Welcome to Round 66! I’m rankings wrangler Drew Goins. For this installment, we thought we’d take a break from elections proper, but leave it to us to turn to a matter equally political: what to rename the Washington football team. As the worldwide wave of removals and renamings made its way to FedEx Field and the team announced a review of its racially insensitive name, all of D.C. got to brainstorming, the Power Rankers no exception. And who knows — maybe a new name would bring the team more favorable winds. As Karen Tumulty reminds us: “What do you call a bunch of millionaires sitting around watching the Super Bowl on television? The Washington football team.” Read on for the definitive best names.
— Drew Goins
The Washington Consensus
Impenetrable, uncompromising, working in concert to bulldoze any obstacle in its path — whether an opposing team’s defense or high local taxes. The rebranded team is committed to free trade (of players) and zero subsidies (for construction of new stadiums). Mascot is an invisible hand.
— Catherine Rampell
The Washington Swamp
A team nickname should have a relation to the city or its history, and the Swamp qualifies for many reasons. First, it’s what D.C. was built on. Second, it’s what many Americans think modern D.C. is. Third, it’s where the team has been stuck since Daniel Snyder bought it. Imagine the cool merchandise — brownish-green helmet with a brown swamp picture! Imagine the new songs — “Hail to the Swamp Things, hail futility. Bogs sinking slowly, fight for our D.C.”! Think of the fans’ makeup — the Hogs become the Bogs!
— Henry Olsen
The Washington Half-Smokes
Ben’s Chili Bowl might be a bit of a cliche for D.C. residents, but it’s also a highly visible business that had a real brush with death due to the coronavirus and was bailed out from closing by a virus relief loan. Given that Ben’s also survived the 1968 riots, it’s really a national symbol of resilience in the face of extreme adversity. It’s also an enduring piece of African American history in a majority-minority city that’s full of it. But enough of the earnest talk: The one thing everyone wants to do most right now is go out and eat — especially something as messy and unhealthy as possible!
— Greg Sargent
The Washington Gridlock
Describes our traffic, our politics and the team offense.
— Megan McArdle
The Washington Deep State
The mascot will be a Faceless Bureaucrat. The team colors will be gray and a slightly different shade of gray. They will punt on the third down. The Congressional Budget Office will run the scoreboard, with the Office of Management and Budget offering a rosier “dynamic” version of the score. The line judge will — of course — be the Government Accountability Office.
— Karen Tumulty
The Washington Giant Rats
Back when I lived in Washington, some rats made an underground tunnel/nest in my front yard. My housemates and I tried to drive it out with smoke bombs, creative digging and oh-so-many other tactics, but nothing worked. That’s when I got a real appreciation for the intelligence and tenacity of the D.C. Giant Rat. I’d be proud to cheer for the Rats, and I’d be afraid to play against a team named for them.
— David Byler
The Washington Committees
This one comes with a nod to our own George Will: “Football combines two of the worst things in American life. It is violence punctuated by committee meetings." The opposing quarterback will be referred to as the Ranking Member. Special teams will be renamed subcommittees. Delay-of-game penalties will be filibusters, and road games will be codels.
— Jennifer Rubin
The Washington Fighting Admirals
The name already has a website, natural ties to the region and a significant backer in Adm. James Stavridis, former supreme allied commander of NATO and a frequent and welcome presence on all media. The Army will complain, but since the Washington Generals are the perennial losers to the Harlem Globetrotters, that name is a non-starter.
— Hugh Hewitt
The Washington Citizens
Not the most warlike of names, but that’s a positive. Citizenship, after all, is our highest duty. Citizens are heroes. And there’s the added benefit of irony if the team builds its new stadium in D.C., since residents of the nation’s capital are denied their full rights as citizens. Alternatively, there’s the Washington Americans. Hell, just go for it — and dare anybody to root against our team.
— Eugene Robinson
The Washington Red Line
— Christine Emba
Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments. We’ll see you for the next round. Until then, your rankings wrangler submits for consideration: the Washington Go-Gos.
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