Earlier this week while perusing Yahoo! Sports I saw a link for NFL Owner’s Rankings. It was Part I, ranks 32-17. My head was immediately filled with “here we go” thoughts, believing that, upon clicking this link, I would be treated to some piling on action vis a vie Dan Snyder. Words like “meddling”, “over-spending”, “wasteful”, and “incompetent” would surely fill some sort of zinger-filled paragraph next to the number 32. When the teaser line said something to the effect of “there’s someone worse than Al Davis” my suspicions rose even higher. I clicked anyway.
Snyder’s name was nowhere to be found in this bottom half of NFL owners. Nowhere amongst true perennial bottom-feeders like the Lions, Vikings, Browns, and Jets. My heart soared at the proposition that Yahoo! Sports writer Michael Silver might rank my team’s owner somewhere in the mediocre middle, away from the slinging barbs reserved for the lower rungs, but still not approaching the sainthood destined to be attributed to the name Rooney.
So yesterday Part II came out and I clicked to read the lukewarm analysis of how terrible Snyder was, but he’s improved, but he still has those control issues, etc..
Imagine the shock of scrolling past the heralded name of Rooney at #15, Mara at #11, Irsay at #6 (six spots ahead of Baltimore…just sayin’), to see emblazoned at #3: Daniel Snyder.
He’s given the most text of any owner, the first part explaining how he’s usually reviled. Then comes the ‘tism-like praise. Words and phrases like “awesome”, “eventually he’ll get the rings” and “hoists the Lombardi Trophy” follow. The non-smear-job details the wondrous way in which Snyder treats his players, deeply cares for the team, desperately wants to win, and did not hesitate to make a bold, necessary move when faced with an injury-depleted defensive end position.
Sure it’s just one Yahoo! column, but it’s perhaps a sign that the perception of this owner and this franchise is turning around. It might have taken eight years since the Sanders/Carrier/Smith spree to turn the corner, but the corner has been turned.
Of course, there was the requisite buzzkill in the very next ranking with Jerry-Jones-fawning in full swing. The two paragraphs dedicated to this Romo-enabler quashed burgeoning predictions that Michael Silver might be on the fast track to DCO Hall of Fame induction for his courageous bucking of the anti-Snyder trend. As it is, such induction will have to wait for such heresies as predicting a fourth Super Bowl ring in the near future for the Pizza Hut shill. That and calling the new Cowboys’ stadium the greatest arena since the Roman Colosseum. However, if J Taylor vs. Romo works out as well as prisoner vs. lion, all will be forgiven.
Despite this downer of a Top 2 selection (and with Vladimir Putin’s favorite owner taking the top spot), we salute Michael Silver for not lazily falling back on the same tired anti-Snyder rants of years past and illustrating the ways in which he’s matured as an NFL owner. Now to just wait for that inevitable hoisting of the trophy.