On Monday, former Washington Football Team QB, Super Bowl and NFL MVP Joe Theismann seemingly leaked the team’s new name which is scheduled to be unveiled on Wednesday in New York.
On an ESPN podcast last September, team CEO Tanya Snyder confirmed the names of eight unofficial finalists: Armada, Brigade, Commanders, Defenders, Presidents, Red Hogs, Red Wolves and Washington Football Team.
During an interview on the D.A. Show on CBS Sports, Theismann referred to the team as the Washington Commanders. “The General” as Theismann was affectionately called during his playing days, made the Commanders reference more than once. He even said he believes Washington fans will embrace the new name, Commanders.
That’s more than a hint before Wednesday’s announcement. That’s a full-fledged leak.
Joe Theisman believes Washington football fans will embrace the new name coming on Wednesday: The Commanders. pic.twitter.com/itHSZQqnX3
— Damon Amendolara (@DAonCBS) January 31, 2022
“A Commander, basically it’s Washington D.C. A lot of Commanders in Washington D.C., in the Pentagon and a lot of different branches of service. So to me that’s really the way, I’m looking at it, as positions of leadership when it comes to a new name.”
This is not a slam dunk, however, because there have also been other instances where the name appeared to be leaked. Like a clip of the possible logo on Team President Jason Wright’s lap during the team’s last “Making The Brand” video.
The strongest clue/sign/slip is the jersey reveal showing what is right above the numbers. The line-under-letters style with what looks like an "R" matches the video "un-blurred slip" of the COMMANDERS logo seen on Jason Wright's lap. That "W" is also the same as the "NIKE leak" pic.twitter.com/rHpEu8nzXr
— WFAnalytics (@analytics_wf) January 12, 2022
But no one has come out and said it over and over like Theismann did in his interview. Of course, Theismann tried to retract his statements from the interview, but that may have been nothing more than damage control after his blunder.
In a text to WFT beat reporter Matthew Paras, here’s what Theismann said ….
“Not completely sure what the new name is. No one has told me. Like you, I’ll find out on Wednesday.”
Just got this text from Joe Theismann: "Not completely sure what the new name. No one has told me. Like you I’ll find out on Wednesday."
— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) January 31, 2022
Charles Mann Knows The Name And Doesn’t Care For It: Keep Uniform Colors!
Former WFT defensive end Charles Mann, a four-time Pro Bowl player and three-time Super Bowl winner, played for the franchise from 1984-93 and was part of the think tank that contributed to the selection of the team’s new name.
Mann first voiced his opinions in 2020, when the team made the decision to change the name, Mann expressed his strong sentiments on 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier show.
“You better not change that. Burgundy and gold. That would be a travesty, to change the color. Then I really feel like you are disrupting the franchise. Changing the name, the slogan if you will, the nickname, is one thing, but changing the colors would be devastating.”
“I think you’ve got to keep the burgundy & gold,” he added, “and that’s really the only stance I’ll take on that, is you definitely need to keep the burgundy and gold.”
Mann’s tune hasn’t changed much since, and he isn’t excited with the choice of team name.
A few months ago, Charles Mann and other former Washington players were informed of the team's three finalists for its next name.
— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) January 26, 2022
“I’m not happy with the name,” Mann said. “They gave us the three names probably three months ago on a Zoom call and they asked about all three of them. We crucified all three names.”
Mann isn’t against the name change as a whole, he understands the offensive nature of the previous name and why it’s being replaced. But from his quotes you can tell he doesn’t want any part of the name the franchise selected.
Wednesday can’t get here fast enough, but if the on-field product continues to be as bad as it’s been since 1991-92, a name change won’t mean much.
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