With former Clippers owner Donald Sterling off the board for several years now, his heir as the current worst owner in sports, Dan Snyder, has made news by saying he’ll change the name of his NFL franchise. I’ll only ever refer to that team as the Team from Washington, DC (TFWDC). I’m sure you can guess the other name they’ve been using for almost 90 years.
Make no mistake. Dan Snyder had no “come to Jesus” moment. He didn’t suddenly turn into a good person and realize Native American Lives Matter (and probably doesn’t think too much about Black Lives). He did this because of public pressure that has thankfully arisen out of the new Anti-Racist movement the vast majority of us embrace and are trying to personally learn and improve from. And most of all, he did this over money. Or, rather, the loss of it.
On July 2, news broke that FedEx had privately written Mr. Snyder (the name he makes his players, especially black ones, call him when they informally say “Dan”) to formally ask him to change the team’s offensive name. It’s news enough that a large company like this would do so. But TFWDC plays on “FedEx Field.” They are the team’s signature, stadium sponsor no less. Soon after, the company confirmed the validity of the breaking news. Quickly others pounced, this time a bit harder than they have in the past and with a far greater number of allies. “Dan” finally gave in.
We don’t yet know what the new team name or logo will be. They probably have a marketing team testing out a dozen as we race our way to the start of the NFL season. But I have had a new name idea for this team for years. My choice? The Washington Pigskins. … Huh?! Hear me out. There are several good, common sense arguments for the (Fightin’!) Pigskins.
- The nickname for an actual football is a “pigskin.” Just look at the photo of it. As in, “c’mon, everybody, let’s go throw around the ol’ pigskin!” What could be better and more fitting than that for an NFL team?!
- In the 1980’s, the team had a legendary group of offensive linemen under coordinator Joe Bugel literally called “The Hogs.” Such a name would honor their legacy. In fact, they were so popular, they inspired a fan group called The Hogs that sat in a section of old RFK stadium called “The Pig Pen.” Doesn’t Pigskins already seem perfect?!
- Finally, you wouldn’t have to worry about a wimpy helmet logo that looks like Porky Pig. I’m picturing a tough looking boar, with a wicked tusk! (think Boar’s Head meats). I think that could look really intimidating.
So, there it is. Take it and run with it, “Dan.”
Now, some of you reading this also know that my beloved team since 1987 is, not so ironically, the Kansas City Chiefs. Am I a hypocrite? No, because I think the Chiefs should change their name, too. In fact, many Chiefs fans, unlike those in Washington, DC, still participate in the horrendously offensive, almost Nazi-like “Tomahawk Chop.” Whether or not the team chances from the Chiefs anytime soon I don’t know. But Chiefs fans, who are collectively known as “#Chiefskingdom,” need to Stop the Chop immediately.
Naturally, I also favor the Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, Golden State Warriors and any other Native American associated franchises or College Mascots change their team names as well. It’s time. It’s offensive to too many not to. And haven’t we done enough damage to First Americans over the last 400 years? Let’s be better. Change all the names. … but start with The Pigskins!