There’s a brouhaha, er, brewing that involves a small Washington, DC, newspaper, one of its columnists, and the owner of the Washington Redskins, Daniel Snyder. Google it if you want the gory details, but in essence, the columnist snarked in the Washington City Paper about The Danny, and The Danny just sued the Washington City Paper for $2,000,000 smackeroos. To put that amount in perspective, two million bucks is a little more than four times what the President of the United States pulls down in salary and expenses, and 1/50th what Mr. Snyder allotted in 2009 to hire one of his current employees, Albert Haynesworth.
Mr. Haynesworth, a defensive lineman by trade, has not worked out well for his employers. Among other things, he was suspended for the last four games of the season for—I don’t want to get too legalistic here—being an asshat, and just got charged with a road rage assault on a civilian.
In reporting that event, a blog called “Bleacher Report” said today:
"After signing a stunning $100 million deal in 2009, Haynesworth has underperformed on the field and has been part of an ongoing feud with Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan.
“Having been paid $32 of the $41 million guaranteed in his contract…."
This gave me an idea. My plan would enable Mr. Snyder to get back all the money he gave to Mr. Haynesworth and then some, and allow him to back down from his lawsuit against the newspaper. Why retreat? Because of the old journalistic saying: “You can’t win a war of words with an entity that buys ink by the carload.” The story, which had all but disappeared from the consciousness of those few aware of it when published last November, is in the process of turning viral and becoming a national hot button item. So there’s the bad press aspect that should discourage Snyder.
And suing someone who writes in fluent Snark just encourages fellow Snarkettes to out-Snark the original Snarker. (This links to just one example of what I can assure you will be many yet to come.)
Another issue. The lawyers who originally contacted the newspaper used some words that could be interpreted as a threat. The message was: either do what we want, or we will force you to spend so much money defending yourself, it isn’t financially worth it. Whether that was actually a threat, or falls under the wide-bodied umbrella of legal maneuvering, I don’t know. I do know good journalists do not cower from three specific threats: To “cancel my subscription,” to “write an angry letter to your editor,” or to “put you out of business.” The last named really tends to raise the hackles of journalists to the fully erect position. If enough journalists believe Mr. Snyder and his legal team meant their strategy to be a financial intimidation tactic, well let’s just say they may well go to the mattresses. (If you’ve ever slept in a mattress-strewed room full of journalists, you know how unpleasant that can be.)
Plus, even if he wins, Mr. Snyder won’t earn much from City Paper--which presumably has libel insurance.
I have a better suggestion: Assuming Mr. Snyder maintains "Bad Decision Insurance” on management of the Redskins—and Lord knows he should--he might be wiser to sue himself over the Haynesworth Deal.
Treble damages of $96 mil (three times what he’s spent on Haynesworth to date) would be a much nicer sum than anything he'd get from the newspaper lawsuit, and since it could be settled in house, it would mean less bad publicity for all parties concerned and significant savings in legal fees.
Maybe he could skip the lawyers altogether and just hire that chick from the TV show "Fairly Legal" to Mediate?
Anyway, think it over, will you?
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The previous commentary is not a serious suggestion by Mr. Corcoran, author of this piece, but is Satire, protected under the Constitution of the United States of America and Free Speech provisos of the Bill of Rights. It is not meant to be criticism of Dan Snyder, a fine human being, or any dumb decisions allegedly made by said fine human being.
If however, Mr. Snyder or any of his employees or assigns current or for time immemorial, do in any manner shape and/or form profit in any way whatsoever from said Satire by the aforementioned Mr. Corcoran, a fee of not less than 25% of any gross profit shall be paid to Mr. Corcoran or his assigns immediately, or within thirty days, whichever comes first.
Mr. Corcoran further avers that his use of “Lord” is not sacrilegious, but a reference to the very perceptive Lord Farthington Bladderworth of Frumpshireton on Thames.
Furthermore the reference to "that Chick from 'Fairly Legal'" is also satire, and specifically NOT meant to degrade, denigrate nor insult women of any and all shapes and sizes. Mr. Corcoran holds women in the highest regard, and many many years ago, in a galaxy far, far away, he so respected women he invited several to have sexual relations with him. Most, the record shall show, declined, and were obviously gay.
And of course The Author believes anyone male, female or in combinations thereof in no way diminishes himself or herself by being gay, and quotes as reference the common law usage of the phrase "gay, not that there's anything wrong with that," which originally appeared on the television show "Seinfeld."