But what does it all mean? TMZ believes this could perhaps kinda sorta be an indication that Dan Snyder is possibly maybe plotting to change his team's nickname. But there are still a lot of dots here with not much to connect them. And since TMZ published its initial story, the 'Skins have denied that any of this has anything to do with them.
Still: Per TMZ, Snyder's wealthy neighbor, Aris Mardirossian, registered the name "Washington Bravehearts" last week. On his application, Mardirossian stated that he intended to use the name for "Entertainment in the nature of football games." Which is something. That same day, Mardirossian also established a company called "Washington Bravehearts, LLC." Which also is something.
Of course, registering a name and a company for "entertainment in the nature of football games" contains all sorts of possibilities that go well beyond a new name for an existing NFL franchise. Also, if Snyder wanted someone to park a trademark on his behalf without drawing any attention, why would he pick his neighbor?
So what other connections are there between Mardirossian and Snyder? TMZ says they both went to the University of Maryland (though not at the same time), and that they're both the sort of men who cook up horseshit justifications for mutilating federally protected trees near their property:
Chainsaw Dan claimed his true motive was … biodiversity protection — because some of the trees were not native species! This year, a wealthy man named Aris Mardirossian bought property close to Snyder's to build a mansion, and asked the National Park Service for permission to chop down the trees blocking his view of the Potomac. Mardirossian claimed his true motive was … to protect his nut-allergic children from hickory nuts! Stung by bad publicity over favoritism granted Snyder, the planning board of Montgomery County, Md., rejected this second chainsaw massacre at the historic C&O Canal.
The Washington Post once described Mardirossian as "a multimillionaire real-estate developer who also holds patents on an eclectic range of items, including a missile-defense system." Maybe he's just a rich guy who wants to put his own Washington football franchise in outer space.
Photo: Associated Press