WASHINGTON (WDVM) – Whether it’s Redwolves, Red hogs, Commanders, Admirals or remaining the Washington Football Team, it’s all on the table for February 2.
The Washington Football Team will announce a new name and organization rebrand on Wednesday, February 2.
“I think they’re doing a good job of playing Jedi mind tricks on us,” Former Washington cornerback Fred Smoot, who played two stints with the team, 2001-04 and 07-09, told WDVM.
It’s a new era, but many wonder wonder how much it will reflect the past.
“I would like to see a name, red something,” Washington Football Team historian Mike Richman said. “I mean, I think that would be nice to have some type of link to the team’s history.”
Richman wrote both “The Redskins Encyclopedia” and “Washington Redskins Football Vault.” He also wrote a book about legendary coach Joe Gibbs and is currently working on a book on George Allen, another former coach.
The team was founded as the Boston Braves in 1932, playing at Braves Field. They moved to Fenway Park the following year.
“With the Boston Red Sox playing there, [team owner George Preston Marshall] chose red from Red Sox and he also maintained the Native American theme that they had with the Braves,” Richman said.
Richman tells WDVM that Preston Marshall, who was the team’s original owner, had an affinity for Native Americans and that there was a 1929 film called “Redskin” and that it is believed that those both played a factor in the choice of the team’s name in 1933.
The franchise moved to Washington in 1937, eventually winning three Super Bowls in 1983, 1988 and 1992. The name changed again in 2020, to the Washington Football Team, closing the book on a long dispute between the franchise and some Native Americans, following pressure from Native American organizations and team sponsors.
For long time fans, the team’s name that they had for 87 years, was associated with a long standing fan culture and a history of winning. For fans born after the 1980s, there hasn’t been much to cheer about.
“With me and Santana [Moss] and the rest of us, we didn’t really make a deep playoff run,” Smoot said. “We didn’t really give them memories and I think this name change gives them a fresh start.”
At the end of the day, the name might not even the carry the most weight with the fanbase.
“The best deodorant, no matter what the name is, to clear that stink out the room is to go win,” Smoot said. “They don’t care if we go under the Mad Hatters or the Flying Roaches! Long as we win ball games, they don’t care what the name is.”
WDVM will have full coverage of and leading up to the name change on Wednesday, February 2.