Normally the process for rebranding a sports team can take years or at the very least double-digit months to undertake. And, even then, the results may feel rushed or not fully fleshed out, like the reaction to the Rams’ rebrand.
Washington’s NFL team has seemed borderline incompetent and possibly evil in a variety of ways both on the football field and off. And they’re just about the last team I’d expect to do a fast-tracked rebrand competently. Again: The Rams have savvy analytics and a smart owner and a boy genius in Sean McVay and they blew a well-planned rebrand. This is Washington doing the equivalent of cramming before a midterm. The bar is low.
That said, some Reddit users have done their usual deep digging and leaping to conclusions and they may have unearthed Washington’s new team name. And, if they’re correct, the name might actually be decent:
Potentially significant Washington name update;
User 'staticrush' on reddit has discovered that on July 15 2020, the same company that registers & manages "https://t.co/P96IFu1Jt9" registered a new domain.
Comparison of the registration details here: pic.twitter.com/kzTq6NKnAx
— Chad Ryan (@ChadwikoRCC) July 22, 2020
As The Big Lead points out, the DC Sentinels is basically a synonym of former XFL team the DC Defenders. And Sentinels also is directly tied to football comedy/rom-com The Replacements where Keanu Reeves quarterbacked a team called the Washington Sentinels that was coached by Gene Hackman. But it’s a pretty strong name with decent branding. They could even have a mascot with cross branding opportunities if they use Marvel’s Sentinels from the classic X-Men cartoon:
Sure, it was a low bar to pass given Washington’s track record and the fact that they literally had racism as their previous mascot. But I don’t hate the Sentinels or DC branding at all.
And, let’s be honest, other than a few Super Bowl wins, you’d rather have your team legacy tied to a fictional football team than a real one that makes mistake after mistake. When’s the last time a Washington NFL player has done anything remotely as iconic as this speech from the Washington Sentinels’ Shane Falco?
Never. The answer is never. Here’s hoping the glory lasts forever for Washington football fans with this fresh start that could be a liiiiittle fresher if Dan Snyder would ever actually go away.