WASHINGTON — Before we completely close the book on the 2017 NFL season, it’s worth noting that the Washington Redskins sold the most popular jersey in exactly zero states.
That’s right. Not Maryland where they play home games. Not Virginia where they practice. Not Washington, D.C., where they occasionally hold community events.
They were the most popular jersey in zero states.
So who was king in those states? Rival Carson Wentz, quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, sold the most jerseys in every facet of Redskins Nation between Sept. 1, 2017, and Jan. 18, according to a map released by NFL.com:
In fairness, Wentz was playing at an MVP level before his season-ending knee injury, and his team clearly played well in his absence, winning the city’s first ever Super Bowl. Wentz is the top-selling jersey in nine states, stretching all the way out to Montana. He trails only Tom Brady (10) in total number of states where he was king.
But that seems so embarrassing for Redskins fans.
So what if the team had gone a generation without a meaningful playoff appearance and strung its quarterback along through consecutive franchise tags? So what if injuries so ravaged the roster that players and coaches couldn’t reasonably predict who might suit up on Sunday? So what if the players expected to rise to the occasion wallowed in mediocrity?
This is a sports city where you can still find a Donovan McNabb, Albert Haynesworth, or even a John Beck jersey if you look closely enough in a crowd. This is a fan base that has reliably bought into each iteration of sports messiah (see also: RG3, Mike Shanahan, Steve Spurrier, Deion Sanders, etc.).
And maybe by March, Redskins fans will be back to their old ways, buying up Alex Smith jerseys and declaring the Super Bowl within reach.
But during the 2017 season, Redskins fans kept their credit cards and expectations in check, letting Eagles fans run wild all around them.
Given where the Redskins ended up in 2017, it looks like fans were smart to finally wait for a better product to invest in.