Bill Simmons on Dan Snyder and his Worst American Professional Sports Owner championship belt
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Grantland!
Simmons on Snyder:
So that’s the good news for D.C. football fans. There is hope. Sure, it might take 30-35 years, and you might break your own jaw from punching yourself in the face. But abominable sports owners can’t own teams forever. Maybe they’ll break the law, commit a catastrophic PR blunder, blow their money or drop dead. Maybe they’ll get humiliated and sell. Maybe they’ll lose their franchise because their surgically enhanced mistress/assistant surreptitiously recorded them saying insane things for 930 straight hours. But at some point, it’s ending.
The bad news for D.C. football fans? Daniel Snyder inherited Sterling’s WAPSO belt and mounted an unexpectedly spirited title defense. It’s difficult to separate Snyder’s inherent unlikability from everything else that’s happening here. He carries himself like the sneaky kid in every boarding school drama who pretends to be buddies with everyone else, only when the gang gets in trouble, he’s the first person to flip. (Think Cameron in Dead Poets Society or Jack Wheeler in Outside Providence.) But there have been plenty of unlikable owners; when you’re unlikable AND you’re destroying a beloved franchise, that’s different.
For the first time in franchise history, they’re thinking entirely in question marks. What do we do? How much longer? How do we stop this? When will this end? In general, fans are loyal as hell. We root for laundry and we know it — we don’t care. It’s part of our DNA. We’re always coming back. It’s just one of the things that makes human beings so freaking strange. We’ll divorce people before we divorce our favorite teams.
But an irredeemable owner? That’s the only person who can nudge a fan base to a collective breaking point. When you support a pro team with an unspeakably awful owner, at some point you take a step back, do the math and mutter things like, “I was 19 when he bought the team, I’m 34 right now, and I’m gonna be 54 in 2034 — AND WE ARE STILL GOING TO SUCK BECAUSE THIS GUY F------ SUCKS AND HE’S NEVER LEAVING AND WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO?”
Anytime a sports franchise goes into an unexpected death spiral, I start getting emails from that team’s traumatized fans, as well as everyone else fascinated by such an obviously depressing situation. In general, those emails veer toward one of six mailbag angles.
That's about right. I am a diehard Skins fan and I and all my contemporaries are disconsolate.
I hear you. Simmons points out that it took 30 years to get rid of Donald Sterling and hopefully getting rid of Dan Snyder won't take as long.