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Commanders ready to call San Antonio home

September 25, 2018

From engaging with prospective players to fans, Daryl Johnston for weeks found himself in an awkward predicament.

Johnston, general manager of San Antonio’s franchise in the fledgling Alliance of American Football, could tell interested parties who the team’s coach was (Mike Riley) and where the team would play its games (Alamodome). But the team’s name and colors were another story.

“I’ve had a number of people ask, ‘What’s the name? What’s your colors?’ ” Johnston said. “And you’d have to go, ‘Well, we’re going to announce that sometime in mid-to-late September.’”

The wait is over. The team will be called the Commanders, a nod to San Antonio’s designation as Military City, USA. The Alamo City has one of the nation’s largest active and retired military populations, and with Air Force and Army installations, it has had a military presence for nearly 300 years.

The team’s logo, which represents a military patch and includes a depiction of the Alamo, a military sword and a star, is accentuated in maroon, red and silver, the team’s colors.

“I’m really looking forward to it so that we can get everybody excited about what the Commanders mean to this community, where the name came from, how it was decided upon, (and) the relevance of the colors,” Johnston said.

Co-founded by television and movie director/producer Charlie Ebersol and former NFL executive Bill Polian, the eight-team AAF is scheduled to debut in February 2019. Besides San Antonio, there are franchises in Atlanta; Memphis, Tenn.; Orlando, Fla.; Phoenix; San Diego; Salt Lake City; and Birmingham, Ala.

The league made it a point that team names reflected the cities where each was located, with officials making visits and receiving input from residents through surveys and from conversations with local officials.

“They’ve done a significant amount of research in every market to try and understand and get the feel for the culture,” said Vic Gregovits, team president and a former NFL and Major League Baseball executive. “That’s what obviously led to the design, the colors, so it had an affinity with the region. One of our priorities is to become part of the fabric of the community. I think when you look at everything from the colors to the logo, it fits the city.”

thomas@express-news.net

Twitter: @en_terrence

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