The little man with the gold bouillon probably could not resist. Tom Cruise was for sale. So what does a billionaire squirt who already owns an NFL team, a theme park, media companies, and a few dozen yes men do next to feel important? He purchases a movie star, of course.
|Snyder -- with Cruise at his side -- may find winning a title is Mission Impossible. (Getty Images)|
When Cruise was blasted from his $10 mil per Paramount Pictures deal, Snyder could not resist. "Ooooh, goody," he probably thought, "another toy for the collection."
It was Monday Night Football, which meant eyeballing cameras, sweaty paparazzi, and a raucous, plucky arena. Snyder rolled out his new man-toy unable to resist the spotlight and jammed his box with other worshipping celebrities including Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace (isn't there a war on?).
Then Snyder's team did what it has mostly done since Snyder purchased it and jammed it predominantly with bad free-agent signings and big-name has-beens: It lost.
What will happen first?
Hell freezes over
Tom Cruise wins an Oscar
Dan Snyder wins a Super Bowl with the 'Skins
Total Votes: 11,328
TomKat's appearance at the Minnesota-Washington game exemplifies why Snyder will never win a championship. Never, ever, never. That is the most stone cold lock of a football guarantee ever made.
Snyder has celebrity deficit disorder. He cares more about the hype and the stars than he does taking the time to patiently grow a successful football franchise. He cares more about squashing his critics in the media (he counterattacks writers through the team's official website) or trying to buy them off (he purchased his own fan website and radio stations). Snyder employees, I believe, pose as fans and blast media members on various message boards.
While Hall of Famers like the Rooney family, the late Wellington Mara or future Hall of Famer Robert Kraft focused on building teams the proper way, Snyder has always cared more about which A-lister is sitting where in his box. The welfare of the league, small markets, salary cap manifestations. Forget it. He's not interested.
The late Mara once told me, when asked if he had ever met Snyder: "Yes, we've met. I wouldn't use the word charming with him, but he's been fine." Mara continued, "I don't agree with a lot of what he has done, and I don't want to get specific about what I don't like. He is entitled to do what he wants because he paid $800 million for the team. A lot of us old fogeys wish we had made as much money as he has at that age. But I wonder if he is the type of person who will only look out for himself, instead of the well-being of the entire league."
Mara made those remarks some time back but they still hold true today.
One of the most stunning stories in football over the past several years is while Snyder has turned his team into a giant ATM off the field, on the field, this once fearsome, hungry franchise has been transformed into a slobbering herbivore.
The league needs Washington to be good the way it needs New York teams or Green Bay to be competent. The franchise is too important to the NFL. When it stinks, the league just is not the same.
If you grow up in D.C., you cherish this team. You dress up in their garb and live and die with them. I still have all of my Washington gear: the gloves, the jacket, the wool hat. It's now somewhere in a box and will emerge again only once Snyder sells the team. Or Cruise wins an Academy Award.