Packers owners are not afraid of Daniel Snyder

Photo Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder has made a face for the white collar prison. His boyish pout, which has gone jowly with age, would pair best with a bright-orange jumpsuit, the number stitched over the place where the heart should be. His soft, bloated villain is reminiscent of a Ken Lay or a Bernie Madoff, the kind who bilk billions in plain sight, poisoning everything around them like a poisonous, odorless gas.

But no one will ever accuse Snyder of not stinking. To call him a scandal-plague does a disservice to scandals and plagues. He was very (very) credibly accused of systemic sexual harassment by his team’s cheerleaders, named in a sexual harassment lawsuit (since settled with a large payout) in which Snyder allegedly tried to assault an employee on his private plane force, and also of underreported ticket sales from his struggling franchise so he doesn’t have to share the wealth with his fellow NFL owners.

Which of these transgressions do you think really pissed off the other billionaires?

Now the offensive Snyder goes on the offensive. According to a recent ESPN report, sources close to Snyder claim he hired private investigators to dig up dirt on several other NFL owners and league commissioner Roger Goodell. If they try to oust him as team owner — which would require a significant 24 votes among the 31 other teams — he’ll “blow up” the entire league, according to the story.

You know who isn’t afraid of Dan Snyder?

The Packers are owned by the city and citizens of Green Bay. That’s often dismissed as a fun piece of trivia about the biggest team from the smallest town in professional sports, but it’s a real asset now more than ever. Nobody in Wisconsin is afraid of Dan Snyder because Dan Snyder doesn’t care about Wisconsin. Did his army of snoops catch Hodag in Rhinelander Adderall without a prescription? Does he have illegal photos of Bucky Badger in a secret relationship with Phlash the Phoenix from UW-Green Bay? Some devastating, Soylent Green-style revelation about what’s really in the cottage cheese?

It’s not just that there’s no one to bully around the Fox Valley. The advantage of Green Bay’s unique ownership structure means that fans never have to suffer under the petty tyranny of a Snyder like Snyder. Because the Packers operate in a more traditional corporate structure, no one in their organization, not even team president Mark Murphy, could get away with anything close to this level of behavior without being shown the door.

In the same ESPN report, Snyder compared the NFL’s ownership to the Mafia. That’s not entirely wrong, although it does eliminate the fact that he’s one of those made-up guys who shelter behind the slanted rules of sports franchise omertà. The cabal of billionaires who own these teams, with their powerful economic structures facilitated by taxpayer-funded stadium schemes, are indeed similar to the Illuminati, assuming the Illuminati involves Jerry Jones bogarting the free shrimp cocktail tray at their conspiracy meetings. The owners have created elaborate solutions for the responsibility to ensure that their place among the powerbrokers remains unshakable. But the same structures prevent them from removing the Snyder-shaped tumor from football’s body politic.

“I believe there is merit in removing him as owner of the [Commanders],” Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said at the league’s owners meeting on Tuesday. “I think it’s something we need to review. We need to look at all the evidence and we need to proceed thoroughly, but I think it’s something that needs serious consideration.

The ever-inquisitive Judy Battista points out that, depending on your perspective, Irsay “was either the first owner who had the nerve to go public with Snyder, or the one with the least self-control.”

This is the same Jim Irsay whose dark spiral as a son-billionaire heir led to multiple encounters with the police. (The full, tragic extent of it can be found in this deep dive on ESPN.com.) His behavior over the years would disqualify him from a wide range of enterprises, narrowing his options mainly to NFL franchise ownership and possibly politics when he was in it.

These are not isolated incidents. Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson sold the team in 2018 after multi-million dollar settlements and bombshell reports of a deeply entrenched culture of sexual harassment. Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke evicted a Texas man from his home in 2016 as part of a massive land deal; When the man killed himself, he began his suicide note by citing Kroenke as the primary antagonist. Who the hell knows what’s going on with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones?

Minnesota Vikings fans, in particular, love to poke fun at Packer fans who proudly display their team ownership certificate. But wouldn’t those same fans be pretty thrilled to be cleared of any involvement with Zygi Wilf, who, along with other members of his family, was ordered by a judge in 2013 to pay $85 million in restitution to “organized crime-type fraud.” ”, which was said to have – in their language here – “evil motive”?

There seems to be no shortage of nefarious motives among the NFL ownership hegemony. Perhaps they will apply star chamber justice to Snyder, who deestable under their lot, and maybe he will do his damnedest to spread the slime and take some other owners with him. The consequences of all these actions could reverberate around the league for months or years and have secondhand effects on the state of some of the teams themselves.

But that’s not a concern for the Green Bay Packers. They are big business to be sure, but they are not beholden to the will of any man or woman, nor are they subject to the whims of some of America’s most prominent criminals.

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