NBC 7's Derek Togerson looks at a possible change in NFL nicknames in this commentary
Since the Chargers left for Los Angeles plenty of San Diego football fans have become free agents. They are looking for a new team to root for and taking applications from fan bases to hop on a new bandwagon.
Might I suggest America’s Team? And by that I don’t mean the Dallas Cowboys. I mean the New England Patriots.
Yes, the Pats have, for all intents and purposes, taken over that title. First off, their uniforms are red, white and blue and their mascot is the people who fought for American independence. But that is just scratching the surface.
How did the Cowboys adopt the nickname “America’s Team” anyway? In the 1970’s NFL Films was doing a team highlight reel and needed more words in the title. One of the guys working on the project noticed lots of Cowboys fans in the stands of opposing stadiums and threw the nickname in the title.
General Manager Tex Schramm saw the brilliance of the opportunity he’d just been handed and made marketing magic happen. Of course, Schramm is one of the game’s great innovators. He invented the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, instant replay, and the referee’s microphone so he could talk to the crowd (for which Ed Hochuli is forever grateful).
They were also one of the most successful teams in football, going to the playoffs for 17 straight years and building a nationwide fan base. But that kind of success in Big D is SO 1990’s. We like winners in America!
Since their last Super Bowl win in 1995 the Cowboys are 3-9 in the playoffs and never advanced to conference championship game. Even the Chargers and expansion Jaguars have had more post-season success during that stretch.
Meanwhile the Patriots have become the greatest dynasty in football history, creating a massive fan base … and an equally massive group of people who can’t stand the franchise. THAT aspect is key to the argument.
Before the Super Bowl a Public Policy Poll was released. According the NBC’s Pro Football Talk the poll found that the Patriots are the most hated football team in America. Who came in second? The Cowboys.
As previously stated these franchises also have two of the largest and most loyal fan bases in professional sports. The Pats are polarizing. They are either loved or hated. Fans of other teams even get mad at New England fans just for supporting the team.
And right now, in this climate, what is more American than that?
Some people are ecstatic the Patriots won. Others are outright depressed about it. Plus the Patriots are led by an irascible man who has a very specific way of doing things, values loyalty of all, and has been accused of questionable business dealings but undeniably knows how to win.
Shoot, the Patriots aren’t just America’s Team. The Patriots are America.
Now, the Cowboys do have a trademark on the term “America’s Team.” But the Patriots own three trademarks on the term “Do Your Job” and the Cowboys went ahead and plastered that on the wall of their training facility so laws infringement is obviously not a big concern here.
If the Cowboys can get back to their Super Bowl winning ways then maybe someday they can reclaim their moniker. But for now and the foreseeable future the New England Patriots are America’s Team.