Punxsutawney Phil and his shadow won't be the only stars of Groundhog Day next month.
The Washington Football Team revealed Tuesday that it will announce its new team name and logo on Feb. 2, just 11 days before the Super Bowl. While we don't know what the new name will be, team president Jason Wright let everyone know what it wouldn't be: Wolves or RedWolves.
Those names were two of the most popular with fans, but Wright explained why WFT wouldn't be moving forward with either one.
Early on we understood Wolves — or some variation of it — was one of our fan favorites. As I've said all along, we take feedback from our fans seriously, and because of your interest in this name, we put Wolves on a list of options to explore fully. Once we began looking into Wolves, however, we became aware of a notable challenge: trademarks held by other teams would limit our ability to make the name our own. And without Wolves, variations like RedWolves wouldn't have been viable either for these and other reasons.
Understanding the weight and importance of our team name, and excitement around other name options — both internally and within our fan base — we didn't want to risk going down a route that could be dotted with legal hurdles. The prospect of years of litigation wasn't something that we wanted you, our fans, to have to bear as you begin to embrace a new brand.
Did WFT drop a hint about new team name?
Wright dropped no obvious hints about the new team name, but the fact that WFT chose Groundhog Day to unveil the new branding might be significant. Could they be setting the stage for the Washington Groundhogs?
It's possible, but a new team name has presented itself: the Washington Admirals. Whoever owns the WashingtonAdmirals.com domain name decided that it should redirect to the Washington Football Team's website.
Nearly a month before Washington Football Team's name-change reveal, https://t.co/kfCjTDD7zQ currently redirects to their website. Take that for what it's worth.
— Cody Benjamin (@CodyJBenjamin) January 4, 2022
That feels like a dead giveaway, though we'll have to wait until Feb. 2 to know for sure. Unfortunately, despite their dedication to avoiding legal issues, there might be one on the horizon.
If you go to https://t.co/H5O5B2VcGx, it leads to the Washington Football Team website
There's already a DC team called the Admirals, which is part of Major League Quidditch https://t.co/5nqF9UV9kw pic.twitter.com/7ksS2jILeB
— Joon Lee 이준엽 (@joonlee) January 4, 2022
Yes, a "quidditch" team currently calls themselves the Washington Admirals. While quidditch is a pretend sport that's played on brooms in the Harry Potter books, it has made its way to the real world (though sadly without magically levitating brooms). Could Washington be hearing from Major League Quidditch's lawyers in the near future? It's possible, but at this point we don't even know if Washington is actually choosing the Admirals as their new team name. Even if they are, WFT probably isn't losing sleep over choosing the same name as a team that plays a sport that most people think exists only in books and movies.