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Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Washington Congressmen?

The Washington Congressmen?

A cranky opinion for


The following is the opinion of a cranky old insensitive man who has very little tolerance for Political Correctness.  As always, opposing opinions are welcome.  They are wrong, but welcome, and please, no name calling…that means you, you big stupid head!

Well the politically correct have finally got around to the Washington Redskins football team.  They have forced the Stanford Indians to change their name to the Stanford “Cardinal.” The Cardinal!  How lame is that?  Does it stand for the bird, or the “cardinal number” which I think has some meaning to math geeks?  The Saint John’s Redmen changed their name to the “Red Storm.”  Red Storm?  There is no such thing!  Syracuse University changed their moniker from “The Orangemen” to “The Orange.”  I guess they insulted the growing population of fake tanning white people.  Numerous college and professional teams have changed their names from Native-American* connotation names to stupid meaningless names, all in the name of political correctness, and now the PC police are after the beloved "Redskins."

Admittedly, I would be offended by a sports team called the “Camden Crack-heads,” the “The Atlanta Step-and-Fetchits,” the “Buffalo Honkeys” or the “Dallas Dickwads.”  As I have often been called a Dickwad, I would find the last example to be particularly offensive.  However, the terms Brave or Warrior, seems to me to carry a positive connotation, and Indian when applied to a sports team was simply a name celebrating the strong qualities associated with Native-American tribes…Brave, fierce, loyal, and strong.

Look, if the name offends Native-Americans, then change it, I don’t really care that much, but if Native-Americans are not offended, if they are proud of their heritage of bravery, loyalty and strength, then the name should not be changed.  If this fuss is just to satisfy a few political activists with no real dog in the fight, then leave the name alone. 

Are Vikings offended by the Minnesota Vikings?  Are cowboys offended by the Dallas Cowboys?  Are big people offended by the New York Giants?  Are northerners offended by the New York Yankees?  Are pirates upset by the teams in Pittsburg and Tampa Bay?  I've never heard an Irishman complain about that silly stereotypical leprechaun with the shillelagh that represents the Notre Dame "Fighting Irish."  I could go on and on.

Sports teams are generally named for symbols representing qualities they want to associate with their team; such as strength, pride, and winning.  Teams are not called “The Accountants,” “The Worms,” “The Rabbits,” or “The Whipping-boys.”  Team symbols that are chosen generally represent the top of the food chain and especially represent winners.

In years past, Indian, Brave, Warriors, and Chiefs were thought to represent those positive attributes.  If Native-Americans believe that they do not represent those positive attributes, if those names offend them, then let them rise up and demand change. 

Perhaps that is what is happening, but I don’t see it.

If the team was named the “Washington Jigaboos,” it would take about 35 minutes for black and white people to storm Washington by the busload.  The city would be shut down until the name was changed.

“Redskins” does not seem to arouse that kind of indignation. 

I see a select group of politically correct people and a smattering of Native-Americans who have nothing better to do then look for a cause and beat their drums for change.

 Oops, can I say “beat the drums?” Are people who raise prices during a shortge “Scalpers?” Is “smoking a piece pipe” wrong?  Is the name “Redskin” sending the wrong smoke signal? What are the rules?  Why did it take one-hundred years for people to get offended? Did someone tell our proud Native Americans that they should be offended?

Real life “Fierce, Indian Warriors” no longer exist.  Do we have to bury the history of the many proud tribes that once ruled North America?  Is this really an issue of concern?

Maybe we should call the Washington football team the “Washington Congressmen,” or the “Washington Lobbyists.”  How about the “DC Dissenters”

The original Washington Redskin team was the Boston Braves.  There were four Native-Americans on the team which was also coached by a Native-American.  Was that coach offended?  Were those players upset by the name “Braves?”  Are the PC police of today saying those Native-Americans were too stupid and uninformed to know they should be offended? The current logo was designed after consulting with Tribes in South Dakota in 1971, they were apparently eager to help. 

It seems to me to be a lot of fuss over nothing.

Maybe we should have a “Pow Wow” and come to a decision?

* It is believed that Native-Americans came from Asia across a spit of land connecting what is now Russia with Alaska, so they are really not Native-Americans.  I believe they should be more correctly identified as "People arriving in North America before Europeans" and should be more correctly referred to as "Painabe's." 

The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.   


  1. With just a simple paste and cut exercise I think you've solved the Washington naming dilemma that everyone (outside the Beltway at least) should be able to wholeheartedly endorse: The Washington Dickwads.

    Thanks for your leadership through these rough naming times, Cranky. :)


  2. Are there polls to show whether or not Native Americans are offended by these names? I keep hearing the discussion but, like you, I don't know if this is much ado about nothing.

  3. It just makes me wish people would get a life and found out what it is to be happy. Since the Skins are my team - have been for years and years - I'm offended that they want to change the name of my team.

  4. If the people in my tribe were from New Jersey, I would be rooting for the New Jersey Jews!!

  5. Remember the old Washington Senators? With the way the politicians are behaving these days, having THAT name would be more insulting to the ballplayers than any perceived affront caused by current team names.

  6. This post makes me want to watch "The Cigar Store Indian" episode of Seinfeld.

  7. A brilliant piece of commentary!

  8. I lived around the Washington beltway for 10 years - 1984-1994. It was an issue then, at least in the 1990s.

    If it is a lack of complaints from the Native American people, could it be that most really "don't" care, or could it be that there aren't many Native Americans (about 1%, if that)in the country, therefore, having a small voice.

    I don't have strong feelings on the issue, however, it reminds me of an incident my husband told me about. A new friend's 5 year old (white) son was playing a sport in my husband's presence (8 years ago), when he hears the kid excitedly say, "Hit it like a black man!" The kid kept repeating it until his red-faced mother distracted him. The innocent kid was probably imitating his grandpa.

    We thought it was funny because one of the family's skeletons came out of the closet. But relating it to what you said, should we consider that statement by the kid to be a "positive attribute;" to be honored to be a member of a race thought of mostly as good athletes?