The feelings that a sports team’s fans have about their team’s nickname/logo are incredibly strong, maybe more so today than even in years past. In the old days and in every sport, plenty of athletes would spend their entire careers with one team, whereas that’s incredibly rare now. So when we’re rooting for a team, it may consist of almost entirely new personnel from one year to the next.
THIS makes the team nickname one of the only consistent aspects with which to identify. We end up rooting for an icon and an image, whether it’s a Giant, a Viking, a Bruin, or a King.
And that’s why this brouhaha over the Washington Redskins’ nickname has folks so thoroughly steamed.