WASHINGTON — Dear Dan:
I know we haven’t seen eye to eye on many things – the name of your team. The way you’ve publicly embarrassed recovering alcoholics that once worked for you. $12 beers and $50 parking at FedEx Field. The way female employees have been mistreated in the organization. How it feels like the team's headquarters in Ashburn is just one big reverse car wash; you come in clean and leave filthy. Oh, and two measly home playoff games in 20 years – really, being the only NFC franchise other than the lowly Detroit Lions not to play in a conference title game since 1992? That's unacceptable around here.
But we do agree on this: You need a new home, a 60,000-set architectural marvel that spirits the fans and you away from all the bad memories of that eyesore in Landover, Md.; that ugly open space annually guaranteed to be empty by January's second week.
Heck, even Republican governors are bailing out on you now.
Just a year after Larry Hogan was excited to sit down with you and your people and figure out a way to find land for such a stadium at Oxon Cove in PG County, adjacent to all the MGM amenities, Maryland’s governor has left the bargaining table.
Forever, I’m told, by a source close to both parties.
See, Hogan was already taking heat for going behind local leaders’ backs. He finally decided this wasn't the way he wanted to burn his political capital. Your franchise became too toxic.
Virginia doesn’t want to financially assist a billionaire with little goodwill among the state’s politicians. And besides, Ralph Northum has got his own problems to deal with first.
That leaves Washington, D.C., and the site of the stadium that gave you all those memories from your childhood, all those years ago, when your father bought you a Sonny Jurgensen No. 5 jersey and you sat in those rocking RFK
Stadium stands during Joe Gibbs’ heyday.
But DC has to get a land transfer – from federal to local -- and that’s not going to happen soon, if at all. The truth: Mayor Muriel Bowser doesn’t have the city council votes to make it part of her agenda. And now that the new Senate Democrats have taken office, all of which have begged you to change the name before they would even think of leasing or selling you federal land, you’re not going to have a chance to secure a site for at least four more years in the District.
This leaves you with bupkus other than the NFL's worst game-day experience. That's right, after the Vikings got their new stadium, your franchise alone stands in last place.
The fan base is abandoning you and your franchise in droves. Your team president, Bruce Allen, actually now has a worse approval rating than you. And you’re keeping him. You’ve made no substantive changes to a roster or a coaching staff that is going nowhere.
I know you spent a lot of time flying to Europe and the Bahamas, that you simply don't have the time and energy some days to see what's truly happening with your franchise. I also heard you might be bringing back an Mark Shapiro, the television executive who will basically be your Hail Mary to try and somehow get that stadium deal you desperately need before more people leave and don't care anymore.
Look, he didn't do you any favors at Six Flags or Red Zebra. He won't work. Trust me.
But I do know you still love this team and what it means to you. I know you realize while you technically own the team, that it’s really a civic trust, part of Washington and beyond that goes so much deeper than ownership. And so, with that in mind, I’m only going to ask one thing of you today – something that will bring back the fan base: Secure a stadium and vault this once-proud franchise back into national prominence.
Sell. Please sell.