Someday, in the near future -- perhaps the very near future -- someone out there is going to make the fateful decision to come to
Washington, D.C. Landover, Md., and agree to coach Dan Snyder's football team, the one with the racist name I try not to type anymore. That person will almost certainly eventually regret making that choice, but the choice to work for Dan Snyder and coach his football team will be made, by someone, all the same.
I am here to help that person, as best I can.
On Dec. 29, not long after former Washington coach Mike Shanahan was dispatched to his uncertain future at the end-of-the-season Red Wedding that took place behind closed doors and covered windows, The Washington Post's Mike Jones put together a list of the possible damned:
The list of prospective coaches is expected to include former Super Bowl winners Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden and less-accomplished former coaches such as Ken Whisenhunt and Lovie Smith. Up-and-coming offensive coordinators Jay Gruden of Cincinnati, Greg Roman of San Francisco and Darrell Bevell of Seattle also could draw consideration, as could longtime NFL assistant and former Redskins player Russ Grimm.
That was just the start of those who might be receiving a call from Dan Snyder, and since then, the ESPN alert on my phone has sounded a toll for some of these men and others.
Are you one of the people getting that call? And what are you getting into, potentially? Well, as I mentioned before, there's the whole racism thing. There's also a fan base that's on the edge of being broken permanently, based upon the quality of play that they've seen on the field of late. It won't be as easy as it should be to improve that quality, either. Washington is going to finally come out from under a salary cap penalty meted out by the league, but the deal made to draft quarterback Robert Griffin III will cost Washington a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft.
You should know that Snyder is basically an idiot and a life-ruiner, who surrounds himself with the dumbest yes-men available on LinkedIn. His utterly moronic PR chief, Tony Wyllie, is the guy who convinced Snyder that suing Washington City Paper over an old Dave McKenna article, which few outside the Washington metro area read, was a good idea. As a result, the article became Internet famous. Then, Snyder filed papers to dismiss his own lawsuit. But before it all collapsed, Wyllie, like the super-genius he is, attended an "Ethics in Sports Media" panel at Philip Merrill College and, in front of a room full of people, essentially admitted that the lawsuit was, in fact, a "strategic lawsuit against public participation" (or SLAPP). He did so even though D.C. -- the venue in which the trial was scheduled -- had recently passed one of the most stringent anti-SLAPP laws in the country.
Together, they have made the Washington football team's front office a fever swamp of leaked recriminations and constant bullshit.
And based upon what the Post's Sally Jenkins was reporting Monday, starting quarterback Griffin, who not long ago was held out as the franchise's redeemer, has succumbed wholesale to the ugly interpersonal dysfunction for which the team is known. Her story tells a dark tale of a once "immensely likable, unpretentious kid," who has since edged closer to becoming a cancer in the locker room, with Snyder serving as his enabler. (Snyder, who is friendsies with Tom Cruise, took Griffin to see the Cruise flick "Oblivion" during the offseason, which both seems fitting and serves as your distant early warning of that future date when Griffin announces he's a Scientologist.)
To any or all of you would-be future coaches, here are some of the things that people are saying about the Washington football team. Jenkins writes, "The Redskins have always suffered from chronic organizational deformities under Snyder, but never this badly." She adds, "The new coach will be twice-hamstrung before he walks in the door." The Post's Thomas Boswell writes, "What Washington has endured for 14-plus years of the Daniel Snyder era is a morbid laboratory experiment in mass alienation of football affection."
Washington's football team is so much like North Korea (diminutive tyrant at the reins, "official history" being pumped by idiot-flacks, pure and abject hopelessness everywhere you look) that I shouldn't be surprised to see Dennis Rodman playing basketball with it sometime soon.
So, then, the question becomes: Who is best suited to wade into this diseased trough of failure and make a go of it? A veteran coach with a Super Bowl pedigree? An agile and innovative young coordinator whose time for promotion has come? A college football coach who wants his shot at the big time? The answer, of course, is none of these people. If you have an established reputation for football excellence, Washington is the place that will destroy that, utterly. If you are looking to move up in the coaching ranks, your time under Snyder's employ will be lost years, after which you'll have to start over. And while there are many non-Steve Spurrier coaches who are ready to handle the NFL, many of them are not ready to handle what you will be handed in D.C.
However, amid all of Dan Snyder's terrible qualities, there is one thing -- and only one thing -- that he truly excels at and that you, as a prospective coach, might take advantage of: The man is an anthropomorphic ATM. By God, he will overpay for anything. Multiple past-their-prime veteran players have made great use of this quality. And you, the future coach of the Washington football team, can do so as well, if you've the right mind for it. But you mustn't think of yourself as a football coach. Coaching the team should be your secondary -- maybe even tertiary -- concern.
You don't want to be a Lion Of The Gridiron. You want to be a Wolf Of Wall Street.
That's right! Let Jordan Belfort be your lodestar in this endeavor. What you want to do as Dan Snyder's employee is turn coaching Washington football into the most elaborate pump-and-dump scheme in the history of professional sports. You want to get in, get out, and haul off a boatload of money. You need only be a little bit concerned with the quality of the product you enable -- three of the last four Washington coaches attained a lowly .375 record. That's a 6-10 season. Very doable. Greg Schiano's record at Tampa Bay was .344, and he is a blithering goober.
And the good news here is that you, as Snyder's prospective coach, have him over a barrel. He is going to have to pay top dollar to get someone to agree to come work in his Augean stables. Absolutely no one who is thinking about coaching this team should settle for anything less than what the market offers the best paid coach in the league, plus some. And you should negotiate super-generous guarantees on top of that. Mike Shanahan made out pretty well. He was dismissed with a year remaining on his contract, entitling him to $7 million just to take it on the arches and get on with the rest of his life.
I'm guessing that you can do even better if you put your mind to it. But you have to come at it with the right attitude. Get paid, get out, get paid some more, aim a salty grin and a raised middle finger at FedEx Field, and then buy a big boat or something and die happy.
With any luck, this article will be sufficient to scare off any prospective coaches who may be of the mind to sincerely try -- with clear eyes and a full heart -- to turn this team around. Because that's not going to happen anytime soon. I'm doing them a huge favor by warning them to stay away. And I'm doing you a huge favor by keeping those do-gooders out of the competition for Dan Snyder's wallet.
I wish you the best of luck, future coach of the Washington football team. By God, I hope you milk Dan Snyder like a bloated goat. And if somewhere down the line, maybe three years from now, if you want to remember this time I did you a solid ... well, I shouldn't mind that at all.
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