During the 23 years I’ve lived up here in Ashburn, Dan Snyder has done plenty of things I’ll never forgive, not the least of being he ran the franchise so horribly, I gave up my season tickets to his team 13 years ago. The quality of the fan experience, team etc. was so bad, it just felt like he was taking our money while laughing at us as suckers.
But now it’s even worse. I’m having to write something to defend him.
It’s not to defend all the cries of how awful a person, owner, or general human being he may be. I’m still on board with all that, but this defense revolves around the notion he’s trying to prevent Jeff Bezos from making a bid on the team, and how horrible that is.
That situation, no matter how much you hate Snyder, does have roots in good business strategy.
Let it be said first that nobody can stop Bezos from making a bid on the team, any more than anybody can stop you from knocking on someone’s door and making an offer to buy their house. In both cases, however, the owner is not obligated to accept the offer. The team is not a public company and he’s the majority owner, so he can do what he wants, even if he takes less money.
But there are two reasons I’d shy away from looking at any offer from Bezos, and both are because he owns the Washington Post. Delete that link and I’d look at it much differently. But as of today, he does own The Post, creating two possible situations that Snyder is probably wary of.
The first involves the bidding process, where it is common practice to be given a package of financials so the potential buyer can see where the good and bad of the organization are. In it will be situations where a business charges exorbitant margins, and in it will also be situations of poor management where big losses have occurred. Potential buyers do due diligence to determine what’s a short-term problem that can be fixed versus a long-term cancer that ends up being a headache the buyer might regret.
This happens every week in this country, but not when the potential buyer owns the local newspaper and doesn’t like you. The odds of any of the bad stuff being coincidentally “leaked” to the newspaper, I’d think is pretty high. Which might be a PR nightmare and potentially lower the value of what you’re selling.
But let’s say Bezos says he doesn’t care and bids without seeing any of the information – also highly unlikely because the NFL would then probably “leak” the information to him – there’s a bigger problem if he got the team.
You could almost set your watch by the 13-part series the Washington Post would then run once they got the team and could look at ALL the data on the organization, from lawsuits to personnel files to finances. It is a rich tradition here in the Nation’s Capital when one regime takes over a position of power to immediately blame any mistakes or shortcomings for the next 10 years on the people who were in power before you. Bezos would almost certainly do this as it’s like receiving a “get out of jail free” card for any future sins that may be committed.
Add in the dislike between Bezos and Snyder and Bezos might use his newspaper to literally bury Snyder. You could see hearings sparked by a salacious series of stories that captures the media’s attention for weeks, with possible criminal charges being filed. If that were to happen, you won’t find many who would serve on a jury with high opinions of Mr. Snyder.
So if I’m Snyder, money is not the problem. The link between Bezos and the Washington Post is the problem, and as much as I absolutely hate to admit it, it’s not a bad business strategy to stay away from the situation.
As mentioned earlier, everything else people say about him I’m totally on board with. But to be fair, he has a reason for trying to box out Bezos in the process.
No matter how dirty I feel for having to point this out.
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i agree in principal with your remarks, but couldn't an NDA of some kind be built into the language of the sale? i don't think Bezos would want to constantly bring up the failures of the Snyder era. it just isn't a good look for him or the organization.
though it seems, Snyder wants to potentially keep a small percentage of the team to pass on to his family. Snyder certainly wouldn't want to share a box with Bezos. so it really comes down to how much $$$ Snyder is willing to pass up vs keeping a share of the team and denying Bezos.