‘Major Tuddy’ could wind up being a major problem for the Washington Commanders after the franchise revealed its new pig mascot Sunday.
Despite facing the threat of a lawsuit from former players from the teams of the 1980s, Washington revealed a porcine creature as its mascot and christened him ‘Major Tuddy’ – giving him a rank and a nickname that’s a slang term for touchdown.
Earlier this year, the team revealed its two choices for a potential mascot – a ‘dog’ and a ‘hog’ – to fans during a game at FedEx Field.
The new swine mascot was revealed the same day the Commanders were eliminated from the playoffs, after a loss to the Cleveland Browns.
The latest mascot in the National Football League was revealed on Sunday, named Major Tuddy
The Hog-like creature pays homage to a group of players on the offensive line in the 1980s
In September, the Commanders revealed the two finalists: A dog and a hog
As a term, ‘Hogs’ have been associated with the team since the 1980s – back when they were called the Redskins.
It was created as a term for the offensive line, coined by the team’s OL coach at the time.
Due to that affiliation, the original members of the Hogs are suing current Washington owner Dan Snyder for not giving them credit in a bid to ‘reclaim their rightful ownership’ of the term.
In spite of this threat, ‘Major Tuddy’ was revealed anyway and users on social media were quick to criticize the mascot for its name, appearance, and design.
An SB Nation blog affiliated with the rival Dallas Cowboys asked, ‘how does this franchise mess up literally everything’.
‘Reason 1000 why Washington should have been called the Warthogs and not the Commanders,’ wrote NFL YouTuber Samuel Gold. ‘I actually don’t dislike the mascot. All mascots are inherently stupid and cringey… But Commanders was/is a bad name.’
Another Twitter user responded with an image comparing Tuddy to a pig-like creature from Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
Twitter swiftly mocked the team for its new mascot in spite of its ties to the team’s history
‘Can we just skip ahead to new ownership, a new front office, and the inevitable rebrand that will finally put this whole mess mercifully behind us?,’ wondered one Washington fan.
Another user joked, ‘named him after a touchdown, which we haven’t been able to score enough all season.’
More mocking images were found in the comments, including one of Kramer from Seinfeld turning his nose up at a doctor.
Fans believe that a new ownership group could change the teams name or mascot altogether
The retired players who could sue Snyder are members of an LCC, known as O-Line Entertainment, and are comprised of former teammates from the great Washington teams of the 1980s. The group includes retired offensive linemen Joe Jacoby, Mark May, and Fred Dean, former tight end Doc Walker, and legendary running back John Riggins.
‘If they go forward on Sunday and make the hog their mascot and try to trademark it, we are going to be forced into trademark infringement litigation,’ O-Line Entertainment attorney Seth Berenzweig told Front Office Sports.
‘We’ve made it very clear to them that we believe they’d be infringing on the trademark, and they need to arrange a licensing deal with the players. They have refused to do that.’
The term ‘Hogs’ was bestowed on Washington’s beefy offensive line in the 1980s and early 1990s, when the team was still known as the ‘Redskins.’ Washington would go on to win three Super Bowls with the Hogs, who spawned their own group of fans, known as the ‘Hogettes’ – supporters typically adorned in women’s clothing and pig noses.
Major Tuddy’s debut came on the day of the Commander’s celebration of the Hogs’ 40th anniversary.
The term ‘Hogs’ was bestowed on Washington’s beefy offensive line in the 1980s and early 1990s, when the team was still known as the ‘Redskins.’ Members have included Russ Grimm (front), Joe Jacoby, George Starke, Fred Dean, Mark May and Jeff Bostic
Legendary Washington Redskins running back John Riggins is also involved in the Hogs’ LLC
The team had planned to honor the Hogs during Sunday’s game against the rival Dallas Cowboys. Former head coach Joe Gibbs and the Hogettes (pictured at a game in 1984) are also expected to be attending the festivities
O-Line Entertainment previously filed for trademarks on ‘Hogs’ and ‘Original Hogs’ last summer. The US Patent and Trademark Office is expected to deliver an initial ruling in the coming weeks, according to FOS.
Trademark attorney Zak Kurtz told FOS that the Commanders stand a good chance of winning a court battle over the use of ‘Hogs’ if the situation arises.
‘Unless they’re commercially using the words ‘OG Hogs’ or ‘Original Hogs,’ it would be a tough claim to win if the Commanders challenged them,’ Kurtz said. ‘Even then, Washington could probably prevail. The team could say, ‘We had ownership to it first.’
‘We are planning a celebration of the greatest offensive line ever to play the game,’ the Commanders said in a statement. ‘The Hogs are a key part of our franchise’s history and we want to keep their legacy alive with the next generation of fans. We have been working with the Hogs on this event for six months and look forward to welcoming them and Coach Gibbs back.’
After defending the use of ‘Redskins’ for years, team owner Dan Snyder relented in 2020
The Washington Redskins mascot stands on the sidelines during the 1995 NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium on February 5, 1995 in Honolulu. The team dropped the name ‘Redskins’ in 2020 following years of protests from Native American groups, who deemed it offensive
The mascot debate comes less than a year after the Commanders unveiled their new and current team name following years of controversy over the use of ‘Redskins.’
The rebranding process began in 2020, when the team succumbed to years-long pressure by dropping ‘Redskins,’ which is considered offensive to Native Americans. In 2021, the team played as the Washington Football Team.
During their ‘Redskins’ years, the team did have a dark-skinned, mohawked mascot adorned with loin cloth featuring the club’s logo.
The club originated in Boston, where then-owner George P. Marshall had wanted to call them the ‘Braves’ but opted for his second choice due to the existence of the city’s National League baseball team, which has since moved on to Milwaukee and Atlanta.