Why the Washington Football Team’s name should stay

LANDOVER, MARYLAND - DECEMBER 27: Chase Young #99 of the Washington Football Team looks on between plays against the Carolina Panthers during the game at FedExField on December 27, 2020 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MARYLAND - DECEMBER 27: Chase Young #99 of the Washington Football Team looks on between plays against the Carolina Panthers during the game at FedExField on December 27, 2020 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

It’s time to talk about the Washington Football Team name again.

As we enter the drab days of May with all the fun stuff of the offseason in the rearview mirror and visions of training camp still distant, it seems like an appropriate time to talk about the name again.

I know, many of you are tired of talking about it and simply want the team to pick something, anything, just so the concentration can be on football. I get it, I really do.

However, the name is important and even more predominant with a historical organization like we have in Washington. It certainly means a lot to me.

More from Riggo's Rag

You see, coaches, players, owners and even some fans, they come and go. But the name, that is supposed to be the constant.

I’ve heard the argument that winning is all that matters. In the moment, sure, most fans ride the emotion of the now. But as we’ve seen first hand, just like the players and coaches, winning will not last, it also comes and goes. That is why picking a name is important.

Let me share a story from the 2021 NFL Draft.

As I walked through the NFL Draft Experience, there were thousands of fans from various teams taking in the various exhibits and activities the league set up.

One exhibit caught my eye in particular.  It was a player mannequin and of course, I was drawn to the Washington player.  At first glance, it was the No. 21 on the jersey that excited me for obvious reasons.

But as I passed by the exhibit numerous times throughout the day there was something even more awe-inspiring then the jersey number, it was the collection of kids that kept lining up to take a picture with the Washington Football Team Mannequin.

There were kids with Washington jerseys and even more surprisingly, there were kids wearing other teams’ jerseys, all eager to put their head on the Washington player for a picture.

As I walked around more, I noticed something else, there appeared to be more kids representing the Burgundy and Gold than there were old guys like me who still remembered the glory days of Washington past.  And even more astonishing was a majority of these kids were with parents who were wearing other team’s jerseys.

These kids had made the choice to become Washington Football Team fans on there own!  How could this be?  Pundits say the younger generation needs a cool mascot, there’s no way they will root for a team with a bland name like The Washington Football Team.

Yet, I saw them, one after another and I talked to a few of them. They loved our colors. They loved Chase Young and Terry McLaurin.

This is where the experts are confused in my opinion.  The younger generation are drawn to star power.  Washington has been without a Superstar player since RG3 and we all know how short lived that was.

Prior to RG3, there were some good players, but no one as marketable as RG3.  The RG3 mania was an explosion of hysteria that we’ve not seen in decades because this fan base was starving for it.

The point is this.  Kids relate to star players and not logos.  Some of the most marketable teams in the world are very bland.  Look no further then the NFL.

Do you think the kids in Wisconsin are drawn to the team in Green Bay because they get to rep the color green with a generic “G” on the helmet and are proud to be associated with a name that stemmed from the Indian Packing Company? Hail no they aren’t.  They’re drawn to Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre.

Now, as these youngsters grow and mature, they start to appreciate the history and fandom passed down to them from their parents & grandparents.  They begin to develop pride in the history of the team and the traditions that go along with it.

Soon enough that generic “G” on the helmet and those god-awful uniforms become a symbol of honor, no matter how dreadful they may seem.  There are countless other examples of this in every sport around the world, some of which are the top merchandise cash cows in sports.

In my opinion, if THE Washington Football Team remains, so does the history.  While the name is bland, it does allow the team and history to remain.  Creating a new logo and name is basically creating a new brand.

Yes, the Lombardi trophies remain in Ashburn and the memories of players who dawned the Burgundy and Gold will always be in our heart.  But a new name creates a new identity.

I don’t want a new identity. I want to be remembered as the team that had a name so great that it couldn’t be replaced.

Kids don’t need a flashy new logo and name to support the team.  If you don’t think the Washington Football Team can be said with pride and be respected, then you also didn’t watch my guy and the Washington Football Team fan of the Year Joshua Strachan announce our 4th round pick on the stage in Cleveland.

Next. Analyzing WFT's linebacker group for 2021. dark

I had goosebumps for days. A new name will never do that for me.