Column: No Reason To Eliminate 'Washington Football Team' Name

Many were surprised when WFT president Jason Wright said the current moniker might be the permanent name. Why be so shocked?
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ASHBURN, Va. -- Why for the love of humanity would Washington Football Team president Jason Wright eliminate the possibility of "Washington Football Team'' remaining the organization's permanent name?

I get "hot sports opinions.'' Hot and loud. But making noise doesn't mean the critic is making sense.

Take Stephen A. Smith of ESPN, who simply has zero concept of what this situation is about, choosing to pop off wildly without the benefit of calm research.

This isn't just about finding a better name. Or about owner Dan Snyder not being able to locate one. This is about a painstaking process that a multi-billion-dollar company that is both a business and a public trust should not make in five minutes ... or maybe in five months. 

And no amount of "hurry-up'' yelling changes that.

Wright told ESPN's John Keim this week, "There are a set of folks that have warmed to the Washington Football Team. Some of the things that are emerging from that are the Washington Football Team has something that ties deeply to our history. It feels like that isn't jettisoning all the things we have been in the past, whereas something that's completely new might feel that way.

"It's important for a substantial part of our fan base to feel that this is a continuation of something versus a complete reset, something brand new."

Regardless of what the future holds for the organization, there is no reason for Wright to eliminate 'Washington Football Team' from consideration.


There are business reasons for not pushing the identity into limbo. Why would anyone buy any merchandise with the current WFT logo and different designs if they know that the name will not be Washington Football Team?

By keeping the option open, fans are going to buy some of the merchandise and possibly embrace it. 

There are also emotional and intellectual reasons to allow "WFT'' to play out. In time. Smartly.

We're not arguing that it is a likely choice or that it is the front-runner. It's the current placeholder and, it's fun to note: They just won a divisional title while flying this flag.

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If somehow "WFT'' sticks, it might be because of the dollars that were spent to convert all of the signage at FedExField and the Inova Sports Performance Center. That's a business reality.

And one other factor: Does any organization want to have a completely different identity for a third time in three years? That hints at instability. And this franchise has had its fill of that.

So "Washington Football Team'' remains, logically, a possible choice. And only logic - not yelling - has a chance to eliminate it from contention.