Washington Commanders’ New Mascot “Major Tuddy” Is A Major Pain For Former Players And Fans

Image Credit: The Washington Post / Getty

During the Washington Commanders’ loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, they debuted their new mascot, Major Tuddy, which opened many new problems for the franchise. Perceived as one of the most tone-deaf organizations in professional football, the Commanders’ decision to move forward with a “pig” puts them in the crosshairs of their beloved “Hogs.”

During Sunday’s 40th anniversary of the dominant offensive line, the “Hogs” that won the franchise’s three Super Bowls, the Commanders unveiled the new mascot. It was a direct challenge to the trademark filed by former players who were members of the original Hogs.

Major Tuddy = Major Problems

Former players Joe Jacoby, Doc Walker, John Riggins, Mark May, and Fred Dean formed a company, O-Line Entertainment, and filed for trademarks of the “Hogs” and “original Hogs” names. The group has been in contention with the franchise that made them famous over the representation of their porky legacy, and Major Tuddy was the step over the line they hoped wouldn’t occur.

“If they go forward on Sunday and make the hog their mascot and try to trademark it, we are going to be forced into trademark infringement litigation,” Seth Berenzweig, the attorney for O-Line Entertainment, told Front Office Sports. “We’ve made it very clear to them that we believe they’d be infringing on the trademark, and they need to arrange a licensing deal with the players. They have refused to do that.”

Additionally, Commanders owners Dan and Tanya Snyder were noticeably absent from the 40th-anniversary celebration of the Hogs on gameday. The former players let it be known that they are not the biggest fans of team ownership, and early reports of their disagreement with the team appeared to be about their ability to use the Hogs name exclusively. With Major Tuddy, it is clear that the group was aware the team was planning on memorializing their legend in the form of the porcine mascot, and they were not feeling the decision.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

The team was between a dog and a pig and went with the pig. However, the fans were just as critical of the mascot, with a majority disapproving of Major Tuddy.

The mascot debacle was just part of the team’s catastrophic Sunday, looking more like the 1995 movie “Major Payne” than the Commander of any high-level NFL franchise. Coach Ron Rivera started Carson Wentz at QB, and the team took a 24-10 loss that knocked them out of playoff contention.

“I love Ron Rivera,” tweeted veteran sports media and Washington sports journalist Michael Wilbon. “He played for my fave team ever, the ’85 Bears … He’s a worthy man and head coach … but starting Carson Wentz today with everything on the line for Washington was about as dumb a decision as a coach can make.”

Wentz threw three interceptions and went 16 of 28 for 143 yards, leaving many scratching their heads at why Rivera didn’t allow Taylor Heinicke to play, even though he hasn’t won a game since Nov. 27 against the Atlanta Falcons. While the fans chanted for Heinicke’s return, the Commanders (7-8-1) stayed winless under Wentz, whose performance only heightened a tense day for the burgundy and gold.

“I have high expectations for myself and this team, and we underperformed — I did, myself, as well,” said Wentz postgame. “That’s not what I had in mind and what we had in mind as a team. Not the performance I envisioned. A lot of stuff I want back. Yeah, that was a tough one.”

Between a mascot, a group of Hogs, and an embattled QB, the Commanders are in a pigpen of problems.

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.