by Aaron Jaffe ’21
After 88 years of service, the Washington professional football team has finally concluded the era of the Redskins. The name was officially retired by the organization July 13 following what was called a “thorough review” launched by owner Daniel Snyder on July 3. The rumors had been flying around for years that the Redskins would be forced to change their brand and the official change seemed inevitable to most NFL fans, including the same fans who wear the burgundy gold. Back in 2013, Snyder tried to make it as clear as he could when he insisted “We’ll never change the name … It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.” Snyder’s stance has of course changed with the help from the extreme pressure put on the team from multiple major sponsors, companies and social media.
Currently, Washington has yet to release the new title for the organization or even just the leading candidates in the race. According to Yahoo Sports, the betting odds on Washington’s new nickname lists about 10-12 potential names but with a desire to completely restart the culture, the fan support, and Snyder and Coach Ron Rivera’s desire to keep a military connection to the franchise, the list of names can be narrowed down to three realistic possibilities, the “Red Wolves,” “Redtails,” and “Warriors”.
Historically, the Redskins had great success in the 80s and early 90s, winning three Super Bowls and appearing in five as a franchise. However, more recent history tells a different story, with only three NFC East division titles since Snyder bought the team in 1999 and no playoff wins since 2005 (it’s 2020 now). Part of the issue belongs to injury, but the bigger reason for a lack of postseason success falls on Washington’s inability to land star players in free agency and an abnormal tendency to sign former stars past their prime for way too much. Players have made it clear that Washington was not an ideal landing spot, not entirely because of the name Redskins but it certainly didn’t help. As hard as it is to put the Redskins in the past, this offseason will be remembered as the year Washington started to turn things around. The entire culture, front office, and coaching staff was washed and rinsed of the past and with the new name coming, the franchise has done a full 180 and has set themselves on the right path for the first time in what feels like a lifetime. With a whole new outlook and an ultra talented defense ready to take the next step, it should be a surprise to no one if Washington turns into a major market for players looking to win.