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Daniel Snyder Sued Some Skins Fans

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I've generally stayed out of the fray when the topic is Dan Snyder. The man is a new-age mogul with new-age ways that don't always sit well with us old-school types. (Consider him the NFL's Mark Cuban, without the need to let us know what's on his mind every single waking moment.) What do I care if the Washington Redskins owner seems to know nothing about running a successful NFL franchise?

As long as he's not hurting anyone, he's not worth the bother.

Well, according to a well-reported story in the Washington Post, now he's hurting people. Even worse, people who love the 'Skins.

People like Pat Hill, a 72-year-old real estate agent who's been devastated by the collapse of the housing market.

Like Randy Clarno, 51, a developer who was forced to lay off 20 employees.

Like 37-year-old Rodney Hubbard, who lost his salesman job at a car dealership.

Like Dennis Butts, 62, a contractor who once even worked at the 'Skins headquarters.

Synder is hurting these people (and many others) by suing them because – due to various economic circumstances not unlike millions of other Americans are enduring – they could no longer afford their multi-year season-ticket contract and often would agree to a "settlement" they also could not afford.

According to the Post, Synder's Wfi Stadium Inc. sued 125 ticket holders for a total of $3.6 million, winning $2 million in judgments from 34 ticket holders, most of whom couldn't afford an attorney and subsequently didn't show up in court.

The judgement against Hill, who had a 10-year ticket agreement, was $66,364. Clarno lost a judgment for $80,837. Hubbard, $71,000. And Butts, who had four Touchdown Club seats, a whopping $209,351.

This is unconscionable. Where is the outrage over this injustice? Where is Roger Goodell?!

The Redskins' general counsel, David Donovan, bravely spoke to the Post and addressed each of the individuals in the story. He added that suing is a last resort used only against a minuscule portion of the team's 20,000 annual premium seat contract holders. "For every one we sue, I would guess we work out a deal for half a dozen."

I fully understand that many season-ticket holders throughout sports stretch their wallets too far in order to satisfy their passion for their favorite team – just as millions of foreclosed homeowners bought houses they could not afford.

No doubt some of these 'Skins fans were guilty of such blindness, swayed in the midst of the same flush times that caused many of us to make foolish (or at least risky) financial choices.

Still, these times call for more compassionate action, especially by sports franchises, which, unlike banks, have a long-term relationship with their "customer" – often a die-hard, lifelong relationship.

Indeed the Post contacted several teams that said they did not sue fans over season ticket contracts: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants and Jets, Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans.

The New England Patriots and Chicago Bears confessed that they have sued ticket holders. Seven teams declined to comment and others simply did not respond the reporter.

At worst, beleaguered ticket holders should be able to walk away from their ducats without future obligations. Particularly in the NFL where there's rarely an empty seat in the place. In most cities, there will be another willing fan to pay the freight.

To sue a down-on-their-luck fan in the midst of this economic tsunami is perhaps the greatest breach a team can make with its fans.

And that's something no sports team or league can afford right now.

Business is business and if you agree to a contract then you should honor your agreement but this is just bad for football.

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The worst part of that story is that the Redskins have the hardest ticket to get in the league. Those season ticket holders are easily replaceable for Snyder.

Which is probably why he could get away with drawing up contracts for season ticket holders. I'm not a fan of this practice, it should be left up to the ticket holder if they want to renew or not.

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The worst part of that story is that the Redskins have the hardest ticket to get in the league. Those season ticket holders are easily replaceable for Snyder.




RUN, HE'S LOSING A LOT MORE ........ The loyalty of the fan base.

But why should he care? Tyrants don't care about loyalty. B)

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