In addition to being the worst owner in all of sports, Daniel Snyder is one hell of a buzzkill.
For the briefest of moments Wednesday, anyone who cares even the slightest bit about the NFL was united in joy at the prospect of Snyder finally selling the Washington Commanders. It’s years too late, obviously, and it can’t undo the real harm he’s done with his bigotry and misogyny.
But he was going to be gone! With Snyder and his toxicity out of the way, the Commanders could get a new stadium. Sponsors and fans would return. Washington would finally have a big-time – and big-money — team befitting the nation’s capital.
Then Snyder put out his statement. Yes, he’s hired BofA Securities. But it’s to consider “potential transactions,” which could mean anything from selling the whole team to bringing in new partners.
And then came the kicker.
“The Snyders remain committed to the team,” the statement said.
Not exactly the words of a man ready to cash out. Just like that, Snyder sucked all the hope and delight out of the room.
As he always does.
Sure, Snyder could still sell the Commanders outright. He has been a constant source of embarrassment to the league for years now, and the stunning public rebuke by Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay at last month’s NFL meeting signaled that his fellow owners’ patience has been exhausted.
“I believe that there’s merit to remove him as owner,” Irsay said. “I think it’s something that we have to review. We have to look at all the evidence and we have to be thorough in going forward. But I think it’s something that has to be given serious consideration.”
It’s not hard to imagine Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones pulling Snyder aside and telling him it’s time to go. Especially if the ongoing investigation by former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White finds Snyder did sexually harass former employees.
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Snyder would huff and puff and threaten to sue. Or at least use the “dirt” he’s supposedly compiled on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and his fellow owners. But Jones and Goodell could counter with a detailed summary of Beth Wilkinson’s investigation, which has never been disclosed, and let Snyder know that he’d be better off taking his $7 billion – or whatever the Commanders fetch – and going away.
Unfortunately, the more likely scenario is that Snyder is looking for cash. He needs money to build a new stadium, and he bought out his partners last year. He probably figures he can entice some other billionaires with the prospect of owning the Commanders, and then bait-and-switch them into purchasing minority shares.
That, or Snyder thinks he can outsmart his fellow owners ahead of White’s report. By appearing willing to sell, or take on partners, he can pretend he’s been humbled and is amenable to making changes. Once the heat dies down, he’ll go back to being his miserable old self.
Either way, we’d still be stuck with Snyder. Which makes Wednesday’s announcement among the worst of the many awful things Snyder has done.
He let us think we were soon to be rid of him, only to dash that hope with the same kind of obstinate arrogance that’s allowed him to hang on to the Commanders for this long. Proving once again that no one can ruin a good thing quite like Dan Snyder.
Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour.