The Washington football team announced that they’ll be known as… well… the Washington football team, for the 2020 season on Thursday. It’s not the flashy choice, but it makes the most logistic sense.
I’ve been at a campsite with less-than-ideal WiFi for the past couple days, so I haven’t been able to weigh in as often as usual. But I did want to painstakingly sit through this connection conundrum to write about the decision the Washington football team made on its name.
There was pressure on the Washington football team to change their name quickly, after major corporate sponsors threatened to cut their ties with the team if the original name was not changed. That rush led to mass speculation on what the name would be, but at the end of it all, anticipatory fans will simply have to wait another year to get the 100-year answer.
For the 2020 season, the team donning the burgundy and gold from the nation’s capital will simply be the Washington football team. The announcement was made on Twitter by NFL insider Adam Schefter and then confirmed by the team’s official Twitter account, along with a new uniform mock-up, featuring some cosmetic tweaks.
The decision might not be the exciting one, for some fans who may have had a foot in the camp of the Redwolves, Redhawks, Warriors, Redtails, or one of the many other name ideas proposed by the fanbase. But it not only leaves open the possibility of the team picking one of those names; it also allows the team to take its time with a decision that shouldn’t be rushed.
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Fans were clamoring to get a quick answer on the team name, but these things take time. The transition to the Washington football team allows the franchise to keep all of the non-inflammatory imagery, while also keeping the burgundy and gold and simply adding a number on the helmet. A more dramatic name change would demand more dramatic changes, from mass rebranding, to color changes, to stadium construction, and more. And it would be impossible to sell fans on a drastically new theme all of a sudden, in the month remaining before the regular season.
New media director Julie Donaldson also announced the development of a website where fans will, among other things, be able to join the conversation on the name, and potentially have an impact on the final decision. The name change should be a long process, and one that takes many voices, including the followers of the team itself, into account. It appears as though the Washington football team is making the right choice in that regard.
Eventually, the Washington football team will have to choose a permanent name. But in a way, there’s something sobering about simply being a “football team”. This team is coming to play football. Nothing more, nothing less. That’s on the forefront now.
So let’s get to football.