The Washington Commanders were, at a time, a respected and proud organization, pushing out winning football and cultivating a dedicated and exciting fan base. Since, however, Dan Snyder purchased the franchise, winning football has become hardly more than a distant memory of a romanticized past, and instead, the focus has turned to the constant scandals which have all transpired under the ownership of Dan Snyder. So, where does Washington go from here? Can this be fixed?
Declining play on the field, a coaching and quarterback carousel, and a crumbling stadium would be enough for most fans to become disgruntled with their teams ownership and leadership, Washington is unique, though, and scandals of toxic workplace environment, sexual harassment, and dishonest finances are at the forefront of the disaster that has become of the Washington Commanders. Stadium attendance is at the lowest in the NFL, only a handful of winning seasons in the past two decades, and an entire botched rebrand are only the surface of the issues facing Washington. Moving forward almost seems impossible under the ownership of Daniel Snyder, and with steam picking up on the potential for the NFL and it's owners to oust Snyder as owner, some hope lies in the future, but it is still mostly far fetched, and the probability of Snyder being removed is still very, very low.
Assuming Daniel Snyder retains ownership, can Washington move forward? Can they put two decades of embarrassment and misconduct in the past? Many, including myself, would say no, at least not entirely, but improvements can be made, and in many ways they already have. Ron Rivera brought a no nonsense position of power to Washington, and swiftly rid the front office of the guilty members of the toxic work place, Snyder aside. Diverse and inclusive people replaced their predecessors, and the organization opted to move on from their previous, troubling and offensive name. These are all good things, and to ignore that would be dishonest. Something Ron Rivera has not brought to Washington, however, is winning football, which is ultimately, for better or worse, what will bring back the excitement and passion for this franchise.
Some things Washington needs to do to rejuvenate the fanbase:
Find a head coach and front office that will bring consistent, winning football back to Washington
Build a new stadium, in DC, to replace the dilapidated FedEx Field
Find a quarterback. Failures with free agent signings, trades, draft busts and more has not allowed Washington to find any consistency with the quarterback position. Ron is averaging a new quarterback every 4 games, and whether that is directly his fault or not, it is inexcusable.
The somewhat embarrassing thing about that list, it is all obvious and the bare minimum, it certainly is not reinventing the wheel, but when the ownership is what it is, that is really all that can be done. The truth of the matter, until Dan Snyder can see beyond his self consumed ego, and sells the team, Washington will be stuck in the loop of perpetual mediocrity bookended by failed rebuild after failed rebuild. The fans, the players, and the coaches doomed to fail do not deserve what Daniel Snyder has done to the franchise. The women harassed under Daniel Snyder's watch should not have to see the man who fostered their abuse in a position of ultimate power within the NFL, and the NFL as a whole does not deserve what once was a proud, winning franchise to be run down into the laughing stock and embarrassment of the league. Maybe it is pessimistic, maybe it is gloomy, but it is the reality. The small changes, while improvements, are null as long as Daniel Snyder remains the owner of the now Washington Commanders. There is a loyal fanbase waiting for the eternal shadow of Snyder's ownership to fade and the light to shine on Washington again, and as football fans, and more importantly, as people, we can hope that his tenure is reaching it's rightful end.