The latest chapter of the Washington Commanders getting things wrong features a beloved franchise icon.
The Commanders unveiled what they described as a "memorial installation" dedicated to Sean Taylor on Sunday prior to their game against the Atlanta Falcons. It's not what people expected.
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) November 27, 2022
It features a wire frame in the shape of a person holding up a Taylor uniform. A headless helmet sits on top. And that's pretty much it.
It's not a statue. It doesn't include an actual likeness of Taylor. It's basically a mannequin. While it doesn't resemble a standard department store mannequin, it serves the same purpose. It could be on display in the team store hawking gear to fans, and nobody would know the difference.
Other than his jersey number, there's little to indicate that it's a tribute to Taylor, who played four seasons in Washington as one the most feared defenders in football. He was murdered in his own home during a 2007 burglary.
Folks are understandably disappointed with Sunday's tribute.
When the stadium is empty this mannequin comes to life and has an affair with Andrew McCarthy https://t.co/PDy7VzXkjZ
— Drew Magary (@drewmagary) November 27, 2022
The way this organization repeatedly misses the mark is remarkable. Truly astonishing. https://t.co/05yeAIYSVB
— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) November 27, 2022
This is an underwhelming memorial for a beloved player who tragically passed away too soon. https://t.co/kNz6QsrnSv
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) November 27, 2022
dan snyder has used the memory of sean taylor to foster a shred of goodwill in the washington area for a decade and a half. now this. man. https://t.co/uUOwPqug7T
— Denny Carter (@CDCarter13) November 27, 2022
This is the Sean Taylor "statue" that was just unveiled on the 15th anniversary of his tragic death.
Another embarrassing moment for the Washington franchise. Unreal.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) November 27, 2022
this cannot possibly be real https://t.co/qsrpWrkL4c
— Clinton Yates (@clintonyates) November 27, 2022
Let’s hope the new owner does more than put a wire mannequin with a uniform Sean Taylor never wore in the hallway.
This looks like something you’d see in the team store. https://t.co/P0N1YgEE0D
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) November 27, 2022
To be fair, the Commanders never promised a statue. They teased a "memorial installation" that led to some headlines promising a "statue" of sorts. People expecting a statue most certainly did not get one. But even without the oversell, it's hard to characterize the memorial as anything but a letdown. There's nothing to indicate that the franchise put anything beyond a minimal effort in building it.
And it's hardly a surprise. Getting things wrong big and small is calling card of the beleaguered franchise under the 24-year tenure of owner Daniel Snyder. The 2022 season has been no exception.
Prior to their season opener in September, a team truck sold mugs outside FedEx Field featuring the team's logo emblazoned on an outline of Washington state. The Commanders, of course, call Washington D.C. home. In October, the team issued a $14,822 check to a fan who won a charity raffle. It bounced. Those gaffes are insignificant compared to the the myriad serious allegations facing Snyder that have prompted calls for his removal as franchise owner.
Sunday's unveiling with Taylor's family present was just another disheartening effort for long-suffering fans. What it wasn't was a surprise.