Some people are fans of the Washington Commanders. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Washington Commanders. This 2022 Defector NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: Washington Commanders.
Fucking Toys’R’Us-ass nickname. And don’t forget the song!
Even Duke basketball fans would be ashamed to pass this around to other people. If you don’t think the 6,000 fans in attendance at every Commanders home game won’t bellow out R*DSKINS every time they’re supposed to sing COMMANDERS, you must be new here.
Your 2021 record: 7-10. We long ago reached the point where the losing became the LEAST embarrassing thing about this piece of shit franchise, but let’s recap for posterity’s sake. The Commanders haven’t had a winning record since 2016, and even 2016 seems too recent. They counted on an 87-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick to lead them to respectability in 2021, only to watch him dislocate his hip in a Week 1 loss to the Chargers. They had two field goals blocked in a loss to Denver. They had the worst third-down defense in football. Their stadium rained sewage down onto fans and then their social media account insisted it was just water. They likely leaked the emails that got Jon Gruden fired so as to distract from their myriad scandals, and then they retired Sean Taylor’s jersey in a ceremony thrown together more haphazardly than a birthday party for a 37-year-old.
Sorry, I need to get back to the football part. The Commanders had a four-game winning streak sandwiched between two four-game losing streaks. They lost 20 players and coaches to COVID-19 for a Tuesday night loss to the Eagles. Mike McCarthy guaranteed a win against them and MADE GOOD ON IT. Normally when Mike McCarthy gets boastful, God spits in his face. But this time God was like, Sure yeah I can make that happen. ‘Preciate you, brother. The Cowboys then hung a 50-burger on the Commanders in their next meeting, while two of the Commanders’ best defenders got into a fistfight on the sideline.
Washington’s cornerstone edge rusher got hurt. Their big-ticket free agent wideout also got hurt. In their second matchup with Philly, they gifted the Eagles a playoff berth and then tried to kill Jalen Hurts with their own stadium:
After this incident, the Commanders noted that the impromptu trapdoor section of FedEx Field was meant strictly for killing DISABLED people. So who’s the asshole here, hmm?
Your coach: Ron Rivera, who hasn’t had a winning record since 2017. Throughout his career, Ron Rivera has been able to divert attention from his abominable win/loss record by serving as the Lone Decent Person at the forefront of a slaughterhouse for nuns. And yet look at who this supposed Good Guy continues employing to run his defense:
There’s a strain of conservative old guy for whom the apex of male grooming and appearance is Prime Eddie Money. And lo and behold, Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio is here to not only embody that physical ideal, but to also be a flagrant shithead. A dream come true. When Del Rio took over this defense in 2020, they finished second in yardage allowed and fourth in points allowed. A year later, with pretty much the same players, they finished 22nd and 25th in those respective categories. Why, it’s almost as if this man can’t coach anymore. And yet, here Del Rio remains. Coach Rivera studied tape of the constitution and decided that Jack Del Rio was not only a good coach, but a man of gumption.
Turns out you don’t have to be a bastard to be an idiot. Ron Rivera is proof of that.
Your quarterback: Outlet mall Brett Favre.
That’s Carson Wentz, who’s so bad that Colts owner Jim Irsay told the general public that trading for him the year prior was a “mistake.” That’s the first and last lucid statement I will ever hear out of Jim Irsay’s mouth. The Colts had the best rushing attack in the NFL a season ago. They also had one of the best offensive lines going, and yet none of that mattered because of Elmer Fudd III here doing shit like this:
You know what? Let’s watch that again, only against another team:
Oh! Now let’s watch him throw a pick-six in his own end zone!
I know what it’s like to have a quarterback whose decision-making on the field is somehow even worse than his decision-making outside a free vaccination clinic. Not exactly championship mettle, these guys. And yet, not only did the Commanders happily accept Carson Wentz into the fold—maybe they’ll break his leg in four places!—they traded valuable draft picks for the privilege. Judging by Wentz’s response to a perfectly fair training camp question, you won’t find a more perfect match of team and player. I wouldn’t hire Carson Wentz to park my car, nor would any other NFL team. But when you’re the Commanders, hiring radioactive dunces is your forte:
Fuck Caron Wentz with his own gun.
What’s new that sucks: Your name! FEEL THE EXCITEMENT!
This team handled its rebranding effort about as capably as it does keeping its own quarterbacks upright. They needed two years to come up with “Commanders,” a name so bland that even a middle school wouldn’t use it. They then watched that name get leaked by half the free world: Joe Theismann, local news choppers, probably Ronan Farrow, etc. By the time Washington was ready to officially announce the name, not even their team ambassadors were excited about it:
Please note the presence of tackle Jonathan Allen in the above clip. You might remember this offseason when Allen tweeted out that he’d like to break bread with Jesus, Michael Jackson, and Hitler, mostly so he could find out why Hitler did what he did. Well Jonathan, turns out Hitler killed six million Jews because Firefly got cancelled after just one season. Credit to Allen for looking at this franchise’s myriad disgraces and saying to himself, I BETTER WORK SOME HITLER INTO THIS. That’s taking the initiative. Maybe he can coordinate the defense, too.
Speaking of initiatives, the Commanders are so unpopular in their own city that they’re taking active steps to get as far away from it as possible while still keeping the “Washington” part of their name. They bought land in an exurb so far away that it might contain remains of The Lost City Of Gold. They got Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin to embrace the team’s relocation plan as part of Youngkin’s “Are We Teaching Our Children To Be Racist Enough?” policy agenda. (Youngkin’s own legislature tabled the idea.) They started their own cruise, because international waters represent the only place where they and their fans can’t be prosecuted for anything. Move these fuckers to Neptune and it still won’t be far enough away.
On the field, another triumphant 7-10 season awaits you all. After letting safety Landon Collins and guard Ereck Flowers go, the Commanders re-doubled their efforts to be the 2017 Giants by reaching for a wideout in the first round of April’s draft. They replaced one expensive, fading guard (Brandon Scherff) with another (Andrew Norwell). They also extended wideout Terry McLaurin, who’ll have to come back 10 yards upfield on every Wentz deep ball. But you didn’t pay attention to any of that now, did you? Why would you? You’re not here to watch the Commanders play actual football. You’re here to watch them tie their collective dick in a knot.
Juan Soto got traded. Jason Wright is nouveau scum.
What has always sucked: You know.
That’s team owner and Jordan Belfort cosplayer Dan Snyder. As of this writing, Snyder is probably still on his yacht in the Mediterranean, screaming at one his nephews to fetch his “Cheerleader Upskirt Shots (1998)” VHS tape while he ducks ongoing investigations into his affairs currently being conducted by the NFL and by United States Congress. It’s redundant to point out Snyder’s flaws: the incompetence, the vindictiveness, the bullying, the grandiose lies, etc. The case against him was made decades ago, and making it again is just doing him a favor at this point. Getting Away With It is the Snyder brand now: the only piece of branding he won’t rework every two years.
Thus, all that’s left now is for Dan Snyder to suffer. Preferably from his boat exploding with him still on it. Oh, what a great day it’ll be when he dies! Birds will sing! Children will cavort gaily round the town square! Woodland creatures will emerge from the forest bearing fresh flowers and tree nuts! Democracy will live again! You have to work very hard to be someone whose death would bring a tangible, positive impact upon the entire world. Dan Snyder has put in that work, making his death a Powerball ticket the rest of us are eager to cash.
Local fans are now pining for JEFF BEZOS to rescue them, and are right to do so. Maybe NFL owners will never give Snyder the boot for stealing from them, and maybe he’ll never suffer any serious repercussions for what he’s done. But he WILL die. That’s both a guarantee and a great source of personal comfort. If I have to wait decades for it to happen, I’m more than willing to. So long as I’m there when local news reports that Snyder choked on an ice cube and no one nearby was willing to save him, I’ll be down. I want to see the light gone from his eyes. I want his kids to spit on his corpse. Fuck Dan Snyder, and fuck any remaining fans of this abandoned Klan meeting. None of you have any shame, and that’s because you have nothing else to speak of anyway.
Ratto says: Home of the optional subpoena, the new stadium nobody wants to see let alone build, and the owner whose sole gift to the genre is making every other owner in every other sport say, Sure I devour kittens to keep my blood sugar under 1,600, but at least I’m not THAT guy. Jack Del Rio took a fourth-ranked defense and made it 25th in points allowed in a year, but at least his political science chops are up to snuff, at a modest one-time tuition charge of a hundred grand. Aptly named petty cash.
What might not suck: The new name is horrible, but frankly it makes writing this preview a good five percent easier than in previous years. So that’s a plus.
HEAR IT FROM COMMANDERS FANS!
This team is balls.
Sean Taylor was shot on my 18th birthday and somehow it’s only gotten worse since.
I wrote my college essay about how this team saved my relationship with my father. Needless to say, I didn’t get into a great school. Now I’m a 30-year-old who can barely afford rent. I fucked up my entire lifetime earning potential because of my fandom for this shithole franchise. I don’t even watch the team anymore. I gave up years ago when I was too busy getting sober (wonder if those two things are connected at all).
I hope Dan Snyder’s boat sinks with him and the entire front office on it.
Getting rid of Dan Snyder would make me happier than winning the Super Bowl with Dan Snyder.
Fuck Dan Snyder with a congressional subpoena wrapped around his mega yacht.
Fuck Jason Wright and Ron Rivera, nothing’s changed.
There’s a rumor going around some of the NoVa season ticket holders that if Danny can’t get his stadium built in Virginia, he’s going to threaten to move the team to Oklahoma City. Quite fucking honestly I hope he does at this point.
The odds of the Commanders winning the Super Bowl in my lifetime are lower than the odds of humanity being enslaved by intelligent alien chinchillas.
I am actively rooting for Congress in Dan Snyder v Congress.
I am an inconsistent and shabby man.
My only consolation in knowing my absolute omnishambles of a team will never win another Super Bowl in my lifetime is also knowing that the loathsome poison dwarf will never get to lift the trophy. I hope his yacht gets torpedoed.
“Commanders” is just an absolute, flag-fucking brick of a name.
The amount of adults upset because the morally bankrupt franchise didn’t select “Redwolves” as the new team name so they can go to worst stadium in the league and howl is almost as embarrassing as the amount of morally bankrupt fans who refuse to stop calling the franchise a racist slur.
I wake up every day knowing that Dan Snyder owns my favorite football team and he’s still gonna own it when I go to bed. Not a single thing either tangible or intangible that life can throw at a person will change this fact. Shame? Nope. Failure? Nah. Misconduct allegations? No sir. Congress? lol
My favorite team’s owner is basically a Russian oligarch looking for places he can take his yacht to avoid getting served a subpoena he would just weasel out of anyway.
I wrote you an email a couple years ago talking about how Dwayne Haskins was going to be forced to start in his first season, and that it would ruin him, and I already felt sorry. I blame the Commanders for everything that happened to him after that.
Dan Snyder is so corrupt that FIFA decided they’d rather skip Washington DC entirely than risk dealing with him for a World Cup game.
Not sure what Snyder is better at; running a business into the ground or dodging the authorities like he’s El Chapo. Fuck Dan Snyder with Roger Goodell’s dignity.
They had two years to come up with a new name and we ended up with Commanders.
Someone in last year’s Bears entry said that their glamour position was linebacker, and I realized that ours is either offensive line or punter.
I became a father in November 2021. My son came six weeks early, which included a weeklong NICU stay before discharge. After he came home, my family trickled in to see him. My brother brought a tiny WFT jersey to the house. My dad, who was looking into the eyes of his first grandchild while holding him for the first time, said, “Don’t want him to be a loser, do ya?”
Becoming a parent has made me wonder about how my own folks cope with what may be missteps in childrearing and in their lives generally. I think my dad is opening up about his regrets, knowing that he needlessly contributed to my misery by not talking me out of rooting for this human trafficking operation of a sports team. I never put that WFT jersey on my son. Most importantly, he ripped ass when he first heard The Star-Spangled Banner.
The picture of Sean Taylor’s family in front of the street marker for “Sean Taylor Way” was taken in front of a row of porta potties.
Less than a week before I wrote this email, an announcement for fans to vote for the players to add to the list of the best ever was littered with misspellings, pictures of players wearing the jerseys of other teams, and pictures reversed so numbers were wrong. And the player who would win in a landslide, Trent Williams, wasn’t included, likely because he was (rightly) mad that the team doctors missed a cancer that very easily could have killed him.
There’s a good chance that the owner will claim defamation and sue me for writing this, and sue you for publishing it. Then he will drop the suit and claim that he never actually read what I wrote.
I used to work as a receptionist in the service department of a luxury car dealership in Maryland. A few months after I started working there, I saw we had an appointment listed under some weird, shady LLC-type name instead of a customer’s actual name. We had the type of clientele where this wasn’t terribly unusual, so I didn’t think twice about it until the car actually came in.
I had never seen my coworkers treat any car with such deference. It was dropped off by an employee of the car’s owner (again, not too uncommon) but was bumped right to the front of the line in the shop on a crowded day, even though we hadn’t actually spoken to the owner, which is usually a must. The best tech dropped what he was working on to rush it through at a discounted rate, and it was bumped right to the front of the car wash line as well, even though the employee who’d dropped it off had been chauffeured home and there wasn’t anyone waiting for it.
When the car got out of the wash, I was asked if I could personally drive it back to the owner. This wasn’t a service we really offered, except on rare occasions when we had upset a customer and needed to offer some perk to smooth things over. That’s when I was told I was delivering a car to the home of Dan Snyder. It belonged to his family. More specifically, it was the car used by his son’s chauffeur. It was also impressed on me that it was *extremely* important that I bring a cloth and hand vacuum with me because I would need to stop about a mile from his home and re-vacuum the interior and wipe down the exterior of the car before returning it, or we would receive complaints about accumulated road dust. Mind you, the drive from the dealership to Snyder’s home was all of seven miles and the car was very thoroughly washed during the repair process. When I stopped to re-clean the car, I couldn’t notice the slightest difference between before and after, but apparently Snyder’s operation could.
I did this every few months the entire time I worked at this dealership. Every time, I dropped the car off at his big garish mansion in Potomac, MD. Although never at the mansion itself: after passing through the armed security checkpoint at the main gate, I was always directed to some kind of auxiliary servant’s quarters building that was, on its own, one of the biggest houses I’ve ever been to. The mansion was just a giant castle across a massive lawn with a tennis court with a huge team logo at center court. I can say that as of late 2020, when I finally quit the job, the logo across the court was still the old logo. The racist one.
Also: the car had a Rick & Morty air freshener. For, like, three years. They never changed it.
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