First of all, I thought SLAM was a basketball magazine. I recently canceled my subscription in favor of Dime Magazine, but perhaps that was a bit premature. For reasons that are still unclear to the Beast blog, the good folks at SLAM featured an interview with former Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith in their most recent issue.
But in the midst of what appeared to be a fairly innocuous Q&A, Smith decided to run over Skins owner Dan Snyder with a bus. Asked which team in the NFC East he most enjoyed beating, the soon-to-be Hall of Famer delivered this gem:
"I loved defeating the Redskins," said Smith. "I loved it, I loved it, I loved it with a passion. And I loved it more when Daniel Snyder got the team, for a number of reasons. I did. Because here is a guy who thought he could build a football team just because he has the money to buy players. There's more to it than that.
"And he's not a compassionate person, not a compassionate person at all from what I understand. And that makes me just want to pummel somebody. You know, you hate to see pride, wearing itself on his forehead and his chest. And to me, arrogance sticks out like a sore thumb when you talk about him. And the lack of compassion for others is a problem. Because it's not that hard to be compassionate; you just choose to."
Anyone have a clue where the "compassion" stuff came from? It's fair to criticize Snyder for attempting to buy championships, although Smith should be thankful the Redskins owner took that approach. But the repeated mentions of a lack of compassion were downright bizarre. If you're going to attack a man's character, it's often helpful to provide two or three examples. Otherwise, you come off looking like a loose cannon.
I don't know Snyder particularly well, but I've always been told that he's extremely generous with his money. I didn't hear about any other NFL owners lending their private planes to the Haiti relief efforts. I'm not sure who Smith's been talking to about Snyder (Riggo?) but he showed poor form in his interview with SLAM. And by the way, here's Snyder's tongue-in-cheek response:
"I applaud Emmitt Smith's induction into the NFL Hall of Fame and, from what I understand, he's a heck of a dancer. I think we've only met once briefly at an NFL function in 2000. I will say, however, that I like to think of myself as being a compassionate person, except toward the Dallas Cowboys."
It takes skill to make Snyder seem like a sympathetic character. But Emmitt was up to the challenge.