Marine Lt. Denver Edick wanted to surprise his wife, who happens to be a Redskins cheerleader (Ooh-Rah Marine!), upon his return from a deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan at a Redskins cheerleading practice. So he called a local TV affiliate to catch the reunion on camera.
Nice story, right? Most teams would love the free publicity of a Marine surprising his cheerleader wife. Well, the Redskins are not most teams. Full disclosure: I am a Redskins season ticket holder and remain a die-hard fan even though they seem to do everything in their power to push fans like myself away. Last year, the Post uncovered how the Redskins sued season ticket holders including an elderly woman and banned signs inside the stadium when the season went south and most fans demanded the owner fire the GM (which he did, thankfully).
So how did the Edick reunion lead to Edick’s wife Kristin Edick almost losing her job and Redskins owner Daniel Snyder writing a letter of apology to a local TV station chief? Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz broke the story and I’d encourage everyone to check it out its entirety, but I’ll provide a quick synopsis to anyone too lazy to click over.
Edick, who is from Asheville, N.C., first called a local television affiliate from his hometown. When that station couldn’t send a reporter up to D.C., they asked a partner station, WJLA to capture the reunion. However, when a WJLA reporter asked the Redskins to bring cameras to the practice, he was denied. Not only that, the Redskins then offered the story to a competing affiliate, which has a broadcast deal with the team.
When the North Carolina station chief, Bryan Luhn, found out, he contacted Stephanie Jojokian, the team’s cheerleaders director, and asked if he could at least interview Mrs. Edick oustide the stadium or at a restaurant, according to the Post.
Luhn told the Post that Jojokian told him: “She could do that, but she’ll no longer be a Redskins cheerleader.” The Redskins contend that Jojokian did not say that, but do not deny they banned WJLA reporters from entering the stadium Thursday night when the reunion occurred.
In the end, NBC affiliate WRC got the reunion footage; the Washington Post got to needle the Redskins some more (which they seem to enjoy doing); After Action got an excuse to post video of NFL cheerleaders; and most importantly, Edick returned home safely to his wife.
As for WJLA, their station chief received a letter of apology from Snyder. No word yet if season ticket holders will receive an apology for allowing former General Manager Vinny Cerrato to drag the Redskins into the NFC East basement.