- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 4, 2001

So Redskins owner Dan Snyder said he would give his left arm to win.
"I've been a fan for three decades," Snyder said. "I love the team. If I could give my left arm to win, I would do it."
Why his left arm? What's up with that?
He must fire people with his right arm, so you can understand why he wouldn't want to give that one up. He'll need it soon, when he is forced to sever his relationship and, from all accounts, it's a very close one with the coaching firm of Schottenheimer, Schottenheimer and Schottenheimer.
He could do that with one arm tied behind his back or sacrificed, it's his call.
Snyder pleaded his case for patience Tuesday at the National Press Club, a kinder, gentler version of Snyder than the one who ranted and raved at his coach last year, called players in for private meetings and nearly hired Mister Rogers to be his coach.
Oh, I'm sorry. Salt N' Pepper.
Darn, it was Pepper Rodgers. The Washington Times, we just can't get anything right, can we?
That was the old Dan Snyder. Now that he has taken the playoff-caliber team he inherited and turned it into the laughingstock of the NFL after just two years of ownership, he has gained knowledge, and wisdom, and patience.
He wants all of you to share in that knowledge, wisdom and patience, because if you keep booing Chief Marty and the Schottenheimer tribe, he's going to have to fire a guy he is committed to paying $10 million over four years.
Patience has its price. For Snyder, it's $10 million. For Redskin fans, it's the cost of your season tickets for however long it will take.
"It takes time to put together a winning organization, clearly longer than I anticipated," Snyder said. "Losing's never fun. This Sunday and every Sunday, I want to be competitive. I want to leave it on the field."
He didn't say he wanted to heave on the field. Many Redskins fans do, apparently, which must be the reason why they head for the exits at FedEx Field so quickly these days.
Fear not, though. Snyder is not asking for Job-like patience. Just Gibbs-like patience.
"Marty Schottenheimer's record is impeccable," Snyder said. "I believe in him. We all must have a little more faith than we do. One thing that's definitely being displayed is how fickle fans can be."
If you are a Redskins fan, you should be insulted to high heaven by this crack about fickle fans, coming from this guy, of all people. Doesn't he have any shame?
"Joe Gibbs was 0-5 in his first year here," Snyder said. "We need to give Coach Schottenheimer a little more time."
There you go. If you just wait a little longer two more losses you can expect Gibbs-like results after that.
Unfair? Hey, I'm not the one who invoked the Joe Gibbs comparisons.
"We're all disappointed," Snyder said. "We thought the first few games were some of the easier games on our schedule. We're going to wait to see how things unfold for us this year and in the future. This is about years of winning, not one year. I think we're going to be fine. It's just a matter of time."
I'm surprised he didn't launch into the proverbial, "It's a marathon, not a sprint" coach-talk that I'm sure he's heard from Chief Marty a few times.
Actually, it's been more like a demolition derby under Snyder's ownership.
Someone asked Snyder if he was planning on getting behind the wheel anytime soon, citing the example of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who is that team's personnel boss.
"You all didn't want me to meddle did you? You got what you wanted," he said, reportedly smiling while he said it.
Great. He created the mess, and he thinks it's funny that people wonder if he'll jump back in to save it.
At least Jerry Jones got one Super Bowl championship out of the talent Jimmy Johnson left behind for him before he ran the Cowboys into the ground.
As for Chief Marty, I don't know what to think of this guy who talked about a championship team while tears flowed during the Welcome Home luncheon after training camp ended. Was he just trying to put on a brave front, or did he really believe this team would be competitive?
If it is the former that he was just doing what coaches do I guess that's understandable, although he says things with such authority and so convincingly that he got a lot of people to believe him. That is why there is so much anger consuming Redskins fans these days. They believed in Marty and they feel like they were taken by a con man.
If it is the latter that Chief Marty really believed that this team was going to be competitive then I think the earpieces Chief Marty was wearing while on the ESPN set while he was broadcasting were screwed in a little too tight.
A year ago, Dan Snyder was bragging to The New York Times about his management style of the Redskins. "I want to win fast and now," he said.
Winning slow and later is what he will have to settle for. The patience clock is ticking, getting louder every week.

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