This Whole “Washington Football Team” Situation is Surreal

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Photo by PoPville flickr user John Sonderman

First let me say – yes change the name – the name should be changed. Just so I’m clear and officially on record. It’s just so bizarre to read a press release where the mayor of a city won’t say the name of the team. It’s bonkers. Right? Having said all that – go Burgundy and Gold!!

Now read the prose of one writer in a precarious situation – from the Mayor’s office:

“Today, Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and Green Bay, WI Mayor Jim Schmitt entered into a friendly wager ahead of Sunday’s playoff game between the Washington Football Team and the Green Bay Packers.

My home team has been on a roll lately, and I look forward to cheering them on to victory against Green Bay,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “And when they do win, I look forward to enjoying some of that fine Wisconsin cheese while saying: You like that!”

“I’m delighted to showcase our world famous cheese curds in this friendly wager,” said Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt. “After we smoke Washington, the people of Green Bay will dine on the half smokes sausages offered up by Mayor Bowser.”

Up for stakes is the Washington, DC delicacy “half smoke” sausages should the Washington football team lose the game, or Cannery Public Market cheese curds should the Packers lose. To up the ante, the mayor representing the losing team has to wear the winner’s t-shirt at a mentoring service event. The mayor of the losing team is required to send their hometown delectable by the following week.

Both mayors are looking forward to rooting on their respective teams during Sunday’s game. Kick off time is at 4:40 p.m. EST.”

64 Comment

  • Go Pack Go!

  • When did Bowser become the Mayor of Landover?
    Can we have a special election for someone who wants to actually do something now?

    • Oh come on, this is very common with mayors and sporting events. Vince Gray did something similar with the mayor of St. Louis when the Nats played the Cards in the playoffs in 2012. Don’t be such a spoil-sport! Go Redskins!

      • The Nats are based in DC. The football team, thank god, is not.

      • I’m a spoil sport by pointing out that the Washington Football team doesn’t reside in Washington?
        Did I ruin a secret or something?

        • You must have, why else would all those people from Virginia and Maryland say they’re from DC?

        • To be fair, the New Jersey Giants football team claims to be a New York team. It’s not that unusual for a team from a city to play outside the city.

          • And the Jets. And the Cowboys. And the 49ers, Bills, and Dolphins. I hate when people make a big deal about the Redskins not being in the city when it’s not unheard of and DC is TINY compared to most major cities.

          • I know, it’s not even an expectation that the team ride *in* the city. Mayors are pretty local politicians, it’s not like they couldn’t get whoever’s in charge on Landover to go in on the bet. But, then I guess that ruins the “illusion” that they’re in DC.

    • Tommy Wells!!!

  • Go Nats!

  • Redskins Rock! Lets go Skins beat the Pack!

  • Cheese curds or half smokes? Nobody wins.

  • I am sick of the “Washington Football Team” hypocrisy. The vast majority of those johnny come lately DC residents and PC warriors all probably celebrate Thanksgiving which is the most disrespectful, murderous holiday to Native Americans. If you want a name change put up or shut up, stop celebrating the destruction of the Native population year in and year out.. HTTR!

    • You sound like a fun person to hang out with.

      • I agree, people like this are great to hang out with. They are not suckered into fad topics, practice critical thinking that is based on a reality that extends longer than the last 2 months and two miles, and are not afraid to be bullied or insulted while standing up for their views. BTW: Redskins.

        • I’m amazed it got this far through the thread before someone pulled the victim card. Not surprisingly, it was a supporter of the racial slur.

          Once and for all, can we get this straight? You are not being bullied. You are not victims. This is not a sacrosanct belief, or some holy crusade. You are not standing up for anything.

          A whiny billionaire is making a mockery of DC by not putting this name aside. It is offensive, and it’s not up to you to tell people they don’t have the right to be offended. Why do you care so much, anyway?

          • Hell yeah, Copwatch.
            .
            It’s like white people with the n-word – why do some people feel the need to say it?

        • Wow, so brave. You anonymously use a racial slur on the internet. The lowest form of troll found. Your forefathers didn’t have anonymous comments so they were forced to wear hoods. How far your type have come!

    • “all probably celebrate Thanksgiving which is the most disrespectful, murderous holiday to Native Americans.”
      .
      Wouldn’t that be Columbus Day?

      • Amen! + a billion

      • Oh you’re right, Thanksgiving was the day that gave Native Americans a false sense of security and friendship just before their land was stolen, women and children massacred, the buffalo was exterminated (food source & clothing among other things) and small pox laden blankets were passed out like Halloween candy. I know history and systematic genocide. Again hypocrites if you want to do something meaningful chose a battle worth winning instead of being the people’s champion from your couch. Hail to the Redskins, stop celebrating Columbus Day and Thanksgiving… Happy?

        • Smallpox blankets is a complete myth. It’s a fairly long explanation (I wrote a book about Indians and Smallpox – “The Devil’s Paintbox”) There is one documented incidence from the French & Indian War, with Jeffery Amherst, but while some early settlers certainly would have been happy to see all the Indians die, giving them smallpox was too risky. Vaccines were not 100% reliable and the chance of “blowback” infection too great.

          But even if settlers wanted to infect Indians with blankets, it would have been ineffective at best, and possible counter-effective, actually protecting the Indians. Smallpox is transmitted primarily like the flu – through respiratory droplets. The virus is friable and dies quickly on dry environments, like a blanket.

          However, let’s say you rubbed a blanket in the oozing sores of a smallpox victim then ran right over and rubbed the blanket into an open cut or scratch on an Indian. You would actually be inoculating the Indian – giving him a mild case of smallpox that would then make him immune for the rest of his life.

          Skin to Skin inoculation – also known as “variolation” was the primary means of Smallpox prevention from it’s early practice in 16th century Turkey, Persia, Africa & China until Edward Jenner’s development of an actual vaccine in 1798. Skin inoculation was introduced to England & Europe in 1721 and was common in colonial America. John & Abigail Adams were both inoculated.

          So now you do know a little actual history.

      • Sorry: if you were born here, you are a Native American. I guess you mean “American Indians”, or maybe “Indigenous Americans”?

        If I were Snyder, I’d say “sc*ew you” and move the Redskins to a place that would welcome them. Maybe Oklahoma (okla humma: Choctow for “Red People”)? Or must it change it’s name also?

        • “Indigenous Americans” is good, but “First Nations” (the Canadian term) is better, inasmuch as they don’t come from India, and lots of Americans these days do.

        • Fine with me. I’d be quite happy if my city is no longer associated with the most offensive name in North American sports. If Oklahoma is comfortable with the name, then please move the team there. As a bonus, DC can then get one of the teams clamoring to move to LA and we won’t be saddled with the biggest jackass owner in sports for decades to come. The Washington Raiders has a nice ring to it.

    • Actually I’m a native Washingtonian, born and raised deep in the heart of DC. The name of the team is stupid and offensive. I don’t have $1,000,000,000 to buy the team and rename it. What else can I do but (a) complain and (b) refuse to use the name? I know you’re comfortable with black-and-white thinking, but I’m not.

  • This sounds fine to me. Maybe could have just said “Washington” in a few places.

  • It’s even more absurd that she’s actively courting Dan Snyder to come back to RFK to build a grand waste of space outside of 10 days a year and pony up hundreds of millions of dollars that could be better spent on fixing schools or any of a number of things in this city.

    • Yes. Stadiums are a massive waste of money for cities. SO much research about this.

    • So what should the space be used for? All I’ve seen suggested is some yuppie BS like an indoor cycling arena, ice skating rink, or natural trails. Yeah everyone wants to hike along a highway. You have to be pretty naive to think that an unused stadium site would stay unused or turn in to anything but a new stadium in the future. Also the notion that football stadiums only get used for football is ridiculous. As a resident of the neighborhood and dc native I fully support the team coming back to the city, which won’t happen without a name change which I am also in favor of. Theres a football team that reps dc, get over it.

      • Well I guess about 95% of those of us that live in the area are naive, because I know no one that wants it used as a football stadium and I live 4 blocks from the stadium. And I assume you are aware that the Anacostia is already lined with biking/jogging trails that are heavily used. So please be sure to head out there next Saturday morning and tell all those people they are stupid and naive to be using those trails.

        • I know many people living in that neighborhood that want the team to move back. My cousin expects that it will raise the value of his home about $50k in a year or so. He’s also excited to be able to walk to football games. I think you would be very hard pressed to find any area in the city where 95% of the residents don’t want the team to move back. DC loves the Redskins.

  • The name thing doesn’t make much of a difference. What really needs to happen is for people to stop buying merch. Everyone could just wear nats gear to games. Or come up with some sort of alternative mascot and start marketing that as hate-free Washington football team gear.

  • They also left the opening quotation mark out of her quote. Unforgivable.

  • They don’t need to change the name, just change the mascot to a potato – which is the only time one should be talking about redskin anything.

  • I’m confused. You want the mayor to say and repeat a racial slur?

    • Don’t be stupid, Redskins is not a racial slur. It was fine for decades and nobody thought anything about it. Now everyone is just overly PC and afraid to hurt people’s feelings. When the name was originally chosen it had nothing to do with degrading native Americans and it still does not. So there’s no reason to change the name. I’m not a Redskins fan but am really tired of all of the PC bullshit our society has come to allow. Everyone is not a winner.

      • The owner of the team at the time of choosing that name was as big a racist you could find.

      • It’s a slur.

      • Blithe

        You’re making some interesting points. “It was fine for decades….” isn’t usually a stance that gets a lot of praise in this rapidly changing city of transients and new-comers. I’ve never quite understood the whole concept of “PC” — so since it doesn’t bother you, I have a suggestion. Why not honor the recent changes in DC by re-naming the team “the Washington Whiteskins”. That way, people who are concerned about being “overly PC” will be placated; old-timers who call the team “the Skins” can continue the practice unchanged, and it will openly acknowledge the changes in the demographics of the city.
        ——–
        tldr: It’s racist. Just like many things that many people considered “fine for decades”.

        • I actually don’t think the term is racist. How many times in your life have your heard someone referred to as a “redskin” when they weren’t talking about the team? That, of course, is not evidence in itself, but there is an interesting anecdote that really swayed me.

          Throughout the United States there are Indian Reservations. Most of these reservations have organized school systems that act very similar to non-reservation school systems (though with WAAAAAYYYY less money). Among high school sporting teams on reservations the most common mascot in the United States is the Redskin.

          I’m certainly open to some historical examples of when the term was used as a slur, because they may be out there, but just including “skin” and the fact that it was defined by Webster as a slur during the 60s, doesn’t do it for me.

          If it is a racist term then why do so many reservation high schools choose it as their mascot?

          Go Giants

          • HaileUnlikely

            I have some extended family that is Navajo. Many of them root for the Redskins, own Redskins gear, and shout “Go Redskins!” on game day. I don’t know enough to have an informed opinion about whether “redskin” is “offensive” or a “slur” or not, but on this subject, I give their opinion more weight than those of most other people.

  • #changethename

    that combined with the the team being based out of Virginia and playing their games in MD along with Dan Snyder being the worst person makes me hate the team. But you can like them and it does seem to make the old timers in the neighborhood happy.

  • Some of us remember going to games in the city at RFK and Art Monk and Count Gore de Vol, the Cellar Door, the 9:30 Club when it was over by the FBI, the Biograph Theater and the Wax Museum.

  • Having grown up out west next to a reservation, I’ve thought the name was offensive since I got here in ’80. So I’ve just always called them the ‘skins and have long advocated for that to be the official name.

  • If I could change the name or the Mayor today, I would change the Mayor.

  • Not sure how people would react to this comment, but isn’t there something better to offer up other than something from Ben’s Chili Bowl? Considering their biggest celebrity supporter and his troubles at the moment, we should bet something that shines a slightly better light. Oh, and the name should stay the same, everyone who thinks otherwise is just jumping on a liberal bandwagon…

  • Hail to the Redskins!!!!

    Not “Washington’s Football Team.”

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