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Om Field: A Word on Karl Swanson


Burgundy & Gold Jacket
Staff member
BGO Ownership Group
Apr 11, 2009
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Montclair, VA
Few men I have met support the old adage "I would rather be respected than liked" better than Karl Swanson.

The Washington Redskins long-time Senior Vice President of Public Relations and owner Daniel Snyder's top lieutenant at Redskins Park, Swanson stepped down from his position this week.

Much has been written about Swanson over the years, precious little of it flattering. On a scale of 1 to 10 on the Liked Scale, I think it's safe to say Karl Swanson would barely move the needle. What I find amusing about that is, in the privacy of his own mind, I think that might just please him.

Karl doesn't do maudlin so I wouldn't go there even if I thought it appropriate. But I do think he might appreciate this little vignette, as recalled through the eyes of someone who was paying attention ...

Insightful, Om. Thank you for this personal account. I for one know very little about the man. Don't really know why he was so scorned, either. Cool to hear this sort of Dark Knight side of him, though.
Gracias, gents. Karl's definitely an interesting guy.

Not everyone can do what he does---most of us have skin way too thin to survive, much less thrive, in the kind of perpetual open season on character, job performance, you name it, that fans and media engage in in today's multimedia climate. I know I couldn't do it. I'm far too sensitive. They'd have had to talk me down from the Bell Tower long ago.
yep, he was like Ron Knessen at the podium addressing the media during Nixon's second term. everyone knew it was going badly and there were minefields all over the place and he managed to go to work, collect his paycheck and come home and then walk his dog :)

Hallelujah! Glad to see there are some 'real' Americans left among us :D
Very nice Mark. Only question I always had was if, rather than "I would rather be respected than liked", it was Machiavelli's 'Better to be feared than loved' that described Swanson's tenure. He never struck me as a guy who tried to intimidate people. He struck me as someone who didn't have to.

You are essentially correct though. I always felt that, at the heart of his little fan experiment (letting a couple of the restless natives within the walls of the fortress) was nothing but genuine good will and pure intentions. There may have been less noble reasons for the effort, but I always thought Swanson was honest about what drove his support of the idea.

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