The Washington DC Major League Rugby expansion team will be called the Old Glory DC, and unfurled itself to the world today, with partners Chris Dunlavey and Paul Sheehy at the helm.
Dunlavey, who is a partner in the management firm Brailsford & Dunlavey, and Paul Sheehy, former USA Eagle, strong supporter of the Gonzaga HS program, and owner of Sheehy Auto Stores, lead the business side of a team that has been granted franchise rights for a large area in the Mid-Atlantic.
After considering hundreds of team name ideas submitted by fans and advisors, the club selected Old Glory DC as its name.
“The response to our Name the Team challenge was incredible, with close to 1,000 fans participating,” co-owner Sheehy. “We had so many great names to choose from, but in the end, we felt we had to choose a name that could only really work in Washington, and that is inclusive of all of the diverse members of our community.”
“And we think our fans will see the deeper meaning,” added co-owner Dunlavey. “Yes, it’s a flag, but Old Glory has been places. It’s battle-scarred. It’s weather-beaten. But still it flies proud. It symbolizes all the strength, resilience, commitment, and substance over style that are the hallmarks of rugby and, for that matter, the American character.”
DC Old Glory is the MLR team for the area from Philadelphia to Richmond, VA, and the club has a franchise area west into Ohio. It's a massive area, and, said Old Glry operations manager Tim Brown, one full of potential.
"It's a talent-rich area," said Brown. "Some of the nation's best athletes in football, basketball, and wrestling come from this area. The people in Ohio are really excited about what we're doing, and we really want to attract the rugby players and athletes from our region."
“We’re really focused on trying to build this from the grass roots up,” Sheehy told the Washington Post. “It’s a grass roots sports. We’re working with the local youth teams. If we can get the local rugby community behind our effort, we can probably sell out a 5,000-person stadium.”