If boycotts, Congressional hearings or basic human decency weren’t enough to convince Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder that it was time to change his team’s name, perhaps Wednesday’s decision by the U.S. Patent Office will do the trick.
Calling the name “disparaging of Native Americans,” the Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board canceled federal trademark registrations owned by the team, a move which could cost them millions in merchandise revenue (the team is expected to appeal the decision). And nothing hurts more than a hit in the wallet, which is why we suspect that someday soon, Washington will retire the Redskins name for good.
And to help usher its demise, we’ve come up with five new nicknames, each of which pays tribute to D.C.’s rich musical heritage (and have the added bonus of not being racially insensitive). In the mean time, let’s all agree to call them the D.C. AKAs, okay?
The Washington Fightin’ MacKayes: Ian MacKaye is a D.C. legend, founder of Minor Threat and Fugazi, co-owner of Dischord Records, possessor of impeccable ethics and defier of “The Man” in all his forms. As such, getting him to sign off on the new name might prove tough – maybe Bad Brains would do it? – but it’d definitely be worth the effort; not only would the MacKayes instantly up Washington’s DIY cred, but only the cool people would know how to pronounce it correctly.
The Washington Wales: D.C. rapper Wale is an avid sports fan (check his lyrics), and though he’s criticized Senator Harry Reid for using the Redskins controversy to up his own profile, we think he’d glady approve of this name change for his hometown team. He could appoint Rick Ross as the new GM (how different can it be from running a Wingstop?) and, at the very least, Washington would instantly become the angriest team in the NFL.
The Washington Go-Gos: The name comes from the genre of music born inside the Beltway, a syncopated stepbrother of funk that’s heavy on percussive strut and call-and-response interplay with a crowd (Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers’ “Bustin’ Loose” is a prime example.) Just imagine how entertaining home games would be. Also, if Utah has the Jazz, D.C. should definitely get the Go-Go.
The D.C. Dukes: Named in honor of D.C.’s own Duke Ellington, who composed his first songs there as a teenager and played throughout the region before hitting it big in Harlem. Not only a tribute to Washington’s robust musical history, but, hey, they could spin it as an homage to the official ball of the NFL, too. That would probably make Roger Goodell happy.
The Beltway Black Cats: A tribute to one of D.C.’s most venerable rock clubs, it also has the added benefit of being a totally badass name. If Redskins owner Daniel Snyder doesn’t like it – too ominous? – how about “The Washington 9:30s?” Or, if we’re really thinking outside the box, “The D.C. Half Smokes?”