The Washington Football Team is apparently not as keen as once believed in their temporary team name, perhaps given that it comes close to the old Gregorian chant WTF. They talked it up last year as a perfectly acceptable alternative to “Slurs,” but now are rethinking the proposition. Toward that end, we offer to you, our feckless readers, the actual list they are submitting to season ticket–holders to see which of these names are willing to be shamed by being attached to this franchise. Strangely, “Fightin’ Litigants,” “Process Servers,” and “PsychoSnyders” did not make the list.
Market research is, of course, what you do when you’ve already decided what you’re going to do. You quietly slip the one you want in with a bunch of herrings, or if you’re worried about leaks with the obsesso-aggressiveness of D.M. Snyder, you put out a layer of names that have no chance, and when the team ends up being called the Potomac PuppyEaters, you can make up some C&B story about it being the will of the fans.
But we only have the 35 candidates the team is offering as potential solutions to the team’s witness protection name it used to stop drawing attention to its repellent predecessor. They are all bland, bad, or barmy, and some are all three, but the world may not yet be ready for the Washington PPE, so we’ll deal with what we have. Let’s hop aboard the Sadness Express, and hope for a window seat next to a quiet, childless adult.
In alphabetical order:
1. Aces. Now that the NFL is sleeping around with gamblers, a cheap yet effective bit of marketing with a new logo on the helmet. A poker hand logo will put new meaning into the words “the flop, the turn, and the river,” three things that help explain the whole Washington football experience.
2. Ambassadors. Woody Johnson was one of these. He owns the Jets. Violently aggressive pass with oak leaf clusters.
3. Anchors. An homage to Our Danny, or irresistible temptation for lazy headline writers everywhere? You be the judge.
4. Archers. Evokes either Robin Hood: Men In Tights or the animated spy played by H. Jon Benjamin, both of whom deserve better.
5. Armada. What says football in our nation’s capital quite like a fleet of Spanish ships that now lie at the bottom of the sea off Gravelines, France? OK, other than Matt Gaetz?
6. Aviators. This has been suggested by many people to salute the black airmen of World War II, and one of those people making the suggestion has surely already taken out a nuisance patent on it.
7. Beacons. There was an old soccer franchise based in Boston called the Beacons. They lasted a year.
8. Belters. Your first impression is that this sucks, and is just a red herring. Your second impression is that you were far too kind.
9. Brigade. Why, no, and thanks for asking.
10. Commanders. Donald Trump was a commander-in-chief, which is a higher rank than mere commander. The math is obvious. So is the foul stench.
11. Defenders. The old/new XFL nickname? Really? Someone was actually forced to type this where other people could see it? Sounds like the new, powerful HR department still has some holes in its game.
12. Demon Cats. The Defector Slack channel largely approves of this, which means that day-drinking is back in vogue among the comrades.
13. First City Football Club (FCFC). “FC” has other connotations too, and besides, I thought they outgrew their infantile acronymic stage and left it to the lazy appropriators over at MLS. Why don’t you hop over to the courthouse and see if someone still owns the property rights to “Metros-Croatia?”
14. Griffins. Harry Potter is past his sell-by date, and we got this directly from Danny Radcliffe, who should know.
15. Guardians. So is Guardians Of The Galaxy, though points to comedian/actor Peter Serafinowicz, who played some elongated whatnot who got croaked along the way and once answered a question in a quiz show by saying, “Frankly, I don’t think that’s any of your business.”
16. Icons. That’s what they said the offensive old logo was. Make an effort, kids, if only to convince your college marketing classmates you didn’t totally waste your education and got into narcotics informing just to make ends meet.
17. Majors. Please make the upchuck sound that most resonates with you.
18. Monarchs. What better place to restore a fetid notion like hereditary titles and power? This is the kind of concept that can only emerge from a room full of brainless bastards.
19. Pilots. Like the Seattle Pilots, which like the Beacons lasted a year.
20. Presidents. After the last guy, perhaps a dysfunctional, perpetually bottom-dwelling football team could bring some shine back to the position.
21. Razorbacks. The University of Arkansas is 40-69 in the last nine years, while your boys are 48-79, which makes this apt but stupid.
22. Redtails. Another homage to the Tuskegee Airmen, but maybe avoid all suggestions of “red,” just to be on the safe side, you sweaty little meatheaps.
23. Redwolves. Same.
24. Red Hogs. “You’ll have to take my plastic pig snout off my cold, dead body.” “Great. I’m free now. Let’s go kiss your wife goodbye and we’ll go do this thing.”
25. Renegades. In honor of the brave criminals, lesion farms, and ill-educated dopes who tried to seize the capital and then tell the cops they were just looking for a bathroom outside the K Street Starbucks, I presume.
26. Riders. Currently owned three times by two Canadian Football League franchises. Edward Bennett Williams extricates himself from his grave to relieve himself on your shoes.
27. Rising. Shut up. Just shut up. No, we don’t want you to explain your thinking or show your work. Just shut all the holes in your head and don’t open them again until you’ve turned purple, then blue, then gray, then still. And above all, do it in silence.
28. Royals. Like Monarchs, only lazier. Prince Philip would like a word, and that word is “wanker.”
29. Rubies. What the new generation of clever congressmen get paid off in because Bitcoin bribes are traceable.
30. Swifts. Perfectly 1890s National Association baseball team. Maybe all the players will grow handlebar mustaches and wear jodhpurs and pillbox helmets and ride to the voluntary workouts in bicycles with one gigantic front wheel because … well, you do seem the kind of mark to do this kind of thing while thinking you’re the only one ever to have thought about it.
31. Warriors. Ahhh. Learned absolutely nothing, I see. Yeah, go ahead, run that up the flagpole and see who hangs you from it five minutes later.
32. Washington DC Football Club (DCFC). What innovative yet teeny little minds you have!
33. Wayfarers. And you can sell the stadium naming rights to Motel 6, if you can meet their price.
34. Wild Hogs. What is it about pork that stirs the capital heart so? Ohh, never mind. Got it.
35. 32FC (W32): Oh come on. Just call it WD40, because that’s what you’re asking for with this idea.
Again, this is merely a consumer survey and maybe none of them will be considered. Or maybe they will consider outside possibilities like Comrade Roth’s almost soul-extruding recommendation, “Washington Guys.” They won their division last year losing nine of 16 games, which is as Guys as it gets. But then they’d have to pay Roth for appropriating his intellectual property (and we grant that “intellectual” in this context gives the word far greater elasticity than it should be able to bear). That would turn Roth v. Washington Guys, Daniel M. Snyder, and Galactus LLC into the kind of court case that doesn’t even get past the discovery phase until after Roth dies. Tough break to Roth.
But these 35 offerings should start you off running, even though they are not actually binding and probably only represent the thinner edge of the wedge. Frankly, they should just buy (or steal, the NFL being what it typically is) the rights to the city’s G-League franchise name of Capital City Go-Go and see if people will think that after 80-plus years of insulting people just for kicks and purposeless orneriness, they’re finally trying to be down with the youth. In other words, the demographic least likely to turn up at a game.