Lately, all the media attention about the NFL has centered on the issue of domestic abuse. But long before that issue grabbed the headlines, another controversy had been building for months, even years: The often emotional debate over the name of the NFL team located in our nation’s capital: The Washington Redskins.
A tiny fringe group of annoyingly sensitive people, including 35 Native American tribes and more than 50 organizations that represent various groups of Native Americans, seem to think the term “redskin” is an offensive stereotype that stirs images of primitive, angry, bloodthirsty savages screaming menacingly and wishing to annihilate their enemy – in other words, acting like a typical Washington Redskins fan. And they are demanding that billionaire team owner Daniel Marc Snyder change the name to something less offensive – say, the Washington Camel Jockeys.
The list of suggested alternative names grows by the day. Some names that have been proposed include:
The Washington Gryffindors, the Washington Slytherins, the Washington Hufflepuffs,… well, pretty much anything you can think of from Harry Potter. Also, the Washington Redhawks (which personally I would find highly offensive if I were a Blackhawks fan), the Washington Skins (not sure how our nation’s nudists would feel about this one) or the Washington Pigskins (which I would find highly objectionable, personally, if I were a pot-bellied pig).
None of these names has generated much support, so naturally I came up with several much better ones. Tell me what you think: The Washington Lobbyists, or how about the Washington Cabinets? Or maybe the Washington Gridlocks? I thought about the Washington Senators – but then I realized I was too late. The Senators had already been bought.
Or how about simply going 180 degrees in the opposite direction of the offensive Redskinned image and calling the team, the Washington Palefaces, in honor of our nation’s 223 million proud Caucasian Americans? Still not working for you? Okay, I was saving my best name for last. It’s brilliant, if I do say so myself. Are you ready? Here goes: The Washington Redskins!
Okay, I know what you’re thinking – doesn’t that sound vaguely close to the name the team currently goes by? But I’m not talking about some emotionally charged racial profiling of our nation’s oppressed Native American population. I’m honoring one of our nation’s great agricultural staples from America’s patriotic heartland: The Redskin Potato. Think about it. The team won’t have to invest millions of dollars researching a name change. All they have to do is slap on a new logo on the team helmet. See my proposed new logo at left.
Admit it. Who doesn’t love a redskin potato? They go fantastic with roast beef and perhaps just a light sprinkling of parmesan cheese to bring out the flavor. This could bring our divided nation back together. After all, I’m fairly sure the Native Americans served redskin potatoes to the Pilgrims back at the very first Thanksgiving. Or was it maize? Doesn’t matter. My point is it solves all the long-festering problems of race relations between whites and Native Americans from the past 300 years, and all of our Native Americans’ difficulties will magically disappear.
And think of all the fun sports announcers will have with the new brand:
“The Redskins’ offense has stalled. With fourth and long, they’ll have to punt again. Looks like their game plan for today’s contest against the Colts was half-baked.”
“Ooh, that hit by the Chargers’ safety simply flattened the Redskins quarterback. Talk about one mashed potato, eh, Brad?”
“Hell of a move by the Redskins’ wide receiver to break free for a big gain. You have to be impressed with the way he peeled off the defender for long yardage.”
“In the second half tonight it appears the Redskins have SPUDDERED. By the fourth quarter, it appeared most of their players were totally fried, wouldn’t you agree, Brad?”
“Looks like the Redskins nose tackle may have been hurt on the play. I guess that would make him a potato chip, eh, Brad?”
“What in the hell are you talking about, Fred?”
“I mean he’s injured – you might say, chipped. Get it? Potato chip?”
“Shut up, Fred. Just shut the fuck up. Oh, shit. Are we still on the air?”
The young rookie players could be called tater tots. If a player has a great game, I could see the newspaper headline the next day: “Redskin quarterback is Hot Potato in come-from-behind victory.” See what I mean? The sound bite possibilities are endless.
I came up with a great new tag line to boost fan support for the team: “Support your NEW Washington Redskins. This Spud’s for You.” I can’t imagine anybody possibly being upset over such a fun tag line, can you?
I’m confident that if the Redskins team owner thinks about my idea, he will adopt it, and this entire Redskin controversy will vanish quicker than the Redskins’ chances of making the playoffs. But in the unlikely event he refuses to adopt my solution, I came with a backup plan: The Washington Kittens. Because, let’s face it. Everybody loves kittens. Check out the new helmet logo I came up with, at right. I’m confident this move would bring young girls out to the stadium in droves, especially on Stuffed Animal Day.
What can I say? I’m an idea machine.