New union chief is a Redskins fan

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

If you'd never heard the name DeMaurice F. Smith before today, you have plenty of company. Smith is the Washington-based attorney who was voted the executive director of the NFL Players Association on Sunday.

And as Mark Maske notes in The Washington Post, Smith is an unabashed Redskins fan. Now he'll represent one of the most powerful unions in sports (An AP story said it was the most powerful, but maybe the writer hasn't heard of Marvin Miller).

Troy Vincent, David Cornwell and Trace Armstrong finished second, third and fourth in the voting. And now there's apparently a push to make Vincent part of Smith's new team. Smith didn't play professional football, but maybe that's not all bad. He'll bring fresh ideas at a time when the union is gearing up for another contract negotiation with the owners.

There has been talk about a potential lockout in 2011, but maybe Smith can heal some of the personality conflicts that hounded the previous regime. That said, it's remarkable that players would vote for a man who's had so little exposure to the league. That tells you how desperate they were to have a new voice representing them.

Smith takes over at a turbulent time -- and that's not to mention our nation's current economic climate. Hopefully the Beast will be able to track Smith down for an interview soon. He's reportedly a big fan of Beastlines.