The Washington Redskins, who recently concluded a miserable 3-13 season, introduced new head coach Ron Rivera to the media on Thursday.
Owner Dan Snyder kicked things off by wishing members of the press a happy holiday season.
Except he — there’s no better way to put this — fumbled the statement.
“Good afternoon,” Snyder said before ripping off his glasses. “First off, Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.”
The comment immediately went viral as confused commentators and fans alike mocked Snyder, whose ownership has devastated the fanbase over the last two decades-plus.
Absolutely no one:
Daniel Snyder on January 2: pic.twitter.com/A7RKXZnnr7
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 2, 2020
It was unclear if the comment was a joke, a slip of the tongue, or Snyder was unaware that it was the month of January. Some suggested that it was an inside joke [puts on tinfoil hat] about the Redskins beating the Panthers, Rivera’s former team, the week after Thanksgiving which ultimately led to the head coach’s demise.
Wait. So people are saying the whole Thanksgiving thing was meant as a joke about Rivera losing to Washington and getting fired? I mean, OK, but without any context at an introductory presser? That’s way too obtuse.
— Jason Reid (@JReidESPN) January 2, 2020
“I told Mr. Snyder that I appreciate the fact that he believes the head coach matters,” Rivera said in what was an actual serious statement. “I told him I would be honored, but under one condition: It had to be a player-centered culture, something I truly do believe in.”
Rivera had a 76-63-1 record during his nine seasons in Carolina which included a trip to the Super Bowl (a loss in Super Bowl 50 to Denver). Rivera also was named NFL coach of the year twice.
“What the Redskins have needed is a culture change,” Snyder added. “Someone that can bring a winning culture to our organization and it starts and ends with our head coach.”
The Redskins have posted a 142-193-1 record since Snyder took ownership of the team 21 seasons ago. The Redskins last won a playoff game in 2005, 14 years ago. Since then, three DC teams have won championships including the Washington Capitals (2018), Washington Mystics (2019), and Washington Nationals (2019), which has reportedly frustrated the owner.
Snyder did not take any questions at the press conference.
Headline photo: @NBC4Sports
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