Why some Washington fans want Commanders to be the team name


Nearly 19 months after Washington's NFL franchise retired its old name and logo, the organization's rebrand process is coming to a close.

Washington will announce its new name on Wednesday, Feb. 2. Although the unveiling is just hours away, what the new name will actually be is still uncertain. However, many hints have pointed towards the moniker 'Commanders.'

The name Commanders has military ties, something head coach Ron Rivera said is important to him and the franchise. It was also one of the eight names co-owner and co-CEO Tanya Snyder said were finalists, but those comments were later shot down by a team spokesperson who clarified that her list didn’t necessarily reflect the organization’s final candidates.

Even though Commanders is the unofficial betting favorite for the next moniker, several fans have still rallied behind the name. Others didn't originally like the name at first, but it's since grown on them over time.

Here's what they had to say:

Jordan Asri (@CommandersToday), fan since he was 7 years old

“Of all the current names being thrown around, I do really like Commanders. I don’t think it’s a risky name. It’s strong and it has that military [theme] that Washington’s been preaching that they want in whatever name they choose."

"Ultimately, it’s just simple, it’s a safe name that some fans are not going to like at first like any name, but I feel like they’ll settle into it with time. Really all that matters at the end of the day is that they put a winning product on the field, and then most people won’t care what the name is.”


“Most fans will come to accept what the name is as long as the product on the field is successful. If we get Aaron Rodgers, we could be called the Sea Dragons, I don’t care."

Tim Meek (@TimIndySkinsFan), fan for 40 years

"All of the realistic options, I really wasn't a fan of any of them. I honestly would have rather just stayed Football Team. I kind of liked Football Club better than Football Team."

"I'm OK with Commanders. I guess in my eyes, just being rational with the process and a few things I know, I really think it came down to Commanders and Wolves. I think once Wolves was kind of nixed, I pretty much assumed it was going to be Commanders. Between those two names, I would pick Commanders."

"It's just all personal. I'm just not a huge fan of the animal-type mascots. Just in general, as you look across the league, some of my favorite names are the Titans, the Chargers, the Steelers. I'm a big fan of those types of names. I think Commanders sounds OK for an expansion team. I think Commanders - it ties to the area really well. I like the idea that it sounds you're in charge. You're commanding. I think there's a lot they can do with the stadium, chants and experiences."

Brian Murphy (@HomerMcFanboy), 44 years old, has taken photos of WFT for 16 seasons

"Commanders is the best of the bunch out of the rumored ones. That's where I'm at right now."

"I'm a military veteran. I served for seven years. Clearly, the franchise cares a lot about the military, especially since Ron Rivera came to the franchise. The military is very important to him. So, I think that Commanders is a nice way to tip the cap to service members and veterans, to acknowledge an important piece of the fan base, to get away from any kind of Native American imagery."

"I truly think that if you're trying to come up with something more inclusive, if you're trying to acknowledge things that are important to you, I think Commanders [works]. I don't know that I love it. But if I'm going to come to grips with something and we really are looking at the finalists, unless there is an 11th hour swerve and they pull a name out of a hat that none of us have heard yet, I think I would be prepared to accept Commanders quicker than some of the other proposed names."

Tailgate Ted (@TailgateTed), local chef, fan for 42 years

“The only thing that stood out to me that I wasn’t the biggest fan of was anything that had to do with red, whether it was Red Hogs or Red Wolves. And I know that is not a very popular stance to take amongst Washington fans. But quite frankly, I thought it was lazy to try and name the team just to keep a hashtag and just to keep the fight song. If we’re going to do this, let’s do it right and rebrand the name.”


“One thing I liked before that is no longer on the finalist list was the Sentinels but out of the final eight,” Ted said. “Defenders would be one that I would not mind to go to, but then we have the XFL team so I don’t even consider that an option. Commanders, just because it is not offensive, it is not something I have to worry about ever going through a change in my lifetime.”

“Brian Mitchell has famously stated that we can be the pink tulips and as long as we win, it doesn’t matter and I’m right there with him. If we’re the Butterflies, I’m gonna get a Butterfly jersey and I’m still gonna be there, regardless of whether we’re winning or not. I’m a fan of the franchise so I stand behind them.”


For those looking to filter through all the weeds, this comprehensive guide of the name options should help.

NBC Sports Washington's Tyler Byrum, Mike DePrisco and Matt Weyrich contributed to this report.