The Washington Groundhogs?
The Washington Football Team announced Tuesday that its years-long saga to decide a new name is coming to a close Feb. 2 — Groundhog Day — when it’ll announce a new name for the team, possibly replacing the “Washington Football Team” moniker used since the start of 2020.
Unfortunately for fans hoping for “RedWolves” or “Wolves,” Washington also announced that it won’t be changing the name to either of those options.
Why Washington Football Team won’t be ‘RedWolves’
While “RedWolves” was a popular choice among fans to replace “Washington Football Team,” team president Jason Wright announced on Jan. 4 that the organization wouldn’t be opting for the name because of potential “legal hurdles.”
Here’s the statement:
Early on we understood Wolves — or some variation of it — was one of our fan favorites. As I’ve said all along, we take feedback from our fans seriously, and because of your interest in this name, we put Wolves on a list of options to explore fully. Once we began looking into Wolves, however, we became aware of a notable challenge: trademarks held by other teams would limit our ability to make the name our own. And without Wolves, variations like RedWolves wouldn’t have been viable either for these and other reasons.
Understanding the weight and importance of our team name, and excitement around other name options — both internally and within our fan base — we didn’t want to risk going down a route that could be dotted with legal hurdles. The prospect of years of litigation wasn’t something that we wanted you, our fans, to have to bear as you begin to embrace a new brand.
In short, the name is already trademarked. The team’s reported preferred choice was “RedWolves,” but the name was already owned in July 2020.
With “RedWolves” and “Wolves” now out, there are several options still on the table, including “Commanders,” “Defenders,” “Armada” and “Redhogs.”
Don’t worry, though, fan: “Groundhogs” probably won’t make the cut. Probably.