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Now that it seems that the name of the Washington professional football team is next on the list of statues to be toppled, I suppose it’s time to start seriously considering what the next name could or should be.
Social media has certainly contributed its share of gag names (for the record I have even suggested they adopt Maggie and call themselves the “Washington WonderBeagles”) but once all that has passed, it will be time to consider a name and logo that can please both longtime and new fans alike.
If they follow two guidelines, I think they can do both.
The first is to pick a name that starts with the letter “R”. By doing so you can change the logo on the helmet to the single "R" Vince Lombardi brought in and remove the feathers. The team still wears burgundy and gold, and the logo is a familiar one that was used for years and has been bought back several times for throwback games. Long time fans would get to see something on the field that doesn't look like a new expansion team.
I even have several hats I’ve acquired over the years with a script “R” in the middle (Joe Gibbs wore ones like these all the time), and they would still work.
The other is also very simple. Pick a name that not only starts with “R” but make sure it is two syllables. This allows you to keep the fight song if you so choose. Just sub out Redskins with any two syllable name that starts with an R and it still works. Long-time fans then have a comfort level of seeing the same colors, a familiar logo, and the same old “Fight for Old DC” they’ve been singing since their teenage years.
I will grant you that to some, that circular R is going to look quite plain given all the technological advances in graphics and logo development these days. But that’s also the beauty of the idea. If the Redskins change their name now, they are going to need to scramble to do it this season. The “R” logo can work now, then be updated into more exotic imagery every year. It’s flexible. When the logo gets updated, this opens the door to additional merchandise sales because fans always want the latest logo.
Ok, then, what’s the new name? Well, I can think of at least three that work with these guidelines. One would be the Washington Rangers (“Hail To The Rangers, Hail Victory”). Another would be the Washington Rockets, which invokes the memory of Francis Scott Key and “Rockets red glare” from the Star Spangled Banner. A third would be the Washington Rampage, which is a generic yet aggressive name.
I kind of like Rampage because not only does it use the “R” logo and you can sing “Hail To The Rampage, Hail Victory” but the name also doesn’t have any concrete visual that goes with it. You could make the logo just about anything you want and still have some tie-in to the name “Rampage.”
This is where I’d start. You preserve some tradition, you remove a name younger fans particularly find offensive, and you give yourself future flexibility on the logo.
Even if Maggie doesn’t get her dream of the team being called the Washington WonderBeagles.