It’s no secret that NFL sites experience a dip in traffic once the Super Bowl is over. Try as they might to drum up interest with mock drafts and off-season forecasts, NFL sites just aren’t going to be able to maintain the same level of interest from readers once the off-season starts.
Leave it to Mike Florio to try to keep attention on himself through his usual means of brazen trolling. Over the weekend, Floors wrote a post claiming that it’s the responsibility of Robert Griffin III to press for the Redskins to change their controversial team name.
But Griffin has a unique opportunity. There’s no real downside to requesting that the Redskins change their name. Few truly believe in their hearts the name isn’t offensive. Instead, fans of the team resist changing the name because, for them, the term taps directly into their football loyalties. With Griffin becoming the player to whom those loyalties most fervently now trace, he’s the only one who can make it happen.
Would RGIII pushing for a name change cause a stir? Undoubtedly. Would it result in the name change happening? Not necessarily. It would, however, create a rift between Washington’s starting quarterback and the team’s owner, and cause numerous distractions during the off-season, at a time when RGIII’s main focus is returning healthy for the start of the regular season in September. Were RGIII to come out publicly against any other political cause – or even this one had Florio not called for a stand – the PFT talking point would be about how Griffin isn’t sufficiently focused on returning to form in time for the start of the 2013 season.
You can make arguments about what a star athlete’s responsibility is in regards to issues of political correctness and civil rights, but such a stand is a lot to demand of a guy coming off his rookie season, especially one that concluded with a near catastrophic injury.
Furthermore, this isn’t about RGIII taking a stand or what’s even right. It’s about Florio positioning himself to grab attention no matter the outcome. If RGIII does come out against the Redskins name, Florio can claim it was a decision informed by the pressure he helped create. If RGIII does nothing, Florio can claim to be the high-minded voice of reason that a superstar athlete was too cowardly to heed. Either way, Florio trolls on.