Sports

What Pro Sports Franchise Has a Racist Name, Wears Communist Colors While Playing In the Capital of a Socialist Country, Couldn't Beat a Pack of Girl Scouts, and Makes More Money Than the Yankees?

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Why it's the Chesapeake Bay Indigenous Persons, of course!

Wonderful Newsweek piece on Daniel Snyder's losing-all-the-way-to-the-bank strategy for the Redskins. The team shows less fighting spirit than the Hekawi tribe, yet continues to rake in money like a gridiron Foxwoods:

The Washington Redskins make more money than any other professional sports franchise in the United States. Their estimated annual revenue is $345 million, according to Forbes. Their closest contender, the New York Yankees, bring in somewhere around $320 million a year—but the Yankees bring home championships, 27 and counting. By comparison, the Redskins are lucky to simply have a winning season. They've had all of two since 2000 and won just a single playoff game. And yet, at $1.5 billion, the Redskins are the third most valuable sports franchise in the world, behind English soccer powerhouse Manchester United, and their rivals the Dallas Cowboys, who leapfrogged the Skins this year to claim the title of America's most valuable team.

Even NFL losers can bring hot hotness.

Since buying the team in 1999 for $800 million, Snyder has doubled its value by saturating every orifice of the D.C. area with Redskins' burgundy and gold. He's bought radio stations, charged fans to watch players sweat through training camp, and opened 14 Redskins retail stores to sell as many jerseys, hats, and Redskins' paraphernalia as possible. Snyder was even rumored to have considered selling a brand of Redskins cola at one point…

What the Redskins and Cowboys really illustrate is that the NFL is a business, a collectivist one at that. In a league where 80 percent of revenue, nearly $6 billion a year ($3.8 billion from TV deals, $1.9 billion from ticket sales) is shared equally among all 32 teams, what matters most isn't who wins but who makes money. For the NFL to succeed as it has, and with $7.5 billion of annual revenue it certainly has, what's essential is that big-market teams make as much money as possible to subsidize the smaller market ones. Without revenue sharing, teams like the Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints would have relocated years ago. The NFL has been able to keep its regionally symmetric footprint intact, thanks to the millions that owners like Snyder bring in.

Featuring an after-the-jump appearance by eighties legend John Riggins and some analysis of Snyder's plan to turn things around by bringing in George Allen's other son as manager.

Title note for anti-political-correctness types: I am not arguing for a name change. And it's obviously cooler to be a redskin than a paleface -- though we all know that when the chips are down, both turn chicken: