Nate Silver on ESPN NBA Draft Lottery coverage in 2016. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Fever has understandably received far more attention since selecting Iowa standout Caitlin Clark in the 2024 WNBA Draft. That attention has also led to an increase in criticism of the organization, often over petty reasons, as people who didn’t used to pay much attention to women’s basketball suddenly chime in.

Just a few days after Ethan Strauss and Bill Simmons wondered why the WNBA didn’t just call all their teams the women’s version of their NBA counterparts, former ABC News correspondent and founder of FiveThirtyEight Nate Silver chimed in with his thoughts about WNBA team names.

Rather than critiquing anything of substance regarding the Fever’s 0-3 start to the 2024 WNBA season, Silver took to X (formerly Twitter), to pick apart the literal name of the team.

“As the WNBA gains more attention, it’s time to confront an uncomfortable reality,” wrote Silver. “It’s kind of weird to name a sports team (or anything really) the Fever?”

It’s a strange critique particularly because every professional sports league has teams with names that don’t make a ton of sense when you think about it.

One fan pointed out on X that the MLB has multiple teams whose name is derived from an article of footwear (Red Sox, White Sox, and Reds).

Another referred to the fact that the NBA’s Boston Celtics are named that because the city of Boston happens to be an area where a ton of Irish immigrants came when entering the United States, which could have been said of many American cities during the mid-1800s.

You can go on and on about team names not being overly significant whatsoever. The Oklahoma City Thunder are literally named after a weather event that happens everywhere. Arguably the most famous NBA team of all is named after lakes and plays in a city with very few of them. To say nothing of the Utah Jazz.

Silver certainly seems to be on an island with his take, which has 1.5 million views and counting, and nearly nobody on his side…

[Nate Silver on X]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.