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The Washington Redskins: Stupid Is as Stupid Does

Nick Kapur
November 16, 2010

In March, I wrote an article about how the Philadelphia Eagles were taking an intelligent risk on a cheap asset named Michael Vick. I explained how this was masterful value investing at work. I explained how this was part of a long history of methodical, intelligent decision-making by the Philadelphia Eagles organization. And finally, I reminded readers that the key to successful investing was identifying that optimal nexus between price and value.

Last night's torching of my lifelong team, the Washington Redskins, at the hands of Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles reminded me just how good one team is at doing this and just how terrible we are at it here in D.C.

A tale of two cities
In case you didn't catch the game, by halftime, the Eagles had already begun to set records. Vick and the Eagles set a new record for points in a single half (45), total yards in a game (592), and produced the second-highest regular season total of points ever (59). It was a thrashing of epic proportion. And Vick, a guy the Eagles had picked up just 1.5 years earlier at the cost of an adequate back-up quarterback, personally accounted for six of those TDs.

Then we have the Redskins.

A lot has changed here in D.C. after a dreadful 4-12 season that seemed to never end in 2009. There are new coaches, new front office, new faces, etc. There's new spirit in the air, too. But one very important thing has not changed: the ownership.

The puppet master
The Washington Redskins organization and its fans are still at the mercy of the single worst executive in pro sports, a man who has proven himself myopic, greedy, and petulant more times than I care to remember. The man, of course, is Dan Snyder. And what is clear to me is that even when things appear to change wholesale, if the guy in the top office is the same, then everything else will stay the same, too.

The latest insult
My evidence for this accusation comes in the form of yesterday's gut-punching news -- no, not the news about getting smashed by a division rival -- the other news. Yesterday afternoon, just hours before the game, the team announced it had just re-signed former Eagle Donovan McNabb to a blockbuster deal. Allegedly worth about $78 million in total, the contract appears to closely resemble that of another very significant name in professional football: Tom Brady.

The problem, of course, is that while both quarterbacks are closing in on the twilight of their careers and are armed with proud track records, one is playing at an extremely high level as part of a winning organization with the fundamental elements necessary to win championships and the other is fuddling along as part of some horrid, patchwork mutant of an organization without any clear direction to it.

Just who's in charge here?
Yesterday's goings-on reveal to me just who is back in