Monday, March 31, 2014

Not ready for some football

Now that I think of it, it's strange that DC's football team is still called "The Redskins." One of these things is not like the others.  Not because it's offensive.  It is, of course, but in and of itself this is pretty easy to believe.

No, the messed up thing is that the name doesn't make much sense in the context of professional football.  Sports team names are supposed to be badass, and most football especially should carry a respectable amount of menace.  Mos tof the other teams seem to get this.  If a bear is after you, your minutes are numbered.  Buccaneers are pirates, and everyone still knows pirates are bad news.  Steelers?  Well, it's hard to find a steelworker, but you'd imagine hauling around pig iron does something for them.

But Redskins?  It's a dated slur against Native Americans.  And we're not living in an old Western.  No one's intimidated by Native Americans, at least not inherently.  White people are still afraid of blacks, sometimes with tragic results.  But SOMEHOW I'm not expecting a pro sports team to use that fear to inspire its name anytime soon.

Anyway, it's something I can't help notice because I hear poeple talk about football and when they get to this team, they can only call it "Washington."


susan said...

You're right that the name is a dated slur, one that the owner doesn't seem inclined to change. Maybe he just needs some good suggestions for a name that's sure to inspire some trepidation among the other teams - like the Washington Drones, or Lobbyists, or Mercenaries. Scariest of all might be the Washington Banksters.

Ben said...

Well, I can see why some of these aren't on the agenda. Call your team the Lobbyists or the Banksters and casual fans might think you're the real thing. All of a sudden crowds are showing up with tar and feathers.