Best Washington Team Names

Earl Hamilton
• Tuesday, 12 January, 2021
• 7 min read

Who knew that all it would take for the football team in Washington to change their name would be their home field’s title sponsor not-so-gently suggesting it, threatening the loss of millions of dollars and an expedited sprint of corporations running away from the franchise? Or, as I might suggest, play simply as Washington in 2020 while you give your fans a chance to weigh in on options that are meaningful or appealing to them.

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This is a deeply sensitive issue and by taking the time to do their homework, Washington could spend the year steeped in a more accurate portrayal of our history, eventually surfacing with something that could honor a heritage that spent so long feeling squeamish, or downright offended, by the name. While there is a stronger geographic tie to Alabama, the Airmen represented something truly incredible and Stoic: A diverse unit of African American, Caribbean, Haitian and Dominican pilots who fought and served the country despite the existence of Jim Crow-era segregation and rampant discrimination.

Utilizing the name change to shine a light on a criminally overlooked piece of American history could be an effective counterweight to years of digging in on a nickname that so many people deemed racially insensitive. Red Clouds was suggested in a Washington Post column, handing the team name over to a Native American hero.

What is called Red Cloud’s War officially began in 1866 when the Sioux leader could no longer abide the relentless incursions, including the building of U.S. Army forts, into his people’s territory. The high point of the war occurred when he and his field commander Crazy Horse wiped out an Army troop of 81 men.

The team has offered few clues about potential replacement names and logos, nor when such branding could be unveiled. Coach Ron Rivera previously told The Washington Post that he would love to have the matter settled by the start of training camp at the end of the month, but the franchise has not specified a timeline.

Like I said before, I can see 80,000 people in FedEx Field howling like wolves after Chase Young gets a sack to win a game.” Quarterback Dwayne Haskins, meanwhile, expressed a preference for “Red Tails” early in the process.

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Said Amanda Black horse, who previously fought to cancel the Washingtonteam's federal trademark registrations. ESPN reported last week that Washington is planning to have no Native American imagery in connection with its new name.

But even if that is the case, critics say, the “Warriors” nickname has historic ties to Native American tropes that could keep that connection alive. The Washington Post reported this week that the team's preferred name is caught up in a trademark fight, which has delayed its announcement.

And securing that trademark is just one of several steps that will have to be taken in the coming weeks and months to completely finalize a name change. There's new merchandise to be manufactured and distributed, old logos and team names to be scrubbed from promotional and sponsor materials.

This, of course, begs the question: If the team's name is changed, what should replace it? Twitter users were quick to throw out ideas, both serious and comedic.

And it's of course a nod to the Tuskegee Airmen, who blazed a trail as the first Black pilots in the U.S. military. The logo would preserve the connection to Native American stereotypes that many find offensive, but changing the name to “Warriors” and coming up with an entirely new logo is a solid option.

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So the association is already there naturally, and it would be an ode to the team's glory years. It feels like the result of a lazy word association exercise.

That doesn't mean you have to name the local football team after them. The only bright side here is you could just recruit Abe from the Nationals' racing presidents to be the mascot.

It's the Fourth of July, which of course means it's time for the annual hot dog eating contest. The contest will look a bit different this year because of COVID-19, with no fans in attendance and competitors spaced out more than usual.

Soccer (live): English Premier League, Norwich City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion, 7:25 a.m. Soccer (live): English Premier League, Manchester United vs. Bournemouth, 9:55 a.m.

Soccer (live): English Premier League, Wolverhampton vs. Arsenal, 12:55 p.m. Soccer (live): English Premier League, Chelsea vs. Watford, 2:55 p.m.

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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.

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. Well, the reasons are in part that he makes a lot of money and has been a lifelong fan of the team.

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. There are plenty of options and directions, and for this purpose here we will explore those that are fitting, honorable, and simply fun.

This serves a dual goal in creating both a name that is distant from the past but also appeals to the owner. You can make up any colors you want (including keeping the old ones), you don’t have to pander to the city’s history, and you have a name that isn’t used in any of the major North American franchises.

Theme, let’s go to a nickname that has been oft-thrown around and at the top of many potential lists for past teams, yet never finalized. And you don’t even need the red, it can just be the Dragons, which can inevitably lead to a variety of alternate logos and jerseys.

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Neither Snyder nor the NFL are ones to be shy or humble, so why not go all out and call the team ‘The Americans?’ You’ll have to forgo the burgundy and gold for the red, white, and blue, but a complete overhaul might be good. Part of the benefit of changing names and logos is a metaphoric shedding of the past, which hopefully rejuvenates a once proud and now dysfunctional club.

The best part with this name is that twice a year the Washington Americans will take to the field to face off against ‘America’s Team in the battle for the heart of the homeland. This one can go a couple different ways in terms of logos and meanings, but the best part is that it’s alliterative, and people love that.

Talk has swirled around whether this can be a more respectful reference to Native American history, but it’s wise to dispel that belief right away. The past logo can be altered somewhat to get away from having a group of people as an actual mascot, but the burgundy and gold can stay.

Federals is another nickname that has been discussed quite a bit, as it of course references the city’s political stature. There are already the Capitals and the Nationals in the area, so here we have an equally thematically-inclined name that speaks to the district.

This name moves completely away from the past, though there was already a Washington Federals football team in the USF in the 80s, and would open the door for a variety of creative symbols and logos, as well as a refreshing new color scheme. Well, if we are going to consider keeping with the governmental theme, aligning with the baseball and hockey franchises, then we should look the other way too and not leave out the NBA club.

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Here is another alliterative, magical name that has slightly more aggressive and tougher implications, fitting for football. Here you are, Mr. Snyder: something defiant, slightly historic (sort of), and a name that can maintain the same color scheme.

It speaks to a team that is resilient and with a storied history, as opposed to just some random animal and whatever a warlock is. The Replacements are a fantastic football movie with a great heart, and among its many gifts is the name Washington Sentinels.

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.

Lastly, the red wolf is endangered, so Washington can endear itself to those trying to save animals and make everyone happy.

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