For a franchise that’s become an awful parody of itself, it was fitting that a team rebranding as the Commanders had so little command of its own reveal.
Commanders it is … here’s the video #WashingtonFootball
— Mitchell Tischler (@Mitch_Tischler) February 2, 2022
The new name was the worst-kept secret in Washington — as owner Dan Snyder himself acknowledged immediately. It was supposed to be officially unveiled in front of a national audience. Yet after nearly two years of planning and preparation to show off a new identity for a franchise nearing its 90th anniversary, the rollout featuring the trio of Doug Williams, Jonathan Allen and team president Jason Wright was — well, awkward.
“We are the Commanders.”
— Former Washington Football Team QB Doug Williams announces new team name, the Washington Commanders pic.twitter.com/ta5hEeyHhQ
— The Recount (@therecount) February 2, 2022
It’s odd that there wasn’t a literal unveiling of the uniform right there, with Wright, the man at the forefront of this rebranding. Instead, Williams simply spoke the new name like the corny uncle at family dinner.
Ok, before I dive into the name, let me huddle up with my fellow football fashionistas:
Initial reaction to the unis: Love the matte helmets but the color rush theme and black helmets are a bad idea https://t.co/nv07AUFDGW
— Rob Woodfork (@RobWoodfork) February 2, 2022
The helmets look terrific. Matte is cool and contemporary, and the new logo fits nicely on the side. My only complaint: The stripe down the middle is extraneous — either go with the three stripes, like the old helmets, or no stripe at all like they did the last two seasons. The black helmet? Throw it in the trash.
The threads are a problem. One of the great things about the old uniforms was the nice contrast between the burgundy and the gold. This all-one-color setup looks like the ill-fated Color Rush uniforms the NFL tried a few years ago.
Speaking of Burgundy and Gold, where’s the gold in the white uniforms? Adding black to an oddly off-color shade of burgundy only brings to mind one of the biggest snafus in franchise history.
This team really messed around and made Jim Zorn’s “maroon and black” gaffe a reality🤦🏾♂️https://t.co/bmpMM7byCr
— Rob Woodfork (@RobWoodfork) February 2, 2022
I would be more excited about the black alternate unis if they were more of an accent to burgundy or a fade to black, like the Atlanta Falcons’ recent upgrade. The all-black look, for a team that doesn’t have black in its color scheme, makes it appear as if it’s trying to look like someone else.
I know it’s not a popular sentiment, but I actually like the ‘W’ logo. The franchise is clearly embracing a military theme, and it exudes the toughness and discipline associated with football players. The secondary logo is way too busy and looks more befitting a European soccer team.
New name, new marks pic.twitter.com/KxN5pWg4X1
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) February 2, 2022
Oh, and the D.C. flag on the jerseys of a team that trains in Virginia and plays in Maryland? A clear means to seduce the District into welcoming them back with a shiny, new stadium.
The next chapter for the Washington Commanders should be a return to winning, right here in DC. pic.twitter.com/FIk1F0QqRG
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) February 2, 2022
Now, as for the new Commanders moniker: On the one hand, it’s a relief that the team finally has a name. (I still contend Football Team has a Seinfeld-ian simplicity that actually works, and Federals would have been the best choice for a city with teams called the Nationals and Capitals — but I digress.) On the other hand, Commanders is meant to be a unifying moniker, and it certainly has been — in the opposite way the franchise intended.
Random people on Twitter did better in a week than your multi-million dollar marketing team did in 2 years. pic.twitter.com/n0wAClNYqH
— Treyding Stocks (@TreydingStocks) February 2, 2022
Chase Young graded potential Washington team names in November…
He gave the Commanders a F 💀
— PFF (@PFF) February 2, 2022
Underwhelmed by #Commanders gives me Arena league vibes,won’t be calling them that it’s Washington, them,they, the team or them 🤬🤬 depending on how they playing 😂,the Burgundy uni is 🔥🔥,the black will grow on me but that White joint aint it
— DMVSPORTS (@dmvsports2015) February 2, 2022
Looks like a FUBU jersey 😂😂 #WashingtonCommanders pic.twitter.com/6ZhRfPWsTW
— str3tch🧟♂️😷 (@PAYNE_21) February 2, 2022
Now that you mention it, Washington could use a good Commander… pic.twitter.com/S01zPpNOJ1
— Cobra Commander (@CobraCommander) February 2, 2022
The literal definition of Commanders: “a person in authority, especially over a body of troops or a military operation.” Also, “a member of a higher class in some orders of knighthood.”
No franchise with Snyder and his unresolved (and, to date, unpunished) controversies can suggest it is of high class or authority. So while the name itself isn’t terrible, it’s woefully out of place.
Bottom line: Commanders is only as good as the team makes it. Winning on the field is a start. Players making the community proud helps too.
But Washington can’t truly start fresh as long as Snyder remains the team owner. Commanders is just another name he’ll drag through the mud.
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