The Washington Football Team Name Change

Football fans have another reason to look forward to Groundhog Day

Ryan Johnson

The no-name team, the Washington Football Team, has had no team mascot for the past two seasons. The team’s former logo featuring the face of a Native American inside a yellow circle has since been replaced by a simpler yellow “W.” As the team moves into the 2022-2023 season, after not punching their tickets to the playoffs and finishing with a 7-10 record, key decisions need to be made both on and off the field. Going into the next year with the upcoming draft in April, the front office needs to decide what to do with their name. Keep it? Change it? If change is the answer, how will they navigate selecting a name at a time when social justice issues are very much relevant? Is there a way to honor Native Americans through the team’s name choice without offending them? These are the questions circulating in the front office that need to be answered. They will make the final decision on February 2, 2022, although eight name options have already been released. To somewhat ruin the surprise, a leaked image of the Commanders logo has surfaced, hinting that this could be the name they switch to. The seven other names in contention in order from most likely to least likely are the Washington Football Team (current name), Washington Armada, Washington Brigade, Washington Defenders, Washington Redwolves, Washington Redhogs, and Washington Presidents. Steering away from political names might be the safest route for GM Martin Mayhew. 

Switching up the name, logo, and merchandise is an unfortunate situation for Washington as it has and will continue to cost them monetarily. Staying as the Redskins would have hurt them on a different level as many have voiced their displeasure with the problematic team name.  Staying as the Washington Football team would save them money in the short term as they would not need to rebrand their merchandise again; however, in the long run, I think that many fans would shy away from the team. Nobody wants to be a fan of a team with no name. It’s boring! Although the leaked picture of the Washington Commanders logo has surfaced, this doesn’t guarantee the name. The leak could also indicate that the WFT will not select the Commanders to sustain the spontaneity of the big reveal. As the picture spread over social media, many fans of the team, and NFL fans in general, seemed to be overall content with the name and logo. I would still say that the Washington Commanders is the most probable possibility. Personally, I prefer Washington Armada, because it is unique, cool, and has a nice ring to it.

Although the rebrand seems exciting to fans all across football, it has its downsides. First, fans who bought jerseys in the Washington Redskins era have to be upset about not being able to wear them anymore. This disappointment along with all the negative attention the organization has been given could cost it its fan support. If they don’t make a change soon, however, they will lose money twofold with tickets and popularity.