Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine


Carol Joynt lunches with Dan Snyder

Dan Snyder

Since Dan Snyder took over the team in 1999, the Redskins have not won a single playoff game. However, he has managed to turn the team into a very profitable one. The Redskins are the most profitable franchise in the NFL which speaks to how Snyder lures the very passionate Redskins’ fans to FedEx Field each season. He shared that same passion for the team with Carol Joynt while at a Nathans community lunch.

Carol Joynt: You’ve said you’ve been an entrepreneur since you were seventeen. Will you tell us a little something about your career from seventeen on?

Dan Snyder: I was a bad student, so I went to a community college and then went to the University of Maryland for, I guess a year. I remember one of my teachers saying in a business class, “You’re not in this class.” I said, ‘I am.” He said, “This is the final exam. Why are you here?” I said, “To take it.” I took that exam, I don’t think I did very well. I wasn’t a good student, I was more of a rebel from that standpoint.

CJ: What kind of businesses did you get into?
DS: I started a tour business for college kids. I love college kids, and I love to travel. I took them to spring break and bowl games.

CJ: You were also in the communications industry in a big way, weren’t you?
DS: I started a magazine company called Campus USA and went swinging for the fences, made it real big and then lost a lot of money. I put my entire family in to major debt, and then paid off all those debts. I turned it into direct marketing/ advertising agency and then sold it in March 2000 to a French company.

CJ: Are the Redskins your primary work now?
DS: I would say a combination of the Redskins and a lot of non-profit and profit boards. The Redskins are my greatest passion.

CJ: When was the moment you knew you had Joe Gibbs and how did you know? What did you feel inside?
DS: Far out! We were in an eleven-hour meeting. I wanted him to know every detail of how the team is run and how the operation is run so he could feel comfortable and want to do it. At the end of the session I said, “Well Joe,” and he said, “I guess I am the head coach.” I gave him a big hug. Joe works harder than anyone I know. Quite frankly, I can’t keep up. He has more energy than anyone I have ever met.

CJ: How many times a day do you talk to him?
DS: Several. We spend a lot of time together, particularly in the off-season.

CJ: Do you ever workout with the team?
DS: That would be embarrassing. The coaches workout separately.

CJ: Did you know Jack Kent Cooke well?
DS: No, I met him once at a Super Bowl Party in Minnesota and he was in a pretty good mood. I think he was enjoying himself that night.

CJ: How is your style different from Jack Kent Cooke’s?
DS: I’ve only been married once. CJ: Other than the Redskins, what is one of your Washington passions?

DS: I have a bunch of hobbies. I like to ski and getaway during the off-season. I primarily spend time with my family. I have little kids and spend time with them.
CJ: What NFL owner do you most want to beat?

DS: I want to beat the Cowboys. I want to run up the score.
CJ: Are there owners of other teams you have become good friends with?

DS: Dan Rooney (of the Pittsburgh Steelers), he’s a good friend. Pat Mullen, of the Denver Broncos.
CJ: Do you plan any future sports team acquisitions? Do you want to own a baseball team?

DS: I am not a big baseball person, and I am not sure it works here in Washington. It’s tough and it hasn’t worked twice before. Everyone seems to go away in August. I went to a hockey game last year and I finally learned what the blue lines are. It took me an hour to learn that.

CJ: What are the most important lessons that you have learned since owning the Redskins?
DS: Don’t listen to the media.

CJ: Does it make a difference to you whether the Washington fans like you?
DS: It would be nice for folks to see the effort we put in. When it all comes down to it, when you’re losing, you’re losing. When you’re winning, you’re winning. That’s why we keep score in football.

CJ: Do you think you are starting to grow on people?
DS: I think people are figuring out that all I want to do is win.

CJ: Can you eat or drink anything during the game?
DS: After the game.

CJ: Do you talk to anyone during the game?
DS: My wife says, “You have all these people, [Alan]Greenspan, Colin Powell, in the box and you are the worst host.” [That’s because] I am so focused on the game.

CJ: Under what circumstances would you sell the Redskins?
DS: After I am dead.

Second in an exclusive series by Carol Nathans Community Lunches.

Home  |   Where To Find Us  |   Advertising  |   Privacy Policy  |   Site Map  |   Purchase Photos  |   About Us

Click here to go to the NEW Washington Life Magazine