SNIDER: Silly to simple, Washington's name game plays on


From Warriors and Redwolves to Red-Monster-Truck-Jam and Wash Your Hands, proposed names for the Washington Football Team poured in like stimulus money to favored political pork projects.

They came from six continents (What, the penguins on Antarctica were too busy to nominate penguins?); some 39,783 proposed names to replace Redskins. Not just 13,373 from the Washington area, but 720 from Europe and 110 from Australia and New Zealand, where something might have been lost in the pronunciation. After all, they think barbie is a grill instead of a doll. And, 111 came from "Oceania." I think that’s where the Mars Rover landed.

A name came from the team's ball boy from the 1972 NFC Championship victory over Dallas, the franchise's greatest win aside three Super Bowls and 1937 and '42 titles. Proposed names came from multi-generational fans, sons of players and those who have been involved with the team for decades.

What does this massive input tell you? That people may refer to the team as Redskins for years, but they're ready to move on to the next name.

And, it tells you people still care about a franchise that has taken them for granted since first selling out in 1966. Fans endured poor stadium conditions at two sites, insane concession and parking fees at FedEx Field, persistent losing teams and an attitude that fans are nothing but suckers who are willing to spend insane amounts of money on even 2021 draft gear, despite knowing the name will change next year. Oh well, the team will sell you a 2022 hat, too.

Despite all that, the fan base still cares. God knows why, given a generation of nothing in return and the legends of Super Bowl days growing fainter by the year to a fan base that's too young to remember them.

But fans love this team. Nothing moves the needle in Washington more than the gridiron gang from Ashburn. (Should have entered that one.) The Nationals and Capitals have won recent championships and have a solid base. The Wizards are lucky it's a basketball town or they'd be an afterthought.

Nobody comes close to the Football Team. (Feel how awkward that sounds? It's why they need a real nickname.)

The new name won't come quickly, though. The team will run it through endless cycles of focus groups, attorneys, federal copyright approvals and exhaustive second guessing before maybe deciding what might have always been the first choice – Warriors.

But the name game has been won because it showed people really do love this team. That the passion is there. Now, if the team can only find a quarterback and return to the Super Bowl era.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks.

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