This is the 21st century. I’m on board with retiring the name/mascot of Washington’s football team. I’ve tried my best to refrain from using the name on this site, instead going with “Washington Snyders.”
The debate about the nickname is back, perhaps because of the resurgence of the franchise behind its new phenom quarterback Robert Griffin III. There is a consensus. Everyone believes at least this: “I can see a lot of reasonable people being offended by that.”
Another reason to change the name: the Western theme is a bit tired and old fashioned. As you can see from my suggestion below, there is a largely untapped area of a very popular genre that can be looked to for new names, and I’d be willing to bet that Daniel Snyder would like to be seen as the first to do so (and make a lot more money than with the current controversial name).
I get that it is a tough thing to change. Tradition has a pull. Look, as a fan, it’s hard to give up that fight song. It’s very catchy. I guess we’re conditioned to love it because it plays every time something really good happens. It’s very Pavlovian for us. However, I think a lot of us would gladly give it up if you gave us something clearly better.
The change needs to be to something unique and awesome (as in, “Wow! That’s kind of cool. I wonder why nobody thought of that before.“) It should be something from our more modern culture that creates a great contrast with the previous anachronistic nickname. Of course, to enhance the likelihood that the change will occur, it needs to be a choice that has the potential for Daniel Snyder to make a lot of new money.
The Washington professional football team should consider a deal with Marvel to use its character Wolverine as the football franchise’s nickname/mascot. For the unfamiliar, from IMDB:
Wolverine is a mutant, possessing animal-keen senses, enhanced physical capabilities, [a metal-coated skeleton], three retracting claws on each hand, and a healing factor that allows him to recover from virtually any wound, disease or toxin at an accelerated rate.
A “healing factor” mascot would be a fitting inspiration for a team with RGIII. Some will say, “Yeah, but, isn’t Wolverine a Canadian?” I’d answer, true, but Vikings are hardly Americans either.
The culture has clearly shifted away from the whole Cowboys and Indians theme. The people have spoken. Look at what’s raking in the cash in theaters or on TV. Is it Westerns or Comic Book properties? The Washington Wolverines would have the most marketable mascot/logo of any professional sports team. The character’s own fanbase would drive an increase in merchandise sales. You can easily imagine a sea of foam claws ($15 per pair) slicing the air at FedEx Field. Hey, Marvel, I bet a lot of those fans will be snatching up a bunch of those Halloween costumes. Oh, and the hair … so many possibilities for the fandom. (Start with a rainbow Wolverine wig and a Logan 3:16 sign.) Also, I think the burgundy and gold team colors can be carried over and adapted to the character.
Look, Mr. Snyder, you don’t even have to choose “Wolverines,” just try to get really creative with it. You did get your wealth from an innovative and modern business sector. I don’t want to see any Washington Generals or Washington Senators or Washington Monuments or Washington Blue Herons or Washington Lobbyists. Don’t name your team after the damn airport! To make the change smooth, you have to give us something great.