It’s True in Both Sports and Journalism: Know What You Don’t Know, Then Hire Good People to Do Those Jobs

Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen.

The Washington Post says Washington Redskins president Bruce Allen could be under the microscope as team owner Daniel Snyder evaluates the Redskins this offseason. As the Redskins, now with two wins and nine losses, continue a 2o-year record of incompetence under Snyder, the owner looks for another fall guy, not that Allen was much more than a yes man.

The Redskins problems are a classic management problem. From as previous post:

As Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder fires yet another coach in another losing season, a look back at another Redskins owner that makes a point as important to journalism as it is to sports.

Before Snyder, the Redskins were successfully owned by Jack Kent Cooke. He was a very visible Redskins owner, walking around practices like he was the man in charge.

But Cooke’s teams won three Super Bowls because he knew what he didn’t know. He hired Bobby Beathard as Redskins general manager and Joe Gibbs as coach. He was content to talk loudly and entertain important people in the owner’s box and pose with Super Bowl trophies while Beathard and Gibbs ran things.

Snyder had made lots of money as a businessman and when he bought the team in 1999 after Cooke died, he thought he was smart enough to run things himself without a Bobby Beathard kind of general manager. Year after year he decided who the Redskins would draft, usually going for a big name, figuring big names would excite the fans. One draft bust after another, one losing season after another.

The lesson for anyone in charge: Know what you don’t know, then hire good people to do those jobs. Cooke was smart enough to know it. Snyder still thinks he can pick Redskin players better than the general managers at other teams who really know what they’re doing. To add to the problem, he tends to surround himself with people who won’t say no to him.

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