FILE - In this Dec. 9, 2018, file photo, FedEx Field is less than full during the second half of an NFL football game between the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants in Landover, Md. The title sponsor of the Redskins’ stadium wants them to change their name. FedEx said in a statement Thursday, July 2, 2020, “We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name.“ (AP Photo/Mark Tenally, File)

FILE - In this Dec. 9, 2018, file photo, FedEx Field is less than full during the second half of an NFL football game between the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants in Landover, Md. The title sponsor of the Redskins’ stadium wants them to change their name. FedEx said in a statement Thursday, July 2, 2020, “We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name.“ (AP Photo/Mark Tenally, File)

COLUMN: Some more appropriate names for Washington NFL team

Finally, Washington’s NFL team would have a name everyone could cheer with pride

Now that Washington’s NFL team has taken a long-overdue step toward changing its name, it’s time to start lining up some possible replacements.

Washington Generals, anyone?

After defiantly resisting all calls to change its offensive moniker, the Washington NFLers finally bowed to the only thing that really matters.

The bottom line.

With the nation embroiled in social turmoil and economic upheaval, Nike stopped selling merchandise with the Washington nickname. For good measure, stadium title sponsor FedEx called on the team to come up with a moniker that would be more in tune with the current times rather than, say, the 1800s.

So, while Washington’s NFL team conducts what it calls a “thorough review” that almost will surely lead to a replacement by 2021 at the latest, let’s explore a few possibilities:

GENERALS — This would be a nod to the lovable losers who spent decades serving as the Harlem Globetrotters’ nightly pushovers, compiling a record of one win and somewhere north of 16,000 losses before they went out of business in 2015. Washington’s NFL team hasn’t been quite that bad in recent years, but it did go 3-13 a year ago and last won a playoff game in 2005. If Generals doesn’t work out, how about the Federals? They were Washington’s entry in the USFL during the 1980s, going 7-29 over two seasons in the ill-fated spring football league. A seamless transition, that would be.

GRIDLOCK — The District of Columbia has some of the worst traffic congestion in the nation, so this would seem fitting to all those commuters who’ve been spent roughly the time it takes to play an NFL game just trying to get to work. Also, it sums up our current political climate.

BLAZE — During the War of 1812, the British invaded Washington and set fire to numerous government buildings including the White House and the Capitol. Not necessarily a proud moment in the nation’s history, but probably a notch above Dan Snyder’s embarrassing tenure as team owner.

BUREAUCRATS — The team could pay tribute to all those nameless workers who keep the wheels of government droning along through turbulent times. They’ve certainly shown more imagination than some of Washington’s offensive schemes over the past couple of decades.

FOGGY BOTTOM BOYS — Foggy Bottom is one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods, which would give Washington’s NFL team a chance to play off the fictional band created for the Coen Brothers’ classic movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” The Soggy Bottom Boys were fronted by a lip-syncing George Clooney, who hopefully could be persuaded to cut a video for the team’s new right song, “I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow.” It’s a catchier tune (and certainly more appropriate for the long-suffering fan base) than the hokey “Hail to the ….”

BLOSSOMS — While perhaps lacking the machismo of other potential monikers, the city’s famed cherry blossoms are in full bloom for roughly as long as the hopes of a Washington NFL fan each season. About two weeks.

SENATORS — Washington’s longtime baseball franchise was so horrible most years that its derisive motto became, “First in war, first in peace, last in the American League.” Hmm, that sounds familiar. Other names that were once used by pro sports franchises in the district include the Diplomats (a long-forgotten soccer team from the 1970s) and the Ambassadors (a team that never got off the ground in the World Football League). But forget about the Bullets, the NBA Wizards’ former name. That one was dropped because of its association with gun violence. It ain’t coming back.

HOGS — This name hearkens back to the team’s most glorious era, when a group of down-and-dirty behemoths dominated the offensive line of scrimmage and bullied Washington to three Super Bowl titles under Joe Gibbs. This might be the best way to appease those fans who are sure to object to changing the offensive moniker.

MONUMENTS — C’mon, how can you not like the Washington Monuments! A worthy tribute to the city’s stunning array of marble and granite remembrances, which honour everyone from the first president to Martin Luther King Jr. to the veterans of the Vietnam War. Some great logo possibilities, for sure.

RED TAILS — This is our pick. It maintains a link to the team’s current abomination of a name but also salutes the famed Tuskegee Airmen, the group of African American fighter pilots who broke down racial stereotypes during World War II.

Finally, Washington’s NFL team would have a name everyone could cheer with pride.

Paul Newberry, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

NFL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The landing page of the new redesign of ladysmith.ca. (Town of Ladysmith photo)
Town of Ladysmith touts redesigned website

The mobile-friendly website will improve online service delivery for site users

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

A downed power line has sparked a brush fire along Yellow Point Road south of Nanaimo. (Cole Schisler/Black Press)
Downed hydro line sparks brush fire in Yellow Point

North Oyster firefighters and B.C. Hydro on scene along Yellow Point Road

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

(Twitter/Ateachersaurus)
The Pachena Bay shoreline in 2013. (Twitter/Ateachersaurus)
This week in history: 9.0 magnitude quake struck under what is now called Vancouver Island

According to First Nations elders, the 9.0-magnitude quake in 1700 CE kick-started a tsunami

(Kraft Dinner/Twitter)
Kraft Dinner launches candy-flavoured mac and cheese just in time for Valentine’s Day

Sweet and cheesy treat will be here just in time for the cheesiest holiday of the year

SAR crews worked late into the night Tuesday to rescue an injured snowboarder in North Vancouver. (Facebook/North Shore Rescue)
Complicated, dangerous rescue saves man in avalanche near Cypress Mountain

North Shore SAR team braves considerable conditions to reach injured snowboarder

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
UPDATE: No sign of small plane that went down in waters south of Vancouver Island

Searchers out on both sides of border between Victoria and Port Angeles

A tip from the public helped Victoria police located and arrest wanted men Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Tips lead police to arrest convicted killer, robber near downtown Victoria

Two men were at large after failing to return to community facility

The Pacific Rim Whale Festival is breaching for a COVID-safe return in March. (Poster photo by Owen Crosby)
Pacific Rim Whale Festival aims for virtual return in March

Educational celebration scheduled to arrive in Tofino-Ucluelet on March 15.

In this undated image made from a video taken by the Duke of Sussex and posted on @SaveChildrenUK by the Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, shows the Duchess of Sussex reading the book “Duck! Rabbit!” to their son Archie who celebrates his first birthday on Wednesday May 6, 2020. The Canadian Paediatric Society is reminding families that the process of raising a reader starts from birth. (Duke of Sussex/@SaveChildrenUK)
Canadian Paediatric Society says raising a reader starts from birth

CPS says literacy is one of the strongest predictors of lifelong health outcomes

Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Minister Carla Qualtrough responds to a question during a news conference Thursday August 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Easing rules for parental benefits created inequities among parents, documents say

Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough’s office says the government will make any necessary changes

People walk along a pedestrianized zone of Sainte-Catherine street in Montreal, Monday, May 18, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. Newly released statistics point to a major drop in police-recorded crime during the first eight months of the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Crime down in first 8 months of pandemic, but mental health calls rise: StatCan

The agency says violent crimes such as assault dropped significantly

Most Read