After several weeks of deliberation, the team formerly known as the Washington Redskins has picked a temporary name to use for the 2020 season: the Washington Football Team.
It is reported that an actual permanent name will be chosen for the 2021 season and beyond, and I sincerely hope that’s the truth. In an earlier post breaking down potential team name choices, I said this about potentially calling the team “Washington FC”:
While many new names have been floated around, some have suggested simply renaming the team ‘Washington Football Club’ or ‘Washington FC.’ This is a horrendous idea.
Names like that are common in soccer, or the “real” football for those around the world, and that’s perfectly fine. However, in a sport like American football, in a league where every team has its own distinct team name and mascot, changing the name to ‘Washington FC’ would be the blandest, least creative cop out.
I’m not anti-soccer, but to become the only team in the league without a real team name would be odd. It just doesn’t fit the sport, and I don’t see the appeal from a branding/marketing standpoint.
Needless to say, I am not pleased. A team name provides an extra sense of identity. Without one, the identity remains in limbo. There are obviously legal hoops to jump through when settling on a new name, and I assume those processes would not have been completed in time for the 2020 season, so this buys the franchise more time, but it’s gonna be a bizarre year.
If they truly keep this name for just one year, fine. We’ll get through the season, pick an actual team name, and move forward. My fear is that they’ll get lazy, get through the season as the “Washington Football Team,” and come out on the other side saying, “you know, we could just stick with this,” and we’ll be the team with no name for the rest of time. I certainly wouldn’t put it past them.
In the meantime, new uniforms were released, and we finally get an update to the jerseys the team has worn for so long. The most striking difference is the removal of the logo from the helmet in lieu of the player’s numbers, similar to the University of Alabama football team. With so many former Crimson Tide players on the roster, perhaps that’s the most fitting move.
In addition, the team will have “Washington” across the front instead of “Redskins.” That change was obvious. For the subtle changes, the gold and white stripes on the sleeves were removed, leaving just a single gold bar on the tip of the sleeve.
This is far from a long term solution, and I’m hoping the organization pays attention to what the fans want. The surge in popularity over the Redwolves remains strong, and I am well on that bandwagon, but I’d take practically any name over “The Washington Football Team.” Hopefully we get that name in a year.
Cover Photo Credit: Adam Schefter on Twitter