Posted from Curmudgeon Corner, Maine
Much discussion about General Managers on Redskins fan boards these days… it’s pretty much a (note: I said “a” not “the”) common denominator.
There are the “Gotta get Holmgren now” variety (not sure what the fascination with Holmgren as GM is… it’s not like Seattle was beating up on anybody except the western division and the ‘skins during the time he was doubling up as Coach/GM). During that Superbowl year, they were fortunate to be the best team in a pathetically bad Conference. Mention this, and his supporters tend to just kind of hope you go away…
I’ve observed the rare “Ron Wolfe is available” comments… but I think that most ‘skins fans are aware that Wolfe really has better things to do than defend his turf from the owner’s tinkering. Dude’s retired, folks… let it go.
KazooSkinsFan, one of the members of The Hogs.net said:
“Sure, a new owner with no experience is going to come in and operate like one of the best owners ever (JKC) at his most experienced. Yet that has been the standard ignoring that Snyder has grown. Snyder is no JKC, but few are and he’s not as bad as he’s portrayed.”
Now, this is an interesting point of view, and who would dispute that Jack Kent Cooke was a much better owner than Daniel Snyder? I mean, really, Jack Kent Cooke DID own the team through 4 Super Bowls, 3 of which were victories. When you think of Cooke, it is invariably with some fond sentiment… “If only we could have an owner like him again.” Sigh.
But, read up on him, a bit. He was intrusive, cantankerous, and argumentative. He had a temper. Early on, there was lots of reason to think he would just kind of hang around and tinker a bit, you know, mess things up. But, that’s not what history records. Mention his name to a fan, and you’ll get a smile. Yet, the main difference between him and Daniel Snyder has nothing to do with ego, arrogance, experience, knowledge, intelligence, or even skill as a manager.
The main difference between them was Bobby Beathard. Bottom line, case closed, end of story. JKC is the beloved, championship standard for owners of the Washington Redskins only because he had the wisdom to hire *AND TRUST* a general manager. It certainly didn’t hurt that he was one of the most skilled general managers in NFL history, but that’s it in a nutshell. Beathard had to sell Joe Gibbs to Cooke. And had Beathard not been on the scene in ‘81, during that horrible start, word was that Gibbs would have been gone. Cooke had no patience (sound like someone we know?) Yet, he had the intelligence to know that, if the team was to prosper, both competitively and financially, he had to entrust the team to a professional. The result was the decade that we love to remember… and, oh, by the way, the marketing jugernaut that continues to provide the foundation for the money making machine that Snyder enjoys to this day.
If Snyder wants any shot at ever becoming the future, fondly-remembered owner of the Redskins, there is but one possible solution. If he truly wants to bring a championship back to Washington, it has to start with hiring a real GM… Heck, I’ll bet that (if he asked really nicely) that he could even get a starter list of quality candidate names from Gil Brandt, who seems to have his finger pretty much everywhere that football is spoken.
Then, hire the best one and get out of the way.