The Washington Football Team suffered a pair of four-game losing streaks this season, and the second one proved enough to sink the Burgundy and Gold's playoff chances.
With the NFC Wild Card window closed, the playoffs no longer an option heading into the Week 18 finale against the New York Giants, it's time for Washington fans to focus on the decision that will have a far longer and lasting impact: the new team name.
Speaking with multiple sources, NBC Sports Washington has learned that the team has begun working on a rollout video for the new name that includes fans and alumni. It's been widely reported that the new name will emerge early in 2022, likely before the Super Bowl gets played on February 13.
Some think it would make most sense to roll the new name out on January 26th, which marks the 30th anniversary of Washington's last Super Bowl win. Oddly, the team did not honor that Super Bowl winner at any home games this season so perhaps this is the big push.
The week between the NFC and AFC Championship games and the Pro Bowl is usually quiet too and could present an opportunity for Washington's new name to dominate the news cycle.
On Sunday at the home finale, Washington had deep discounts on all its official current team gear, likely to make room for new gear for sale ASAP.
There are plenty of guesses what the new name will be, though informed speculation leaves two frontrunners - Red Wolves and Commanders.
Considering the Cleveland baseball team just went through a similar rebrand and landed with Guardians as its new name, Commanders seems most logical for a new Washington name. It's innocuous and won't require another rebrand 30 years from now, even if it is a little boring.
It's easy to be dismissive of the new name search. The process has been long and drawn out.
Now, however, the reveal is truly coming. This is one of the biggest announcements in D.C. sports history. Possibly the biggest.
The old name meant a lot to a lot of people, both good and bad. The new name will too. That also means a new logo and perhaps a new fight song. For hundreds of thousands of people, these decisions are wildly important.
The time is coming.