- Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 May 2014 10:54
- Published on Wednesday, 07 May 2014 10:54
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Redskins fandom runs deep in our area. During the 1950s, the old Rappahannock, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad (RFP) ran special trains to take fans from all over the area to Sunday games in Washington DC. It was a popular service, and if the Redskins still played in DC (their stadium is in Maryland now), the VRE would probably still be running it. As for my own fan credentials, I think they’re pretty good. I can tell you the details of the 1972 Super Bowl Game the Redskins lost to the Dolphins, and I have vivid memories of the terrible game in November 1985, when Quarterback Joe Theismann broke his leg. I have stuck with them during bad seasons and good ones; just like any good fan does.
However, though it didn’t used to bother me, it does now, and that’s the name. When I was a kid, I could have cared less, but we now live, in some respects at least, in a more thoughtful world, and names like “redskin”, aren’t nice. It’s that simple. Redskin is just as much a racial slur against American Indians as any other racial insult. So, why, in the name of simple decency, the team owner refuses to change the name is beyond me.
Dan Snyder, the owner of the Redskins, though I am giving him a hard time, isn’t really a bad guy, and on occasion, he can be surprisingly flexible. But, when it comes to suggestions that he change the name of the team, he digs in his heels. Other teams, including the Washington Bullets, now the Washington Wizards, changed their name. And their franchise continues to prosper. So, what’s the big deal? Perhaps it’s tradition. Or perhaps it’s because of all of Dan Snyder’s other troubles this particular concern is still low on his to do list. Or, perhaps it’s because the name and Redskins’ logo, which represent a major brand name plastered on everything from jerseys to coffee cups, brings in lots and lots of money.
But, it’s occurred to me, maybe Mr. Snyder’s problem is that he can’t think of a new name for the team. After all, between all the clever names for the nation’s baseball teams, basketball teams, hockey teams, as well as the other football teams, maybe he thinks all the good names have been taken.
So, I have a proposal, let’s help Mr. Snyder think of a new name, and let’s give Mr. Snyder some ideas. The National Football League, through its fantasy football site, a very big deal with hardcore football fans, has a naming feature. So, I gave it a try and came up with “The Washington Stars”. I liked that, and “American Legends.” Both sound a lot better than “Redskins”.
Of course, I imagine there are more creative minds who read this column, and even if you’re not entirely sold on the idea of changing the name, why don’t you have some fun and make a few suggestions? Send them to me and I’ll put them together in an email and send them to the Redskins’ home office. That way, if Mr. Snyder and his management team, after wracking their brains trying to think of a new name, say they can’t think of anything, maybe we can help them out.
—Reach David Kerr at