Could Jeff Bezos buy Dan Snyder’s football team, and should we care?

I’ve got to admit, despite following along as it happened, I’m pretty confused as to exactly how or why the sports media is all het up about the possibility of Amazon kingpin Jeff Bezos buying Washington’s NFL team from Dan Snyder, based on pretty much nothing. So let’s piece together what led to this state of affairs:

  • Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, who loves him some anonymously sourced rumors, wrote on Sunday about how Bezos is moving to D.C., and pals around with NFL owners including, and it’s all “creating a stir in that area.”
  • Everybody hates Snyder.
  • Other outlets took La Canfora’s four-paragraph story and spun it out into way more speculation, mostly comparing the size of the two billionaires’ bankbooks and theorizing that NFL owners would love to have Bezos in their club because it’d make them look cool. Also, everybody hates Snyder.
  • A Snyder spokesperson pointed out that the team is not for sale, and added that “Mr. Snyder hasn’t seen Jeff Bezos in nearly a decade,” which would seem to contradict La Canfora’s intel.

And … that’s pretty much it. Somebody somewhere told a reporter off the record something along the lines of man, that Jeff Bezos sure is a hoopy frood, he’d make a way less embarrassing owner than Dan Snyder, and next thing you know everyone, including me, is forced to write about it because it’s in the news media, so it must be news.

La Canfora also made mention of Snyder’s so-far stalled new-stadium dreams, opining that “some believe [Bezos] could aid Snyder’s pursuit of a new stadium, perhaps even with an Amazon sponsorship.” I mean, he could, sure — though if by “sponsorship” La Canfora means buying naming rights, Snyder presumably wouldn’t have trouble selling those, and Bezos presumably isn’t going to overpay to put Amazon’s name on a stadium just because he wants an excuse to hang out with NFL owners. (Does Amazon even need the name recognition that comes from a stadium naming rights deal? That’s really more for airlines who are afraid you’ve never heard of them.) The bigger problems for Snyder regarding a stadium have to do with getting permission to use land in D.C. and getting cash to build a stadium with and … you know, this is way more response than this rumor-of-a-rumor story of which hated billionaire might own a hated sports franchise deserves. Go read Mark Trail instead, he’s hitting an alligator with a big stick!

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23 comments on “Could Jeff Bezos buy Dan Snyder’s football team, and should we care?

  1. Everybody hates Dan Snyders to replace him with the slightly less hated Jeff Bezos….sounds like a plan.

    1. I like Snyder, he’s been a Skin fan since Joe Gibbs,
      Sometimes you get unlucky and you don’t win,
      and about the name, my daughter’ half Cherokee
      and we LOVE them Redskins. H T T R !

  2. I understand that (and why) fans hate Snyder. He’s loathsome and incompetent. Like many very wealthy people, he believes he is wealthy because he is better/smarter/more deserving than everyone else.

    What I don’t understand is why fans continue to spend money on his (questionable) sporting and non sporting products given the above?

    Even for life long fans of this franchise, there must come a time when you say “enough”. And the sooner you do, the sooner the scumbag owner will decide it’s time to sell.

    It is likely impossible for an NFL owner to lose money (even if s/he doesn’t sell a single ticket to any of their home games), but it will certainly hurt the bottom line – and more importantly the NFL as a whole – if the stands are empty.

    So vote with your feet, people. You aren’t morally obligated to support any entertainment option regardless.

    1. The history of sports fans trying to force out owners with their feet — or force owners to do anything, really — is not a hugely successful one, and for a simple reason: The owners have a monopoly on the product that the fans want. It’s not like European soccer, where fans mad at their team’s owner can just go start their own team.

      1. It’s less about forcing a billionaire to do anything than it is about not financially supporting that billionaire.

        I look at angry sports fans who pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for tickets and then protest the owner in the same way I look at people who protest excessive violence on their television…

        They have the option of changing the channel or turning the tv off entirely.

        1. in many countries in Europe, the team is owned by the fans–who vote for the team President or Chairman and sometimes the supervisory board too. In Germany, for the most part teams must be owned at least 50 percent plus one vote (an idea under threat, to be fair). I believe a similar model is in place in Spain. England was an early outlier in allowing people to somehow “own” the team (and then later to cash in by selling shares).

          1. A lot of Spanish teams are fan-owned (both Barcelona and Real Madrid are), but other teams are privately held (Girona is owned by Man City owner Sheikh Mansour and the brother of Man City coach Pep Guardiola, for example).

  3. Snyder can remain an owner and, regardless of the stadium, make a pile of money. Snyder can sell the club, regardless of the stadium, and make a pile of money. Who gives a damn.

  4. … Even though it’s not Friday (round up/open forum)… I think it’s worth mentioning that Bezos appears to have failed in his campaign to install several Amazon friendly candidates onto Seattle’s city council.

    Is it possible there exists a political body in North America that cannot be bought?

  5. How many NFL owners are drafting invoices to municipalities for this admittedly awesome hologram. Mike Brown was so excited he accidentally cracked his jitterbug ordering one of these things. There goes the Hamilton County public library…

    1. None of the articles about it seem to talk about how the hologram actually works, which is more what I’m interested in.

      1. That’s because it’s not a hologram, just a CGI display on video screens:

  6. Yes…because Snyder and Allen over 20 yrs. have proven how to break something that was working that as long as he doesn’t go PC crazy and change the name

    1. Yes, it’s definitely “crazy” to not be real supportive of an overtly racist name.

      Get real.

  7. I truly wish he would sell the team or either Fire Bruce Allen because no good player wants to play for Washington because of Bruce Allen as general manager Washington’s owner of the Redskins need to sit back I let a real good general manager such as Ozzie Newsome run the team a real honest job is to kick out the paychecks not decide who plays on the team that’s the general manager’s job and Bruce Allen is the worst general manager in the NFL washingtonians Northern Virginia and Maryland deserve better then what we been getting please restore Washington Redskins to the Glory Days when the NFL East Redskins Cowboys Giants in Philadelphia where the powerhouse of the NFL first Bruce Allen needs to go

    1. Nope. They can only stop providing some of the funding he uses to run it. If the fans stopped supporting the team en masse (IE: attendance under 15k, no merch sales, cancel their NFL package if they have it on cable/sat etc), it would hurt Snyder, but it likely would not be enough to force him to sell the team.

      The NFL ownership club does notice when teams are playing to empty seats (or sometimes to seats filled with fans of the visiting teams – see LA Chargers). That’s really the only hope.

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