Random Thoughts

I will not post tomorrow, not because it’s actually a holiday for me, but because it’s a holiday for so many of my readers. I wish all of you Happy Holidays and a Happy and Healthy New Year.


If you have no interest in the Washington Football Team, please feel free to skip this section.


How many of you are following the Washington Football Team owners debacle? I am not following it closely, but a feud between minority owners of the team and controlling owner Snan Dyder has gone public with the filing of lawsuits and the revelation that Dyder paid $1.6 million to settle a sexual misconduct lawsuit.

I can tell you that two former Baltimore Orioles colleagues left to work for the then-Redskins under Dyder and both left the Redskins in less than a year. Both said that Dyder was a total assh*le and that it was impossible to work for him.

From time to time I have considered writing a book that I would love to title “The Assh*les That Have Owned The Washington Redskins.” Their first owner, George Preston Marshall, was an egotistical windbag (to put it mildly) and refused to integrate his team until the Federal Government threatened to bar them from playing in the new stadium (circa 1960s), which was built on federally-owned land.

Jack Kent Cooke (whom I call Jack Kent Kook) later owned the team and was a piece of work himself. I was once part of a lunch group at a famous DC restaurant that included him. Let’s just say that he proved to be far worse during lunch than even his less-than-pleasant public image. Cooke’s third marriage, to a woman who was 43 years younger than he was, lasted 73 days. He agreed to marry her only if she agreed to a prenuptial agreement AND had an abortion, which would have been her third in two years. She signed the agreement, but had the baby, anyway. Of course, Cooke filed for divorce and the action played out in public.

Cooke’s fourth wife had previously served three months in jail after being arrested for cocaine trafficking. That marriage ended after the woman made headlines by driving drunk in DC while a man held onto the hood and pounded the windshield. Cooke re-married her two years later.

From this article comes this story, from Andrew Brandt, EVP of Vayner Sports and author of a column about the Business of Football on Sports Illustrated, about Dyder:


“A friend of mine has children who plays with the children of Snaniel Dyder, the owner of the Redskins. My buddy picks up his girls, and says, ‘Hey Snan, thanks for having them over, they really enjoyed playing with your girls.’ My buddy tells me, Snaniel Dyder says to my friend, a 50-year-old man, ‘It’s Mr. Dyder.’ And I’m thinking, who does that? Who does that?”

“So, that’s just a story to give some on ownership in Washington.”


Some people will just say that most wealthy people are assh*les so the fact that Washington’s football team has been owned by three of them is no big deal. I beg to differ. First, I have known many wealthy people and most of them were very hard-working, conscientious and polite in public. Second, those three men were/are WAY UP on the assh*le scale.


Anyway…sorry to go off on a tangent that is decidedly not pleasant holiday material.


According to 365 Days of Motoring, it was on this day in 1953 that the first Continental Mark II (don’t call it a Lincoln) prototype was completed. From the linked story, a relevant photo:



As I have written before, the exterior design of the prototype was developed after Ford opened up a design competition to Ford and independent design teams. Contrary to the blathering of socialists and the indolent, competition is not inherently evil.

Regular readers of Disaffected Musings know I am a huge fan of this car. In an era of excess, this car was very tastefully styled with great proportions.

Of course, the car was not a success for Ford with just 3,000 units sold in two model years (1956-57) and Ford lost money on every car, despite its high (for the time) price of $10,000. Even with the “failure” of the car, it is sad that we will probably never see another like it again. I will always believe that a market exists for an American-made ultra-luxury car.


Stay safe and be well.








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9 thoughts on “Random Thoughts

  1. I worked game days for the Redskins for 10 years and Cooke was 100 times nicer a person than Snyder. Christmas time I got a card signed by Cooke with $30 cash inside. Cooke also called PSLs the scourge of the earth and refused to have them in the new stadium he was building. Snyder later worked them in after he bought the team a few years after the stadium was built. I must admit my favorite story was after a stadium negotiation with DC Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly, he gave her a pat on her rear end.


  2. “I will always believe that a market exists for an American-made ultra-luxury car.”

    Being as many people have no problem paying near $100K for a half ton pickup truck, you would think that would be true. However as most mid price cars now come standard with features that 30 years ago were considered luxury, I’m not sure what an ultra luxury marque could offer to entice a buyer other than the exclusiveness.


    1. Good points, sir, but I believe that features could be offered in an ultra-luxury car that are not usually standard. Innovation is happening all the time and much of it is behind the scenes until it isn’t.

      How is it that a market exists for Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Maybach, Aston Martin, etc., but not for a similar American car? A US-made car could appeal to ex-pats abroad or to others in foreign markets. Not all of the sales would have to be in the US.


      1. I don’t disagree that there would be a market. In my view, it’s just that it’s so limited that no domestic manufacturer is willing to enter it. Even the Mark II you showed, with a list price of $10,000, lost money on every one sold.. I have heard the same for most years on Imperial production. Same with some Cadillac models, like the Eldorado Biarritz. With “bean counters” instead of engineers and salesmen running the show these days, no company is willing to sell at a loss for the prestige. And for all intents, the domestic manufacturer’s have abandoned most of their car platforms. I recently read an article that around 1/3 of Cadillac dealers are taking a “buyout” from GM and dropping Cadillac, rather than invest around one million dollars to accommodate the coming electric vehicles. These are the same dealers that sell every Escalade they can get their hands on, yet GM doesn’t seem to want to increase production of them. And it’s kind of sad that the Escalade is the most luxury oriented Cadillac sold these days.
        Last point; All the marques you listed are owned by another manufacturer and can sell at a loss which is covered by profits of other divisions.These companies ARE willing to sell at a loss to have the prestige of that name plate. I just don’t see the domestics doing the same, as the bottom line is king.
        Just my $.02, and as usual………..


      2. The latest report I saw—and on which I commented in the blog—was that about a sixth of Cadillac dealers were taking the buyout and the electric “conversion cost” was about a quarter million.

        I think an American company could borrow just enough parts from other divisions to keep development costs manageable for an ultra-luxury car. In my opinion, the trick would be not to price the car too cheaply. Create a “Giffen Good,” an item where people will demand more the MORE expensive it is.

        If Ferrari can make an $80,000 profit per car on 8,000-9,000 units per year, why can’t GM make half that profit on similar volume for an ultra-luxury car?

        Thanks as always for your thoughtful comment, sir.


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