Without question, and in no uncertain terms, the nickname of the Washington Football Team must change, and immediately. There is really no argument against, whether one boasts about the storied history regarding a franchise or city, or a conversation about tradition or convention. None of those stand up to the fact that the name is simply offensive, derogatory, and outdated.
Let’s move ahead of that argument though, because here we want to ponder the future. At some point, the name will have to be changed, whether owner Dan Snyder is forced to do it or he decides to lead the charge. It will mean finally relenting on a subject he has been steadfastly against, for reasons unknown. Well, the reasons are in part that he makes a lot of money and has been a lifelong fan of the team. While he is not alone on this side, the sun is setting on the name. Aside from people no longer using that phrase (the most important factor), it would be a highly-talked about and distracting issue for the NFL to finally move beyond, and what’s more, it means added money coming in for all the new merchandise that comes with a new logo.
It wouldn’t be the first time a team named changed over negative connotations, and not even the first in Washington. The NBA team that is the Wizards was once the Bullets, but owner Abe Pollin, saddened by gun violence and the team’s association with it, changed the name.
Regardless, what we will have within the next few years is a situation where we need a new nickname for an important NFL franchise.
So we are here to help. It needs to be changed to something, but what? Do we look to history? Or perhaps we reflect the unique city itself, with something like the Washington Nationals? Or maybe we just go generically fierce, like the Thrashers or Predators or Panthers or Jaguars? The most recent NBA name change led to the Pelicans – so clearly there is a bias towards animals in professional sports.
The NHL has a bunch of nicknames that are inherently singular, so maybe we need an NFL team like the Avalanche or Lightning or Wild. It’s also probably too soon (and boring) to go the soccer route, and just name a team Washington FC, but maybe not?
There are plenty of options and directions, and for this purpose here we will explore those that are fitting, honourable, and simply fun. Sorry Houston, but Texans? We can do better than that.
10 Washington Yellow Jackets
9 Washington Spiders
8 Washington Red Dragons
7 Washington Americans
6 Washington Warriors
5 Washington Federals
4 Washington Warlocks
3 Washington Rebels
2 Washington Sentinels
1 Washington Red Wolves
Firstly, wolves are pretty awesome. Jaguars and Panthers are nice, but for most people, those are sort of cartoonish, almost esoteric animals and don’t really instill any fear – unless of course you bear witness to them. Wolves are more ubiquitous, something easily realized (especially if you’ve seen The Grey). Secondly, we keep the ‘Red’ of the previous name, we have a bit of alliteration, and we have a real life animal that actually roams around D.C. It’s also unique, and not at all controversial. Thirdly, if you want to take this a step further, Cherokee mythology regarded the red wolf as sacred, abstaining from killing it for fear of retribution. Moreover, the red wolf hunted alongside humans. Lastly, the red wolf is endangered, so Washington can endear itself to those trying to save animals and make everyone happy. Except for all the fans when they miss the playoffs yet again.
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