Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Washington Football Team 2022 name change: Ranking the best final options ahead of Feb. 2 reveal

After two years as the Football Team, Washington’s NFL franchise is finally approaching a new era and identity. With one game remaining in the 2021 season, the team announced Tuesday that it’ll reveal its long-awaited new name and logo on Feb. 2. Club president Jason Wright, who’s helped spearhead the re-branding since “Redskins” was retired in 2020, previously confirmed that the “Football Team” moniker will be replaced in 2022, and now “Wolves” and “RedWolves” — among 40,000+ fan submissions — are also off the table due to trademark issues.

Washington has given mixed messages as far as which names are actually in contention for the new identity, with CEO Tanya Snyder listing eight finalists in September, only for a team spokesperson to clarify that those names were not necessarily the top choices. Team leadership has since said it is choosing from three finalists but has not revealed those names, while the Associated Press reports that the following nicknames are among the options: the Admirals, Armada, Brigade, Commanders, Defenders, Presidents, Redhawks, Red Hogs and Sentinels.

WashingtonAdmirals.com currently redirects to the team’s official website, for what it’s worth, but until Washington’s official reveal on Feb. 2, here’s how we’d rank the options for their new identity:

9. Defenders

It’s fine. But anyone could use this. It’s like the default output of a random team-name generator in “Madden.” Ron Rivera might like it, considering the way his team is built, but that’d be an awfully short-sighted re-brand.

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8. Commanders

A slight improvement on Defenders, because you’d prefer your team take charge rather than just play defense. But again, this one fits with any team in any city, really. Way too generic considering you spent two whole years planning this unveil.

7. Redhawks

It’s not bad and carries a respectful resemblance to the franchise’s name of old, but Miami University (Ohio) made this switch first. Plus, Washington has already indicated it wants to move away from its original Native American imagery.

6. Brigade

The singular name is unique, and “Washington Brigade” flows pretty nicely. An altogether solid choice, if they’re leaning in the nation’s capital/American patriotism route.

5. Sentinels

This isn’t nearly as threatening/formidable a term as “Brigade” or even “Commanders,” but it’s got a respectability to it — a more unique version of something like “Warriors.” It’s also similar to the 19th and early 20th-century Washington Senators baseball team.

4. Admirals

This would fit in nicely with the team’s new uniforms, teased by Washington to now include stars. And it obviously fits the military theme. It’s not necessarily creative, but it works, essentially deeming its players a bunch of high-ranking soldiers.

3. Presidents

This one comes with inevitable baggage, considering they’d constantly be associated with the sitting U.S. president. But “Washington Presidents” just sounds right, too. If they want to embrace their D.C. location, you can’t do much better.

2. Armada

Armada means a fleet of warships or vehicles. And it sounds even cooler than “Brigade.” This one’s all about the aesthetic. “Introducing, in 2022, the Washington Armada!”

1. Red Hogs

Is it a coincidence Washington will be unveiling its new name on Groundhog Day? Hopefully not. “Hogs” has long been a nickname in and around the franchise, so it’d only be fitting to see a promotion here. Cutting “Red” from the name would actually make it better, but still, this is clearly the best way to pay tribute to team history while embarking with a new identity.

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