Insider

Redwolves? Warriors? Or just stay the Washington Football Team?

Insider

In the days leading up to the beginning of the 2020 NFL season Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder said the new team name, or more accurately, not having a name could be the long-term answer for the franchise. 

"If the Washington Football Team name catches on and our fans embrace it then we would be happy to have it as our permanent name," Snyder said last week in an email to the Wall Street Journal.

Well, in the time since Snyder's suggestion, the Washington Football Team went out and played their most impressive 60 minutes in a few years. In head coach Ron Rivera's debut, Washington got off to an awful start before flying back with 27 unanswered points to beat their division rival Philadelphia. 

Washington had not won a home opener since 2014. Washington had not beaten Philadelphia in their last six contests. 

Or, it could be seen as the Redskins had not won a home opener since 2014. And the Redskins hadn't beaten Philadelphia in their last six contests. After retiring that name in July, the Redskins no longer play football in Washington. 

Because the Washington Football Team has only opened one season, and that was with a victory. And the Washington Football Team is 1-0 against Philadelphia. 

Could this all be a bit silly? Sure. 

The team's marketing department is openly inviting fans to send in suggestions for the next team name. It would be highly unorthodox for the team to continue in perpetuity as just the Washington Football Team. That would sound normal for a European soccer club, but not an NFL team. 

 

But perhaps there's one more major note to consider from Snyder's suggestion that the Washington Football Team could be here to stay. 

In 2013, facing a storm of controversy over the old nickname, Snyder loudly proclaimed he would "never" change the name Redskins. "Never - you can put that in caps."

What changed?

Money. 

This offseason corporate sponsors lined up asking Washington to get rid of the Redskins name. FedEx. Nike. Pepsi. Big companies with big money. 

And facing that type of pushback, Washington decided to change the name. Officially, however, the team retired the old nickname. 

Well, if you retire something, and you never have another name, maybe some could argue that the name has never been changed at all. That could make a 2013 promise to "never" change the name still hold true. 

Again, much of this could be silly.

This could be a multi-month strategy by marketing experts to create interest in every step of the rebranding effort for a multi-billion organization. That would be very smart and give fans the feeling of having a voice in the outcome, whether or not that's actually true. 

But a few days before the Washington Football Team played its first game, the owner said that name could stick around if it "catches on." Then, in their first game, the Washington Football Team played inspired, exciting football and fans certainly rallied behind it. 

There's 15 games to go, but don't count anything out in 2020.