Legendary D.C. Offensive Line “Hogs” Want No Part Of Current Commanders Or Owner Dan Snyder | File For Trademark

Image Credit: The Washington Post / Getty

The famous ’90s offensive line for the now Washington Commanders known as the Hogs aren’t feeling the team that made them legends and team owner Dan Snyder. The Hogs are distancing themselves from the team, and ironically, the action comes ahead of a planned Jan. 1, 2023, celebration of the Hogs during their home game against the Cleveland Browns.

At the center of the controversy is that memorable name, “Hogs,” which the former teammates have filed for approval of a federal trademark as they feel they have copyright compensation claims.

Hogs Wild

“The Commanders are using the original HOGS brand for commercial purposes with NO compensation to the men who’s blood & sweat equity built the original HOGS brand 40 years ago,” Seth Berenzweig, the lead attorney representing O-Line entertainment, said in a statement.

The former players who made the word HOGS synonymous with football and the Commanders, Joe Jacoby, Mark May, John Riggins, Fred Dean, and Doc Walker, seek a federal trademark to protect their legacy. The group filed for the trademark in late July 2022 and wants to use the mark for merchandise, entertainment events like hosting, advertising, education, and more. The group is looking to trademark “Hogs” and “Original Hogs.”

“Without substantial control and compensation, the original HOGS do not want to be associated with the Commanders under its current ownership and management and require that their legacy and brand is protected,” the group said in a joint statement.

Ahead Of The Celebration

The Commanders are clear on the significance of their tough-as-nails offensive line from the early ’80s through the early ’90s. The Hogs were partly responsible for the then-Redskins to win three Super Bowl championships in 1982, 1987, and 1991 (XVII, XXII, and XXVI). They shone under then-head coach Joe Gibbs.

Sunday’s FedEx Field event will honor the Hogs during pregame and halftime.

“We are planning a celebration of the greatest offensive line ever to play the game,” said Jean Medina, spokesperson for the Commanders. “The HOGS are a key part of our franchise’s history and we want to keep their legacy alive with the next generation of fans. We have been working with the Hogs on this event for six months and look forward to welcoming them and Coach Gibbs back.

“Coach Gibbs will be there and will serve as the honorary captain.”

The generally less famous offensive line was revitalized by the gigantic athletes comprising the Hogs. The group received its name from legendary offensive line coach Joe Bugel. It stuck as they dominated, forcing teams to rethink how they recruited defensive linemen that would face them.

The Hogs represented the golden era of Washington, D.C., football. With all the scandals that have befallen the team under the leadership of owner Dan Snyder, the Hogs are attempting to protect themselves from any further fallout suffered and monetize the brand they made famous.

“This is not yet a lawsuit, but it may be,” Berenzweig said to Washington radio station WTOP. “We’ve been trying to negotiate a license with the Commanders, and we’ve gotten absolutely nowhere. When someone holds a trademark, it’s their property, and the only way that someone else can use it is with permission through a license.”

With the former players looking to get in the mud with Snyder to own their narrative, the Commanders can’t stay out of controversy past, present or future.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.