SNIDER: Team with no name is once more rudderless

Rick Snider
July 24, 2020 - 1:12 pm

The Washington Football Team – WFT. How long before those initials get scrambled?
 
Owner Dan Snyder once more shows he's directionless. You'd think after 21 years he'd learn to lead, but once again the team is going nowhere with a temporary name designed to get sponsors off his back and sell merchandise while fumbling for a solution that past performance says will satisfy no one but his bankers.
 
Snyder swore he'd never change Redskins, but current times are forcing a tidal wave of revolutions so OK, maybe it's just time to end the siege on the racism charge and move forward. But, it was only done after sponsors forced a quick decision. Snyder had no Plan B despite years to prepare. He just surrendered and didn't know where the exit was.
 
Snyder said the team would keep Redskins during the name search, yet days later drops it. The name of a five-time championship franchise that he has run into the ground lets its moniker quietly end for something with no name.
 
This is an insult to longtime fans who adore the Redskins. If the name has to go, at least show it some respect. Better to just be called Washington and nothing else than substitute Football Team. It shows no respect to Redskins.
 
Oh, the team says the name will be retired by opening day. How? Let the band play "Hail to the Redskins" one last time as the sparse crowd silently weeps? It probably won't even get that much respect.
 
Football Team isn't as classy as Football Club. But, it probably would have confused people to use a soccer term.
 
Football Team simply is something to put on a T-shirt to make money. A placeholder rather than a quick decision. Maybe that's better than picking a dumb name, but not much.
 
Eventually, the well-paid consultants will convince themselves of a name that's already out there. Maybe it's Warriors, Redwolves, Redtails or something else. Hopefully, it's not something that makes us all wince. That's 50/50 at best.
 
Consultants will plead it's a classy name while fans wretch. Bullets fans have struggled to accept Wizards. It has been 25 years since the late owner Abe Pollin opted to change a name he associated with gun violence and many fans still hate it. But, it was better than Sea Dogs that a public poll favored as if the Tidal Basin was filled with pirates.
 
Surely, many die-hards will buy Football Team merchandise for its novelty and next year buy more with the new name. Yet, Redskins jerseys worn by older fans will fill the stands for many years.
 
It's not easy to change and Snyder didn't make it any easier with a hasty plan that was rudderless once more.

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

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