Thursday, January 10, 2013

On Robert Griffin III And The Redskins...

Keep this logo!
I know I am not a Redskins fan, and I have displayed my dislike of them in many ways, but this here is ultimately a modest defense of the franchise.  This is also not really about Robert Griffin.

I am not completely heartless; when Robert Griffin went down late in the game on Sunday, I cringed mightily.  I had been wondering when his knee would finally give out, especially after the earlier buckle prior to the Redskins' second touchdown of the game.  There is much blame to go around as to why this happened - the field conditions were conducive to this sort of injury happening; coaching malpractice can be blamed; Griffin himself is partially culpable also.  Reasonable people can debate these issues, and I will continue to be entertained by people skewering One Away's Kevin Sheehan's Defend-Shanahan-At-All-Costs-Logic-Be-Damned position.

What is not to be blamed for this is "bad karma" emanating from the fact that the Washington, DC NFL franchise's nickname is "Redskins".  However, this didn't stop Courtland Milloy from suggesting as such:
And when he’s felled during Sunday’s playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks, bringing the postseason to an ugly and immensely unsatisfying end — torn ligaments no doubt shortening his own career as well — Washington gasps in horror.

Bad karma, I tell you, that team name.

Now don’t go trying to prove otherwise by digging up some ancient Washington victory from back in, say, Joe Gibbs’s early days. This is a new era. Attitudes are changing; progressive thinking is emerging on everything from guns, gays and gas guzzling to debt, deficits and doctor bills.

Besides, Washington’s professional football team has raked up one disappointing season after another since 1992 — the year D.C. resident Suzan Harjo became the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking to change the team’s disparaging name.
It is amazing that he is actually writing this kind of crap, but then again, it doesn't surprise me in the least.  I have been reading him for a long time, and this is actually par for the course - it's never about individual responsibility or causes.  He blames the Redskins sucking because of their name, rather than the fact that they scored less points than the other team, which is due to poor management, bad coaching, and less talent. I wish people would stop trying to find some overarching meaning to why things are the way they are and actually look at the principal actors to figure it out.

Milloy continues and he can't help himself here (emphasis mine):
Next month, on Feb. 7, the National Museum of the American Indian on the Mall will hold a day-long symposium and “community conversation” about the use of racist stereotypes and cultural appropriation in American sports. In a recent news release about the event, museum Director Kevin Gover wrote: “What better place to address this issue. . . . The Smithsonian Institution is the ideal forum to bring people together to ask tough questions.”


I hope so, although I suspect that the most diehard football fans have only two ways of dealing with these kinds of disagreements: racist Internet comments — and fistfights in the stands.
Hahaha!! We get it - NFL fans are nothing but slobbering blubbering redneck yahoos.  And the Post wonders why people keep cancelling their subscriptions.  And how.  You don't need to pay people to publish pablum like this.  I guess it was too much for Milloy to focus on things like how Barack Obama talks a good game about diversity but then picks all old white men for his Cabinet.  I guess he needs the Rooney Rule for his Cabinet selections.1

Speaking of politicians, leave it to Washington Mayor Vincent Gray to stick his nose in a place where it doesn't belong:
The Redskins’ resurgence has District politicos once again talking about what it would take to relocate the team back inside the city limits. But Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) today suggested there would have to be a controversial prerequisite to any stadium deal: a name change, or at least discussion of one.
Keep the name.  It is tradition.  I think the constant yammering about changing the name is just that: yammering.  I am tired of politicians (and fans and sportswriters, for that matter) acting like professional sports franchises are public trusts.  The Washington Redskins are the property of Dan Snyder2 (and his partners), and so long as he owns the franchise, he can call it what he wants.  People have a right to boycott the team and not watch it and so forth, and so if anyone wants the name changed, they will have to hit him where it hurts.  And in this town, that is not going to happen.

Mayor Gray is playing with fire by suggesting that any potential relocation back into the city would depend on a discussion of a name change.3  I could see the Redskins getting a stadium in Virginia with lower taxes and such, and the District will lose out, yet again.  But those who yammer (there's that word again) on about this issue can't see the forest for the trees.  Stick to running the city and refrain from commenting about an organization that doesn't actually do business within it!

Notes

1 Yes, this was a gratuitous insertion of political commentary.  Get over it.

2 Don't get used to me and Dan Snyder being on the same side.  I also support the idea of him suing the NFL over the salary cap penalties and naming John Mara as a specific co-defendant.

3 The people supporting this will point to the Bullets changing their name to the Wizards.  This is a laughable and nonsensical comparison.  DC is a Redskins town.  There is a long tradition of the name, and whether anyone likes it or not, the name and logo are classics. No one cares about the NBA here.  College and H.S. basketball do better than the Wizards, and thus the general reaction was "meh" when they did so.

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