20 saddest moments in Washington Commanders history

Sean Taylor
Sean Taylor / James Lang-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders saddest moments involving Dan Snyder

Dan Snyder dominates any “saddest” moments list. If I wanted, I’m sure I could make the entire list of his dubious accomplishments. These are five sad moments that came off the field and directly involved the team’s owner.

Commanders firing Frank Herzog

Frank Herzog was the play-by-play voice of Washington for 25 years. Through all its glory days. Snyder wanted smooth-talking corporate shill Larry Michael instead.

Herzog was unceremoniously dumped, angering much of the fanbase. He was often snubbed in later franchise celebrations. Shabby and classless.

Commanders suing fans

When the housing bubble crashed in 2007, a lot of people were hit very hard. Included in that group were some longtime Washington fans who had agreed to long-term contracts with the team for season tickets.

Some requested waivers or extensions, or other types of accommodations which would allow them to alter the terms or else get out of the deal. Snyder sued them. All of them, regardless of circumstance.

Did he have the legal right to do so? Yes. Was it a disastrous, tone-deaf public relations move? Yes. Just one more horrible story about an out-of-touch billionaire.

Commanders in Costa Rica

It happened in 2013 but didn’t make national news until the New York Times broke the story in 2018. Dan Snyder and his football franchise pressured the team’s cheerleaders to act as “escorts” for wealthy business associates and season ticket holders during a team-sponsored trip to Costa Rica.

The team vehemently denied the charges. Subsequent events suggested that this was merely SOP under Snyder. This was not the harmless humiliation of Jim Zorn’s swinging gate. This was reprehensible, likely criminal behavior.

Commanders' toxic workplace

The Washington Post bolstered those New York Times allegations in a series of exposes in 2020 which offered ample evidence of a workplace rife with sexual harassment and toxic behavior. This was perhaps the lowest point in franchise history.

It led to multiple investigations, the resignation or dismissal of many Snyder associates, and began the final countdown on his ownership.

Dan Snyder's final Commanders game

The Commanders played the Cowboys in the final game of the 2022 season. Sam Howell started, and the team planned a celebration to honor one of the most beloved figures in franchise history – Sonny Jurgensen. Dan Snyder wasn’t there.

Truth be told, most people didn’t want him there, and maybe that is the saddest thing of all. For a man who hid behind lawyers and public relations staff whenever things got bumpy, this was the final cowardly act.