Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Keep "Redskins" nickname but change the logo!

Washington Redskins
The political correctness scrimmage in our nation’s Capital over the use of the name “Redskins” and the logo that accompanies it is nothing new. While use of the nickname apparently offends the Oneida Indian Nation, there must be a reasonable solution for both the native Americans who protest along with their namby-pamby friends and the owner and loyal fans of the National Football League team that calls Washington DC home even though the home stadium is in Landover MD.

The uproar, fueled by the no-good-doers in the liberal media who also can be described regularly as self-righteous, is really silly, in my opinion, but then I’m far from being American Indian or any other minority so I’m told I can’t relate. The political correctness movement has been going on for years, dating back to who-knows-when psychologists, sociologists and tree huggers who believe in building self-esteem by taking away others' rights and desires. It’s stupid.

Many years ago, when coaching baseball in a recreation league, I was asked by one of the parents of the 6-8 year olds playing on the team, “Who’s in charge of getting the trophies?” She said her child deserved a trophy for playing. I disagreed, expressing that trophies and material rewards were for the winners and not for the participants. Their reward, I reminded the mother, was good instruction for improvement in play (I think I did a good job), encouraging words from the coach despite lack of ability (by both players and coach), and a hug from Mom and Dad along with, “We sure are proud of you trying so hard.” She pressed on, saying that the trophy would help build her daughter’s self-esteem. I stood my “Scrooge-like” ground. There were no materialistic self-esteem building rewards for the bunch that had less than a .500 record that season. But I did tell each player of the enjoyment of participating with them in America’s game. Most shrugged their shoulders, turned to parents and asked, “Can we go for ice cream now?”

Self-esteem and political correctness are part of the reason the United States is not as tough as it once was. We are so darn concerned with building self-esteem in others and saying all the so-called right things that we forget to take care of ourselves and we stop short of honest and straightforward communication. You don’t have to be vulgar or mean to communicate but talking while walking on egg shells has always been ridiculous. Speaking of that, considering the lousy state of our elected officials in Washington, I suggest that the owner of the Washington Redskins would gladly drop “Washington” to escape the terrible embarrassment associated with it. Landover Redskins has an interesting ring to it.

Stanford Cardinal (tree logo)
There have been plenty of colleges and universities that have dropped reference to native Americans. The best example, I believe, is the Stanford Indian (singular not plural) which changed in the 1970s to the Stanford Cardinal (the color and not the bird) and the mascot is a tree, appropriate for a California university. Probably had something to do with self-esteem and political correctness, though I can’t see why “Indian” is offensive except for the caricature used at the time. So, change the caricature/logo.

Cleveland Indians
In Florida, the Seminole Tribe has embraced the Florida State Seminoles. It must build the self-esteem of the native Americans in the Seminole Tribe. The Atlanta Braves are still the Atlanta Braves with a tomahawk logo and the tomahawk chop, stolen from the Florida State Seminoles. The Braves once had a laughing “Brave” as its logo along with Chief Noc-A-Homa who lived in a teepee in the left field bleachers and was the official mascot for the Milwaukee Braves and the Atlanta Braves. Not sure of the Boston Braves but the Chief was let go in 1986. The Cleveland Indians have a logo/mascot worse than the Landover Redskins. That Cleveland Indian has some great teeth! But he looks happy so don't worry.

Even with the crap going on in Congress and the White House, the primary talk in DC is the application of perceived and manufactured-by-the-media pressure on Daniel Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins, to drop the nickname and the logo of what appears to be a somewhat old but dignified native American. I know of none who appear that way today; it’s a historical view. There’s a lot of great history with the franchise. Summarized from Wikipedia, the team originated as the Boston Braves, based in Boston in 1932, and played in Braves Field, home of the Boston Braves baseball team (that went to Milwaukee and Atlanta). In 1933, the team moved to Fenway Park and changes its name to the Boston Braves. They relocated to Washington in 1937. Today, the Washington Redskins, win or lose, are a rallying point in DC, a place that needs a rallying point because neither the Capitol with the current elected occupants nor the White House with the current elected occupant are.

Maybe there needs to be a change, but dropping Redskins would be counterproductive. It has been suggested dropping Redskins for “Snyders.” Stupid, I say. Redskins must stay; fans rarely use the entire word, shortening it to ’Skins. Enough of this self-esteem and political correctness stuff. However, there is a side of me that understands how the Oneida Indian Nation feels. While not a minority by any stretch of one’s imagination, in a way I’m Jewish. My Dad’s mother and father were Jewish which made my Dad Jewish but my Mom was of English descent and a Southern Baptist, to boot, and I understand being Jewish passes to off-spring through the mother, or something like that. But, as a non-Jew, I’ve felt picked on plenty of times. Not sure why, but so be it.

Anyway, using the rule of not complaining without a solution (though I'm not complaining), here's my solution to all those self-esteem, political correctness freaks: Keep the name, Washington Redskins, but change the logo. Here are my two suggestions:

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