I’ve been a fan of the Washington Football Team since I first left home in 1979 in search of summer work and landed at the Arlington (Va.) County Traffic Department. Washington was a force to be reckoned with in the NFC East in those days, and I fell in with my co-workers’ obsessive tracking of the team’s pre-season moves and (ultimately) their devotion to the boys in burgundy and gold.
Joe Gibbs and the DC boys were poised to enter their 1980s glory in those days, and I soon moved to DC full-time, so my new fandom was amply rewarded in the early years. In fact, one of the first things my then infant (now 34-year-old) daughter learned to do in 1987 was raise her chubby (now sculpted) arms in the “Touchdown!” signal whenever our Super Bowl-bound home team scored.
Not surprisingly, it has been a long 21st century for a Washington fan, between frustration with the worst ownership in the NFL and the lingering wound of a team name whose time had long passed. Naturally enough, though, I have spent a fair amount of time lately obsessing over a new name for “The Washington Football Team.”
And I think I’ve got it: the Washington Pigskins. Not only does the name scream “FOOTBALL,” but it would honor both the “Skins’” long-serving nickname and the source of so much of their past success: a tradition of stalwart offensive line play by generations of “The Hogs” up in the trenches. Indeed, particularly exuberant fans wouldn’t even need to trade in their hog snout gear! Vegans may quibble, and bless their right to do so, but no name worth its salt won’t annoy somebody (and not just New York Giants fans).
Hail to the Pigskins!
Sean Fitzpatrick teaches Public Policy and Urban Studies at Trinity College. He misses football, a lot.