The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

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February 20, 2024

Commanders kick off first season without former owner Dan Snyder

In+a+hard-fought+battle+against+the+New+England+Patriots+last+Sunday%2C+the+Commanders+turned+things+around+to+secure+a+pivotal+win%2C+proving+they+have+not+given+up+on+the+2023+season.
Vassili Prokopenko
In a hard-fought battle against the New England Patriots last Sunday, the Commanders turned things around to secure a pivotal win, proving they have not given up on the 2023 season.

On May 12, Dan Synder agreed to sell the Washington Commanders to a group of investors led by Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils owner Josh Harris. The deal is worth a record 6.05 billion dollars and includes multiple notable investors, including billionaire Whitman alumni Mitchell Rales and former NBA superstar Magic Johnson.

Since Snyder purchased the team in 1999 for a then-record $800 million, the Commanders haven’t had much success, achieving only three double-digit winning seasons and zero championship appearances. Along with their disappointing records and statistics, the Commanders also experienced internal issues under Snyder. Dozens of employees accused Snyder of creating a toxic environment through sexual remarks and harsh working conditions, and several reports claimed Snyder hid money from the NFL and other owners. 

With new management coming in, fans have created a long wishlist for the next chapter of the Commanders franchise, starting with a new stadium. 

The Commanders’ current venue, FedEx Field, consistently ranks as the worst NFL stadium due to its location, which is more than 30 minutes outside of DC and contains hazardous turf and faulty sewage systems. 

Whitman is full of Commanders fans with opinions about the team, especially Snyder. Junior Dylan Eisenstein blames Snyder for many of the Commanders’ struggles on the football field, he said.“Dan Synder was a terrible owner,” Eisenstein said. “He just didn’t know what he was doing. He thought he knew everything and has been screwing up football for my whole life.” 

Some students, like sophomore Gavin Herman, are optimistic and believe the franchise’s future is bright.

 “I think these new owners are exactly the change that the Commanders need to become a better team and win games,” Herman said. “Snyder has been holding us back, and now, with these new owners, I’m hoping they can turn us in the right direction.”

The new group of owners faces an immense amount of pressure from fans who haven’t witnessed a Commanders Superbowl appearance in over 30 years. But for some fans, seeing the Commanders win is the only thing that matters.

“I just want to be good, like a playoff team,” Junior Nate Sullivan said. “I don’t care who the owners are. If we have a winning record, I’m happy.”

A winning record is a possibility this season, in part due to Sam Howell, the team’s new starting quarterback, who has a lot of upside as a franchise player. The Commanders have their first game of the season against the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 10 and are hoping to start off strong with an outstanding win against one of the worst teams in the NFL. The Commanders are set to play in front of a sold-out crowd, with much to prove to their dedicated fans.

 

  

 

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Vassili Prokopenko, Online Production Head
Grade 12 Why did you join The B&W? To improve my art and design skills. What is your favorite board game? Blokus

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