The new name of the Washington Football Team appears to have leaked early because of a helicopter.
A local news chopper circling the stadium caught a large “Washington Commanders” banner on the inside. Commanders was one of the eight finalists, and was considered the likely choice.
The team will officially reveal its new name, logo and uniforms Wednesday morning.
Other names on the list included Admirals, Brigade, Armada, Presidents, Monuments, Redwolves and Redhogs. There was also the option of sticking with the Washington Football Team.
Last month, the team announced it would not be Redwolves because of copyright issues. It was the only name on the list of eight the team ruled out, and it was a popular possibility among fans.
If it is Commanders, it also pays off a theory that the team accidentally revealed the name in January. A marketing video showing executives talking about name possibilities included shots of blurred paperwork. Later that week, the same video surfaced unblurred on a local sports show produced with the team. The uncensored paper showed a Commanders logo.
Also, Super Bowl champion quarterback Joe Theismann spoke about the name Commanders as if he was resigned that it would be the choice as a guest on CBS Radio on Monday.
“I think the Commanders is a name that is gonna be hopefully one people talk about moving forward,” Theismann said. “There were so many different options. Once again, it’s trademark infringement. It’s getting approval from different people. If you choose a name, is there a group out there that isn’t gonna like it? There’s so many things you have to consider.”
He later told reporters he was not sure what the name was. Theismann has partnered with the team on several occasions, including as an analyst in preseason games.
The official reveal will end a 569-day process the team began July 13, 2020, when it announced it would retire the name Redskins. The team’s owner, Daniel Snyder, said at the time it was a result of “recent events around our country and feedback from our community.”
But some believe boardroom drama played a big role in the change, as well. The team’s minority owners, including FedEx CEO Fred Smith, were feuding with Snyder over unpaid royalties and a desire to sell their shares of the team in the months preceding the name change.
In early July, Smith directed his company to pull their sponsorship of the team’s stadium name, FedEx Field, if the team’s nickname remained Redskins. Other sponsors, including Pepsi and Nike, followed suit. On July 3, the team announced it would begin a review of its name. Ten days later, it was gone.
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