Allegany Communications Sports

Roger Goodell, the “commissioner” of #NFLTheTVShow, reiterated on Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings that Dan Snyder, the billionaire owner of the Washington Commanders, is not and would not be involved in the day-to-day business of the team for the “foreseeable future” given the investigations of widespread workplace misconduct within the organization and allegations against the sawed off little owner of sexual harassment and abuse.

The United States Congress has noticed, as well. But, first, a little history …

In 1974, New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, yes, the guy they made fun of in Seinfeld, pled guilty to making illegal contributions to President Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign two years prior. He was ultimately fined and suspended from the major leagues by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn for roughly two years.

In the time Steinbrenner was out of the picture, general manager Gabe Paul built the foundation of the Yankees teams that would win three straight American League pennants (1976-78) and two straight world championships (’77-78). Upon Steinbrenner’s return to full control, the Yankees became the losingest MLB team in the decade of the ‘80s.

In 1990, Steinbrenner was banned permanently from day-to-day management (but not ownership) of the Yankees by MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent for paying a gambler named Howard Spira to dig up “dirt” on Yankees star outfielder Dave Winfield.

Yes, it’s called extortion, and Vincent banned Steinbrenner from taking part in day-to-day operations, despite remaining the owner. The lifetime ban ended up being reduced (by Weasel Bud Selig) and he was reinstated three years later in 1993. All of which came after Steinbrenner gave Winfield the league’s biggest contract in 1980, signing him to a 10-year, $23 million deal. Yet Steinbrenner became irate after the 12-time All-Star sued the Yankees for not contributing money to his foundation, which was written into his contract.

As a result, Steinbrenner, rather than donate the $300,000, paid a gambler to blackmail Winfield.

(Yes, these are lovely gene pools.)

Meanwhile, as Steinbrenner was away from the team, general manager Gene Michael operated without the historic Steinbrenner constraint and rebuilt the Yankees farm system.

During this time, Michael drafted Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte. Bernie Williams, whom Steinbrenner wanted to trade, remained a Yankee and continued to develop, and the team traded for Paul O’Neill.

You’ve heard of those guys, of course … Yet none of them is within miles of pinstripes if Steinbrenner is involved with the day-to-day operation of the team. Remember Ken Phelps for Jay Buhner?

Thus, Steinbrenner did more for the Yankees in the building of the greatest modern-day baseball dynasty by not being around and not being allowed to screw it up.

Back to the present …

Once again, the bimbo Roger Goodell lied.

According to the reporting of the Washington Times’ Matthew Paras, despite what the Pretty, But Can’t Type commissioner (my words, not Paras’) told reporters, Snyder is back and is calling the day-to-day shots at Commanders headquarters (not the one in downtown Cumberland near the Blue Bridge, or the one at Washington Middle School).

According to the reporting of Paras, “The source, who spoke to The Washington Times on the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely, said Snyder has no restrictions on what he can and can’t do in overseeing the franchise, reiterating the owner has worked on day-to-day matters. For instance, Snyder was ‘heavily involved’ when the team discussed acquiring quarterback Carson Wentz — something coach Ron Rivera even alluded to after the trade was finalized.”

And, of course, we all saw him front and center (and a little low) wearing his new Washington letterman’s jacket (just off the rack at the Sears juniors’ department) the day of the name change to Commanders.

Okay, fine. Unless you are still a believer of this pathetic organization (not to mention #NFLTheTVShow), of course.

But if you are a fan of the Washington Commanders (the pro football team, not the middle school in Cumberland), wouldn’t you like to see a little good fortune come your way the way Yankees fans had it come their way when their meddling egomaniacal owner was suspended from being anywhere near the day-to-day operations of the actual team?

“Dan Snyder has not been involved in day-to-day operations,” Goodell said. “Don’t believe he’s been at the facility at all, and we continue to have league matters, Tanya (Snyder, Dan Snyder’s wife) has represented the team as both the CEO both on a day-to-day basis, but also here with the league. She represented the club here and that will continue for at least the foreseeable future, but Dan and I will talk about that at some point.”

Apparently, they already have. Or should have. Snyder does, after all, sit on four ownership committees: Legalized Sports Betting, Business Ventures, Fan Engagement (seriously) & Major Events and International.

#NFLTheTVShow. You want to still believe? Fine; then go with the sentiments of Journey and “Don’t stop believing.”

Me? I prefer Led Zeppelin when I say, “And it makes me wonder.”

Mike Burke writes about sports and other stuff for Allegany Communications. He began covering sports for the Prince George’s Sentinel in 1981 and joined the Cumberland Times-News sports staff in 1984, serving as sports editor for over 30 years. Contact him at [email protected] and [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @MikeBurkeMDT