The Washington Commanders franchise just can’t get out of its own way.
With the naming of its new mascot, the team’s leadership has shown once again just how much it appears to hate its fans and just how little it seems to understand the U.S. military.
In a half-empty stadium on Sunday, the once-proud franchise unveiled its newly minted, militarized hog mascot bearing the name “Major Tuddy,” another step in the off-beat military theme selected when the name “Commanders” was chosen to represent the rich military history of the D.C. area.
Unfortunately, “Tuddy,” a slang term for “TD” or “touchdown,” appears to be an extremely aspirational — if not completely ill-fitting — name for Washington, which, throughout the entirety of the team’s season, has scored very few of them.
The selection of the pig, meanwhile, is a historic nod to the team’s glory days of the 1980s and early ‘90s, when Washington’s punishing offensive line under head coach Joe Gibbs and offensive line coach Joe Bugel were known as “The Hogs.”
The mascot’s moniker, however, may pose a legal issue for the team, as a handful of Hog alumni, including famed running back John Riggins, have suggested the Commanders franchise is improperly using their brand name. There were even initial reports that some of the players were filing a lawsuit against owner Dan Snyder in the hope of reclaiming trademarking rights and “their rightful ownership” of the Hogs name.
And yet, it gets worse. The “Major Tuddy” costume and his official biography are also exercises in absurdity.
“Major Tuddy is a muscular 6′5 230-pound male hog with exaggerated features,” the fact sheet says. “Key elements of Major Tuddy’s personality include being a prankster, a mud roll, the life of the party, a protector and a foodie.”
He also loves Mambo Sauce wings and go-go music, because D.C., of course.
If we didn’t know any better, we’d say that Tuddy is, in fact, not a commissioned officer but a member of the E-4 mafia who most definitely would not pass a tape test.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.