If I Owned The Team…

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Greetings from The Booth!

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!” That was the classic line delivered by the great Al Pacino in Godfather: Part 3, But it also applies to my love-hate relationship with the Washington, DC football franchise. 2 weeks ago, I didn’t watch a second of the Commanders’ loss to Tennessee. Last Thursday, the WVU game overlapped with Washington’s game with Chicago, and my Mounties won out, for the most part, as the Commanders-Bears game set football back about 100 years.

However, the Commanders continue to pull me back in because of the soap-opera nature of the organization. Every week there is new drama, mostly off-the-field stuff. This week, the drama, as usual, swirls around team owner Dan Snyder (surprise!). There now seems to be a groundswell among other NFL owners to force Snyder to sell the team, something fans have wanted for a long time. Continuing investigations into the team culture and constant bumbling on and off the field have made a once-proud franchise the NFL’s laughingstock.

To stave off a vote of league owners–24 are needed to force Snyder to sell–The Dan has allegedly compiled “dirt” on some of the team owners, by hiring a private investigator, a claim Snyder denies. Things have gotten so bad that Snyder has alienated the one friend he had in Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones, who served as a mentor to Snyder when he first bought the Washington franchise. To be continued…

Anyway, with the ouster of Snyder a real possibility, I started to think about what I would do if I owned the Washington Commanders, and what it would take to return the team to respectability, so here goes:

Change The Name (again): Yes, I would immediately re-brand the team. The Commanders name seems half-baked, and no one I know likes it. Yes, the new uniforms are kinda cool, but there is no real tie to the team’s glorious past. I know the costs will be great to do this, but I’m working under the assumption that if I’m an NFL owner, I can afford to do this. I’d probably stop short of the original name, but something that ties the present to names like Riggins, Gibbs, Sonny, etc.

Get A Stadium Deal Done: No mincing words here. Fed-Ex Field is a urinal. It’s also home to one of the worst game-day experiences in the NFL. New digs in DC is preferable, but Northern Virginia works for me. This item is a must.

Get The Fans Back: Every game for the Commanders is basically a road game, because Fed-Ex is filled with the opposing teams’ fans. This is inexcusable. Yes, winning is the best solution to get fans back, but beyond that, I’d hire the best marketing people I could find, and figure out how to fill the seats again with Burgundy and Gold.

Stop The QB & Head Coach Merry-Go-Round: The number of Quarterbacks and Head Coaches under Dan Snyder would fill the Greater DC Area phone book. While I would not meddle in day-to-day football operations, I would choose a bright, young coaching prospect and tell my football people to get a franchise QB, and let him go through his growing pins on the field. I would be transparent with the fans and tell them that a few painful years will result in good things down the road. Let’s stop with the re-treads and has-beens and build something that is our own.

So, there you have it. Now all I need is about $300 billion.

Until the next visit from The Booth…HTTR!

RW