LOVERRO: Renaming franchise at this point solves nothing

If it was just the bad football, that would be enough of a burden for Washington Football Team fans. There is certainly enough of that to go around. Just look at Sunday’s 17-10 loss to the Broncos — bad offense, bad coaching, bad outcomes.

What happened in Denver followed the bad offense, bad coaching and bad outcomes from the previous week’s 24-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Which followed the bad offense, bad coaching and bad outcomes from the 31-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

I didn’t mention the bad defense, because it actually appeared to get better recently — and writing not-so-bad-as-before-but-still-far-worse-than-expected defense seemed too awkward.

Let’s just say that Sunday, this season, the last few decades — they all follow on a single day — that day, 22 years ago, when Dan Snyder became the owner of a once-beloved and respected franchise.

Losing seasons, lousy players and lost coaches. It all starts there.

But that’s not all — far from it. The bad football would be painful enough, but there’s the embarrassment of the commitment to an organization that has a long history of dysfunctional and despicable decisions, with no sign of change imminent.

That history has been written many times, but you don’t have to go back very far to illustrate the double-dose of pain that Washington Football Team fans suffer.

While the few that remain watched their team lose on the field for the last three weeks, they’ve also endured a DEA investigation and suspension of their top two team trainers; emails leaked from the former team president that raised questions about the phony NFL investigation into sexual harassment in the Washington Football Team organization; the continued demand for the release of the details of that phony NFL investigation and the commissioner forced to lie publicly to cover for the owner, for reasons only he knows.

Then there was the botched, so-called team tribute to the late Sean Taylor.

The last three weeks have captured two decades of dysfunctions in a snapshot of misery. 

Why bother to paint this gloomy picture again, some ask.

Washington Football Team fans, after all, carry this Kodak moment around in their wallets and purses. They certainly don’t need to be reminded. Stick with me, though. I’m making a point here.

Imagine the reception to come when this Washington Football Team decides to make its big announcement, the one that those remaining fans have been waiting for? How do you think the new name will be received? Like a Dan Snyder apology, I suspect.

They’ve supposedly been working on the rollout for a new name for this franchise for more than a year now, although I suspect that Snyder and his paid sycophants (Is there any other type of Snyder employee?) have already made their decision on a name. They may be working on some sort of elaborate rollout announcement, with all sorts of social media experts and marketing geniuses being consulted on the best way to unveil the new name.

You know, like they did with the Taylor tribute.

They may be waiting for the right time to announce it.

That would be the day after the NFL announces Snyder is being forced to sell the team.

The pile-on is in full force, and this football franchise earned all of it, the fair and the unfair. Nothing they do is right, because so much of what they’ve done has been wrong. Not just wrong, but ugly wrong. People are looking for ways to despise this football team.

The new name — whatever it is — will just give them another way.

This organization has been losing fans over the Snyder tenure, both at Ghost Town Field and at home with television viewers, for many reasons. I suspect that the decision to drop the name Washington Redskins — no matter how right you believe that decision was — lost a few more. It happens when businesses are forced to jettison tradition.

Typically, those businesses have a well-designed plan to transition.

The Washington Football Team didn’t have a plan, well-designed or otherwise, though calls to change the name had been made for 50 years or more. They opted to drop the name and then carry this meaningless moniker called “Washington Football Team” until they decided and announced a new name.

That’s a double gut punch for fans, some of whom were lost when they dropped the name and others who will be lost when they announce the new name — whether it’s RedHogs, RedWolves, Defenders, or whatever it is.

There was an idea that the new name would rejuvenate the fanbase, turning of the page from the recent dark history.

But unless the new name is “The Washington Football Team No Longer Owned by Dan Snyder,” there will be no celebration. It will just be another insult to this damaged fanbase that is now driven by its loathing for the team more than its love.

You can hear Thom Loverro on The Kevin Sheehan Show podcast.

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