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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Renaming the Redskins -- The Washington Football Club



Should we change the name?  The question is out there every day, and momentum is building.  My own preference would be “The Washington Riggins,” because I liked the way John Riggins played -- straight ahead with power.  It seemed to be football as I remembered it from those games in the backyard and on my grammar school and high school teams.  You ran hard and on defense you went for the waist or the thighs to bring your man down.  Helmets almost never collided and no one went for the knees to try to disable an opponent.  I started in pads at 60 lbs. in a 100 lb. league and I don’t remember hurting anybody.

Dan Snyder is so totally opposed to a name change that I don’t suppose we’ll see a contest soon to come up with a new name.  When the time finally comes, it will be difficult.  All the felines except house cats are taken, and I don't  think Huns or Visigoths would have much appeal.  It was fun when the offensive line referred to themselves as “the hogs,” but it’s a little inelegant for the whole team.  The Cleveland Browns named their team after their coach, Paul Brown, and I don’t think they have ever considered changing it, even though they also have “The Dawg Pound.”  Obviously Washington can’t name its team the Lombardis, because that name really belongs to Green Bay.  I suppose we could continue the current ego trip by naming the team the Snyders.  Dano might like it but I don’t think anyone else would.   In any event, we don’t want to end up with an embarrassment like “The Wizards.”

My son in Harrisonburg called me the other night to say he and his friends all agree that Washington should get rid of symbols and mascots and just call the team “The Washington Football Club.”  That’s the way teams are named in Europe and much of the rest of the world.  Somehow it seems like the grownup way to handle the naming controversy.

Comments:  I just got a comment by email that expresses my feelings about "the Redskins" better than I did myself:

"Do you suppose Mr. Snyder has any idea that a preponderance of Indians view the term redskin the same as black people do niggers? And do you suppose he would ever consider renaming the team the spicks, coons, beaners, gooks or hebes or slant-eyed mother fuckers. I have three Indian friends he should meet for lunch. Two of them might just remove his hair although they would never use the term scalped."

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