October 27th, 2009

Are They Listening at Redskins Park?

From Monday morning’s Washington Post piece on the popularity — or lack thereof currently — of the Washington Redskins among the locals:

David Donovan, the Redskins’ chief operating officer, disputed Powell’s analysis, saying that team records show a 12 percent dip in merchandise sales, which he said was understandable in a down economy.

Donovan also said that the team hasn’t detected a significant decline in fan loyalty and that the team’s attendance figures are accurately gathered by bar-code scanners at the turnstiles.

"I think the relentless negative coverage in The Washington Post is a real difference from previous years," Donovan said. "But in terms of the way our actual fans are behaving, we don’t see any difference."

Just a few hours later, Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis dispatched the following advice to the Obama Administration concerning their dispute with Fox News.  But as I read it, I couldn’t help but wonder if the Redskins weren’t the actual target of his advice:

Can you ever take on the media and blame them for your troubles?

I don’t think so.

Just look. Fox News ratings are way up. The President’s approval ratings are way down. Is it any wonder then that Fox News is hyping their disagreements with the White House? ”Oh woe is me. Watch what we do that has the White House so afraid of us.”

By talking about the media or a specific outlet, it only increases their value. And it diminishes you.

Sports teams that blame the media for their troubles are no different.

So what’s the ultimate solution? According to Leonsis, "[J]ust win. The rest will take care of itself."

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