Though there has been plenty of buzz regarding the new name of the Washington NFL organization shortly following the team's decision to officially change its name and logo, a legal obstacle may be impeding their progress.
Cindy Boren of the Washington Post revealed how those issues are affecting the team's plan of action.
Boren's tweet confirmed what Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio posted on Sunday regarding a Virginia man named Philip Martin McCauley, who recently filed applications for trademarks of the names "Washington Redtails," "Washington Monuments," "Washington Renegades," and several others. It wasn't the first time McCauley had gone to great lengths to prepare for a Washington name change, either: in a FOX5 interview in 2015, McCauley said that he had secured the trademarks to names like the "Americans," "Renegades," and "Federals" while predicting that a name change would come in the next decade.
However, Florio provided a glimmer of hope at the end of the story, mentioning that names like the "Red Wolves" and "Redwolves" had not yet been trademarked. At the same time, he ended the story by mentioning that "it's time for Martin McCaulay to get back to work" so that those names were covered.
Apparently, McCauley heeded his advice. Will Brinson of CBS Sports, who also hosts the Pick Six NFL Podcast available on RADIO.COM, did some additional digging to discover that "Red Wolves" was indeed a name for which a trademark application had been filed.
Some names that appear on that list, like the "Radskins" and "Freedom Fighters," are slightly different stories, as they were trademarked by Raymond Luchi of California and David Woods of Virginia, respectively (via Florio).
In a poll conducted by Yahoo! Sports, fans were asked to choose their favorite new name for Washington. 91,977 fans voted, the majority of which chose "RedTails" (28%), followed by "Warriors" (23%) and "Other" (20%). "RedTails," as previously mentioned, is one of the names covered by McCauley's various trademark applications. The Redskins did hold rights to "Warriors" at one point, as Florio points out, but they abandoned the claim, and McCauley additionally filed for a trademark of "Warriors" in 2015.
What did McCauley need to do in order to legitimize his claim for the names? Apparently, not much. Liz Roscher of Yahoo! Sports found McCauley's website, which is about as simplistic as it gets and, quite honestly, doesn't make much sense. Every team name is included at the top of the page, and clicking on a name -- take "Founders" for instance -- brings you to a page which says the following:
This is the Washington Founders website featuring information related to the sport of football.
... and that's it, other than an incredibly basic summary of the rules of football that even a three year old could understand.
However, McCauley joined the Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan in Washington, DC and says that he's not looking for any money out of this and that he "thinks it's fun" and that if the team wants to use one of the names, it can freely take the name.
"I never expected to make any money," McCauley said. "I'm not an idiot."
You can listen to the whole interview and trademark discussion here, starting at the 4:26 mark.