Master & Commander: Harris Sinks Dan Snyder

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By Captain Ron

In 1999, Dan Snyder bought the Washington Football Franchise from the estate of former owner Jack Kent Cooke. In the beginning, he had the bright eyes of someone looking to make the franchise into something other than an afterthought or a laughingstock. But as time went on, it became clear that Dan Snyder was indeed the cancer of the Washington team that needed to be removed immediately.

But this week, the prayers of all of us football fans were answered.

The Embarrassment of Dan Snyder

After years of controversy, stupidity, ignorant moves and pathetic displays of embarrassment, Dan Snyder has finally been given his walking papers, a move that every owner in the NFL unanimously approved. Snyder had been under the microscope for years concerning his treatment of players, coaches, cheerleaders and even non-playing personnel. But we will get to that part in a moment.

Dan Snyder

The new ownership of the Washington Commanders will be led by Josh Harris and Magic Johnson (yes, that Magic Johnson) and is set to include a price tag of around $6.05 billion. Now this was truly a breath of fresh air that everyone in the NFL needed seeing as how Dan Snyder thought he was untouchable and would never be ousted.

The league itself not only announced the completion of the sale, but they also announced a very hefty fine for Snyder’s troubles, all $60 million of his troubles. Due to his improprieties corroborated via an investigation into workplace culture and business dealings, not to mention an in-person summary from former US Attorney Mary Jo White, it did not take long for the owners to snap back at the barrage of BS threats Snyder dished out prior to the sale.

Back in February of this year, Dan Snyder had threatened to sue the NFL and its owners if they did not grant his indemnification (making him not liable for any legal penalties that could happen later down the road). There were also rumors that Snyder would “utilize dirt” that he claimed to have on every single owner in order to keep possession of a team that wanted him gone to begin with.

Dan Snyder spent a majority of the offseason refusing to answer subpoenas from Congress as well as avoiding any notices to appear in court while he was being investigated for business wrongdoings and conduct unbecoming of an owner. It was also speculated that Snyder allegedly took a $55 million loan out via the franchise but “neglected” to tell his minority owners, let alone receive approval from them. 

Between obscene acts, dirty misdeeds and the fact that he acted like a petulant child all the way to the end, is it any surprise that his only ally came from a division rival? Yes, folks. The only man that came to his rescue (so to speak) was Jerry Jones, owner of the Cowboys and one of the primary reasons why the Rams ended up back in Los Angeles. According to sources close to the encounter, Jones was attempting to negotiate a peace treaty in which Snyder would sell the team and leave without making a bigger ass out of himself. However, we all know this would be complicated for a guy who watched as a bathroom in his home stadium exploded and showered toilet water on fans as if they were at an R. Kelly Concert. 

When Snyder demanded indemnification, he pushed Goodell to his breaking point. In the end, Washington will have good, decent ownership without worrying about the next scandalous lawsuit. And while everyone thinks Snyder has made off like a bandit without any repercussions, keep in mind that this guy will most likely NEVER own an NFL franchise again. And considering there are guys like Kroenke and Johnson who own franchises in almost every sport in the country, it is a pretty good bet that Dan Snyder’s days of tarnishing sports is officially over.

As for the new owners, all appear to have some stake in the franchise either from a business standpoint, sports standpoint, or city standpoint. Besides Harris, who is the principal owner of the Philly 76ers, New Jersey Devils and Crystal Palace of the Premier League, there is David Blitzer who also co-owns the 76ers and Devils, and Mitchell Rales owns a business in Washington, D.C. Harris is also a native of the area as he was born in Chevy Chase, Maryland. 

And of course, the most famous name on this list is Magic Johnson. As of now, Johnson has ownership stakes in the Dodgers, the WNBA’s LA Sparks and MLS’s Los Angeles FC. Johnson even does a little investing in Starbucks franchises as well. To say the least, this MJ is showing others how to invest their money wisely as he now joins the NFL ranks in the hopes of helping this franchise get back to the dominance it had in the 90s.

Commanders

Now granted, it may seem like a pipe dream, but as we have stated in earlier pieces, the Commanders can get back to that dominance, and with the troll finally gone, it is safe to say that the front office is happy, the team is happy, the new owners are happy and most of all, the fans are ecstatic! But we won’t know how this sale turns out in the long run until the team takes the field under their new banner. When you think about it, if the D.C. Defenders can make it to the show, why can’t the Commanders?

If the pieces come together, whether it’s this year, next year or a few years down the road, Washington could be seeing greener pastures without the stench of Dan Snyder lingering in their broken stadium. Here’s to hoping they get that right soon as well.

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