Last night, for the 19th year in a row, the Washington Redskins did not play in the Super Bowl. But that's not to say the team is starved for direction. Just last week, on the heels of the club's sixth losing season since 2000, less-than-beloved team owner Daniel M. Snyder filed a $2 million lawsuit against the Washington City Paper and its parent company over reporter Dave McKenna's November cover story "The Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide To Daniel Snyder," claiming the artwork (a picture of Snyder with devil horns and a menacing goatee doodled on in magic marker) is "an anti-Semitic caricature." (City Paper managing editor Mike Madden responded on the paper's website: "The image of Snyder doesn't look like an 'anti-Semitic caricature' -- it looks like a devil.")
Snyder's lawsuit, with accompanying high-profile statement of support from the Simon Wiesenthal Center stating the image has connotations with "virulent anti-Semitism going back to the Middle Ages, deployed by the genocidal Nazi regime, by Soviet propagandists, and even in 2011 by those who still seek to demonize Jews" is indicative of the big-splash thinking that has hindered Snyder's football decisions in the 12 years he bought the team. Tablet magazine's Marc Tracy remembers a time when the Redskins were more interested in knocking out Eagles and Giants than urban alt-weeklies.
The first Super Bowl I remember was Super Bowl XXVI.The Redskins won that one—because that’s what the Redskins used to do, win Super Bowls. Instead of picking fights with small alternative newspapers and a gadfly sportswriter, maybe Snyder should be devoting more of his time to figuring out how to get back in the winning-Super-Bowls business. I think he’ll find he’ll be killing two birds with one stone: When you win, you don’t really care what anybody says about you.
Super Bowl XXII
Former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs