Or, titled another way, is it time for offensive team names to go?
Honestly, no, I don’t believe in such things as jinxes, but we sports fans are often a superstitious bunch. And the Redskins, outside of the RGIII hype, have been getting a lot of publicity for all the wrong reasons.
Over the past year or so, the notion that the Redskins name is offensive and should be changed has picked up steam. I’ve heard the arguments for some time now, that teams like the ‘Skins, Indians, Chiefs and others were offensive to Native Americans and ought to be replaced. There have been schools around the country who have changed their mascots to move away from something some might consider offensive. From RGIII and his knee last year, to this season’s 0-2 start, could this be karma, the universe picking on Washington for this “offensive” name?
Maybe, but I don’t buy it. I blame the bad start to RGIII coming back really fast from a really bad injury, and not having any preseason snaps. That, and NFL teams have an entire season of game tape to work off it. He’s no longer new and unknown. Defenses have adjusted to him, now he has to adapt.
As for the name itself, should it go? I have no love lost for the Washington franchise itself, and it certainly would not be the first time a team in DC changed it’s name (ah, remember the Washington Bullets…). But is it time for the Redskins to go away?
On the one hand, I get it. Redskin is not exactly a vaunted name. I suppose it’s use could be equated to a derogatory term for any number of ethnic groups. A name such as “Chiefs” or “Warriors” exudes more power and strength, where as Redskins, well…doesn’t.
I for one am no big fan of being politically correct. Often times, I’ve gone against the grain-sometimes because of beliefs, sometimes because it’s just fun to go against the grain from time to time. But now, with regard to the Redskin moniker, I have to say I am all for a name change. For one, I don’t think the name glorifies Native Americans. I don’t think it memorializes them or pays tribute in any way shape or form. And second, if I am Daniel Snyder, I would be getting a marketing guru and a masterful graphic artist to come up with a brand new name and logo that is both unoffensive and awesome. Why? Because a new logo, a new nickname, means new merchandise. And everyone knows NFL merchandise is big business. Come out with a completely brand new look for the Washington team, and apparel will sell like hotcakes. Keep this in mind: RGIII was a rookie last year, but his jersey sales were setting records last year.
You know that with a new design, a new logo, he could break that record again, right? Those cash registers you hear? Those are only in Snyder’s head. For now.
In one master stroke, Daniel Snyder could appease a segment of the population and do something which would be good for his business. That it hasn’t happened yet is actually kind of surprising.