Avoiding the Obvious

Peter King, like a good little SJW, avoids the obvious observation in contemplating the crash in attendance at home games for the former Washington Redskins:

I sincerely hope Daniel Snyder comes to his senses in 2022 and sells the franchise. It’s over, Dan. Or, rather, Mister Snyder. Beyond the over-protectionism of the NFL in the past year (the morally bankrupt over-protectionism, I might add), there is the simple fact that fans have long since surrendered their loyalty to the team, and won’t be back as long as Snyder is the owner.

Some grist for that mill: WFT won the NFC East last year (albeit with a 6-10 record), made the playoffs and played respectfully in an exciting wild-card home loss to eventual Super Bowl champ Tampa Bay last year, and entered this year picked by some to contend for the division title again. The Jacksonville Jaguars, on the other hand, have lost 75 percent of their games over the past decade, went 1-15 last year, hired a new coach and quarterback last offseason, and watched the promise of yet another expensive rebuild go down the toilet with the unceremonious firing of savior coach Urban Meyer. Entering Week 18, savior QB Trevor Lawrence was the lowest-rated passer, among qualifiers, in the league. The Jags are 4-29 in the last two years, 9 wins fewer than WFT. And yet:

Jacksonville drew 7,217 more fans to home games this season than Washington did.

Only one team in the NFL played to less than 75 percent capacity this year, Washington, which sold 64.3 percent of its seats for eight home games. Those at the last two games, versus Dallas and Philadelphia, are certain more than half the crowd at each game rooted for the visitors. This is the team, and the ownership, that the league office has spent so much time defending in the wake of the sex-harassment scandal that shook the franchise in 2021.

No one cares about the owner. They might hate him, they might think he’s an idiot, and they probably prefer to get rid of him because of the team’s underperformance during his tenure. But they don’t really care about him.

What they do care about is the Redskins. They were – they are – Redskins fans. And WFT is no longer the Redskins. That’s why they don’t buy tickets or attend the games anymore. While the Redskins were once among the top merchandise-selling teams in the league, I’ll bet they are at the very bottom of the 32 teams now.

Brands matter, and the NFL killed the Redskins brand.