by Alex Poletti
Photo by CNN
Over a month after officially changing their name, the Washington Football Team has experienced some unexpected positive side effects of abandoning their racist nickname in favor of a more ambiguous title, as they have gained a number of new fans that are interested in a vaguer sports experience.
“I remember being turned off by sports a couple years back,” D.C. resident Kevin Towns says. “They would always show statistics, talk about specific players, mention all these teams and all these standings—it was just so much work to remember. Now, I can just say I support the football team and I am included in the larger fan experience.”
Getting the benefits of an increased number of generic google searches, The Second String has found that the number of mentions of the D.C.-based franchise have significantly gone up after the name change.
“It’s incredible to see how much more they are talked about,” head statistician for The Second String Gabe Radtke says. “And still, after the buzz about the name change died down, they still get many more mentions. Granted, our algorithm searched for ‘football team’ regardless of context, so any time anyone mentions a football team, Washington gets the credit.”
The new name is also helpful for new fans who have just now heard of football and had no access to the internet or television before this period in time.
“After stepping out of a white room where I’d spent the first 27 years of my life, I started hearing people talk about this thing called football,” John Gallen, who just recently joined society, says. “I didn’t know what they were talking about, so I googled ‘football team’ and I was immediately hooked.”
In light of their newfound popularity, Washington is considering keeping the name permanently, as well as looking into other vague names such as “Sports Team” and “Group of Guys on the Field.”