Dot.Com Refugee #3: Send Cheese Curds

April 23, 2001


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When I last wrote, I had just been given the Heisman by the Minneapolis Convention and Visitors’ Bureau. When I got that call, I really felt like crying, “Why not me?” But I held it together, which is not to say I haven’t found other opportunities to express my emotions … like whenever there’s an especially poignant episode of the Rugrats on.

I watched the last hour of “Field of Dreams” this weekend. Very cathartic. “Dad, you wanna have a catch?” That always gets me. Another spot that always hits home is when Moonlight Graham has to leave the field to help the fallen girl. Very symbolic. At some point, you have to get off the Field of Dreams, stop being a kid with your whole life ahead of you and be an adult. You can’t go back.

But you can still have dreams, regardless of your age.

For example, I dream that Gina, my daughter who turns three in May, will someday go poo-poo on the toy-dee.


Another dream is to hike to the top of Pike’s Peak. Last week I took a very positive step in the right direction. There are three milestones on the Barr Trail: the Incline (3 miles), the Camp (6.5 miles) and the Summit (12.5 miles). The first two or three miles and the last two or three miles are the most difficult. On Thursday, I hiked to the top of the Barr Incline in 89 minutes – my all-time personal best. I haven’t hiked that trail since 1991.

(Editor’s Note: My personal best now is something like 56 minutes.)

I hope to hike to the Camp in two weeks and the Summit in six weeks.

Everyone is welcomed to join me. I have lots of time to exercise lately and I’ve been walking, hiking, biking and swimming. The pounds are starting to roll off. I don’t want to brag, but I’m getting pretty buff. Rulon Gardner wishes he could have my thighs. Unfortunately, I still have Rulon’s girth, but I’m working on it.


I’ve tried even more networking. I found a PR Director job open with the International SPA Association. That’s right, an association of spas. ISPA is one of the Host Communications’ companies. My friend Dan Peters has worked at Host for 10 years, so I e-mailed my ol’ buddy Dan-O for some insider trading. He filled out an internal company referral form for me, but he got stuck on the part that asked, “Why are you recommending this individual?” Dan wrote:

“Chas-man is a really cool guy who was my drinking buddy while we worked at the University of Florida. One time, when we were really drunk, we walked 5 miles home from a party, just because it seemed like the thing to do.”


I contacted my alma mater, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, asking the Career Services department for suggestions via e-mail. Sheri wrote back with a few comments on my resume and asked if there is anything else she could do for me. I wrote:

“Since you asked, here’s what you can do for me …

  1. Slip my name into conversations with companies calling with openings for recent graduates. It’s a sales technique used everywhere (want some fries with that?) When someone calls looking for a three-month intern, just say, “Want a seasoned PR professional with that?”
  2. Gather all of the top minds of UW-RF and figure out how to get former Falcon Charlie Snyder a high-paying, rewarding job. Make it a school project with Falcon pride at stake. I was once someone the entire school could be proud of; now I’m a poor, pathetic, unemployed slob … that’s got to hurt in recruiting of prospective students. Yes, I think an emergency meeting of the Board of Regents is the way to go!
  3. Send beer and cheese curds.”


When I was my high school’s student newspaper’s Sports Editor and I honored the “SnydeRemarks’ Remarkable Athlete.” So starting with this e-mail, I’m instituting the “SnydeRemarks’ Remarkable Friend” program. The first recipient is …

** Matt Farrell. He’s the little brother I never had, who is also the USOC Associate Director of Internet Marketing. Matt was once my intern, then my assistant; now he is my boss. Matt gave me some online content to edit, including an Olympic gold medallist’s training tips, so I gave it my best shot.

The Olympic gold medallist wrote this:
“Always be willing to do one more rep. If the goal was 10 and you still feel good after the 10th rep, do 11 or 12.”

Not much to edit here, so I decided to punch it up a bit:

“Always be willing to do one more rep. If the goal was 10 and you still feel good after the 10th rep, do 11 or 12. Of course, this is just a general tip. A lot depends on your physical condition, training goals and activity. Perhaps you should add weight and do fewer reps. Maybe you are trying to lift too much and sacrificing proper form. Maintaining technique is more important than the actual number of reps. I don’t know . . . it’s difficult to say. This tip seems a little inadequate to me, but what do you expect? I’m not your personal trainer, for crying out loud; I’m just a guy trying to defend an Olympic crown. I can’t spend all day figuring out how many reps you should be doing. Why don’t you ask your coach or better yet why don’t you think for yourself for a change instead of continually looking for outside validation for things you should already know? If you can lift the bar one more time, go ahead and do it. If not, don’t; it’s not like you’ve got an Olympic title to defend.”

The athlete rejected my addition.


** Matt Lupton. He’s done a lot of design work for me that I might actually use someday. He brought some Pete’s Wicked Ale to the house and took me to a Gold Kings’ West Coast Hockey League playoff game. Matt and I have a similar sense of humor. He has written a tagline for his personal graphic design company: “All of the great design. None of the pissy artist attitude.”

** Craig Miller. He took me to lunch at Old Chicago’s. I kind of assumed he was buying and … this is kind of embarrassing … I took advantage of his generosity. It started with the entrĂ©e. The waitress said, “Sir, are you aware of exactly how large our large pizza is?” I said, “Honey, just put the order in and let me worry about the size of the pizza.” Then, it came time to pay the bill. The waitress came by with the check, Craig started pulling out his American Express gold card and the waitress asked, “Did you save any room for dessert?” Craig shook his head to say no, when I jumped in. “Now that you mention it, I’d like the family-sized slab of lasagna to go!”

Craig, I apologize, and I hope that this doesn’t discourage anyone else from offering to take me to lunch during this time of my personal misfortune … or to bring beer over to the house.

** Marla Rodriquez. She was my office mate when we were both interns at Florida. Now she’s the Media Relations Director at the University of Denver. She’s given me several job tips in Denver and was such a wonderful host for Carli and myself at a Denver gymnastics’ quad meet that featured Florida, Penn State and Air Force. We sat near the uneven bars, the vaulters ran right in front of us and the floor exercise was close by too, but Carli’s eyes wandered. “Look, Dad, there’s the ‘Eat Mor Chickn’ cow!”


Finally, you can find anything on the Internet. I saw the very last few minutes of Oliver Stone’s movie, “Nixon,” an excellent film. I just caught the tail end and they were running the credits over footage of Nixon giving an impromptu farewell speech to White House staffers. I heard a really good quote and found the exact words online.

“We think that when we suffer a defeat that all is ended … not true. It is only a beginning, always. The young must know it; the old must know it. It must always sustain us, because the greatness comes not when things go always good for you, but the greatness comes and you are really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments, when sadness comes, because only if you have been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.”

Much like Nixon in the late 70s, early 80s, I’m tanned, rested and ready to go.

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Dot.Com Refugee #4: Keep Hope Alive


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