Washington’s football franchise has been the Washington Football Team for a year now, and on the field at least, it was an encouraging one.
Under its new name and with a new coach, the Burgundy and Gold rolled out a mean defense, got just enough out of its offense and ended up grabbing the NFC East title. It was the first time the franchise made the playoffs since 2015.
Now, as the squad prepares to begin training camp at the end of the month, optimism is flowing.
Head coach Ron Rivera is healthy after a cancer bout, he and his staff are pleased about how the offseason has progressed thus far, the club’s free-agent signings and draft picks have received widespread praise and many see another division crown on the horizon.
And should all of the optimism turn into more success, there are legions of fans on social media and calling into local radio stations with the idea that the organization should just stay with what was originally viewed as its temporary name.
Why? Because they won the division under the new name.
Let’s get this straight right now: Changing Washington’s moniker from Football Team to _______ will in no way affect the direction of the team's rebuild.
It actually feels ridiculous to need to put that into writing, but a section of supporters truly is worried about such a decision.
Sports fans are some of the most superstitious folks on Earth, and that’s fine. But those who care about the football club in Ashburn need to drop the argument that a glorious 2021 - even one that ends in the Super Bowl - should halt any hunt for a new name.
Chase Young won’t all of the sudden lose his burst if Football Team is retired, and Terry McLaurin won’t out of nowhere forget how to catch if Football Team is retired. Their skills have little to do with what's on their uniforms.
There are legitimate reasons to want to keep the name as is. Washington Football Team is certainly unique, for one, it’s preferable to a couple of the outlandish proposals that have been floated about online and it brings with it a no-nonsense vibe. Those all make their fair share of sense.
But if a fan begins their case for keeping Football Team because the football team appears to be trending upward under it, that case is not credible. The list of what makes an NFL operation a winning one is a thousand factors long — and not one of those factors is the franchise’s name.