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I am Dave McKenna | Sports & Recreation

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I am Dave McKenna

There are far more important things going on in the world right now than Dan Snyder's lawsuit against the parent company of Washington City Paper: political unrest in the middle east, extreme weather at home in the U.S., and some football game on Sunday. But for some reason, I am completely riveted by Dan Snyder's vendetta on City Paper writer, Dave McKenna. For the last two days, I've been reading every piece of news I could find on “the story.” At the first possible opportunity, I chipped in what little money my debt-riddled posterior could afford to help the Washington City Paper Defense Fund. It was then that I realized why I am so engrossed by this little bit of human drama; I am Dave McKenna.

I haven't read the article that incited Dan vs. Dave 2K11, but I've read a half dozen refutations of the lawsuit's allegations. In the court of public opinion, the judges have already ruled resoundingly in Dave's favor. It seems fair to say that Dave is innocent of nothing more than rubbing Dan Snyder the wrong way. And yet now he faces the wrath of D.C.'s resident supervillain.

I have often found myself in a similar situation, raging against the machine after the machine saw fit to smack me in the back of the head. I've been on the losing side against a college, an insurance company, an archdiocese, and a union. I've been outnumbered, out-lawyered, and out-funded. I'll confess, I didn't rage too hard, but only because the odds against me seemed so overwhelming. When given the choice to move on with my life, or have my life become a drawn-out battle with The Man, I opted to move on. But it still bugs me.

Dave doesn't get a choice. He and Washington City Paper have to face Dan Snyder's muzak, with stakes that are way bigger than anything I ever had on the line. And while many would just dismiss this whole affair as a millionaire's frivolous lawsuit, something bigger does hang in the balance. If Snyder somehow manages a win, it will set a dangerous precedent for rich guys litigating the media into submission. But so far, Snyder's legal team has demonstrated the same competency as his football team, which is great news for the First Amendment.

But freedom of speech is a vast, abstract concept that I can only appreciate on an intellectual level. Dave McKenna is flesh and blood. And although I've never met him or know very much about him, I feel a connection to him. He's me, and Dan Snyder is every Goliath I've ever faced. I'm behind you, Dave, and it's an honor to load your sling.