Sunday is the beginning of a new era for the Washington Commanders. It’s the first game under the new ownership group, led by managing partner Josh Harris. The Commanders host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday from FedEx Field and several of the team’s legends will be in attendance.
You can add three more to that list, thanks to one of Harris’ limited partners Mitchell Rales.
Per Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post, Rales sent his private plane to Florida to pick up Sonny Jurgensen, Billy Kilmer, Jim Hart and their wives ahead of Sunday’s game. With Jurgensen’s current health, flying commercial was not an option, so Rales wanted to ensure one of the most iconic players in franchise history would be present Sunday.
This is cool: Commanders limited partner Mitch Rales is sending his private plane to Florida to pick up Sonny Jurgensen, Billy Kilmer, Jim Hart & their spouses for Sunday's opener. Flying commercial isn't feasible for Jurgensen given his health, but Rales wanted them to be able…
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) September 8, 2023
Rales, Harris and Mark Ein all grew up Washington fans, admiring Jurgensen and Billy Kilmer. The team has already announced that John Riggins, Robert Griffin III and Champ Bailey are coming back. When Harris first took over in July, Hall of Fame cornerback Darrell Green was at Commanders Park, expressing optimism for the future.
Jurgensen, 89, spent 11 of his 18 seasons with Washington. After his playing career ended, Jurgensen joined the team’s broadcast booth, forming a legendary trio with fellow Hall of Famer Sam Huff and Frank Herzog. Jurgensen finally had his No. 9 jersey officially retired last season.
Kilmer, 84, spent the final eight seasons of his 18-year NFL career with Washington. He is a member of Washington’s Ring of Fame and one of the 80 greatest players in franchise history.
Hart played 19 seasons in the NFL. He spent his final season  in Washington after playing for the Cardinals for the first 18 seasons. The Cardinals were in St. Louis when Hart played.
Kudos to Rales for this amazing gesture, ensuring Jurgensen and Kilmer, who’ve given so much to the franchise, will be “home” for Sunday’s game.