Even with Washington's seemingly imminent departure from the Redskins team name, there remains a logistical nightmare making such a transition this close to the start of a season.
As an expert like former Packers executive Andrew Brandt explained, it would take a "herculean" effort to undergo a full name change by Week 1 of the 2020 season.
So how can Washington appease sponsors while also giving the change the time it needs? Allow Kenneth Shropshire, Adidas Distinguished Professor of Global Sport and CEO of Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University, to explain.
"You could be the Washington Football Club for a season and then have a whole season's worth of fan competition for a new name," Shropshire said on the Redskins Talk podcast. "That sort of thing could rally interest. So you'd have a 'W' on the helmet for a year."
Our own JP Finlay has already pitched that idea in the spirit of "less is more" with the franchise's new nickname, and Shropshire could see that as an option for next season as Washington figures out what name will best suit them for years to come. In his own experience, going with a standard name for one year has worked for football programs like the Stanford Cardinal.
"I went to Stanford University on a football scholarship, I was recruited there when they were the Stanford Indians and then the year I came in they dropped the name and they were just 'Stanford' for a period of time before they became the 'Cardinal,'" Shropshire said. "So there are examples of these wait-and-see periods too."
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So while fans may want to see Dwayne Haskins, Chase Young and company run out of the tunnel wearing a brand new Red Tails, Red Wolves, or Warriors jersey, it may be better logistically for the franchise to approach this change gradually.
"The biggest problem is the equipment, the biggest problem is going to be changing stationary and assisting [media] in making whatever reference they want to be made going forward," Shropshire said. It can certainly be done I mean, think about it. You can make the announcement and say, 'We are gradually making the change.'
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"Corporations do this all the time with logos, you saw it with the Washington Bullets, you've seen it with the Charlotte basketball franchises," Shropshire said. "Would you rather have a year to say it's coming? Certainly, but can you do some exciting things without that [delay]? Yes, you can."
There's still plenty of uncertainty surrounding the 2020 NFL season and the rules on fans attending games. So while the league is still handling the challenges presented by coronavirus, maybe it's the best time for Washington to have a "gap year" of sorts for the name, uniforms and logo.
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