Not a fan…

It was hard to miss the “breaking news” today that the US Patent Office vacated multiple trademarks owned by the historic Washington football franchise. I’m not a fan of the Washington Redskins. In fact I can’t remember the last time I watched a football game from Washington-Redskins-Logostart to finish. It was probably sometime in the 90s. Fortunately, this post is only tangentially related to football because it provides the backdrop for the point I really want to make tonight.

There are a lot of appeals between now and anything that might resemble a name change for the team, but if I were Dan Snyder, I’m pretty sure my plan of attack might go something like this: 1) Halt the sale of all items bearing the Redskins team logo; 2) Discontinue all team related activities – shuttering their training facility, FedEx Field, and offices; 3) Inform the NFL of my intention to sit out the 2014 season rather than being forced by the mob to do business as “Generic Washington, DC Football Franchise.” But then again, I’m the kind of guy who will cheerfully slice off my nose to spite my face.

Look, if you’re offended by the use of the name Redskins, then by all means avail yourself of the opportunity to not purchase a ticket. Show up at the stadium on game day with your protest sign. Send a letter. Do whatever it is you feel you need to do to make your voice heard… but in my final analysis, I get a cold chill every time some random agency of government is allowed to tell us what words are offensive, unacceptable, or otherwise “not nice.” I don’t want government within a country mile of making decisions about what words any one of us can or can’t use, from team owners to town drunks. Words are just words. They’re not imbued with any magical meaning or significance until we chose to give them that meaning.

I have a hunch that if Redskins was really an “offensive” term, we wouldn’t need government to save us from it. It would be reflected by the thousands of empty seats at every home game when when fans were too mortified to show up. I’m not sure when we came up with this idea that we should be able to get through life without ever being offended or having our little feelings hurt, but for my money it’s done us more harm than good.

For the first (and probably last) time in my life, I say this without a hint of sarcasm: Hail to the Redskins!

7 thoughts on “Not a fan…

    • I find a free market response in this case to be preferable to being told what I can say, think, or feel by the government. That’s a slope down which I have no interest in going.

    • Thanks. I always like hearing different opinions. Even when they don’t convince me to change my mind, it helps me better understand my own position.

  1. I will admit this is the best argument I have heard FOR the team name. I think the part that I am totally in line with is about the timing. This is 2014. The team moniker has been around for MANY decades. And now they want it gone go seemingly more so than any other time. What gives? I think there was something said about it 10-15 years ago. So I want to understand other root causes.

    You know, its not so much what Snyder says as much as it is the way he sounds so arrogant saying it. Dude, I don’t think you need to be teasing that nerve among some pissed off Native American warriors– just saying. Makes me wonder who else he’s been rubbing the wrong way.

    OR They feel the need to jump on Sterling’s coat tails. That actually has a lot of merit in my opinion, but maybe not why you think. Hear me out. So a few months ago, the outspoken Mark Cuban (net worth $2.5 Bill), owner of the Dallas Mavericks tried to buy the Dallas Cowboys and basically got turned down by Jerry Jones (net worth $3 Bill) because he just didn’t have enough money to by the most valuable team in the NFL. Now understand that these pro team owners are a very competitive bunch of Billionaires.
    [That’s Billionaire… with a B. For some perspective here, a million seconds ago was 12 days ago; a billion seconds ago was almost 32 years ago. Incidentally, for you national debt buffs, a trillion seconds ago was 36,000 years ago.] Anyway, I digress.

    So, Sterling says what he says and gets caught, which is another whole can of civil rights worms– I mean the message was bad, but in your own home… really? Oops sorry doing it again. So here’s what a crazy old man Sterling is… he ends up getting 2 Billion dollars for a team that would be lucky to be valued at 600 million from an eccentric Steve Ballmer (Net Worth $20 Bill), yes the guy who bought his own in-house rock band so he could dress up and play rock star. Too funny. So now I’m wondering if somewhere old Mr. Sterling and his “estranged” wife are sitting back on a beach in Northern Cal counting their money and placing a thumb in each ear, waving their fingers like bullwinkle and blowing Mark Cuban a big ol’ strawberry. ;;;;;pbhpbhpbhpbhpbhpbh;;;

    Maybe… just maybe Snyder’s trying to pump up the value of the team. He’s probably got connections at the patent office in Washington.

    It’s not about the name.
    its not about the game.
    Make no mistake.
    It’s about the money.

    • I’d be alarmed if it weren’t about the money. Now I don’t think there’s a grand conspiracy or anything, but as you point out, there’s certainly more to the story than what’s being reported.

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