After facing a tremendous amount of public pressure from major corporate sponsors, all signs point towards the Washington Redskins changing their moniker. NBC Sports Washington and multiple other outlets have reported that the team will likely not play another game with 'Redskins' as its name.
Last Sunday, NBC Sports Washington spoke with former Redskin Fred Smoot about the name controversy, and the cornerback already had one clear favorite for the team's new name: Red Wolves. Over the past few days, Smoot has constantly been campaigning for 'Red Wolves' on social media, and numerous other Redskins fan accounts have joined in on the movement.
Smoot joined NBC Sports Washington's 'Redskins Talk and Friends' on Thursday, where he explained why he's so enamored about the Red Wolves' name.
"It is an endangered species. It allows us to keep the 'HTTR,'" Smoot said. "It allows us to keep the burgundy and gold. It allows us to have some crazy uniforms. Like I said before, I can see 80,000 people in FedEx Field howling like wolves after Chase Young gets a sack to win a game."
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Smoot, who called himself the "representative of the Red Wolves movement," is all in on the name. But, where did the Red Wolves idea originally come from?
The cornerback explained to the Redskins Talk crew how he came up with the Red Wolves nickname, thanking one of his favorite TV shows for the idea.
"One of my best friends, he's been a die-hard Redskins fan his whole life," Smoot said. "Two nights in a row, we've just gone back and forth about ideas and names. I'm a big Game of Thrones guy. Once we started talking about it, and we brought up the Stark family and the Wolves. I was like, 'There's no Wolves mascot in the NFL.' I think the Wolves would be good. Then, I was like, how about if the Wolves be red, we be the Red Wolves."
Besides the Red Wolves, three other potential names have become popular on social media: the Warriors, Redtails and Redhawks. The Redtails has specifically gained a lot of support, due to the meaning behind it. The term was coined during World War II to describe Tuskegee Airmen, who were the first African American pilots to fly in a combat squadron during the war.
While Smoot does "love the history" behind Redtails, he questions whether he would like it as the team's new name.
"There's nothing intimidating about it. It doesn't scare you in any kind of way," Smoot said. "I love the history of it. But I had to ask myself, 'Would I want to be a Redtail?'"
This offseason, the Redskins have already undergone plenty of turnover. Longtime team president Bruce Allen is gone, while well-respected head coach Ron Rivera is in. The team drafted Young, one of the best draft prospects in recent memory, this past April. The team is transitioning into a new era, and now, a new name could come with it.
With Red Wolves, Smoot thinks the possibilities of building up the brand in this new era of Washington football are endless.
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"Think about all the nicknames we could spur from the Red Wolves," Smoot said. "Think about how many Game of Thrones theme things could be going on. We could name the new stadium Winterfield. We could do so much with the Red Wolves."
Whether you like the idea or not, 'Washington Red Wolves' has a nice ring to it. And, as Smoot has said multiple times over the past few days, it gives the fans something to get excited about.
"Wolves, they run in packs," Smoot said. "If you get in the stadium and you got that many people howling, the field might start vibrating."
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