The scene inside FedEx Field at the conclusion of a week like this told NFL owners everything they needed to know about the state of football in this area. Simply put, Daniel Snyder is terrible for business.
He is the main reason Washington Commanders team security had to patrol the stands, treating paying customers who dared to hold up “SELL THE TEAM” placards like they were in possession of some sort of illicit substance. Following the event, a Commanders spokeswoman claimed that the fans shouldn’t have been forced to remove the signs.
He is the dark cloud that marred what was supposed to be a nice Sunday. What did it matter if the Commanders annoyed Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, their cherished backup Taylor Heinicke added to his legend, and Washington’s improving running game appeared to be as complete as it had all season? For this football team, the weekly diversion of football does little to put out the dumpster fire that spreads across the owners’ lounge, spectator stands, and social media.
Without a reminder of their owner’s declining approval ratings, the Commanders are unable to even observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Two minutes before halftime, the lower bowl was filled with deafening booing. Who in their right mind would boo breast cancer sufferers when a “Think Pink” film was playing on the scoreboard? At first, the sounds seemed out of place.
Then everything became clear. Tanya Snyder was seen in the video. Although she is a cancer survivor and a supporter of cancer research and awareness, the fans who were heckling her at the time were only interested on her last name and job description.
After all, so they booed is one of her co-owners. The crowd then formed a chorus and began chanting “Sell the team!” loudly, with many Packers supporters joining in to laugh and make fun.
sufficient for NFL owners to hear? Maybe not, but there is a difference between the shrill demands of the very group Washington has been attempting to appeal to with its rebranding and the anonymous, easily disregarded rants of Twitter trolls. And it so happened that these intended spectators were positioned directly beneath a press box filled with members of the media and the Commanders’ staff and above their own sideline.
All of us heard it. Of course, the NFL did as well. The Snyders are the team owners who want the retro burgundy-clad Washington fans and the cheeseheads invading their territory to get together and find unity in their shared animosity for the league’s most radioactive owner.
The Commanders may not care how they are perceived outside the DMV from a business perspective. Tanya Snyder yelled, “Hail to the Redskins, and let’s beat Green Bay!” at an alumni homecoming rally before the game, demonstrating how they can do almost anything and still draw 60,427 people who will turn off their brains to the chaos surrounding the team. This is their bubble, and they are aware of how, with a wink and a nod toward the part of the fan base that is still attached to that racist name. They believe their foundation is still solid. On Sunday, though, even the supporters who choose to cover their ears and scream “la la la” couldn’t avoid hearing the chants.
How many more embarrassing incidents must occur until national broadcast segments airs and at least 24 owners who have the power to remove Daniel Snyder hear it?
At least Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, emerged as the first of his kind to display a spine.
Irsay ought to have had popcorn available for his impromptu news conference on Tuesday following the NFL’s autumn league meeting. He went on a performance while arguing Snyder should be stripped of ownership.
“We must finish the investigation. But in my opinion, it’s something that should be removed after careful deliberation, Irsay stated. And “the owners” have full authority to act in that way.
Irsay stayed firm by Sunday. He reiterated his opinion that Snyder’s actions have damaged the league in an interview with Fox, the same network that broadcast the Commanders’ 23-21 victory over Green Bay.
Irsay declared, “We as owners are obligated to listen to the fans, and we cannot bury our heads in the sand on this.”
When a franchise owner’s business suffers because of the fate of their firm, they are bad for business. The Commanders’ record now stands at 3-4 after Sunday’s victory, matching that of the Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Arizona Cardinals. But over the coming weeks, those clubs will be brought up in discussions about quarterback performance or wild-card positions. Things about football, you know. Washington will be an afterthought on national programs, even with Heinicke doing well enough to warrant a new T-shirt and Coach Ron Rivera maybe reversing his yearly poor start to lead this club on a winning streak.
Heckling during moving PSAs will become the norm until the Commanders’ ownership issue is resolved. And in no other NFL stadium is that the case. No one treats the owner worse than the officials, who may or may not have been up all night at FedEx Field in front of a monitor still analyzing that fumble by Brian Robinson Jr. Although it didn’t take long, Carson Wentz’s wounded finger might have recovered by the time the officials were done.
The league’s investigation against Snyder, overseen by Mary Jo White, appears to have a lot riding on its findings, but that hasn’t prevented Irsay from running a public one-man campaign. The voices of the people who ought to matter the most have not been suppressed, either.
There were the expected yelps of joy as delighted Washington fans and Packers supporters mingled at Gate A after the game. One person, sporting a vintage Sean Taylor jersey, mockingly yelled, “Go, Pack, go!” at a group of green people. The companion strolling next to her clapped and screamed as the woman waved her burgundy and gold pompom.
Another Washington supporter, though, grinned as he continued to pierce the positive atmosphere with louder chants.
“SELL! He yelled, “THE TEAM! The fan changed his tune when that didn’t get any traction.
Fans of the Commanders publicly voiced their complaints on Sunday. NFL owners ought to pay attention.