Washington Post poll shows lukewarm local support for Commanders name

USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Post has done what the Washington Commanders should have done before picking their new name.

The Post has conducted a poll of local residents regarding the nickname that replaces Washington Football Team, the two-season placeholder used after the team abruptly dumped its prior name, finally (and properly) acknowledging that the time had come to change a name that was and is a dictionary-defined racial slur. The results show that local residents aren’t smitten with the selection.

The poll of 904 D.C. residents found that 41 percent have positive feelings about the name (five percent love it, 36 percent like it) and that 49 percent have negative feelings about the name (17 percent hate it, 32 percent dislike it). Eleven percent had no opinion.

The same poll found that 43 percent prefer “Washington Football Team,” 26 percent prefer Commanders, and 22 percent prefer the former name that was abandoned in July 2020.

The team likely will shrug at the poll. In the past, the team embraced aspects of Washington Post polls that tended to support the team’s former name.

The point is that the team should have done its own polling or conducted focus groups or otherwise gauged reaction to the name before picking it. And that the team should have done a better job of building support for the new name, which emerged from a list of eight finalists that never were narrowed to a tight list of finalists. Which meant that fans had eight different names they could develop an affinity for, before one of those names suddenly emerged as the name.

People will get used to the name. Time will pass. More fans will cycle in. And the name will be what it’s always been, and it will be accepted.

Also, if/when they win, the name will look a lot better — just like the Cincinnati and L.A. uniforms currently do, given that both teams made it to the Super Bowl.

22 responses to “Washington Post poll shows lukewarm local support for Commanders name

  1. Wake me when Snyder does anything that might be called logical or smart please. PS don’t let me sleep past season opener, thanks.

  2. The name isn’t that bad, the problem is the rebranding of the uniforms. The Commanders look like a PAC-10 team. The uniforms do not say “This organization has 90 years of history.”

  3. So they went from representing the Natives of this land to representing the military that stole their land…
    seems worse somehow than what they were!

  4. Do you guys really think they DIDN’T do focus group testing? Of course they did. But people lie, people equivocate, and people don’t think things through. It’s kind of like how blind taste tests of Pepsi vs Coke or Heinz vs Hunt’s show very different results than non-blind taste tests.

  5. If they are just polling inner DC that poll is skewed plus 904 people isn’t a big enough sample size. The majority that I saw wanted Redwolves even though I don’t personally like that one. In the end Dan chose the one he wanted.

  6. Dysfunction leads to more dysfunction. It would have been very logical to put the names out and let the public pick some favorites.

  7. It’s remarkable that fans would like a generic “anti-team name” like “Washington Football Team” better than either Redskins or Commanders. But it just goes to show you how bad those last two names actually are.

  8. In two years, polls will show a very different outcome. Kind of like how people got used to WFT. They’ll similarly get used to Commanders.

  9. I will always call them the Redskins. Just as I have the past two seasons. I went to MNF against the Seahawks this season and everyone wore redskins gear and called them redskins. I hate the new name, I think the only way people will come around to the new name is by winning and bringing in a new generation of fans. Us old long time fans will still look at them as the redskins.

  10. The name is not that good. It’s pretty bad. The franchise deserves much better. They should try again when Danny’s gone after this season.

  11. “Buffalo Bill” was nicknamed after his contract to supply Kansas Pacific Railroad workers with buffalo meat.

  12. It’s obvious how lazy the effort was just by the fact that the uniforms and logos are completely generic. Whether they were the Wolfpack, Commanders, or Red Tails, the uniform and logo would be exactly the same. Come on…

  13. “tnyfg says:
    February 21, 2022 at 4:15 pm
    D.C. Commanders sounds better.”

    This offends me because Columbia is based on Columbus.

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