Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The Redskins Name Change Fiasco: Analysis of Possible New Names

Ok, this one is hitting kind of hard. Everyone who knows me knows I am a Redskins fan and love the team ever since I was little. I have been watching over the past week and do not know how to respond. I like the Redskins name. I like the Native American imagery. I wish we didn't have to change the name but times change. And honestly, let us not get into the "I am a racist because I like the name Redskins." That does not mean that at all. Never in my 32 years of life have thought anything about race with the name. It was never about that to the fans. However, we all can see what everyone is talking about and understand why the name needs to be changed now.

The Redskins have always been at the forefront of name change controversies, but why just the Redskins? The Cleveland Indians, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida State Seminoles, and Kansas City Chiefs all use Native Americans as their mascot. Before you come up with "well Redskins is derogatory and the others are not," remember, the argument is really about using skin as a mascot and profiting from that. Also, the most current letter to Roger Goodell called for the ceasing of Native American imagery, names, and logos. You can not just change the Redskins. You need to make sweeping movements across all leagues. If they stay around long enough for people to talk, then you are just creating publicity and still profiting.

Let us take a look at all the possible replacements for the team as this seems to be inevitable. I am going to avoid all Native American imagery in this analysis. If it calls for a term that could be used in another way to avoid that context, I will use it. My analysis will also include a simple grading scale of Weak, Neutral, Strong. This, of course, is my own opinion. I also was going to write up an analysis of the Redskins skill positions but I think I am going to wait until it is closer to preseason and the naming controversy is over with. Which for Riveria, is hoping it is soon so to not cause a distraction in training camp and preseason action.

Washington Redhawks - Neutral 

There have been a couple of different types of logos for the possible Redhawks, this is the one that most fans have been posting. Little work is needed to be done to the actual logo. Simply take the Redskins out of the circle and place the "R." However, the issues I see are from the feathers and the spear. This does not answer the Native American imagery problems. Those would need to be removed or replaced with the actual hawk image. Overall, I do not hate this logo but I do not like it either. 


Washington Redtails - Weak

Here is the logo that has probably gotten the most traction from fans. Even QB Dwayne Haskins stated he liked this logo in a recent interview. The Redtails were the nickname of the Tuskeegee Airmen, an all-black fighter pilot squadron. While this seems like a great idea on paper, considering all the problems going on right now, that is the problem in itself. It seems like a failed attempt to right injustices with today's social climate. Not only that, but we also go from profiting off of Native Americans to profiting off of segregating black men. This does not make sense to me. Besides, the Redtails name is weak. This is a hard pass from me. 


Washington Redhogs - Strong

In my personal opinion, this is probably one of the best considerations, if not the best. What bad can you say about it besides you may be a little corny to call them the Redhogs to keep the HTTR chant? In this case, you can just call them the hogs, but I would lose the HTTR then. But this is a great logo because the hog actually looks pretty fierce. To add more of a football vibe, we can even add a helmet with the stripes in the middle. What is more wonderful about this, it pays homage to our legendary offensive line in the Joe Gibbs-era. In this way, we get something new but still looking at Redskins team history and tradition. 


Washington Redwolves - Neutral

I am not really against this but I really can't give it a big thumbs up either. I like red and I like wolves but I don't know if I like the Redwolves. Besides, the problem with this logo is the Native American imagery. Race is not a logo so we can not use this. Same with my Redtails opinion. I am not really saying no to this idea but it would need major changes. Using an actual wolf would be the best way to go about it. 


Washington Pigskins - Weak

Eh, I can see where everyone was going with this. It is football related, o-line, and cute. But this is football. This logo can not be cute. I get it, little adaptation to media, colors, etc. but I can already see the excessive taunts from other fans from this logo and name change. It is bad enough we have to deal with the Deadskins or foreskins. I can already see all the issues coming from this. So no, sorry. Not going to happen. 


Washington Warriors - Strong

I do like this one but only if it stays away from any Native American imagery, which I have seen many examples of. Speaking of, I have seen many different styles ranging from this, swords, and soldiers, but I think I like something like this the most. Or at least some kind of imagery from DC. I think Warriors flows pretty well and you can make slight modifications to the fight song. I do believe this is the name change that is on Dan Snyder's shortlist. We may see something along these lines very soon. Of course, I am prepared for something like this to be the new logo and name. 


Washington Generals - Neutral

One of the logos I can see where they are going with but unsure if I am on board. This logo uses George Washington as it's the mascot. Get it, Washington DC, George Washington. Anyways, it makes sense. He is the most senior military officer, past or present, and holds the rank of General of the Armies. It would only make sense to use his likeness. However, there has been controversy surrounding him coming to light in today's climate. I think that is really petty considering what was going on during the time of Washington so it is hard to fault everyone, but the logo listed is not one I would approve of. I would go for a more subdued look or use a default soldier or general. I also do not like the idea of being named after a team that consistently loses to the Globetrotters but that is a different story and would show my level of pettiness.


Washington Renegades - Weak

Renegades flow really well and you can keep the HTTR, but that is where this stops. Renegade means a person who deserts or betrays an organization, country, or set of principles. Because of this, I think this is a poor example. The Redskins organization is fully committed to a culture change as well as a name change, as this was evident during the offseason of firing pretty much all staff and hiring all new coaches. I do not think this would vibe well with that shift. Also, anything to do with betrayal or desertion in our nation's capital just does not sit right with me. 


Washington Braves - Weak

Can not go too much into this. The name Braves defeats the purpose of what the name change is all about. It has Native American imagery and names. This just does not work. Another hard pass that needs to stop.


Washington Senators - Strong

I know this logo says federals but I would give that a weak and would prefer to use the logo with the Senator moniker. I like the Senators. There was a baseball team in Washington called the Senators before they were moved to Minnesota and it would play well into the Washington Nationals baseball team. It is very similar to how Chicago operates with the Cubs and Bears. My old high school mascot was the Senators so I am a little biased. But overall, this is not bad. I could rock something like this. Maybe not the logo, but the name I could.


Washington Sentinels - Neutral

This is more of a joke than anything else but after thinking about it, I can really get into it if it is done right. The name Sentinels comes from the 2000 movie titled, The Replacements, starring Keanu Reeves. The movie draws from real-life situations from the Redskins, including the winning Super Bowl team during the 1987 NFL strike. The Falco-Martel starting QB controversy is very similar to the one experienced by Doug Williams and Jay Schroeder. This could work but the logo would need to be changed to fit today's standards. The below logo is more of an 1980s-1990s sports logo.


I guess it is just the tradition I am afraid of losing. My father was a Redskins fan as was his father. My son is a Redskins fan as a result. Something we all have bonded over. I love screaming "HAIL TO THE REDSKINS" and I love singing our fight song after every touchdown. I never worried about any negative connotations to using Redskins. I just loved the team and loved the symbols. But I can root for a team with a different name. I can create new loves and traditions with a new team name. And I can still bond with my son regardless of the name.

What do you think about my analysis of potential new names? What are your top names? I would love to hear your thoughts on the name changes and my analysis as well as your potential names as well. Also, what are your thoughts concerning the whole thing anyway? Is this a little too much or should it be changed? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!

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