Buck up Skins Fans! If watching this turd of a season spiral down the toilet gives you the blues; just know that the activists trying to get the name of the team changed are just as upset that the Redskins suck. It's weird but, the groups who are working toward a change hitch their hopes to the Skins bandwagon the same as any Skins fan. And, this is how its always worked. When the media's focus is on the soap opera staring Dan Snyder, the Shanahans, and RGIII there's no room for discussing how the name offends Native Americans.
There is a direct correlation between periods of success by the team, and an uptick in protests, op-eds, and general discussion of the name. Just by checking out the Redskins Name Change Controversy Wikipedia page, and this Reuters article, you see that almost every article referenced was written right after a winning season by the Skins. One of the first times this issue came up was in 1972, the same year the Skins lost Super Bowl XVII. Just about every other referenced article about people voicing their concern about the name coincides with a Super Bowl Championship year.
This isn't even to say that the groups looking to get the name changed are acting opportunistically . Its that this issue isn't urgent or interesting enough to hold a national spotlight of its own volition. If the name ever does get changed, the Redskins winning games will be the booster rocket that propels the issue to that conclusion. Think about the media week before a Super Bowl (How crazy does that seem? The Redskins in the Super Bowl? Use your imagination!) featuring the Skins, where there was a solid week of stories about the name. It would mean an avalanche of publicity for The Oneida Nation and any other group pushing for change. Would Dan Snyder be able to hold back all of that pressure?
It makes sense that better teams are covered more in general, and when the Skins are good, more attention is paid to every aspect of their team. But it's ironic that those who want the team's name changed need the team to succeed. The media allots only so much time to the Skins. So when the team stinks in new and different ways that draws all of the spotlight. The name change debate is pushed to the side until the team starts winning again.
Is it different this time? Will the activists be able to push on in spite of this train wreck of a season?
Who knows, but if history is any indicator there won't be too much said about changing the team's name until the Redskins are back in the playoffs.