Since this stretch of summer is a relatively quiet part of the sports calendar, last week both ESPN.com and Grantland ran features about uniforms and nicknames (the former with Paul Lukas’ Uniform Power Rankings for the four major sports, and the latter with Zach Lowe’s ranking of every nickname in the NBA). Nowadays these sorts of articles can’t help but touch on the subject of "Redskins" and the controversy surrounding the nickname. The depth of historical context and supporting trivia discussed in these pieces gave me an idea about how we can change "Redskins" without losing too much.
I am aware that this is a subject most of us would rather not broach. And until very recently I would include myself in that camp. Yet it is a topic that we will have to face until the issue is resolved and "Redskins" is changed. In light of that I would like to propose a solution.
I propose that everything about the uniform, the logo, and the colors are left exactly the same, but the name be changed to the Washington Americans.
I believe that this could be successful for the following four reasons:
1. Most importantly, it turns a negative into a positive. What was once a divisive and potentially harmful nickname becomes one that is inclusive. The new team name acknowledges that Americans are a broad group of people, comprised of every religion, ethnicity, and outlook that this world has to offer. But by keeping the same logo and colors, the team chooses to honor the original inhabitants of this land, the Native Americans.
2. The new name makes a connection with unique cultural heritage afforded Washington DC as our nation’s capital. It honors the city’s standing in a manner similar to the Nationals and the Capitals.
3. It could potentially assuage fans, as we would not have to learn to like a new color scheme or logo or generic sports team nickname like "Bobcats" or "Raptors" that does nothing to acknowledge the team’s history and has no relationship to the Washington DC region.
4. Plus, what would say "America’s team" more: the Cowboys or the Americans?