Winning Off The Field

As far as victories go, this one never felt sweeter.

About 3 years ago, the politically correct media wolfpack was howling at the door of my football team’s very identity, history, and right to exist. The name “Redskins” had become so toxic, that high profile network announcers were stating publicly that they would no longer even utter the name while doing games.

The Washington Post itself, wrote enough column inches about it to wrap a battleship in old newspapers. And – suprise! – almost 99% of it was in favor of scrapping the name.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court delivered the final kill shot to all of that nonsense. Ruling in a resounding 8-0 decision against the notion that the government should be in the sensitivity business in regard to legal trademarks, the battle of “Redskins Hill” is now officially over.

And yes, every Redskin fan should thank Dan Snyder for saving the name.

Changing it, would have been easy enough to do. Convenient. Cheaper than litigation and hiriing PR firms. He would have even been given some attaboys at high level cocktail parties, I’m sure.

My guess is that the team would have been re-named the “Warriors.” The iconic Indian-head helmet logo and all other native-American imagery purged (bye bye, Sonny-era “Florida State” spear!) and replaced with a generic “W” (just what we need here in the DMV, another “W” team like the Nats!)

I’d assume we’d get to keep the burgundy and gold color scheme, but what a hollow victory that would have been?

Then the retroactive scrubbing of the team’s history would have begun.

Just because you have NOW changed the team’s awful, no-good, racist, hurtful name they’ve enjoyed for 75-plus years, doesn’t mean you get to keep showing OLD images and references of that name. Ohhhh… no, no no.

I’m not kidding when I say that had the anti-name forces prevailed, then there would be calls to never ever print a picture of Joe Theismann in a media guide, team poster, billboard, or promotional flyer without first BLURRING OUT THE OLD LOGO.

I’m dead serious. This WOULD have happened. Because when it comes to others who think they are “doin’ good” in the world…. it ain’t got no end.

Predictably, the usual suspects who have led this dead-end crusade against the name, will keep on not using it, even though they won’t actually harm their own livelihoods by refusing to cover the team.

They cared deeply about this issue. Just not deeply enough for it to reach the lint in their pockets.

The whole argument against the name flunked the test of basic logic. No team that ever adopts an entity as their name and helmet image, and then writes fight songs about how badass they were in battle, is at the same time trying to slur and dehumanize the same entity.

“Ha ha, we got ’em good! We just named our football team after them, and made them our logo! Oohhh BURN!”

Coupled with the Washington Post survey of two years ago that found an overwhelming majority (90%!) of surviving generations of Native Americans either didn’t care about the name – or even LIKED IT! – this Supreme Court ruling is indeed the point-spread covering touchdown, followed by a massive spike of the football.

As a famous SI cover once blared: “Wham, Bam, It’s The Redskins!”

Yes it is. Now… and forever.

About the Author

Steve Czaban is a 25 year sports radio veteran, who hosts an afternoon drive show in Washington D.C. He also appears on "Bob and Brian" in Milwaukee. "Czabe" also writes and edits his own commentaries for www.czabe.com and other on-line and print publications. He can be reached at czabe@yahoo.com.

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11 Comments

  1. I have no affiliation to the Redskins and I really couldn’t care less about their name, but this seems like it will be a short-lived “victory.” The issue isn’t going away because of a Supreme Court ruling. Multiple states have already banned native american mascots. The Redskins will eventually be forced to change their name. It’s just a matter of time.

    1. Not sure how you’re coming up with this conclusion. From the results of the survey two years ago to this Supreme Court ruling to the fading interest of the bulk sports media to continue prosecuting this matter, this issue is all but dead. Sure, the die-hards, like Blackistone, Wise, Bomani Jones, and Drew Magary will continue banging the drum on this issue… but, the vast majority just aren’t listening anymore.

      1. It’s not going to be decided by polls or court rulings. None of that saved the North Dakota Fighting Sioux, the Miami Redskins, or the hundreds of other teams that have already changed their names. This is a matter of public opinion.

        It doesn’t matter to me, one way or the other. I’m just saying if I had to guess, I would say the name will be changed within the next 10 years.

        1. Seriously Joe. A couple of years ago, we had p.c. media and tons of pols (including the then prez) demanding the name be changed. The issue was hot as a flaming fireplace poker. The anti- name Wash Post did a poll that, to the Wash Post’s dismay, found 91% of Nat Amer either support the name or don’t give a crap. That ended the p.r. war. Now the Supreme Court has UNANIMOUSLY stomped on the legal strategy that the anti-namers were using. This issue is dead, dead, dead. Your f’n great grand children will be watching Redskins game..

    2. If you don’t care and have no affiliation, then why troll what is so obviously a correct ruling? Pity you don’t you have anything better to do…

  2. It’s too bad Miami University didn’t do the same and had kept their long and storied ‘Redskins’ name. Great to see someone actually stand up to the bullies.

  3. Funny, I drove through an Indian Reservation last year, and what was the big sign on the side of their schoolhouse? “Home of the Redskins”…..

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