Updated: Jan 22
Sports team nicknames can be one of the most iconic parts of the team. All sports fans know the Cowboys, the Yankees, the Lakers or the Canadiens. These names can bring some great moments into mind. They can also conjure up a hatred so intense, that people physically shutter at thought of their teams rival.
Recently, some notable team nicknames have begun to change. It started locally in Massachusetts with UMass changing its name from Redmen to the Minutemen. Then we saw highschools like Natick change the very same nickname. It has since moved to colleges, and has even graduated into the professional level.
Most recently, the team formerly known as the Cleveland Indians announced earlier this week that they’d be eliminating their nickname. Of course most famously we have the Washington Football Team, previously known as the Redskins.
We all saw this coming. These names were destined to change because of the way the wind was blowing. I am not one of these harcore PC police guys that demanded the name be changed. On the other end of things, I am not one of these extreme “leave things the way they are” people either. I don’t particularly care what these teams are called. They way I see it, they are private entities and they can call themselves whatever they want. If they want to keep the names, go ahead, and if they want to change them get right after it. What I have a problem with, is utter lack of planning that these teams seem to have.
Let’s take the Washington Football Team for example. Owner Dan Snyder has been facing the question of changing the team name for the better part of 20 years now. He famously said that he would “never change the name.” Last year, they finally caved and changed the name. The real huge issue here is they had no name ready to go. If you had 20 years to think about what you were going to do, I think you’d come up with something better than Football Team. There are so many options available for Washington to come up with. Firstly is the obvious. Their uniforms are red, just go with the Red Hawks, Red Tails, Red Anything to be honest. Really simple. Or they could’ve gone with something related to the Washington DC area. Be the Congress, Senators, Republicans, or be bold and be the Presidents.
Now the best idea I thought of calls back to the great film the Replacements. Why didn’t Washington go to the studio that made the movie and become the real life Washington Sentinels. The money that could be made with that bit of cross-promotion. Have Keanu Reeves doing commercials and appearances for Washington. Maybe even open up more channels for financial gain with a reboot, or sequel. This would be awesome.
It’s no surprise Snyder didn’t have the foresight to do something like this. He’s kind of a dummy. Even this blind guy can see the opportunity there. Merchandise would fly off the shelves. Both the old stuff and the new stuff. It’s just a smart thing to do.
That brings us to today. Here’s to hoping that Cleveland has a better plan than Washington did. I don’t think the pathetic Cleveland fans can handle cheering for the Cleveland Baseball Team.