Snider: Remembering Jack Kent Cooke 20 Years Later

by Rick Snider

If I could talk to late Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke

Rick: May I call you Jack? After all, today’s the 20th anniversary of your death. I think it’s time to drop the Mr. Cooke formality.

JKC: No you may not, you bloody idiot.

Rick: OK, feels like old times already, Mr. Cooke. So, I thought we’d talk about the good old days when you owned the team.

JKC: Indeed, those were crackerjack times. Winning Super Bowl trophies. There are three of them, you know. Would have been a fourth if Joseph Theismann and Joseph Gibbs hadn’t tried that bloody Rocket Screen pass against Oakland. By the way, how many more trophies do the Redskins have now?

Rick: Actually Mr. Cooke, they haven’t been very good since you uh, departed. Just one playoff win and five playoff appearances in 20 years.

JKC: By God, that’s impossible. What are those idiots doing with my team?

Rick: Well, that’s a good question. They change coaches every few years, flip the roster all the time and keep signing quarterbacks by the fistful. They spend more than $150 million every year on players. They’re even paying $24 million for a quarterback this season.

JKC: Twenty-four million dollars? U.S., not Canadian? Why, I remember when Bobby Beathard needed my approval to pay Doug Williams $1 million. I said, Bobby, do what you think best, but remember to turn in your keys if it goes badly. Of course, Doug was one of my great decisions.

Tell me, how is that wonderful stadium I built looking nowadays? I modeled it after Giants Stadium as the finest sports venue in America. And I also built the Forum, you know.

Rick: Yeah, about that. The new owner took your name off the Big Jack in a New York minute and renamed it to FedEx Field. The place is now one of the worst NFL stadiums and the team is pondering where to build next. Giants Stadium and the Forum are gone, too.

JKC: Well, at least it’s filled with the best damn fans in sports. I loved when they sang “Hail to the Redskins” after victories and chanted “We want Dallas.” Those were bloody-good times.

Rick: Well, bad news about that, too. Fans are getting tired of losing since you’ve been life-challenged. The place is half filled with opposing fans many games. You can tell because they’re the ones left at the end chanting their team’s name after a win.

JKC: What about that young man Daniel Snyder? Is he running my team well?

Rick: Well, remember when you thought the Redskins were worth $250 million? The team’s worth 10 times that now so in some respects he has done well. But aside making money, not too much else has gone right. But, he’s good at making money.

JKC: Ahem, you know only one of us is known as the “Billionaire Bully.”

Rick: Oh yeah, you were, uh are, uh were the man, Mr. Cooke. Say, is your dog Coco with you?

JKC: Oh yes, and you still can’t pet my dog if that’s your next question. He’s my dog, not yours.

Rick: Any chance you’ve seen George Preston Marshall in the hereafter? Or Mayor Barry? George Allen?

JKC: Why yes, we meet at the Touchdown for Life Club on Thursdays. Which, by the way, is now so be on your way. And remember, commas are not optional in your stories and use both sides of the paper.

Rick: We write on the internet now. Oh, never mind.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter @Snide_Remarks.

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