Feb 3, 2022 - Sports

Jeers and cheers: Greeting Washington's new Commanders

The new Washington Commanders uniforms displayed on mannequins.

Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

The new name of Washington's football team was met with jeers, some cheers — and a steady onslaught of mockery.

What they're saying: “I say to people, 'Give it a chance,’” said Super Bowl-winning Washington quarterback Joe Theismann on the Today Show unveiling. “Because social media's like, 'I don't like it.' Give it a chance to sort of sink in a little bit and I think you'll like it as much as we do."

Why it matters: The franchise's reboot is an attempt to re-energize a drained fanbase and the complicated politics behind building a new stadium.

  • Hours after the rebranding was made official, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declared: “The next chapter for the Washington Commanders should be a return to winning, right here in D.C.” 
  • But D.C. Council members shot back, with the chair telling the Washington Post he doesn't want the city paying for a new stadium. He added he's troubled by allegations of sexual harassment within the organization.
  • A group of Virginia politicians met with team executives late last year to consider plans for a move to Loudoun or Prince William counties, the Post reported.

Driving the memes: Some are delighted to riff the name and call it the Washington Commies.

♫ Hail to the Commies
Hail, Victory
Comrades on the Warpath
Fight the bourgeoisie  ♫
Twitter user @StuScottBooyahs
  • A Virginia high-speed-rail advocate opposed to taxpayers footing a new stadium dug in:
A screenshot of a tweet
Screenshot: @DannyPlaugher/Twitter

The bottom line: More than anything else, on-field success will determine the popularity of the franchise. It becomes much easier to root for the Commanders if they start winning.

One last joke to go: Many harped on the new initials WC, a.k.a water closet. Not great for a team already associated with raw sewage (allegedly!!) raining down at FedEx Field. 


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