seat at the table with us, then you have to be willing to pay the price.

A fourth man enters the room. He has a dish of ice cream in one hand, and is licking the thumb of his free hand.

Lombardi: George, you're late! Dammit, George, if you were working for me, if you're not ten minutes early you'd be five minutes late!

Allen: Sorry, Vince. Man, this is great ice cream. Thanks, Danny.

Cooke: So there you have it. The greatest player, the greatest dead coach, and greatest might-have-been in the history of the Redskins.

Baugh: Greatest owner, too, Jack.

Cooke smiles, modestly.

Allen: See, Danny, the fans can overlook the miserable parking, that idiot Mark Kessler on the P.A., the horrible rap music with the volume on 12 and the so-called "jumbotron". It's the losing, Danny. It doesn't hurt enough.

Snyder: That's where you're wrong, George. It hurts me a lot to lose.

Allen: Does it feel like part of you dies inside? Not your lungs or kidneys, but something like your spleen or appendix? If it doesn't feel like that, then it doesn't hurt enough. Does it feel like someone just cut out your spleen with a spoon and a Swiss Army knife?

Snyder: Well, no, come to think of it.

Lombardi: You're not making the real effort to win. You keep Vinnie on the payroll and he's either not capable or not being allowed to make football decisions the way a GM should. Build the team from within like the Steelers or the Patriots. George and I were our own GMs, but Jack had the sense to hire guys like Bobby Beathard. This isn't fantasy football, it's the NFL. With a career record of 79-88, it's pretty obvious your methods aren't working.

Snyder: Vinnie's my guy. He can see me anytime. We work great together.

Lombardi: Quid violentius aure tyranni.

Snyder: What?!?

Lombardi: "It is dangerous to have the ear of tyrants". It's from Juvenal. (pause). Jesuit education.

There is another lightning flash and crash of thunder. The lights go out again. When they come on again, Snyder is waking up.

Snyder: Whoa, man. Gotta lay off that Redskins chile. That was a heckuva nightmare.

He see the empty glasses and ice cream dish and is startled.

Snyder: I wonder how those got there. Kids must have left them.

To be continued..........

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