Washington FT: A Name change for a rapidly changing franchise

Ben Schirmeier, Staff Writer

As Washington Football Team fans know, the organization announced the retirement of the venerable Redskins name amid calls for racial justice after the murder of George Floyd this past  summer. After  sponsors threatened to cut their deals with the team, and growing  opposition to the name, and pressure from members of the organization, the team announced on July 13 that they will be retiring the Redskins name.

A few days after the announcement of moving on from “Redskins,” the organization released a temporary name and team gear rebrand for the 2020-21 season based on the descriptive name, Washington Football Team (which sounds a bit like a soccer club, e.g. FC Barcelona). This took the pressure off and allows the franchise to undergo a full rebranding process with fan, player, and sponsor input. The logo has been converted into a gold “W;” the jerseys  have “Washington” printed on the chest; and the traditional logo on the side of their helmets has been replaced with the player’s number. 

While the team has carried out a temporary solution, the Washington Football Team will take the offseason, and potentially most of the 2021 season to establish a permanent name, logo, and design. Led by Dan Synder, the name will ultimately be selected by the owner, but the front office has stressed the importance of fan and former player involvement. The organization has held alumni focus groups, issues reports on the process, and even has a place on the website (https://www.washingtonjourney.com/submit-an-idea/) for fans to submit name and logo ideas, as well as designs for jerseys. The most popular names at the moment included Warriors, Red Wolves, Generals, Hogs, Football Team, Football Club, Presidents, and the Red Tails. The organization has announced that it will aim to release the new name and logo sometime during the 2021 NFL season. Furthermore, the possibility of keeping “Washington Football Team” permanently is not off the table.

Many fans seem to back the idea of the temporary name sticking, but would rather the organization explore other options.

 Potomac Sophomore and long time Washington Football fan Kelly Crittenberger described his feelings: “I think Washington’s temporary name,  ‘The Washington Football Team’ is good for now, as they did have to make a sudden change. Moving forward, I would like them to use possibly ‘The Red Wolves,’ as that’s one that’s pretty popular, or something that has to do with DC being the capital city. ” 

Drew Ambrose, also a Potomac Sophomore and Football Team fan, however, had strong opinions against the temporary name, and has opinions which are representative of a fairly large part of the fanbase. “I don’t think ‘Washington Football Team’ is ideal. So many people are making fun of it and don’t take the name seriously. I think ‘The Hogs’ is a name that really goes with the team’s history. That would be the best name. ‘The Washington Football Team’ is fine to be temporary so they can have more thoughts about what their permanent name should be, but I definitely do not think it’s a good name.”