Fred Smoot

Quick Links

Poll shows 'Red Wolves' is still overwhelming fan favorite for Washington's new name

Poll shows 'Red Wolves' is still overwhelming fan favorite for Washington's new name

The Washington football team rebranded itself Thursday by settling on "Washington Football Team" as its name for the 2020 season. While it wasn't the sweeping name change some fans were hoping for, it gave the franchise some much needed time to elect a permanent name everyone will be happy with. 

It's unclear how much fan input Washington is planning on taking, but if they do, the answer is almost certainly going to be "Red Wolves." The name has been a fan favorite ever since former Washington cornerback Fred Smoot became the face of the movement.

It dominated NBC Sports Washington's poll of preferred name changes, grabbing 72% of 8,000 votes and remained the top choice in @redskinstoday's poll on Instagram

"Red Wolves" earned 1,242 out of a possible 1,476 votes (84.7%) with "Redtails" (6.7%) and "Warriors" (3.5%) not so closely behind. 

It's important to note the trademark issues that come with "Red Wolves," which is owned by Arkansas State University. Washington would have to go through an extended and likely expensive process to get the rights to use the name for football games and in selling merchandise. Arkansas State is also a public university, which would mean these negotiations would likely be held in public sessions. 

RELATED: SMOOT MORE CONFIDENT THAN EVER IN 'RED WOLVES' MOVEMENT

However, this is why the temporary name change is good for those pushing so hard for "Red Wolves." Washington has a full year to go through complicated trademark disputes and secure a name they want vs. settling on something they aren't crazy about because of time constraints. 

Much is still to play out in the franchise's name change saga, though it appears at least one thing is certain. The fans want "Red Wolves."

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TALK PODCAST

Stay connected to the team with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL NEWS:

Quick Links

Red Wolves advocate Fred Smoot sees Washington's temporary name change as a good thing

Red Wolves advocate Fred Smoot sees Washington's temporary name change as a good thing

Those hoping for the Washington football team to change their name to "Red Wolves" were dealt a small bit of bad news Thursday when the franchise reportedly settled on "Washington Football Team" as their new name for the 2020 season. 

But all is not lost, and the leader of the "Red Wolves" movement, former Washington cornerback Fred Smoot, sees this development as a good thing. 

"This is big for us RedWolf National they heard us Howling," Smoot wrote. "Let's keep working!!!"

Smoot gave the movement some serious life when he told NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux that "Red Wolves" was definitely his favorite option. 

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TALK PODCAST

"I think the Red Wolves would be one of those things that I heard nobody say that I think would be a great one," Smoot said on July 5. "I can just see FedEx Field and the 80,000 people just howling like Wolves. That would really be something."

With a temporary name change like "Washington Football Team," the franchise can utilize the year to pick a name the fans like and settle any trademark disputes necessary to get the full rights to a new name. 

RELATED: WHY THIS IS PROMISING FOR THE RED WOLVES MOVEMENT

"Red Wolves" is one option that will require time to secure if that's the direction the franchise wants to go. Arkansas State University holds the rights to the name, so Washington will have to come to an agreement with them before declaring it their new nickname going forward. 

It's unclear which direction the franchise is going to go with the permanent name, but if they take the fans' opinion into account, "Red Wolves" would be the runaway favorite

Stay connected to the team with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE TEAM NEWS

Quick Links

Even though this isn't Ron Rivera's mess, Fred Smoot still expects the coach to fix it

Even though this isn't Ron Rivera's mess, Fred Smoot still expects the coach to fix it

Football coaches are used to having a full plate, but right now, Ron Rivera is sitting at a table lined with full plates — and it feels like more orders are on their way.

For most of the offseason, Washington's head coach has been trying to prepare a young team to outperform expectations through Zoom meetings and phone calls. Instead of practices, he's used PowerPoint.

That's far from ideal.

Rivera hasn't just been tasked with handling on-field issues, though. The 58-year-old has also been heavily involved in advancing the franchise's name change, a task that's partly done yet also has much further to go until completion.

That's far from normal.

And now, Rivera is in the center of a mess — a top-to-bottom, years-in-the-making mess — involving widespread allegations of sexual misconduct that he has no part in. Despite that, he's being leaned on to clean it up.

That's far from fair.

Yet he's, somehow, far from discouraged.

"We have to move forward from this and make sure everybody understands we have policies that we will follow and that we have an open-door policy with no retribution," Rivera said to ESPN's John Keim hours after Thursday's searing Washington Post story dropped. "Plus my daughter works for the team and I sure as hell am not going to allow any of this!"

In a Friday interview with NBC Sports Washington, Fred Smoot explained why he's ultra-confident in Rivera's ability to improve the organization.

"I think he’s ready for this," Smoot said. "He understands you don’t make your mark when everything goes well, you make your mark when things go awry.

"I don’t think coach regrets anything," he continued. "I think he’s really embellishing the point that he can clean this up, that he can be a part of correcting this. And that’s what we need, we need a leader. And that’s why I think Ron Rivera is the perfect candidate for the job."

RELATED: THE 15 DAYS THAT CHANGED THIS FRANCHISE FOREVER

The longtime defensive back pointed back to how Rivera, in his opening presser after being hired in January, promised to elevate the culture in Ashburn. While there's no way Rivera could've known just how much elevating could be required, Smoot has complete faith that he'll accomplish that goal.

In fact, he's already envisioning what Rivera will be labeled when he does.

"Think about this," Smoot said. "In four of fives years from now, when we’re an established franchise and we’re doing better, how is he going to look? He’s going to look like the savior, because he was the savior. He’s a rock. You look to your leaders at a time like this and if they don’t falter, no one else will."

Not everyone is as sure as Smoot, though.

ESPN radio host Mike Golic Sr. asked aloud on Friday if Rivera is already wishing he didn't accept the job from Dan Snyder.

Meanwhile, Domonique Foxworth, an ex-corner like Smoot, took basically the exact opposite stance during Friday's First Take show. To Foxworth, Rivera has basically been tossed into a fourth-and-30 and told to pick up a first down.

"Stop it if you think that Ron Rivera is going to fix this," Foxworth said. "He’s a football coach. And we shouldn’t ask him to fix this, it’s not his responsibility, he has no ability to do so, we have no reason to believe that he’s capable of doing so."

Foxworth, like a host of others, is instead calling on Snyder to make serious adjustments — or the league to do so if Snyder won't himself. 

That's something Smoot agreed with, at least. The owner's "a very quiet," "very shy person," according to Smoot, but he still has to make himself more accessible to the public in order to show that he understands how much work must be done. That goes beyond making statements like this one

And even though Smoot clearly trusts Rivera to be the guy to turn around the entire operation, he did acknowledge that Rivera will need help from the man at the top.

"Everything works in unison," he said.

MORE TEAM NEWS