- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 16, 2002

The Boy Owner is an itty-bitty fellow who is said to understand what is really important.
He is said to have had an epiphany following a medical scare last summer and he possibly had another epiphany following September 11, and now he has fired another coach and hired another coach, and all is right in the world.
The Boy Owner will get around to passing along the cost of his latest impudent acts to the consumer, and this, too, will be packaged as something wonderful, possibly essential to everyone's quality of life.
It seems the Boy Owner is eternally misunderstood, one of the most misunderstood figures ever, according to the spin doctors in town who feel a nauseating connection to the local football team.
The Boy Owner eventually fires everyone in his midst, however misunderstood the firing process is, except to the person being fired. He discards people with amazing efficiency, and they are always better for the experience, according to those familiar with his thinking, moods, favorite movies and books, hobbies and pet peeves. Maybe he collects stamps. Good for him if he does.
The politically correct crowd in the city suppresses its urge to be outraged by the Boy Owner's corporate behavior, the ruthlessness of it all. He is our CEO, after all, and off-the-record access is essential. Besides, we can't all be touchy-feely.
The Boy Owner is only out to build a winner, and winning is what it is all about, in particular winning a football game. He is hardly the Napoleonic sort he is made out to be by the sports world beyond the District. He is a good guy who gives at the office and helps little, old ladies cross busy intersections. Why, he is "bursting with enthusiasm," as one local paragon of insight wrote.
That is what all the team's ex-employees say. He is "bursting with enthusiasm," especially when it comes to issuing pink slips.
One of the perceptual differences between Peter Angelos and the Boy Owner is based on geography. One is theirs, the other ours. The geography allows Angelos to be an easy target in Washington.
The Boy Owner's latest attempt to build a winner has resulted in the arrival of Steve Spurrier, a college football genius who demonstrated he could recruit with the best at Florida. How that translates to the NFL is hard to say. That is not the point in January.
Spurrier has an appealing spirit about him, a certain good-old-boy grit that will play well if he wins an acceptable number of games. If not, he will be just another good old boy who benefited from the man's system.
Either way, Marty Schottenheimer won't be missed. He was as dull as his offense, stoic to the end, exhibiting all the life of the faces on Mount Rushmore. Don't cry for him, Washington. He was compensated well. His one season as a caretaker came out to $1.25 million a victory, not counting the salaries earned by all his relatives.
Cry for your wallet instead, Washington. The Boy Owner probably will come up with a new money-making gimmick to soften the economic impact of the Schottenheimer clan.
Anyone interested in buying the balled-up tape used by actual members of the Redskins in actual NFL-sanctioned endeavors? You can store the tape in a safe place, look at it when you have friends over to your home and even request to have it at your side after you part from earth. The 72 virgins may not be impressed with the souvenir tape, but that's the chance you take.
Give the Boy Owner credit. He tries really, really hard. He is not much on tradition or proven models of success, this we know. The Redskins used to be one of the storied franchises of the NFL under the steady stewardship of Jack Kent Cooke, and now, in only three seasons of the Boy Owner, they are the object of snickering around the nation.
The Boy Owner apparently follows the Vietnam War strategy. He blows up the franchise to save it. This qualifies as inspiration in these parts and a gag line everywhere else. The upheaval is lots of fun from a distance, plus a way for the franchise to remain somewhat relevant around Michael Jordan, Jaromir Jagr and Tony Cheng.
The Boy Owner's newfound perspective is fascinating, given what we know now, and never mind if it has the hint of business as usual. We are obligated to hyperventilate in his honor. He may get lucky one of these seasons.
Spurrier, who is 0-0 in the NFL, is the luckiest newcomer to the area, all smiles with his lottery-like contract. The staggering sum reflects the meddling that comes with the position.
It is bound to be entertaining, as football, win or lose, is intended to be. No spin doctoring is necessary on that count.

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