Dan Snyder and the XMB-5000

Washington Commanders

The office was large and plush. The 15-foot ceilings and large windows made even the largest of defensive linemen feel small. To one side was an equally large fire-place and in the middle or the room, with the windows behind it, was the desk of one Daniel M. Snyder.

Rain pattered against the glass of the enormous windows, and gave the night an even more ominous feel. The only light in the office was coming from the crackling fire in the aforementioned fireplace.

Snyder sat hunched behind his desk occasionally batting the top of one of the small army of Jason Taylor bobble-heads left over from last year disastrous trade.

“You wanted to see me sir?” said Vinny Cerrato as he entered the cavernous office.

“Ah, Vinny,” replied Snyder “how are things going with the XMB-5000”

Snyder swept his hand across his desktop of Jason Taylors and Vinny couldn’t help but feel like each of those little bobble-heads was nodding at him.

“Uh, well sir, as a concept, I’d say it’s pure genius.” Vinny continued “We have designed this computer to scan all the message boards and send in the plays that the fans want to see.”

“Yes, I got that from our last meeting, how is the progress?” Snyder waved his hand across the bobble-heads again and set off another army of toys that seemed to agree with him. This made him smile. “If we can’t use this thing to replace Jim Zorn, and I mean soon, I don’t know what I’m gonna do with that closet of Albert Haynesworth bobble-heads over there. Get a bigger desk I suppose.”

“Well sir,” said Vinny, tempering his words, “It seems to be working.”

“It does?” said Snyder, brightening at the thought of good news.

“Yes sir, but we keep running into the same problem.”

“I’m sure it’s just some technical glitch, we can work that out right?” said Snyder, who seemed to be attempting to hypnotize Vinny by continually making the bobble-heads nod.

“I’m sure your right sir.”

“So, what’s the problem? Does it not understand the plays?”

“Well, no, it seems to know what the fans want alright.”

“Is it the fact that it talks like a Speak-and-Spell?”

“No,” said Vinny, starting to shake his head.

“Is Jason Campbell having trouble understanding it when it calls the play in through his helmet?” said Snyder starting to laugh, “Boy, that’d be ironic, huh? You know for Campbell’s first three years here, I couldn’t even understand him.”

“Heh, heh, well, that would be irony” said Vinny, “but that doesn’t seem to be the problem either.”

“Well what then?” said Snyder starting to grow impatient, “What else could there be? I’ve spent 2.3 billion on R&D, brought in the best scientists money can buy to design the thing, what could possibly be wrong with it.”

“Well sir, I think we under-estimated the response from our ‘fans’ sir.”

“What?” said Snyder, settling back down in his chair, “Oh, you mean they have too many good ideas that it doesn’t know which ones to pick, huh? Yeah, we do have the best fans in the league; certainly the smartest.”

“Well, there were a lot of ideas…” said Cerrato; obviously hesitating, “I’m not sure how many were good.”

“Go on…” said Snyder

“Well, when we first got it all hooked up; Jason began to complain that the computer was recommending he commit suicide.”

“Oh, that’s not good.” said Snyder.

“That’s not the worst of it.” Said Cerrato, “When we reset it and hooked it up again, it took us 20-minutes to get Jason’s hands off Coach Zorn’s neck.”

“Oh, no” said Snyder, burying his head in his hands.

“The machine kinda got away from us at that point,” Vinny continued, “and before we knew it Jason had kicked Clinton in the butt, smacked most of his offensive lineman, and I could be wrong, but I think he was on his way to your office to kill you before we were able to tackle him.”

“Thank God he’s slow” said Snyder

“Agreed,” said Cerrato “It was very ‘Manchurian Candidate’ there for a while.”

“So what do you think Vinny?”

“I’m afraid to hook the thing back up, sir.” said Cerrato, “You know how the fans feel about me.”

Snyder sighed, and with the air of resignation said “Yeah, you’re probably right. Oh well, wouldn’t be the first time I blew a bunch of money on a project that didn’t work, huh?”

No sir.” Said Vinny

“I do have a few ideas though” continued Snyder as he swept up an armful of Jason Taylor bobble-heads and carried them over to the fire. As he began chucking them in one-by-one he looked over his shoulder and asked “Is that guy Shanahan still available?”

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