Gibbs is in for more than a pit stop with 'Skins

January 08, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

Welcome back, Joe.

Here's what's waiting for you inside the front doors at Redskin Park: A meddling, impatient, micro-managing owner more interested in big headlines (like the one at the top right of this page) than doing what's needed for his team to be successful.

Yes, Mr. Gibbs, if I were you, I would have cringed upon reading this sentence from today's top story: "Snyder will have the final word to settle any disputes, according to the source. Given Gibbs' track record, however, his recommendations are sure to carry more weight than Spurrier's did."

I'll believe that when I see it.

Dick Vermeil came back after a long time away from the sidelines in the late 1980s and early 90s to lead St. Louis to a Super Bowl title (and is, of course, busy trying to guide Kansas City to a similar result), so a return to the Redskins' glory days is possible. But Vermeil never had the world's most powerful fantasy football player deciding who would play for him.


If Gibbs has his way, the Redskins will be in the market for two things: Strong, mobile, overpowering offensive linemen who could make the words "counter trey" flow from every football announcer's mouth after a decade of non-use, and a straight-ahead, bulldozing runner (like, say, Stephen Davis) to hit the resulting holes hard.

If Snyder allows Gibbs to have his way, I, for one, will be surprised.

Offensive linemen and running backs simply are not glamorous enough for Snyder. He'd rather sign the big name (Jeff George, Deion Sanders, Steve Spurrier) and bask in the attention that results, the actual results themselves be darned.

Usually, people with no football experience who decide they can make the on-the-field personnel decisions fail spectacularly. Take Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who sent his team into fantastic mediocrity with some awful personnel decisions in the late 90s on into this millenium. But when Jones has stepped back, hired a coach and given him room to work (Jimmy Johnson, Bill Parcells), it's worked pretty well.

Here's hoping Snyder takes the hint, for Gibbs' sake.

Brace yourself. We're about to go inside the mind of Pete Rose:

"I bet on baseball. Never against my team. Are you kidding? What, do I look that stupid? No, no, I never let my gambling affect my decisions as a manager. I'm not really a bad guy, I just have this problem. But I really, really want back in baseball, and people are saying if I just admit I bet on baseball, maybe Selig would reinstate me, and maybe I'd be allowed on the ballot for the Hall of Fame. But, geez, admitting I did it would also be admitting I've lied for so long I can't remember the last time I didn't lie. I don't know, that's a lot of embarassment and humiliation just to be reinstated and maybe get into the Hall. I need something else to risk all that, something that would make it worth it. ... Got it! A book! Yeah! A book! I can admit I bet on baseball in a book! I'm a genius! News would get out I admitted to being a compulsive gambler and liar in the book, and bang! The book flies off the shelves and I make millions! Who needs reinstatement or a Hall pass? I've got millions! Now what do I want to bet all this money on ..."

Dan Kauffman is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. His column appears every other Thurssday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 7520, or by e-mail at

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