It’s not every day one gets to meet an owner of a National Football League team, particularly if you have a mustache — unless you hang around St. Louis (Stan Kronke) or Jacksonville (Shahid Khan). But alas, thus was the case as my mustache and me found ourselves sitting in the bright sun on a Tuesday afternoon in Loudon County, Virginia, whereWashington Redskins owner Dan Snyder was at Park View High School to announce the team’s funding partnership for a new turf field. The team’s charitable foundation put $100,000 toward the field, the NFL another $100,000, and Loudoun County $800,000. More important, I was permitted to ask Snyder some questions about life, love, football and great Redskins mustaches.
Q: What’s going on here bub?
DS: Being based in Loudoun County and loving Loudoun County the way we do so much, and having our training facility there… giving back to the kids is what it’s all about for us. We started out the foundation — now going into its 16th year, and whenever we do anything at the schools, being based in Loudon County, it just means so much to us — to be able and help them out and really participate in the community.
Q: I don’t see a lot of mustaches around here. What’s up with that?
DS: I only wish I knew but I can assure you, we’re all for mustaches.
Q: Of course you are. OK, last season. Kind of a tough year. What’s going on with plans for next year?
DS: We are moving forward. We’re proud of our quarterback; proud of our head coach. Jay Gruden is working very hard every day and I think that we have got a great future. So we’re looking forward to it.
Q: So the draft is coming up. I’m thinking either Deacon Jones or Marcus Dupree. Thoughts?
DS: Clearly you follow football very, very close. But Bruce (Allen) is in charge of that and doing a great job. The scouting department is working twenty-four seven and they have done a lot of work as they do every year, and we’ll follow the draft board as well. I think we’re just looking forward to it. It’s unusual because the draft is so late this year compared to this week actually. So for us it’s a little bit more waiting than normal, but we’re excited about it.
Q: RG III, he has a mustache. A slight one, of course. What’s going on with him and his progression?
DS: I think whenever you are coming off a serious injury, it takes time to heal. And he’s one-hundred percent and is wonderfully healthy, so we’re looking forward to the season.
Q: Those Mustached Americans — they are excitable ones. Is Robert all psyched up for next year with Coach Gruden on board?
DS: I think everyone is excited. Everyone is excited. I think there is a lot of positive energy and it’s great to see. Everyone is enthusiastic every day and we just need to translate that to the field. I think that everyone is excited. I’m excited. I think we have a great future here.
Q: Then there’s DeSean Jackson. Does he have a mustache? Anyhow, he’s coming on board. What’s your take on him? He’s kind of tiny.
DS: That’s going to be exciting. Not just the two games against Philly, but we got tired of seeing him score a lot of touchdowns against us and watching him on TV so it’s great to have him here.
Q: There was some rumblings about Jackson’s character when he was leaving Philly. What convinced you that signing him was the right move?
DS: I think that when you look at the fact that the head coach and the general manager said this is the right move, only thing I can do is support it and that’s what I’ve done and it’s been great. I’ve spent a lot time with him [Jackson] and he’s really a good guy.
Q: Greatest Redskins player with a mustache?
DS: I’d say a melding of Hogs Russ Grimm and Joe Jacoby. Rocks of Redskins mustache lore.