By Brian Hoffman – Sports Editor
The Washington NFL Football team may have a new name by the time this column hits the newsstand or internet. Last week the team announced that “Redskins” will be retired and a new name would be announced as soon as all possible trademark infringements were explored.
It’s about time, but enough of that. Let’s live in the present, and one of the names suggested that I really like is “Red Tails.” It seems to have all the essentials as to what the team is looking for in this day and age.
First of all it keeps “Red” in the name for the folks who want to see a little tradition remain. I wouldn’t think that’s a top priority, but it can’t hurt.
Secondly, while the old name was offensive to minorities, the “Red Tails” honors a minority group. The “Red Tails” is a nickname for the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American fighter pilots in World War II who painted the tails of their planes red. There was a 2012 movie about the Airmen titled “Red Tails.”
The name also ties in with the military, so that’s fitting for a team in the nation’s capital. Also, it would promote strength and power, which you want in a football name.
Finally, it’s not only a cool name but would lend itself to a good logo, and what would surely be a run on merchandise for the Washington franchise. They could keep the colors for tradition’s sake, and everyone seems to like the burgundy and gold. You could maybe make the butt section of their uniform pants red. Actually, that might work better for the cheerleaders.
Only thing is, in researching Red Tails I came across an interesting item about a man in Northern Virginia who is what you call a “trademark squatter.” Apparently he anticipated years ago that the Washington team would eventually change the name so he has trademarked dozens of potential names for the team, including Red Tails. His Red Tails trademark was requested just last week, on July 7, then he trademarked Red Wolves, another name that has been kicked around, on July 8. The team officially announced it would change the name on July 13.
This guy has trademarked dozens of potential names over the years. Other recent trademarks include Monuments, Veterans and Renegades, and since 2015 he’s also trademarked Washington (add name here). . . Americans, Bravehearts, Federals, Football Club, Forces, Founders, Gladiators, Natives, Pandas, Pigskins, Red-Tailed Hawks, Sharks and Tribe.
I’m not exactly sure how this works. Would the Washington football team have to “buy” the name from this guy if they want to go with Red Tails? We may find out soon, but if this guy makes any money off this deal you might want to start trademarking some names for the Cleveland baseball team.