COMMENTARY | Imagine sitting back on a Sunday afternoon in October for a key NFC East matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Warriors. It could happen if one of the NFL's oldest franchises decides to change their nickname, dropping the name that is commonly referred to as a racial slur.
The possibility of a name change for the NFL's Washington Redskins has been under some sort of consideration for some time. A number of colleges have altered their nicknames over the years, and some chose to do so before the NCAA started to crack down on the offending nicknames. Now the discussion continues to weigh down on the Redskins, who must decide at some point whether or not to undergo an official name change.
There have been two attempts since 2000 to secure the trademarks for Washington Warriors. The first filing in March 2000 was abandoned in 2004, and a second filing in 2007 is currently suspended until other potential patents and trademark applications can be sorted. This news has led some devoted fans to go so far as to put together a mock uniform, logo and more for what could lead to a new identity for the franchise.
There is still support around the country for the team to keep their nickname. Despite the rising temperature of this hot topic, there is still debate over whether or not the Redskins should become the first NFL franchise to change their name without changing cities in league history. The Tennessee Titans were the last franchise to change their name while playing in the same city, but that franchise had moved from Houston as the Houston Oilers. The franchise needs to look no further than the AFC West, where the Kansas City Chiefs have long since altered their brand by removing the native American mascot logo and replacing it with the arrow head logo that has been used since 1972. Changing the name of a franchise is not even unprecedented in the nation's capitals. The NBA's Washington Bullets changed their franchise name to the Wizards in 1997 out of concern for the imagery of gun violence.
If (when?) the NFC East franchise decides to adopt a new name, here are five of the best suggestions to take into consideration.
Washington Warriors - As mentioned above, there is a strong possibility the franchise has already taken a hard look at adapting their nickname without losing their history and identity. Warriors would allow the team to keep aspects of their franchise history in tact and it would be rather simple to pass off a new logo. If the team did not want to go the rout of the fan-created images, they could always revert to another classic franchise logo.
Washington Pigskins - This has been a fairly popular suggestion by some, and allows for fans and the team to continue shortening the nickname to 'Skins. Unfortunately, this may be seen by some as a cheap way out of the situation, but it also pays homage to the hog-mentality that is paired with the franchise and their fans. In addition, footballs are commonly referred to as pigskin even though they are made out of leather today.
Washington Hogs (or Red Hogs) - If Pigskins is too similar for you, then perhaps you will prefer the Hogs. Like the previous recommendation, this keeps with the hog theme long associated with the franchise and fans. An alternative to this would be the Red Hogs, keeping the red theme in the nickname. Red hogs might call for a slight color change by the franchise though, as the official colors are maroon and gold.
Washington Red Hawks - A small number of people suggested this nickname, and it is not all that bad. The only concern here would be whether or not the franchise would want to add another bird theme to the league, and the division. The NFC East is also home of the Philadelphia Eagles and the conference already has the Seattle Seahawks. Also, the Atlanta Falcons already have red incorporated in to their franchise and Washington is a short distance away from the AFC's Baltimore Ravens.
Washington Senators - Consider this homage to the sporting history of the Washington D.C. area. When baseball returned to the nation's capital the Washington Nationals adopted similar characteristics of the former Washington Senators, including logo and colors. But they adopted a new nickname instead of going the Cleveland Browns route. In an area that has the Washington Capitals and the Washington Nationals, the Senators would seem to fit right in to the theme of the local sports scene. Unless there is a fear these Senators will one day pack up and leave town like the previous baseball franchise did (Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers).
Bonus Recommendation: Maryland Crabs - Because the franchise is actually located within the Maryland borders, perhaps this would be as good a time as any to recognize the real home of the team?
- Sports & Recreation
- Washington Redskins
- Washington Nationals