In light of the recent announcement that the Washington Commanders football team is changing hands, a saga around their team name has resurfaced, throwing the franchise into an unexpected predicament. This episode marks yet another setback in the tumultuous history of the team under the era of Dan Snyder.
Following a drawn-out deliberation process, the decision to adopt the name ‘Washington Commanders’ has hit an unforeseen roadblock – the denial of their trademark request. This outcome sends the franchise back to square one, poised to revisit the issue of their team name yet again.
There’s a certain sense of irony here. Many fans preferred the interim name, ‘Washington Football Team,’ which was seen as a refreshing departure from the previous one. Thus, this trademark fiasco could well be a serendipitous opportunity for the new owners to reconsider the name and possibly revert to the more favored ‘Washington Football Team.’
The trademark denial rests on two primary reasons. The first relates to the potential confusion with the ‘Commanders’ Classic,’ an annual college football game between the Army and Air Force, which already holds a trademark. The second reason stems from the actions of one Martin McCaulay, a D.C. area resident who seemingly preempted the franchise’s new name by submitting numerous trademark applications including ‘Washington Space Commanders’ and ‘Washington Wolf Commanders.’ His speculative efforts have, in part, contributed to the trademark denial faced by the franchise.
As the team transitions into new ownership, it is our hope that they opt for the most rational course of action. That would mean foregoing a tiresome and potentially divisive process of choosing another new name and instead reverting to ‘Washington Football Team.’ This would circumvent any risk of landing on a name and logo reminiscent of a generic, created Madden 04 team, a scenario that would be disappointingly anticlimactic. So, for the sake of the team’s identity and the fans’ affinity, let’s return to ‘Washington Football Team.’ Please and thank you