On the day the sale of the Commanders from Daniel Snyder to Josh Harris become final, Harris invoked the team's abandoned nickname not once but twice during public comments. Prominent limited partner Magic Johnson separately used it in a tweet.
Understandably, the move had two consequences. First, it sparked speculation that new management was floating a trial balloon toward a potential return of the former name. Second, it gave those who want the name to change a thick slab of red meat into which their teeth could be embedded.
Now, with the push to bring back the old name sparking a petition with more than 125,000 signatures, Commanders president Jason Wright has slammed the door on a return of the name.
Sort of. But not really.
Appearing on 106.7 The Fan in D.C., Wright said this: “Going back to the old name is not being considered. Period."
He stopped short of saying something like, "We'll never go back to the old name. It's that simple. NEVER. You can use caps." But even that degree of clarity and certainty ultimately was ignored by Snyder, when he used it in connection with his vow to never change the former name.
Wright saying that a change back to the old name isn't being "considered" technically means nothing. It's not being considered now. It could be considered later. Especially after Harris installs his own management team, if/when he does.
While it's possible Wright will survive, he faces an uphill climb, as would anyone whom a new owner inherited by buying the team. Harris will have people in mind for the most important jobs in the organization, and it will be for Wright to persuade Harris that he should stay the course with the person hired by the former owner who was widely reviled.
Regardless, Harris and Magic have said enough to reignite a groundswell for the old name. Against that backdrop, Wright's remarks won't come close to extinguishing this fire.
If anything, the proponents of the old name might decide that, if they get loud enough, maybe they'll start to consider bringing back the old name.