The Washington NFL team has shocked the world with an announcement that they’re dropping the Redskins team name and logo and plan to announce a new identity as soon as possible -- and coach Ron Rivera said he wants the new name to be a tribute to the military.
Owner Dan Snyder had been resisting a name change for years. Seven years ago, in an interview with USA Today, he was adamant. "NEVER," Snyder said at the time. "You can use caps." But recent changes in public opinion led to pressure from the league office and team sponsors like FedEx and Nike and, after decades of controversy, the team has decided to change with the times and come up with a new name.
Rivera has been made the face of the franchise this year and he’s the one tasked with talking to the media about the team’s decision. Rivera’s father was an Army officer and grew up on military bases. He told the Washington Post about his wish to use the new name to honor the military in a recent interview.
Apparently, they’ve got a name in mind, but the lawyers want to work out any possible copyright issues before Snyder and Rivera make the announcement. This would seem to be a good plan in light of the public relations disaster created by country music group Lady A’s attempt to use a name belonging to a previously established blues singer.
In our view, that means the window is still open for name suggestions. Maybe they won’t resolve their copyright issues or maybe we’ve just got better ideas. Here are our top four suggestions for a new military-connected team name in Washington, D.C.
1. Washington Warthogs
BRRT! The A-10 Warthog is the most beloved aircraft in America’s military despite repeated efforts by the Pentagon to retire the Cold War-era attack planes. If and when the planes fly for the last time, the team’s name can offer a lasting tribute to the aircraft.
Bonus: Washington fans concerned about their traditions will note that the name could inspire a revival of the Hogettes, that weird team fan group that featured male fans dressed up in women’s clothing and pig snouts in support of the team.
2. Washington Devil Dogs
The recent Washington teams have a reputation as being a bit soft, unable to dig in when the game gets tight. What’s tougher than a United States Marine? Devil Dogs would be a name that would immediately put the team up with the Raiders in the NFL badass rankings. What chance would a Cowboy, Falcon or an Eagle have against a Devil Dog?
3. Washington Generals
True, the name has long been used by the squad who play (and lose to) the Harlem Globetrotters almost every single game. Snyder may not like the “loser” connotations of the name.
And yet, there’s an audience of one who’s sure to love the name: President Donald J. Trump, former owner of the USFL’s New Jersey Generals. There’s sure to be blowback over the name change from a portion of the team’s fan base, so the full-throated support of President Trump (and his Twitter followers) would be a huge help as the team makes the transition.
4. Washington Red Tails
The name would be a tribute to the World War II-era Tuskegee Airmen, an all-Black Fighter Group honored by the 2012 movie “Red Tails.” The 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group acquired the nickname because of the paint job they did on the tails of their Republic P-47 aircraft.
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