A Further Perspective

Renaming the Redskins

Settling the matter once and for all. 

By 1.9.14

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Always ready to meddle in other people’s business, the Washington Post in a recent editorial advised Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder to start 2014 by changing the name of the team. Though a new national poll shows that 71% of Americans oppose a name change for the team and only 18% want a change, the Post as usual sided with the offended minority and demanded that “Redskins” be sacked.

When I think of the Washington Post, the phrase “dumb as a post” often comes to mind, but that is neither here nor there. As a traditionalist and a conservative, I tend to resist change and honor the past, so Redskins is fine with me. The recent editorial, however, got me thinking about what name the team might adopt if Snyder decides that being politically correct would be a prudent (money-making) move to make. I took my inspiration from the team names currently in use in the National Football League, pondering either similar names or opposites.

I must admit that my view of official Washington — the Federal bureaucracy, Congress, the Obama Administration, and the District of Columbia’s notorious government — influenced my choices. Let me illustrate.

If New Orleans has the Saints, maybe the national capital should have the Washington Sinners. That seems to cover everything from Bill Clinton to Anthony Weiner. New England has the Patriots, so how ’bout those Washington Traitors! Considering how often the Constitution is trampled in Washington, I think the Founding Fathers would approve. New York is the home of the Giants, and in light of the stature of most of our political leaders today, I think it would fit to call Snyder’s team the Washington Midgets.

The NFL is loaded with big cats — the Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars. The Washington Mice would be an apt antonym reflecting for the courage of Congress. Lots of birds flock around the NFL also — the Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens. It is delicious to contemplate the Washington Vultures, a tribute to the Obama Administration’s penchant for income redistribution, not to mention the IRS.

Denver has the Broncos and Indianapolis has the Colts, which brings to mind an image of the southern portion of a northbound horse, which would not be polite to list here.

But maybe Snyder and his team should ignore what other NFL teams are called, and strike out in a new direction that truly reflects what Washington is and does. In light of national fiscal policy, I think the Washington Debtors might work.  In a bow to the man in the White House, how about the Washington Narcissists? How about a gridiron team known as the Washington Gridlocks? I suppose the Washington Regulators or the Washington Bureaucrats are just too boringly obvious, though I sort of like the ring of the Washington Incumbents. (Incumbents usually win, so the fans might take to it….“Hail to the Incumbents, Hail victory….” What a fight song!)

My ultimate football fantasy is to imagine Dan Snyder putting out this press release: “The Washington Redskins announced today that the team’s name would be changed immediately. In order to avoid offense, owner Dan Snyder announced that the organization will eliminate the word ‘Washington’ from the name.” Conservatives would cheer!

OK, fans, you can take it from there. Vote for your favorite listed here, or nominate something new. Somewhere out there, there is a name that’s just perfect for this city and all it symbolizes, and one that won’t offend any sensitive political, ethnic, racial, religious, or gender-based minority group. Go to it!

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About the Author

James P. Gannon is a retired former Wall Street Journal reporter and newspaper editor. He lives in Virginia.