After decades of debate, it appears the Washington Redskins name change may soon be reality.
And locally, there have been some suggesting the Redskins change their name to the Washington Maroons.
There’s just one problem with that idea: the Redskins were NEVER the Maroons.
Washington Redskins Name Change? Just Don’t Pick Washington Maroons
Yes, the Redskins wear maroon-colored uniforms. But their connection to the fabled Pottsville Maroons ends there … for the most part. Most definitely, however, the Redskins are not the Maroons and whatever they call the Redskins this season and in seasons’ future, it shouldn’t be the Maroons.
The Boston Connection: Maroons and Bulldogs and Braves and Redskins
There is one connection between the Maroons and the Redskins, aside from uniform color. It’s the city of Boston.
At the end of the 1928 season, the Pottsville Maroons were sold to a partnership group based in New England. That group of business partners wanted a team based in Boston. So, the Maroons left Pottsville before the start of the 1929 season and became known as the Boston Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs actually brought in famed Maroons coach Dick Rauch along with several players.
A new setting for the former Maroons didn’t have much of an impact on the team’s performance. The Maroons went a dismal 2-8 during their last season in Pottsville. In 1929, as the Boston Bulldogs, they went 4-4, finishing 5th in the NFL.
That would be the Bulldogs only season in the NFL. And that pretty much ended the Maroons legacy in the NFL.
In 1930 and 1931, there was no Boston NFL team. Football didn’t return to Boston until 1932 with a team called the Boston Braves.
Now, the Braves have absolutely no connection to the previous Boston NFL team. In fact, the Braves were made up of remnants of the Cleveland Indians football team. And that travel team, the Indians, was actually run by another NFL team, the Newark (or Orange) Tornadoes. But like much NFL history in the late-1920s and early-1930s, no one was taking notes. There are questions about the validity of those franchise origins but one thing is certain: the Braves weren’t the Maroons.
And the team was only known as the Braves for 1 season. That year, 1932, the Boston team played in the stadium owned by baseball’s Boston Braves, so they adopted that name. In 1933, the team moved to Fenway Park and changed its name to the Boston Redskins.
The Redskins moved to their current home, in Washington, for the start of the 1937 NFL season.
The Redskins Throwback Uniforms
A few years ago, the Redskins debuted a throwback uniform that caused many to speculate they were actual throwbacks to the Pottsville Maroons uniforms.
The uniforms did feature an early version of the Skins “controversial” logo on the sleeve but otherwise were simple and most importantly … Maroon. The team even wore modern helmets that resembled old leather helmets.
If the Maroons team were ever to be resurrected, they should definitely consider these as an inspiration for their uniform.
Of course, the Maroons storied name is believed to be the result of an inventory situation at a local sporting goods store. At Zacko’s store in Pottsville, legend has it that it only had enough of the same colored uniforms in Maroon at the time the team was formed here. So, we called them the Pottsville Maroons.
But again, those Maroons are definitely not today’s Redskins.
And really, we’re Birds fans. We don’t want our beloved Maroons associated with the Washington Redskins.