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Meanwhile, What About the Looming Uni-pocalypse?

There was a “sports business summit” here in New York on Tuesday, and NBA exec Adam Silver, who’ll be taking over the commissioner’s office from David Stern in February, was one of the speakers.

As you may recall, Silver is the architect of the league’s on-again/off-again uni-advertising plan, which he’s been pushing over Stern’s objections. The current status of that plan is hard to divine. It was originally slated to be implemented for the 2013-14 season (i.e., a month and a half from now), but then the league backed off of that. At first the widespread assumption was that they’d simply push the plan back one year to 2014-15, in part to get some logistical ducks in a row and in part to wait until Silver had officially replaced Stern in the commissioner’s chair. But the 2014-15 time frame was never officially announced, and there are indications that the plan is in limbo. When the league recently announced that it would allow ads on the court apron, for example, ESPN’s Darren Rovell wrote, “[The apron ads are] in lieu of putting corporate logos on jerseys, a proposal that has somewhat stalled.”

So what did Silver have to say about uni ads on Tuesday? There are several quotes from him in this article, but good luck trying to read the tea leaves — it’s a maddenly inconclusive piece. If you read it closely, Silver doesn’t say the NBA will necessarily start wearing ad patches in 2014-15, or even ever. This passage is typical:

Silver suggested that we could soon see the compromise of advertisements being installed on the court just as the NCAA and NHL do. If brands do begin to appear on jerseys, they won’t be the focal point of the design. “It’s a balance,” Silver said.

It’s not clear if the term “compromise” was used by Silver (which would be a serious indication that he’s listening to those of us who’ve protested the possibility of uni ads) or if it was just some interpretive license by the writer (which would mean nothing at all). Either way, Silver’s tone here sounds a lot less uni-aggressive than it has in the past.

Since Stern is known to oppose jersey ads, this might be a case of Silver striking a respectful tone of moderation until Stern has gone off to the glue factory. Or maybe Silver’s being intentionally low-key so as not to provoke the kind of grass-roots outrage that galvanized when he first raised the prospect of uniform ads. Or maybe the uni-advertising plan really is up in the air at the moment.

In any case, this little episode is a good wake-up call for everyone who’d gotten complacent about this issue. Zero uni-advertising tolerance! #NoUniAds

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’Skins Watch: Big news yesterday, as NFL commish Roger Goodell pretty much put the writing on the wall for all to see.

As recently as late June — a mere two and a half months ago — Goodell was still putting up a good front, saying the ’Skins name was “a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.” But yesterday, when asked about the team’s name during an an appearance on a DC radio show, he said, “If we are offending one person, we need to be listening and making sure that we’re doing the right things to try to address that.”

That’s it, people — it’s over. That statement was basically Goodell clearing his throat before he and the other owners tell Dan Snyder that this fight isn’t worth it, that they’re not going to take the hit for Snyder’s hubris. You can bet the other owners don’t want to see protests being convened outside their stadiums every time Snyder’s team comes to town (like the one planned for this Sunday for the Packers’ home opener), and the whole league must be shuddering at the thought of the ’Skins actually making it to the Super Bowl, where all the corporate sponsors will demand Goodell’s head on a stick if their carefully orchestrated marketing schemes end up being overshadowed by two weeks of anti-’Skins activism. At this point it no longer matters whether Goodell or the other owners think the name is offensive; all that matters to the NFL is business, and the ’Skins name has become bad for business. Soon it will be downright toxic.

Do I think the team name will change this year, or next? No. But it’s going to happen, and sooner than later. When a guy like Goodell goes from “a unifying force that stands for strength” to “we need to be listening,” that means the wheels are already turning. A blind man could see it with a cane. All that’s left now is the face-saving endgame.

Meanwhile, in other ’Skins-related news: Lots of folks have been sending me this photo over the past few days — sometimes linked from Twitter, sometimes from Facebook, sometimes from assorted blogs. I haven’t posted it or said anything about it because it’s not a current photo — definitely not from this season (the Iggles hadn’t yet played the ’Skins when I first started receiving the photo), and I think not from last season either. But the mere fact that it’s apparently circulating quite a bit at the moment is noteworthy, and indicates that people are becoming more aware of how Native American mascots are inappropriate, which is good to see. … Syracuse Post-Standard columnist Bud Poliquin is the latest to call for the ’Skins name to be changed (from Mike Hurley). … Ditto for for Yorkton News Review columnist Chase Ruttig (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Back on Monday I said I’d been told that Max Kellerman, host of ESPN2’s SportsNation, was boycotting the ’Skins name, but I didn’t have any confirmation. That now comes from Christopher Falvey, who writes: “I was offhandedly watching SportsNation on Wednsday night and Max Kellerman called the Redskins ‘the professional football
team that plays in Washington.’ The clip had barely anything to do with them — they were interviewing Terell Owens about the Eagles.” … Meanwhile, a writer for an African-American site says the movement to get the team’s name changed is just “an agenda.” He’s right about that, of course — the agenda is to get the team’s name changed, simple as that (from Oscar Cullom).

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A day late, but hopefully not a pint short: Yesterday was Sept. 11, so MLB teams wore American flags on their caps. As I mentioned in yesterday’s entry (and have mentioned many other times over the years), I think this is lazy pandering on the part of MLB and an inappropriate gesture on a day of mourning. Several of you sent me emails taking issue with that point. For the most part, we agreed to disagree, but one reader, who prefers to remain anonymous, said, “Instead of criticizing MLB, why not suggest something constructive for 9/11?”

Excellent point. So here’s a story: After the towers fell 12 years ago yesterday, there was a big call for blood donors. I’d never donated blood before, but it seemed like a good idea, so I did it. It felt good to be helping out, even if only by sitting there with a needle in my arm. As it turned out, they didn’t need extra blood after all, because there were no survivors at the towers — only victims. But the hospital system always needs blood anyway, and I was surprised by how good it felt to donate, so I went back and did it again two months later (the minimum time they allow between donations). On that second visit, they had me fill out the paperwork to get a donor’s card, which you see above.

With a couple of exceptions, I’ve continued to give blood every two months for the past dozen years. Every single time, I’ve thought about Sept. 11, and how if my blood ends up helping even one person, then at least a little good will have come out of the tragedy. And if what I’ve written here persuades any of you to donate blood as well, then so much the better.

I should have posted this yesterday, not today. Thanks for your patience, and doubleplusthanks to the reader who suggested the more proactive approach.

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Baseball News: In addition to all the other MLB teams wearing flag-clad caps, the Mets wore first responder caps during batting practice last night. They used to wear those caps during games on Sept. 11, but that’s no longer allowed, because it’s a violation of MLB’s licensing agreement with New Era. Douchebags. … Here’s an assessment of the top 10 minor league logos. … Lots of Yankees go high-cuffed, but who was the last Yank to wear stirrups? Not sure, but I’m assuming the next Yankee to wear ’rups will be newly acquired infielder Brendan Ryan, who has often gone stirrups-clad with the Cardinals and Mariners. Looking forward to seeing how he suits up with the Bronx Bombers. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Here’s a video of Hawk Harrelson talking about, among other things, how he helped pioneer the use of batting gloves (from Keith Adelsberger). … While looking for something else, I stumbled upon this absolutely magnificent 1953 Cardinals scorecard cover design. Yowza! … Indians pitcher Rich Hill didn’t have a squatchee yesterday (good spot by Kevin Bresnahan). … Good slideshow on the Red Sox’s beards. ”¦ Jose Fernandez and a Marlins bench coach were wearing different uni combos during last night’s game (from Alex Argenio).

NFL News: Throwbacks on tap this Sunday for the Bears (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Bad job on my part, as my Monday NFL wrap-up from earlier this week didn’t include the news that the Rams debuted their Deacon Jones memorial decal. Mea culpa. … Repeated from yesterday’s comments: The NFL now says it shouldn’t have told Robert Griffin III to cover up his knee brace. … The Bengals will be wearing solid black next Monday (thanks, Phil). … White-out on tap this weekend for the Texans. It’s worth remembering that the Texans originally unveiled white helmets prior to their first season but then changed to blue. Those white ones would look good this weekend, no? … Key passage from this Jets article: “The Jets will not wear throwbacks in 2013. After donning white jerseys in their Week 1 win over the Bucs, the Jets will wear their green jerseys for the rest of their home schedule ”” starting in Week 3 against the Bills. Green will be team’s jersey color in Miami on Dec. 29, but the Jets will be white for the first seven road contests. As far as pants, the Jets will wear white for at least the first month of the season and then it becomes a weekly decision” (big thanks, Phil). … This is completely fascinating: The Seahawks will have undercover cops wearing opposing teams’ jerseys to entrap nail unruly fans (Phil yet again).

College Football News: Here’s what Wyoming will be wearing this weekend (thanks, Phil). … Also from Phil: Flag-desecration helmets on tap for for UNC and Wingate, and a Sept. 11 memorial decal for TCU. … Interesting analysis of why helmets keep flying off. … In case you hadn’t heard, those new lightweight pants don’t leave much to the imagination (Phil yet again). … A couple of high schools — not sure where — are using Navy’s old helmet template. “Seems pretty fancy for a high school to me,” says Will Hodge.

Hockey News: Check out this cover design from a 1975 edition of Toronto Star’s weekend entertainment guide. The team shown on the left is the Toronto Toros of the WHA. “The 1975-76 season would be their last year in Toronto,” says Terry Proctor. “They moved to Birmingham the next season and became the Bulls. The Toros had great uniforms though. Love the serif-top ‘A.'” … Here are the jeseys for the All-American Prospects Game (thanks, Phil). … The Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) will unveil a full-scale makeover on Sept. 20. They’ve been running teaser images here (from Cody Schmidt).

College Hoops News: New uniforms for Baylor (thanks, Phil). … New uniforms for Auburn, too. Man, those “1”s look really skinny, no? (From Scott Holcomb.)

Grab Bag: Pascagoula High School in Mississippi honored two deceased players with helmet decals and — here’s the unusual part — by blacking out the yard markers corresponding to their uni numbers (from Chris Forehand). … A Virginia school district may sell the naming rights to its high school football stadium (from Tommy Turner). … “One of my friends is about to graduate from the Florida Highway Patrol Academy,” says Frank Manganello. “Interesting that they chose a window decal that was clearly made to look like an embroidered patch.” … Note to Seattle readers: Membership card designer Scott M.X. Turner’s band, RebelMart, will be playing on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at the Comet. … Retro unis on tap for the Santa Cruz Warriors of the D-League. ‘The image on the jersey is of the Giant Dipper roller coaster,” explains Michael Goodman.

Comments (158)

    They did indeed play Monday night, but the photo of the guy in the construction cap with the severed head has been making the rounds since well before Monday night’s game.

    I believe he means he had been receiving that photo even before the Monday night game. But I getcha.

    Uh… I really don’t think that circulating a photo of a fan of one team holding up a decapitated head of a divisional rival’s mascot has anything to do with awareness of anything. It’s nothing more than people saying “hey, check out this asshole”, much like what happened when fans of teams playing the Saints had signs referencing Katrina and those spread like wildfire around the internet.

    I wonder if a Patriot head on a pike would be equally/less/more offensive. Just throwing that out there.

    But I think you’re right, The. Heads on pikes/swords as sportsfan rah-rah is pretty assholey (and just distasteful).

    Did white guys who opposed British rule in the North American colonies ever suffer a centuries-long campaign of ethnic cleansing and genocide, including numerous overt acts committed by the federal and some state governments that still exist? No? Then yeah, on the scale of wrongness, an effigy of a severed Indian head as a trophy is more [disturbing/offensive/disgusting/objectionable/inappropriate/whatever] than would be a Patriot head.

    I mean, on the Appropriate-Inappropriate scale, both examples are pretty far to the right side of the spectrum. The Redskin head is just more so.

    Paul, did the blood bank ask you if you had any tattoos before you gave? I was denied giving because of mine. That was a while back though, so maybe things have changed.

    The laws differ in different states. In New York, they ask if you’ve had a tattoo or piercing within the last “x” number of months (I forget how many, but it’s a shorter period than how long it’s been since I got my last tattoo). I don’t know if answering “Yes” to that question is a disqualifier, because I always answer “No.”

    Did they ask you if you’d been to the UK in the past 5 years? In Japan, they do that, and it instantly disqualifies you.

    interesting… never knew that. much to learn i still have. thank you for the addition to the vocabulary then

    No no, the correct word is “devein”, which is removing parts that many people find unappetizing.

    The Oil Kings’ identity crisis leads me to believe:

    1) They’re re-forming Roller Hockey Int’l and they’ll be the new Web Warriors
    2) Someone in the front office had some weird dream about Trapper Keepers and SBTB

    What the hell was wrong with the last 6 years?

    That picture is photoshopped. It was originally a Flyers fan from when they played the Blackhawks a few years ago, if I am not mistaken.

    you might be right…he does have a certain style when it comes to his facepainting style at both games.

    Could it just be the same guy attending a different game? The two photos look very similar, but it certainly doesn’t look photoshopped to me.

    I think that’d be a lot of work to photoshop for really no reason. I’d say it’s more likely that it’s just the same guy in both places. They are both Philadelphia teams, afterall. If it’s a ‘shop, why would they go through the effort of switching the side of his face with black paint, rather than just leaving it and turning the orange into green?

    Undercover cops at Seahawks games dressed in opposing teams gear to catch unruly fans…faaaaascinating!

    If that dripped into the college ranks, can you imagine? Entire student sections would be emptied. Police dressed as Michigan fans in Columbus, OH at an OSU game would have to call in reserves!

    “Undercover cops at Seahawks games dressed in opposing teams gear to catch unruly fans…faaaaascinating!”

    It almost sounds like entrapment to me. “Your honor, I never would have sucker punched that undercover officer sitting in front of me if he hadn’t forced into it by wearing that Niners jersey!”

    I hope this catches on. Sportswriters have been documenting the increasing level of danger to fans who wear opposing team jerseys to stadiums. This would be a great (and fairly simple) way to curb that.

    I still wouldn’t recommended you wear blue to a Giants-Eagles game. (Even at the Linc… not so much as the Vet, but still.)

    Re the high school football helmets on display today: one uses Miami’s “U” while Pascagoula uses the Padres’ wordmark “P.” Curious as to the nickname of the school with the interlocking “SJB” monogram.

    As a skins fan I wish they would change their name just so I don’t have to keep hearing the liberal media pretend to be offended everyday.

    Ah, yes. The protestors in Green Bay this Sunday will all be members of the “liberal media.” And they’ll all be “pretend[ing].”


    Its not just limited to liberals or members of the media, but I agree with Holy_Cal that one of the annoying aspects of such a movement is the people who seem to jump on the issue as a bandwagon fan and feign disapproval. Its the same type of people that protest BPA even though they don’t know what it is, or start bragging about their love of edamame or hummus simply because they heard Kelly Rippa talk about it.

    I’m not questioning the validity of the fight, just the degree to which some people pretend to care about it (and other causes) because it’s in vogue or “politically correct”.

    Unless you’re a mind-reader (in which case I suggest you do something more lucrative with your superpower than hang around on a uniform website), you have exactly zero idea whether someone is “feign[ing]” disapproval or “pretend[ing]” to care. So let’s not toss around that kind of accusation, shall we?

    If there are certain types of people who you dislike, that’s fine. But just because you dislike someone doesn’t automatically mean he or she is wrong. Stick to discussing the message, not the messengers.

    Nice straw man.

    Nobody’s saying there’s no liberal media. It’s just that the accepted idea that the mainstream media has a liberal bent is a myth. Or, we’ve calibrated our viewpoints to accept that whatever is reported in the mainstream press is “liberal”.

    The American press is so liberal that Democrats have been endorsed by a majority of newspapers a whopping 4 times in the last 21 presidential elections. You just don’t get much more liberal than encouraging people to vote for Mitt Romney, George W. Bush, Bob Dole, George HW Bush, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Dwight Eisenhower, Tom Dewey, Wendell Wilkie, Alf Landon, and Herbert Hoover.

    Maybe with Goodell’s comments we’ll finally see the antiseptic NFL have the foil they’ve been missing since Al Davis passed (actually a few years prior to that, back when he was a real rebel).

    Kinda like the NASCAR of old … maybe we’re hankerin’ for a showdown between Snyder and “everybody else.” Batten down the hatches, it could get interesting.

    Me, I believe it might actually be good for the sport and society. I hope Snyder doesn’t kowtow to public pressure anytime soon. At the same time, I hope those who are offended/opposed continue to voice their concerns. It’s good for the civic soul!

    Also a decent sized column in today’s USA Today where columnist Christine Brennan (who was a Washington Post beat writer covering the Washington football team back in the 1980s) joins Peter King and the rest who have decided they will no longer use “The R word”.

    “… While looking for something else, I stumbled upon this absolutely magnificent 1953 Cardinals scorecard cover design. Yowza! … ”

    Be still, my heart. As the great James Brown once said, Please, Please, Please. Please. If anybody can direct me to an online version of this cover that doesn’t include the nubbly corkboard background and the trapezoidal shape, I would be so bleedin’ chuffed.

    That ’53 Cardinals’ cover is great. But the artist apparently didn’t get the memo that the Redbirds changed the order of the thin inside stripes from Red-Navy-Red to Navy-Red-Navy back in ’51.

    Thanks for suggesting that the readership make a blood donation if they are able to do so.
    I have standing appointments several times a year as well, including today.

    OK, so…. green at home, white on the road for the rest of the season, except for a game in Miami where they’ll wear green on the road. White pants for the first month, then either green or white the rest of the way.

    Seems that this has been the M.O. just about every year, so it’s not that big a deal. There’s always hope that we won’t see green-over-green — and maybe, just maybe, we won’t since that was the combo in which the “butt fumble” occurred — but by now we should know better.

    I’m at the point where I actually prefer white-over-green to white-over-white, since [go ahead and chime in here, Phil] they refuse to wear the proper socks with the latter combo.

    Interesting parallel. One of the first things fellow expats explained to us when we moved to Amsterdam in 2003 was the answer to the universal newbie question, “Why are they chanting for Yoda! at the soccer stadium, and what’s up with the opposing fans hissing like snakes?” Turns out Holland is not riven with bitter nerd-gang rivalries between Star Wars and Harry Potter fans. Rather, local soccer fans had long associated their league-dominating Ajax team with a Jewish identity, including using the Israeli flag as an unofficial team symbol, singing Hava Nagila, and calling their team (and fans) the Jews or the Super-Jews. “Jew” being “Juden” in Dutch, pronounced similarly to Yoda.

    Which is all well and good, except in response, opposing fans across the Netherlands had taken to hissing in response to Ajax chants, to mimic the supposed sound of Nazi gas chambers. And also chanting pro-Nazi, pro-Hamas slogans. A common refrain: “Hamas! Hamas! Gas the Jews!” Remember, Amsterdam had a large Jewish population that was virtually wiped out in the Holocaust. (You may remember a certain young girl’s diary.) Ain’t soccer fun?

    Anyway, league and even civic authorities had tried for years to stop opposing fans’ disgusting anti-Semitic behavior. Round about the time we moved there, everyone pretty much gave up and instead tried to get Ajax fans to stop with the whole Super-Jews thing, on the theory that if Amsterdam fans stopped being pro-Semitic, everyone else would eventually stop being anti-Semitic. We left in 2005, so I don’t know if the effort eventually succeeded. I do know that up until the day we left, the street in front of our apartment would be filled after games with Ajax fans waving Israeli flags and wearing blue-and-white scarves along with their red-and-white jerseys, so the effort hadn’t worked yet.

    Similarly, here’s what’s going on at another European club that, for reasons obscure and possibly inaccurate, has become known as a “Jewish club” and whose supporters revel in the association — Tottenham Hotspur:


    A large percentage of Spurs call themselves “yids” and “the yid army.”

    So,some fans want to ban the word and some want to embrace it.

    Very interesting parallel indeed. I’ve heard similar horrific stories of football fans in Latin America, chanting ethnic, religious, and twisted historical epithets that make references to something like “redskin” sound positively quaint.

    Haters gotta hate — and apparently sport loyalties often make this painfully easy.

    “Super-Jews” seems particularly weird, though. Almost like it was set up that way.

    That seems to me to point to a subtle difference between American versus most other sporting cultures. In the broadest terms, Americans tend to be fans of sport first, fans of teams second. In world club soccer, people seem more often to be fans of their team first, second, and even last. I know people who are absolute diehard fans of particular English, Scottish, Dutch, and German football teams who also claim that they don’t actually enjoy the sport of soccer all that much outside of cheering for their team.

    This is a very broad generalization, of course, and there are plenty of exceptions. But even the exceptions seem to prove the rule: Pretty much all other American sports fans despise Philadelphia fans, but usually can’t quite put their finger on why. I submit it’s because Philadelphia fans tend to be more European-style team tribalists rather than American-style sports fans. Witness the frequent sight of Philadelphians who obviously barely understand and certainly don’t enjoy baseball wearing Eagles jerseys to Phillies games.

    I thought the league telling RG Knee to cover up his brace was weird. But I don’t see how “You can wear the brace how you want” gets misconstrued to “You have to cover up, Bob.”

    The company that made RG3’s knee brace surely isn’t an official NFL sponsor, so the league doesn’t want to give them free advertising. Same thing happened to Dial-a-Down.

    You know kids… They’ll see RG3’s brace and cry out, “I want a knee brace just like his!” ;-)

    “If we are offending one person, we need to be listening and making sure that we’re doing the right things to try to address that.”


    If Goodell is really listening to every person who is offended, I hope he does something about the drunks throwing up at every NFL game. What percentage of fans enter each NFL game drunk and then are served more beer once inside?

    Cutting back beer sales might offend a sponsor, so never mind.

    Brendan Ryan was not high-cuffed last night, IIRC. He hadn’t been going high-cuffed as often when he was with the Mariners.

    Shawn Kelley, who had started going high-cuffed to support David Robertson’s bid to be selected to the American League All-Star Team, was back to the pajama pants last night.

    As for the last Yankee to wear stirrups, that’s a good question. Ian Kennedy may have been the last one.

    I was listening to the Dan Patrick show on the way into work this morning and he was talking about Peter King, et al., no longer using the name “Redskins” to refer to D.C.’s professional football team. Patrick indicated that he would be talking about the issue in a later segment on today’s show. He prefaced the tease by asking; “should journalists be activists?”

    False dichotomy. Journalists should still be citizens, and they should also have standards. If a journalist’s standards tell him that a word is derogatory, he should be free to avoid using the word (except in quoted matter). Even if it’s a proper noun! That’s not necessarily “activism.” That’s just having standards and being a citizen.

    Also, most of sports journalism is deeply implicated in activism. It’s just that the run-of-the-mill activism of sports journalism is pro-sports and pro-team boosterism. It’s inherent in the practice of covering a commercial industry as a distinct entity. Imagine if a newspaper had a banking section, with its own editor and staff, where beat reporters provided daily updates on the goings-on at Citi, Bank of America, and JP Morgan, all premised on the assumption that it’s good news for each bank to succeed. No one would fail to recognize that coverage as pro-bank activism, even if one agreed with that bias and approved of the coverage.

    All true. In addition, it’s important to point out that America (and the world) has a long tradition of advocacy journalism. It’s not a stretch to say that the American revolution — among many other important historical landmarks — might not have happened without advocacy journalism.

    I think many people mistakenly believe “journalist” is the same as “reporter.” A reporter is one kind of journalist, but it’s not the only kind. There are also critics, columnists, essayists, etc., all of whom are freer to express their opinions. Indeed, for these other types of journalists, expressing their opinions is part of their jobs.

    Great point. The Federalist Papers are a perfect example of advocacy journalism. Presidents Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and the other Adams all practiced advocacy journalism. Advocacy journalism was a key part of how President Lincoln made his early name in Illinois politics and achieved the national prominence that won him the 1860 Republican nomination. President Harding was a professional advocacy journalist before being elected to the Senate and then the White House.

    Though the Harding example is maybe not the one to use to sell anyone on the virtues of American advocacy journalism!

    Damn, I was just “reporting” what I heard Patrick say on the air. I didn’t assign any value to what he said. See what I did there?

    Apologies! I thought it was obvious that I was contesting Patrick’s dichotomy, not your reporting of it. Sorry if I should have been more clear.

    It’s all good. I was sorry that I didn’t get to hear Dan Patrick’s actual comments. If I can find them, I’ll send them to Paul and see if he wants to post in the ticker tomorrow.

    BTW, following up on Paul’s response, I don’t read King or Brennan but I guess that they are more akin to essayists than reporters according to Paul’s definitions with which I agree. But I wonder then the propriety would be if the Redskins’ beat reporter(s) refused to use the actual name? I guess that’s more of an ethics question than a uni inquiry.

    Just saw a replay of The DP Show, a very lengthy and interesting conversation was had about the Washington Football Club and the choices many journalists/commentators/reporters are making regarding using the name.

    “White-out on tap this weekend for the Texans. It’s worth remembering that the Texans originally unveiled white helmets prior to their first season but then changed to blue. Those white ones would look good this weekend, no?”

    No, they wouldn’t. Not sure why everyone likes the storm trooper look.

    For the record: I hate the term “storm trooper.” Football players are neither Star Wars characters nor Nazis.

    As for the visuals, I don’t love solid-white per se. But I’ve always had a soft spot for that white Texans helmet. Wish they’d gone with that instead of the blue.

    Well… all white with a white helmet looks better than all-white with a dark one. They really need to quit screwing around and just wear the navy pants like they’re supposed to.

    Brendan Ryan went low cuffed/baggy last night. It was probably an extra set they had, so the Yanks may be sending a custom pair to Boston for the weekend.


    This thing with the Mets not being able to wear first responder caps during the game yesterday doesnt sit right with me. Was this New Era flexing muscles or MLB enforcing “the rules”? Do they think they’ll lose money? Couldn’t New Era just make the hats? Either way it’s d-bag move.

    “Like it or not, the Redskins name is here to stay. It’s going to take a lot more than politics to change it. Is the name disrespectful? In this case it’s in the eye of the beholder. I’ve read different articles where some Native Americans like it for its recognition of the culture, others despise it for its disrespect. It’s like African-Americans using the “N-Word” for each other, and yet when heard from another culture, it’s disrespectful. In the end, it’s all big business anyway: Someone just needs to find a name that makes money and this whole controversy will be a thing of the past.”

    They’ll let any idiot write a coulmn these days…

    Hey Paul,
    Big fan of the “washington football club” and we’ve talked before. At this point I know many other fans of the team and I are getting more excited about the change because we want the focus to be on the performance of the team (OK, well maybe after Monday nights game some deflection never hurt) but it’s a great point. If in the next 5 years Washington can make it to the Super Bowl we don’t want to hear about the “Redskin” name, just about our team. In addition I’ve heard many other ideas for names and designs. I would be totally comfortable with them keeping the uniform or a similar style (sans logo on the helmet) and anything that will still fit in the words to “Hail to the Redskins.” The only thing that would probably really turn off the fans is if Snyder went the route of the Bullets and completely made over the team to call them the DC Dragons or the Washington Federals or something that a marketing company would say has positive scores. Snyder being a Washington fan I’m hopeful does not take that route, however I am in agreement, if it offends, let’s change it but still find something that fits the brand identity of the team.

    Sorry I meant to say Snyder being a Washington fan his whole life (obviously he is a fan of the team he owns)

    Don’t worry, Dan, no marketing company will ever say that “Federals” has positive connotations!

    HTTR will take more than just shoehorning a new name into the main line. Even a minimal rewrite will likely feel extreme at first. Such as,

    Hail, hail, Americans! Hail Victory!
    Freedom advancing! Fight for old DC!

    Except, something better to fill the five-syllable gap left by “Braves on the warpath!” But recall that the switches from “Fight for old Dixie!” to “Fight for old DC!” and from “Scalp em!” to “Beat em!” stirred up a lot of aggro at the time, but are uncontroversial now. The same could be true of the switch from Redskins to Americans/Warriors/Pigskins/whatever, if it’s handled well.

    Then again, the list of people I wouldn’t trust to manage such a transition well pretty much runs,

    1. Donald Trump
    2. Jeff Loria
    3. Dan Snyder

    I once heard the suggestion of Washington “Redhawks” to replace the Skins. I like that one as a Skins fan. Plus, lyrics to “Hail to the Redhawks” wouldn’t need to be dramatically altered.

    I once heard the suggestion of Washington “Redhawks” to replace the Skins. I like that one as a Skins fan. Plus, lyrics to “Hail to the Redhawks” wouldn’t need to be dramatically altered.

    I would say that having 2 bird teams in the same division would be silly, but then the Cardinals were in the old NFC East for decades, so… yeah.

    Also, Washington Redhawks was used a team name in the Blitz: The League video games. I don’t know if that would present a problem or not.

    I was thinking more on the lines of the Chicago Blackhawks, than I was birds. This way they could still keep a Native theme without using the Redskins moniker.

    I still like that brilliant submission to this site of a new name – Washington Americans — employing the same colors, logo, and lettering of the current model.

    ^^ Yes.

    I think that’s the path of least resistance with the fans, and it gives Snyder and the NFL plenty of space for all the “feel-good” speak they’ll spew to save face.

    I’m all for Americans, too, though I retain a soft spot for Pigskins. The DC Council has advocated for Redhawks, so Snyder has probably already written “NEVER” in caps in his notes on that one.

    But the logo has to change with the name. Perhaps not by much, and not to abandon Native imagery entirely. But instead of a generic Indian’s severed head, maybe use the visage of the Native American who stands atop the U.S. Capitol as the symbol of freedom, with her thoroughly awesome headdress:


    (OK, technically the statue wasn’t intended to depict an Indian or a native headdress. The feathered headdress was added when Sen. Jefferson Davis – yes, him – objected to the original design with a liberty cap. That could be seen to imply that the figure had been a slave but was now free, and Sen. Davis didn’t cotton to even the subtlest celebration of emancipation in the Capitol. Still, Freedom’s headdress hits all the right notes: It references and honors Indian culture as integral to the highest American ideals, but it’s an original creation and not the “cultural property” of anyone other than the entire American citizenry.)

    But the logo has to change with the name. Perhaps not by much, and not to abandon Native imagery entirely. But instead of a generic Indian’s severed head, maybe use the visage of the Native American who stands atop the U.S. Capitol as the symbol of freedom, with her thoroughly awesome headdress

    It’s not a severed head, with its implied violence and murder. It’s a standard profile. Are the portraits of Lincoln, FDR, Washington, etc. on our coinage severed heads?

    OK, I was kind of kidding with the severed heard thing, but DJ prompted me to take a look at our coins, and wow, it turns out the Redskins logo is even worse than I realized. The busts of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt on American coins all have convex curves at their bottoms, and two of the four have collars and clothing below their chins. Like, you know, classical busts that we’ve all seen in museums, because that’s how a normal human being does a portrait of another person.

    Whereas the Redskins logo is concave – the curve in the neck goes up toward the ear, even though the head appears within a circle just like the presidential portraits on our coins. So all kiddi aside, the Redskins logo is basically the psychotic serial-killer version of a normal portrait bust. So yeah, it’s a severed head, and it needs to go.

    Plus, objecting to the idea of replacing some generic cartoon Indian head with the Statue of Freedom is pretty bizarre. Why, because freedom is a bad thing? Or just because one hates America? What, exactly, is the problem with replacing a badly drawn cartoon Indian with the actual national symbol of American freedom – or, as the artist originally named the statue, “Feeedom Triumphant in War and Peace”? You’d pretty much have to believe that freedom should be defeated in both war and peace to object to that.

    I wonder what the Disney/licensing situation is. Does Disney still a stake in the team? Is Disney OK with them using the throwback logo (has that already been OK’d in the tem purchase agreement or whatever)?

    Just wondering.

    I’m looking at the Sports page of the PG today showing the Pirates celebrating after completing a sweep of the Rangers (Sorry Metroplex peeps).

    They appear to have their standard alt caps on… since the game was on during the day, I was at work and didn’t see any of it. Also didn’t watch any other baseball on the evening.

    Did all the teams not participate?

    I don’t think they should change the Washington football team’s name. After all, it is a perfect symbol of the team’s glorious past. They were the last NFL team to integrate and only did so because of pressure from the Federal Government. Former Redskins owner George Preston Marshall once said, “We’ll start signing Negroes when the Harlem Globetrotters start signing whites.” Nice!

    You can read more about what an idiot Marshall was in this ESPN article: link

    Concerning the picture today of the helmets adapting the USNA helmet template- does the team on the left have a Native American name, thus the feathers? I’m just sayin’….


    I like the idea of a blood donation. In recent years, I have seen promotions asking people to do something positive on Patriots’ Day. So maybe MLB and the NFL would wear an American Red Cross patch on their unis/caps/helmets in honor of all of the innocents who died as a result of the 9/11 attacks.

    Wish I had a link, but last night I caught Keith Olberman discussing the MLB’s refusal to let the Mets wear first responder hats during the game. I didn’t get all of it but to sum up, he thought it was ridiculous the MLB would do that and pointed out that the MLB and the other major sports organizations let teams wear all sorts of silly shit, so why not a tribute for something of such obvious significance? It was a good point.

    Haha I wish. No, I’m just a big Hitchhiker’s fan. Also, Valjean, I’d late. As In the late Dent, Arthur Dent. Yes?

    According to Hawk Harrelson, he’s also: the first person to ever eat a Mike and Ike, the missing Lindbergh baby, and the only man to stuff 4 baseballs in his mouth at the same time. I trust nothing he says.

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure Nellie Fox was using a batting (golf)glove way before Hawk Harrelson even thought of it. They

    Who was the first catcher to catch one-handed (keeping his throwing hand away from the mitt for protection)? Johnny Bench?

    No, it was Randy Hundley, as Johnny Bench himself will tell you. Bench was the first famous practitioner of that art.

    Harrleson’s use of a batting glove might be similar. You could inquire as to whether he knew Fox, or his story.

    You know, growing up in Chicago as a Cubs fan during the 70’s and 80’s, I got to see a lot of the Cincinnati Reds and always kinda liked Johnny Bench (I wouldn’t root for him against my boys, though). Turns out that Johnny was very, very good friends with quite a few Cubs players from the 60’s and early 70’s. During HOF weekend last year when Ron Santo was inducted, Johnny was beside himself with both joy (that Ron was inducted) and sadness (over Ron not being able to be there). He wore a Cubs hat nearly all weekend – which seemed to really irk the Cincy fans there to honor Barry Larkin – and talked non-stop to any/all Cubs fans he saw about Ron and his pals on the Cubs from back in the day.

    So, to finally get to the point of the comment, it doesn’t surprise me that Johnny readily gives credit to Rebel.

    Bummer on those Edmonton Oil King teasers. They always had a delightfully old fashion appearance on the ice, now the teasers are indicating they are doing an about face, super modern look.

    Awesome about your blood donations! Thank you as it is always needed in hospitals. Hopefully others will follow your example.
    Good news about the Washington football team as well. Derogatory nicknames or comments have no place in sports or society.

    The Auburn basketball uniforms are not new. They were last year. The number font on the 11 is smaller than the past, but that’s it.

    I think the digits in the #11 are the same size as the other digits, but they’re too close together, which makes them look smaller.

    That picture “indicates that people are becoming more aware of how Native American mascots are inappropriate..” Are you freakin’ serious? Not sure how many games you’ve seen over the past 4 decades or so, but people have been maiming the opposing teams’ mascots on spikes, arrows, etc for a long time now. I saw a Bears game once where the opposing fans had a stuffed bear wearing a small Bears jersey in a noose. By your logic, the opposing team thinks the use of the word “Bears” is offensive. This is the ultimate case of using an obscure picture and telling the readers that it proves your point. Unless you talk with the guy in the picture and he says that his point was to demonstrate against the use of the word “Redskins”, you should be VERY ashamed of yourself! And you should take the picture down. The use of that picture, without a statement from the guy in it agreeing with your point, is by far the worst thing I have ever seen on this site.

    Pretty sure people weren’t sending Paul that photo (I did so myself, and I guess I wasn’t alone) because we believe the gentleman (?) in question is stabbing a Native American mannequin head because he believes the term “Redskins” is offensive.

    The fact that there is a team named “Redskins” however leads to tasteless actions like the one being demonstrated. Eliminate the name, and in all likelihood you’ll also make it far, far less tempting for fans to use Native American imagery in an inappropriate and tasteless manner.

    Yeah, he wouldn’t have a decapitated indian head, he’d have a stuffed bear in a noose, or a dead bird, or something. So he’d still be a jackass, but hey, no native imagery involved. All better, right?

    I’m pretty sure an animal head on a spear has the same cultural relevance or impact as an Indian head on a spear.

    An interesting take on the Redskins from my POV. My grandmother is Native American. She is involved in her tribe actively. No one has ever come to ask them if they are offended or if they have any issue with Native American team names or mascots and they are a major tribe. As she told me, the people most offended seem to be white people looking for things to be offended about or other Indians looking to raise money. She said no tribal member she knows is even remotely offended and actually take pride in such things because team names are a badge of honor and not a mark of disdain. She does think, however, as do I, Redskins could be and should be changed but it could still be an Indian mascot just done more correctly. Involve a specific tribe directly with their help and approval for instance.

    I’ve been using ’Skins for months now. Got the idea for the DC City Paper, which is now referring to the team as the Pigskins, which reduces nicely to ’Skins.

    I will sometimes use the full name when it’s called for in a journalistic capacity. Example: “A high school whose teams are called the Redskins is being urged to change the name.” That sort of thing.

    I also use the full name on first mention in my ESPN work, because that’s our house style (at least for now).

    Interesting item from A Texas artist created a statue of two vast and trunkless legs of stone, as described in Shelley’s poem Ozymandias, which locals keep vandalizing by painting on striped socks. Apparently in local high school football team colors.


    I’m not sure whether to be offended…or to say, “that’s pure awesomeness.”

    Loved the Eric Burdon quote on the base of the statue.


    I’m guessing that the quote is part of the graffiti, not the statue.

    Also, that song was first written by Horace Ott and first recorded by Nina Simone. The Animals version is a cover.


    via CBS Sports and John Breech the whole quote was:

    “If one person’s offended, we have to listen,” Goodell said, via the DC Sports Bog. “And ultimately, it is Dan [Snyder]’s decision. But it is something that I want all of us to go out and make sure we’re listening to our fans, listening to people who have a different view, and making sure that we continue to do what’s right to make sure that team represents the strong tradition that it has for so many years.”

    also written was “If Snyder’s not willing to change the team’s name, it seems like Goodell is basically saying the league can’t do anything about it. ”


    It’s not really fair to put Adidas and Nike logos on the “Apocalypse” banner since they already are on the uniforms now.

    I wish they’d have to pay to sponsor each team that way multiple brands could be used. I dislike the Nike/Adidas/Reebok only monopoly we live in now in pro sports. Bring back the late 90’s competition! That and Starter (back when they made good stuff)! Although I could do without Puma again, they had terrible appearal lines with the NFL.

    It’s not really fair to put Adidas and Nike logos on the “Apocalypse” banner since they already are on the uniforms now.

    They’re not on the NBA’s uniforms, which have no maker’s marks.

    The high school selling it field naming rights is nothing new in Southwest Ohio. There are numerous examples of high schools who had renovations, usually turf sometimes whole stadiums, paid for by a hospital group. We have Care Flight Field, Good Samaritan (hospital name) Field, Kettering Health Network Field and so on and so on. The hospital money seems to have dried up because no one has had new name in about 5 years.

    My two favorite NFL teams are the Bears and whoever is playing the Packers.
    Go Chicago Bears, Go Washington Redskins.

    I think Washinton should change their name to “Americans”. Plain and simple and this problem would be gone overnight. No need for a new logo or uniform changes.

    I honestly feel Paul cares more about not offending Natives than actually helping Natives.

    Tribes are struggling all over the nation and this could have been an opportunity to send much needed resources to those tribes in exchange for the Redskins name.

    Instead, Paul wants all Native American imagery shuttered up so we can all go back to forgetting they even exist and in many cases, need our “real” help.

    Thanks Paul. You “really” helped Natives here.

    I see. So the best way to draw attention and “much-needed resources” to Native Americans is to make them mascots.

    According to this “logic,” we should also have teams/mascots called the Homeless, the Battered Wives, the Poverty-Stricken, the Chronically Ill, and the Orphans.

    Because we all know the best way to help a disadvantaged group is to name a sports team after them. Otherwise, their imagery is “shuttered up” and we all “forget they even exist.”

    Not only that, but Native Americans, as bad off as they are, would be even WORSE off if not for teams like the ’Skins and the Indians providing a channel for “much-needed resources.” Hell, those teams should get a medal!


    my Native American grandmother wants to know why whites who despise native mascots seem to treat native Americans as some monolithic people. As she says, someone from tribe X doesn’t necessarily represent tribe Y’s views. it is why they are nations and have their governing bodies. for example, a Lakota tribe can’t be offended by Seminoles as a mascot. it isn’t their call. it would be the Seminole nation who gave approval for it. yet in the media, primarily white media types, treat natives as a singular people. To my grandmother that is far more offensive.

    Also, why are Phil and Paul speaking for all native Americans here? As a Native American of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians (Ya guys, we call ourselves Indians), I don’t remember them calling me asking if I’m offended? They’re condescending tone with supporters of the name as if somehow they speak for those who are offended. I’m a Native. I belong to a tribe. I’m NOT offended by this and saw this as an opportunity. But thanks to you and others like you, this opportunity will be lost and the only people that will feel better are you.

    Meanwhile, my tribe and many like it will still struggle with basic needs like education and public health. Where will you be than? You don’t care, you just want to feel guilt free.

    It’s disturbing that people like Phil act holier than thou when it comes to offending someone. Yet don’t even realize they just stole another opportunity from Native Americans and took another step forward in erasing Native American culture.

    Again, I thank you Paul and Phil. We as Natives love being told how we feel and think and love seeing any resemblance of our history and traditions erased so YOU can sleep at night.

    I don’t speak for Natives (or for Phil). I speak for myself. I’m allowed to have an opinion on this subject, just as you are — just as anyone is. Were blacks the only ones allowed to have an opinion on slavery or Jim Crow? Are Jews the only ones allowed to have an opinion on anti-Semitism?

    If you knew anything about my work on this topic, you’d know my position has little to do with the use of Native imagery being “offensive,” and more to do with the misappropriation of cultural imagery.

    If you disagree with my position, that’s fine. But I’d appreciate it if you could at least avoid mischaracterizing it.

    Paul said his piece (most of which I’m 100% in agreement with, so I won’t reiterate it) very well.

    I hadn’t mentioned this, but this past summer our office took on a new employee. I didn’t know it until about 2 weeks ago, but he was adopted and is (I believe) of 100% Native blood. It’s funny, because I don’t speak much of my UW activities with the office, but I do often speak about the issue of the misappropriation on names and symbols of Native Peoples; without my knowing he was adopted (he didn’t confide in me for a couple months), he spoke eloquently and at length at his complete displeasure and repulsion at teams like the ‘skins and Braves. He isn’t a huge fan of Cleveland due to Wahoo.

    He does, however, completely agree with teams like the Seminoles, Chippawa and Utes working with local tribes to foster a positive relationship and image. I agree with that and told him so. I did so not knowing he was an American Indian, although it wouldn’t have mattered to me knowing that.

    But, you ask (or state) that I and Paul haven’t spoken to any Native Peoples (since you obviously speak for all, right? Just as you say Paul and I speak for all whites), but yet I now have. And he’s repulsed by the name and imagery associated with the Washington football club, and the imagery of the Braves and Indians. I asked him how he felt about the names. While he finds neither “offensive” on the face, the images associated with those by the teams and fans turns him off.

    When he finally confided in me his race, I asked him whether he felt (as is Paul’s position) whether he feels the whites have misappropriated his cultural imagery (yes) but does that bother him (no).

    So, his position is basically that if done in a respectful manner, in consultation with Native Peoples, there is room to celebrate the heritage and symbols (and symbolism) by all. But he rightfully draws the line at the disrespectful and racist name of the Washington football club. He’d also prefer the Braves and Indians change their names if only because there seems to be little inclination (by the Braves) and a very slow (but steady) effort (by the Indians) to remove the offensive imagery from their uniforms.

    I hate to continue to beat a dead horse on this issue and if you’ve noticed, I rarely comment anymore about this matter. But I just may end up interviewing this young man for the blog at some point.

    Phil this is my Native American grandmother’s view. she thinks having native nicknamed teams can be a positive when done with the tribal people. but even that. has issues. North Dakota got approval of at. least one Lakota tribe to use Sioux but others didn’t. Natuve culture is not monolithic. grandma says it should be done only by the closest predominant tribe. it can really be a positive for the tribe to share its culture and traditions.

    Here is my tribe Paul.


    As you can see, we’ve accepted the misnomer and made it a part of our culture. We’re not offended. But thanks for telling me how my tribe thinks.

    You’re blinded by your supporters and opinion and fail to see the entire picture. Yes, it’s offensive to some. But what good comes from erasing Native American imagery? What good comes from eliminating an opportunity for struggling tribes?

    Please. Stop assuming you speak for all Native Americans. You don’t. You speak for the few that are offended, but the vast majority of those offended probably couldn’t even tell you where there closest tribe is.

    Please don’t tell me I’m “blinded” when you know nothing about me.

    You can go back and read my other responses to your comments now. And when you’re done with that, you can read this:

    Then we can at least have a real dialogue, instead of you responding to what you mistakenly think my position is.

    I’ve said my piece. I’ll move on. Just explaining how many Natives feel about your “progress”. Isn’t that input important?



    College athletes wanted to be super heroes. Under Armour has grated that wish: (H/T Darren Rovell on Twitter)

    Jeez, talk about One More Bumper Sticker.
    I knew that Under Armour had a licensing deal with Superman, Batman, and Captain America, because that stuff is very much available at retail at my local Dick’s Sporting Goods. And clearly, UA does Texas Tech and other college football teams.
    But Superman AND Texas Tech? I think we have a Uni Watch analogy to the filet mignon + lobster tail = “surf and turf:” here we have two items that might not combine for the best taste on one plate, but definitely form the most expensive item on the menu, so the consumers must assume it’s awesome.

    A uni-notable anecdote during the Red Sox-Rays tv broadcast on NESN tonight. Derek Lowe has been doing color commentary for the Sox during their trip to Tampa, and play-by-play announcer Don Orsillo discussed Lowe’s Boston career including his Game 7 start against the Yankees in 2004. Lowe said that his game shoes went missing some time between the end of Game 6 and the start of Game 7, so he pitched that night in a pair of off-the-rack $19.99 Reeboks from The Sports Authority. He added that he was under contract with Nike at the time, so he had to black out all the markings on the shoes.

    U of Texas asks local high school in my area to change logo…too similar to the horns they display. Very small county school.


    Funny thing is we have another local school that’s used the Raiders logo for years and one other that just started using the new Boise State Broncho logo on their helmets last season.

    I don’t know if it’s the lighting conditions, my TV, or both, but the Jets’ sleeves almost look like they’re the right color.

    Wow, brings back memories seeing the old Star Week cover. Star Week was – I guess it still is – the Toronto Star’s TV listings magazine.

    Check out this interesting episode of WNYC’s Radiolab about donating blood. Its pretty interesting, in realtion to your post.


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