Hail to the Commanders?
I will state this again, I have not ever been a fan of what was the Washington Redskins/Football Team. I simply live in the DC metro area. There is not a NFL team that I call my team. I wrote about this at the start of the season asking if it is a blessing or a curse. Feel free to read that again as a refresher.
Living in this area for 34 years now it is impossible to not have been bombarded with round the clock yearly coverage of what was the ’Redskins’. There were a few brief periods such as when the George Mason Patriots wore Cinderella’s glass slipper to the 2006 NCAA Final Four. When the Washington Nationals went to the MLB playoffs for the first time in 2012. The spring of 2018 when the DC area discovered hockey and watched the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup. And again in October of 2019 to see the Nationals finally win the World Series. Outside of those few times sports coverage here has been ‘Redskins’ tape to tape.
Now I like numbers when it comes to sports. Season to season records or a few seasons together can give you trends. But when you look at 34 seasons worth of performance it isn’t a trend, it’s your identity. In the 34 years I have lived here the record of Washington’s football team is 242-301-2. That’s a winning percentage of 44%. In those 34 years they made the playoffs 9 times. That is slightly more than 25%. Here’s another way to read that, Washington makes the playoffs 1 out of every 4 years.
I’ve met and heard from many lifelong and generational Washington fans. Guys who root for them because they watched games with their dad and grandfather. That’s great. Those family connections transcend sports. But Washington football of today is not you daddy’s ‘Redskins’. And the one simple reason why is Daniel Snyder. He deserves more trashing than I can do in just this one article.
Sorry there’s a little bouncing back and forth here and some meandering but I’ve got to lay all this out for you to know what it’s like living under the ‘Redskins’ overreaching umbrella. Their absolute domination of the media. Is the media serving the fans or is the media influencing fandom?
Two years ago they make the decision to drop the name ‘Redskins’ for its offensiveness to Native Americans. I’m not going to debate the political arguments associated with it but just to say if you are upsetting someone then some listening on both sides of the argument can lead to a solution. And finally we have arrived at the solution.
I know it’s taken me a good bit to get you to the meat of this article but trust me you really have to understand the history of this team, their fans, their owner, the media’s obsession with the team, their struggles on and off the field, their Congressional investigations, and below mediocre performance to fully grasp how they screwed up the chance with the announcement of their new name. Something that could have been an amazing event that they could have used to turn the page and reinvent themselves and move this franchise in a new direction.
NBC’s Today Show gave Washington a national stage to unveil their new name, logo, and uniform designs. The team announced they would be hosting a tailgate party of sorts for their big day. A 70000 seat stadium that has seen its fair share of concerts and events was the setting. Washington, here is your time to shine!
So was there a roaring crowd? Fireworks and pyrotechnics? Bands playing? Amazing video production on the big screen? Huge banner unveiling of the new name? A military presence if rumors were true of a military connection? No. None of it. There were 4 dudes in directors chairs on the turf at FedEx Field. NBC Today Show host Craig Melvin. Washington team President Jason Wright. Super Bowl winning QB Doug Williams. And current team captain Josh Allen.
After a short video piece about the history of the team that included their decision to change the team’s name and even mention of allegations of sexual misconduct within the originization you see those four guys sitting on the field. Host Craig Melvin then jumps right to it asking Wright to share the new name. Jason Wright then throws it to Doug Williams telling him to let it be known. Williams then leans over to hug Josh Allen and says “We are the Commanders”.
If I had a million chances to do a worse job with the announcement I couldn’t have done it. A simple press release would have been better. Nearly 2 years they built ‘excitement’ and made people believe this was going to be such a big deal that the Today Show was live in Raljon then they unleashed a total stinker.
The name Commanders had been rumored to be the new team name for quite a while. There were reports that a drone or helicopter had pictures of signage in the stadium from the day before that said ‘Commanders’. So most fans sort or accepted that was going to be the new name. There wasn’t a huge contingent of fans that loved it. Most were just ready to accept it, and after 2 seasons of being called ‘Football Team’ I think they were ready for their team to have a name again.
It’s really the fans of the team that I feel the worst for. It’s great to have a name to call your team again. But you really need to step back and look at what you have had to put up with from this ownership group. The name change could have happened in one day. It didn’t have to take 2 years. It all was done as a spit in the face of their fans. Because they will just eat it up. This team punches you in the nuts but you still love them. And you’ve been so brainwashed that any move the team makes you only look at through your burgundy colored glasses and believe to your core that it was all that was needed to take you to the promised land.
Dan Snyder has Washington Commanders fans hoodwinked and hornswaggled to the point they celebrate this stuff. All because any shiny new turd he shows off those poor fans line up with their fists full of cash graciously ready to hand it over. Wake up and see what is being done to you!
Unfortunately it simply all will continue. The local sports radio station, which doesn’t even have the broadcast rights to the game because of grudge Snyder still carries against them for demolishing the AM signal he bought, they will be leading the charge. All due to a twisted view they hold that the Commanders rule the town so they must get 98% of the coverage. Free advertisement for Snyder who has sold those broadcast rights to the political talk station in DC. You can’t make this stuff up about how delusional fans in this area are.
Dan Snyder feeds and feeds off of that delusion while stuffing his pockets with the hard earned cash of a fan base that was once cheered by the former owner Jack Kent Cooke. He loved the fans and they loved him and he did his best to provide fans with a team they could take pride in. Dan Snyder is the complete opposite of Mr. Cooke.
2.2.22 was a day the Commanders could have used to relaunch themselves as a rebranded and new team. The only other way that happens is with an expansion team. It could have been a new day to start a new era in Washington. Unfortunately it was just a dud and until ownership realizes they have to tear it all down if they want to be winners it will simply be more of the same.
Hail to the Commanders!