CUMBERLAND — A local artist’s design is one of 12 featured on the Washington Football Team’s rebranding website, as the team continues its search for a new nickname.
The “Legends” design by Shannon Benson, a graduate of Frankfort High School, Allegany College and Frostburg State University, was among 40,000 submissions.
In July of last year, the professional football team from Washington became a team without a nickname after opting to retire the Redskins moniker after more than 80 years of use. The Washington Football Team, as they are now called, started the search for a new design and name, and as part of its search opened up a website for fan submissions.
With the submission portal being an open door and no insight offered by the team, Benson had to come up with the design and name from scratch.
“How could I come up with something that represents the beauty of the city, the strength, prowess that I wanted the logo to possess, while also being inclusive to the players who have donned the Burgundy and Gold?” Benson said. “I remember being at a rooftop bar one time in D.C. and being so totally surprised at how gorgeously green, with all its lush foliage, the city was.
On the design itself, the chain mail on the shoulders is made to look like a series of Ws. On the sleeve of the bow arm of the archer logo is the number 32, to represent the franchise’s 1932 founding as the Boston Braves.
“Initially, I was calling the design by two other names, since I’m a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, but nixed the idea since both were being used in other major league sports,” Benson said. “I wanted to create a protector in nature. Pontification brought to light a movie with which I’m fond, ‘Legends of the Fall.’ I thought, ‘That’s it, Legends.’ I wanted any kid or adult to be able to supplant themselves into the logo regardless of gender or race. Who doesn’t want to be a legend?”
The fact that his design is so highly visible on the team’s official rebranding website, https://www.washingtonjourney.com/homepage/featured-submissions/, has Benson ecstatic, but he’s trying not to think too much about it.
“It would be amazing to see what the new stadium could be through the filter of this ‘Legend’ theme. I’d also love to see the fan base dressed for games, as well as the players intimidatingly standing on the sidelines on a cold Sunday in their long cloaks with hoods,” he said. “My family and I grew up Washington fans. My pap used to do construction and he would work with Washington football players.”