Since this struck such a chord on a weekend no less, I thought I would talk about it some more. I could be wrong, but this is why I think it is inevitable that we will eventually have to change the Redskins name.
1) It is difficult to argue that it is not racial offensive. Even the logo isn’t particularly flattering with its depiction. The only more racially insensitive logo in America is the laughing indian used in Cleveland.
2) The NCAA has taken the lead and is removing all native american names from its teams. Lawsuits are pending in Kansas City, Atlanta, Cleveland, etc. Because we have a precedent-centric legal system, there really only needs to be one court that breaks ranks to set off a possible chain reaction.
3) Once a critical mass of people find the name offensive, not only is it good PR to change the Redskins name, it is good business. As I mostly jokingly referred to yesterday, a new name means new jerseys, hats, car flags, tail-gating tents, etc. And admit it, as much as you want to hold out and dream of the Redskins name never dying, you aren’t going to stop being a fan of this team if they change their name. You will protest. You will whine. You will wear your old Redskins jerseys to Fed Ex for awhile. But eventually you’ll want to wear the new colors or your jersey will wear out or you will just get over it or a new star will come to the team and you will buy a new jersey. And soon, you’ll have the new tent, the new steak brands you use to tailgate, etc.
Like the confederate flag in the south, the Redskins logo is a tradition, but it is also a symbol of opression. it will eventually go away. Hop on board the train now, and it will feel better when it happens.
Anyway, my wife and I were batting around some silly ideas for new team names last night and I thought I’d share:
The Washington Federals- Many of you are probably too young to remember the USFL first hand. But I was actually at the very first Federals game. How about an homage to the USFL? Well, for one, the Federals lost their first 8 games, won only one of their first 11, and finished with a franchise record of 7-29. But hey, at least they owner once referred to them as a “bunch of trained gerbils.” How could you argue with that?
The Washington Generals- Again, those of you to young to remember the heyday of the Harlem Globetrotters may not remember the Generals. But the Generals are the team that loses to the Globetrotters on a regular basis. Their record from 1953 to 1995 was 6-13,000 (estimated by Wikipedia).
The Washington Bullets- Hey, its not taken anymore. And with the recent Supreme Court ruling overturning the DC handgun ban, it seems sort of appropriate.
The Washington Red Tapes- What is more associated with Washington than red tape? And the best part is that we don’t lose our song:
Hail to the Red Tapes! Hail bureaucracy! This tape’s on the war path. It covers old DC!
I’ll give some special prize to anyone who can clean that up a bit and maybe keep going into the “beat ‘em, swamp ‘em” section.
By the way, for those who are concerned about the lost tradition of the Redskins because of offensive issues, our very fight song has been altered once before because it was offensive. For those who don’t know, these were the old lyrics:
Hail to the Redskins!
Braves on the Warpath!
Fight for old Dixie!
Run or pass and score — we want a lot more!
Scalp ‘em, swamp ‘em — We will take ‘em big score
Read ‘em, weep ‘em, touchdown – we want heap more
Fight on, Fight on — ‘Till you have won
Sons of Wash-ing-ton. Rah!, Rah!, Rah!
Talk about offensive!
Anyway, just some food for thought and hopefully some stuff that made you laugh and take it a tad less seriously. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a fan of the Washington football franchise, not the Redskins. New name or not, I’m a fan for life.