Washington’s NFL Team Goes Military With New Name

APTOPIX Washington Commanders Football
Washington Commanders jerseys are displayed at an event to unveil the NFL football team's new identity, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Landover, Md. The new name comes 18 months after the once-storied franchise dropped its old moniker following decades of criticism that it was offensive to Native Americans. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The NFL has a long history of painting itself as the "patriotic" sports league and equating its players with the warriors who protect our democracy. That tradition expanded just a bit more this week as one team finally announced its new name: The Washington Commanders.

The team announced the new name and displayed its new uniforms at a press conference held at the team's FedEx Field. Team legends like Joe Theismann and Doug Williams were on hand to tie the new name to the team's history, and ownership declared the rebranding a huge success.

Of course, the Navy's "Commander" rank rolls off the tongue better than "Lieutenant Colonel," which is the equivalent rank in the other armed services.

One more thing to ponder: Did President Joe Biden have some insight into what the name would be when he named his new German Shepherd puppy “Commander” in December 2021? Or did the team decide to adopt the name in honor of the presidential dog?

The Washington squad has played the last two seasons as the "Washington Football Team" after it dropped its previous mascot in the summer of 2020, when the organization finally admitted that name was a derogatory term for Native Americans.

There are strong rumors that "Commanders" was not the first choice, but the team was unable to clear the copyright for its preferred options, the Red Wolves or DCFC (for DC Football Club). Maybe the team should have gone all-in and called themselves the Washington Commandos.

The new uniform design keeps the team's iconic burgundy and gold color scheme but adds a weird flag logo to the sleeves. Maybe these rejiggered stars and bars are for patriots?

Will Washington football fans embrace the new name? Will the team pick up new fans who appreciate the military-themed name? Will the organization finally get its act together and put a consistently winning team on the field? The NFL returns in full force next September, so we'll find out in the fall.

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