Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Vinny Cerrato is beyond ridiculous

For the past few weeks, I've been planning a comprehensive post on my conflicting feelings when it comes to supporting the Washington Redskins. Ultimately, I'll continue to love and root for the Skins simply because it's what I've done for as long as I can remember. Still, with an insane owner who surrounds himself with yes men, not to mention the abomination that is the team's nickname, you start to feel somewhat guilty to be a Redskins fan.

When it comes to yes men, there is none more demented or powerful than Vinny Cerrato, the recently promoted EXECUTIVE vice president of football operations, which is about a hundred syllables longer than just calling him the general manager just to piss everybody off (JJ pointed out Cerrato's pretentiousness here before).  I wasn't even going to get into the idiocy of him hosting his own radio show, but in only his second segment, he took his well known feud with Washington Post Redskins beat reporter Jason La Canfora to an all-time low by accusing him of calling the NFL to charge the Redskins with tampering.

From the D.C. Sports Bog:

Cerrato: Ok, let me read the tampering rule. It says about head coaches: "During a club's playing season, no club may request permission to discuss employment with a head coach for the current or future season." Last time I checked, Frank, we do have a head coach, and there was no discussion there of anything to do with a head coach or job opportunities. All it was was discussing his opportunity with a guy from NFL Network, Adam Schefter, who that's his job is to talk about these things. And that's what we discussed, about him being fired, which will probably happen today from what everybody's reporting. And there was also mention that I read on Pro Football Talk about him possibly going to Syracuse. So I don't see why Jason La Canfora would call the league office to charge us with tampering.

Michael: Vinny, Vinny.

Cerrato: Yes George?

Michael: Let me ask you this. If it were tampering--and that is a very serious thing--if it were tampering, what would happen to the Redskins?

Cerrato: Well, this George: If we were caught tampering, we would lose draft picks and be fined heavily. Look at the New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings, a lot of teams that have had these things happen lately. You're gonna get fined heavily. So this guy, one of the reasons I want to do this show, George, is to give my opinion on these things, so when things come up I can voice my opinion. But when a guy is trying to hurt the franchise of the Washington Redskins, I'm gonna stand up and I'm gonna defend the Washington Redskins. Because there is nothing that happened on that, this is just a guy attacking us, and I wish that he would just be professional like the rest of his colleagues that cover the Redskins. Period.

Hanrahan: Vinny, my question is how did you find out that...?

Cerrato: The NFL called.

Hanrahan: Ok, they called you? And what did they say?

Cerrato: They just thought it was kind of a joke. They were just giving us a heads-up that Jason La Canfora called and wondering....I mean, it was ridiculous, you know? Maybe he should be out at practice watching practice, George.

This is just shameful, clear evidence that Cerrato and Snyder have it out for La Canfora. The Washington Post's sports editor responded to the accusations on La Canfora's blog, the Redskins Insider:

Emilio Garcia-Ruiz asked me to share this with you:

We've had some calls and emails about statements made today by Vinny Cerrato, who said on his radio show that Post reporter Jason LaCanfora had called "the league office to charge us with tampering."

Jason did not "charge" anyone with anything. He called the NFL's public relations staff last week to ask how the league's anti-tampering rules would come into play if Vinny Cerrato answered a question during his new radio show about a player or coach under contract to another team. Sports radio hosts are often asked these sorts of questions, and we were curious whether Cerrato would be limited in the way he could respond by virtue of his position as a team GM.

Jason did not make any sort of complaint whatsoever. (In fact, reporters cannot charge teams with violations of NFL rules. Only other teams can file charges like tampering.) He referred to Cerrato's questions about Raiders coach Lane Kiffin only to provide context for the question he was asking. He did not write about the issue.

It's clear that La Canfora wasn't "charging" the Redskins of anything, as he's not even able to do so as a sportswriter (it would have to come from a fellow NFL executive or official). The Redskins brass don't like him because he writes negative things about the team. Guess what guys... that's called journalism, you idiots! He is supposed to provide an unbiased perspective of the team and I think he does that well. Having guys like this in charge of my favorite team is as infuriating as it is insulting.

How can Redskins fans defend behavior like this? The sad truth is that we can't and devoted fans are forced to root for the Skins in spite of their ownership.

1 comment:

  1. As we were discussing back at the palace, I really think Vinny Cerrato is pulling a Bill Clinton in relation to the media. The way Clinton didn't realize he could just lie about things and get away with it during the age of youtube (speech about opposing the Iraq war during the primary), Cerrato must not realize how easy it is for any fan to check and see that ONLY OTHER TEAMS CAN CHARGE OTHER TEAMS WITH TAMPERING!

    It's such an obviously lie, he's clearly just hoping that ignorance prevails and fans don't do their homework. If he succeeds I'm going to be beyond pissed.