The Redskins Charitable Foundation partnered with Prince George’s County Public Schools to announce a formal business partnership today, the gist of which is that the team will be helping to improve and maintain the fields at twelve P.G. county public schools, which adds to the thirteen already renovated and maintained in the Greater D.C. Metro area. It’s a program that the Redskins are immensely proud of, one that costs almost a million dollars a year, and I’ll have some more about that tomorrow. Today, the field at Surrattsville High School in Clinton, Md., was unveiled, and promptly put to good use for a soccer game.
The unveiling was attended by several Redskins players — including Clinton Portis, who drew the loudest cheers — but perhaps the most surprising element was that team owner Daniel M. Snyder spoke briefly to the media afterward, and apologized to the fans for the team’s lackluster start to the season.
“I feel bad for the fans,” he said. “I feel sorry for the fans. And we’re very, very appreciative of our great, loyal fan base. And I’m understanding; I mean, we just feel terrible. We’re disappointed and we’re embarrassed. And we hope to get it going soon. We’re disappointed.”
The media session was cut short by the school’s marching band, so only Lindsay Czarniak was able to get any questions in, and the audio of the session is occasionally muffled by high winds, but as much of a transcript as Redskins.com’s Gary Fitzgerald and I could put together is after the jump; video to follow shortly. Courtesy of the Redskins Broadcast Network, the high-quality video is now posted above.
Lindsay: What does this mean to you, to be able to be out here?
“It’s great. It’s really important that we really work hard with the community to give back. We’ve got an obligation with our football team and our players, and an opportunity. So we’re excited. I mean, they’re beautiful fields, and we hope they’re put to good use.”
Does it mean something special to get the cheers out there? Is it a refreshing feeling for once?
DS: “Well, y’know, we’re doing good here. We’re doing [for a] good cause, and it’s nice.”
One thing I wanted to ask you, Dan, is about some of the negativity that has been around this team. When you look at things like the ticket controversy and then the signs being banned, does it feel like being out here and getting a chance to turn things around, where do you stand on that stuff?
DS: “I think number one I feel bad for the fans. I feel sorry for the fans. And we’re very, very appreciative of our great, loyal fan base. And I’m understanding; I mean, we just feel terrible. We’re disappointed and we’re embarrassed. And we hope to get it going soon. We’re disappointed.”
You’re human. How does it impact you?
DS: “It hurts. I mean, it really hurts. We are really trying very, very hard. Everyone at Redskins Park, the coaches, the players, the organization’s really quite frankly held up well. And I think we’ve got opportunity the rest of the season to hopefully get it going. But to date we’ve let everyone down including ourselves. We know that. We’re just apologetic. We’ve blown some games that obviously we think we should have won. And I think the players are playing hard, and we still hope to do well starting this Sunday.”
People look at you and see the uber-Redskins fan. What are your thoughts about what’s going on with this team?
DS: “I see disappointment. I see the same way I feel and I share their frustration. It’s hard. We’re going to try to put it together and get it going.”
What do you need from here on out? What’s the next step for you?
DS: “The next step is Sunday. It’s that simple. We hope we can put together a good performance down in Atlanta and start a winning streak.”
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