- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 30, 2001

And so it ended. The competitive portion of the Washington Redskins' season couldn't survive the playoff-bound Chicago Bears, Washington once again treating "home" like the wrong kind of four-letter word. A trick play here, a defensive stop there, and (big surprise) too little Redskins scoring everywhere stamped out Washington's playoff hopes once and for all.
Now Marty Schottenheimer, the first-year coach and director of player operations, is on the hot seat. Owner Dan Snyder is itching to get back into player-picking, and to do that he's prepared to strip Schottenheimer's personnel duties.
Thus Washington is at a turning point. Continued control for Marty, or Snyder as Jerry Jones? Beat writers Rick Snider and Jody Foldesy of The Washington Times, worn down by another long season but eager to sample the shooters on Bourbon Street, investigate what Danny Boy is thinking.
Foldesy: Rick, I don't know how the players are going to give 100 percent against the Saints. I can't even find 10 percent for myself. I'm ready for the Redskins' season to just end.
Snider: Is this your way of getting out of your share of doing the notes? You hit the sophomore wall. A nine-year beat guy like myself knew when to bag it on the second day of training camp.
Foldesy: The worst thing is that the offseason is shaping up to be a total mess. Snyder and Schottenheimer will battle for power, everyone will be worrying about his job and there won't be any clear vision.
Snider: Mr. Magoo is eagle-eyed compared to this muddied picture.
Foldesy: What's Snyder thinking anyway?
Snider: Maybe we should go find out.
(Snider and Foldesy sneak through Redskin Park to owner Dan Snyder's office. The doorway is shrouded by a thick haze of cigar smoke, giving them cover as they observe Snyder in a discussion with minority owner Fred Drasner.)
Drasner: So what I'm thinking, Dan, is to have a black van pull up to the park next week, have a bunch of thugs jump Marty as he's leaving for the night and voila! problem solved.
Snyder: Come on, Fred, be serious
Drasner: I am. And then we could have another black van come back for each of Marty's assistants. Let's see, there's two more Schottenheimers, Jimmy, Joe …
Snyder: Fred, we're not getting any black vans. You're being far too aggressive. I just want to be able to pick my own players again.
Drasner: Or we could create a trail of food from Marty's office deep into the woods out back. Maybe if he's real hungry, he'll follow it and never come back.
Snyder: Fred, stop it.
Drasner: We could make the trail with nice Gouda, you think? Or some liver pate? I bet Marty goes wild for liver pate.
Snyder: That's enough!
Drasner: Fine. What do you suggest we do?
Snyder: What we really need around here are some more exciting players. Some Pro Bowl guys. Donnell Bennett? I paid him a half mil this year, and I don't even know what position he plays. Kevin Lockett? How many career touchdowns does he have?
Drasner: Uh, two?
Snyder: Heck if I know. He only makes three-quarters of a million. But how many touchdowns does Jerry Rice have?
Drasner: A million-billion.
Snyder: Precisely. A million-billion. We would win more games if we had a guy who scored a million-billion touchdowns.
Drasner: And then there's Tony Banks.
Snyder: Who could forget him? He throws interceptions. I don't see Troy Aikman or Steve Young throwing any interceptions.
Drasner: Well, actually, they're retired.
Snyder: But they've got arms, don't they? There you go: Marty's worthless as a GM. He doesn't even consider guys who are retired.
Drasner: So who do we bring in to run personnel?
Snyder: Got me. Who do we know that has some good football knowledge? Who's been around the game for a while?
(Drasner's and Snyder's eyes light up simultaneously.)
Both: Vinny!
(Snyder runs over to his computer, where he knows he can reach former Redskins personnel director Vinny Cerrato, now the chat room guru at ESPN.com. Snyder begins typing furiously.)
Drasner: Uh, Dan, you might want to turn that thing on.
Snyder (glaring): I knew that.
(A few moments pass. Finally Snyder is in the chat room.)
Snyder (typing): Vinny, who should we hire to be GM?
Cerrato: HOw aBoWt me
Snyder: Hmmm. It's all garbled. … (Typing) Not following you. Who should we hire to be GM?
Cerrato: PleeZ hiGHur me bAK
(Snyder pushes the keyboard aside in frustration.)
Snyder: This is worthless. Come on, Fred, what are we going to do?
Drasner: I know. What about Pepper?
Snyder: Pepper as GM? Hmmm. That's just crazy enough to work.
Drasner: No, no. Maybe Pepper could help us find a GM. He's been around the NFL for a while.
Snyder: Yeah, yeah. And then Pepper could fix us some of those grilled cheeses. I'll tell you what, Fred, Pepper makes a fantastic …
(Foldesy, disgusted, drags Snider away from the doorway.)
Foldesy: I've had it, Rick. This franchise is a dud en route to a calamity. And I don't even know why I'm watching the New Orleans game. Saints 28-10.
Snider: I know why I'm watching it: I'll need someplace to go as I stumble off Bourbon Street. That's where the action's at forget the bull roasts in Waldorf. Is it OK to show up without a shirt and with a couple pounds of beads around my neck? Oh yeah, Saints 27-7.

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