How the Washington football team losing its name destroyed America: a collection of one-act plays

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In 2014, the Washington football team lost the patent on its name. Only now, a century into the future, do we understand how this destroyed the American way of life.

This is a series of three one-act plays.


SCENE: A massive, 800,000-seat stadium. A MAN is made to stand right in the middle. A bucket of rotten fish entrails hangs above his head.

A voice booms over the loudspeaker.

LOUDSPEAKER. You! What do you think about the Washington football team's name between 1932 and 2016?

MAN. I, um. I ...


MAN. I think that it was bad.


The MAN is given a popsicle and led off the stage. Another MAN is led to the stage.

LOUDSPEAKER. What do you think of the Washington football team's name?

MAN. [stammering] I'll -- I'll put it this way. I'm part Irish. You could seriously call a team the Irish Men and I wouldn't even be mad.


LOUDSPEAKER. That is an interesting point! Please continue!

MAN. Plus it's like, why isn't there a team honoring white people? Why isn't there a white history mont--

MAN is drenched in a bucket of fish entrails. The crowd erupts in cheers.

MAN. [muted weeping]

LOUDSPEAKER. Thank you all for making this the best sport in the world. Remember to come see us at Skateboarding Rap Music Graffiti Computer Virus Superplex tomorrow. We will be rounding up men who own riding lawnmowers and asking them to explain social privilege.



MAN. Honey?

WOMAN. Yes, dear?

MAN. I'm sorry. I have an opinion that is different from other opinions. That's just the way it is. I'm sorry.

A thousand-foot-tall robotic dinosaur thrusts its claws through the ceiling of the house and clenches the MAN in its fingers.


The man is slowly brought to the maw of the mechanized beast and violently devoured alive.

WOMAN. Oh well. He liked the Washington football team name, and he was terrible in bed.

SCUMBAG LIBERAL REPAIRMAN. Hi, I'm here from the government. I am here to fix your roof, since it's the property of the government.

WOMAN. Oh god. The abolition of the concept of private property makes me so hot. Would you like to have sex?


WOMAN and REPAIRMAN have passionate, hours-long sex that is the best sex either of them have ever had.

WOMAN. You are so much better at sex than my last partner, who liked the Washington football team name. Now he's dead though.

SCUMBAG LIBERAL REPAIRMAN. [nods] He was eaten until he died by a giant robot.


SCENE: An attic of an old house.

BOY. Wow, Grandpa! All this stuff is so old!

OLD MAN. [chuckles] Maybe to you, sonny. This is what the world was like when I was young.

The BOY rustles through some boxes and finds a small, varnished wooden box.

BOY. What's this, Grandpa?

OLD MAN. Oh dear ... I thought I'd lost it ...

The BOY tenderly opens the box. The old hinges creak as he does. Inside, there is a shiny, polished medal.

BOY. Grandpa? Is this yours?

OLD MAN. Yes, son, it is.

BOY. Grandpa? ... How did you win this medal?

The OLD MAN's eyes well with tears.

OLD MAN. I pointed out that the government had better things to worry about than a football team's name.

[voice quivers]

I pointed it out on the Internet.

BOY. But couldn't the government have accomplished many things of varying levels of urgency at the same time? Wasn't the government composed of multiple branches and a wealth of task-specific agencies?

OLD MAN. No, sonny. It wasn't always the way it is today. The government was just one person.

BOY. What was his name?

OLD MAN. Josh.

BOY. That's such a phonetically displeasing name!

OLD MAN. People were named Josh then.

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