To settle the festering controversy over the name of the Washington, D. C. football team – the Redskins – the team announced today that they are changing their logo to a red skinned potato. This allows the team to continue calling itself the Redskins, while only needing to alter their branding.
Team owner Dan Snyder, won made his money as a marketing mogul, has demonstrated that he hasn’t lost his flair.
“Reflecting on the events of the past year during Yom Kippur I came to the decision to end the strife between Native Americans and our team,” Snyder said in a statement released before tonight’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, “and we are now honoring a foundational starch in the American diet – native or not.”
In an agreement with the Idaho Potato Commission the team will be granted exclusive rights to the groups’ iconic Spuddy Buddy mascot.
As part of the logo’s introduction FedEx Field’s stadium food vendors will be featuring German potato salad and roasted red potatoes on their menus. French fries, however, will continue to be made from the traditional russets.
Controversy has dogged the team in recent years as Native American tribes have protested against what they call a racist stereotype. In recent weeks even some US Congresspersons, whose jurisdiction includes the District of Columbia, have called on the team to change its name. Native American tribal leaders contacted all expressed satisfaction that the situation had been resolved, and they would now be turning their attention to Kansas City.
Similarly, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell praised ownership’s out-of-the-box thinking to successfully resolve the problem with peaceful means, something that the league’s players seem to have more trouble with.
The new mascot, affectionately known as Spud, will make his debut on the field at this evening’s game.
Joe Kale, spokesman for the American Potato Growers Association, said the team has the support of potato farmers of all varieties, and will be considering future promotional tie-ins. “The nutritional value of potatoes has always been important in football player’s diets and this re-branding really demonstrates that”, he said, “and with Dan’s creative mind we will come up with many new ways to integrate potatoes into the team’s routine.” To start with, a load of 100 pound bags of new red potatoes were delivered to the Redskins training facilities to use in stair climb exercises. Can potato-shaped dumbbells be far behind?
Even the North American Vegetarian Society offered their support for the change. The Northwest Potato Coop, however, opined that the Yukon Golds, a Canadian hockey team they sponsor, was looking closely at the mascot to be sure there was no trademark infringement. “We want to be sure that there are no golds mixed in with the reds.”