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Washington Redskins: 1937–2020

Good morning! Greetings from Uni Watch HQ, where all three inhabitants continue to be safe and healthy. Hope the same is true for everyone at your home.

Now then: Multiple news outlets began reporting last night that the ’Skins will make it official this morning and announce that they are retiring their team nickname. The move comes 10 days after the team announced that it was conducting a “thorough review” of its name, and 11 days after several of the team’s major business partners began exerting financial leverage in support of the name change.

Different media outlets, all citing confidential sources, have reported slightly different things about today’s announcement:

• Sports Business Journal, which was the first to break the story, said that the announcement will only be about the retirement of the current name, with the new identity to be announced at some unspecified point in the near future.

• The Washington Post also said that today’s announcement would only involve the demise of the current name, not the unveiling of a new one. According to the Post, that’s because “the preferred replacement name is tied up in a trademark fight.” (Earlier in the day yesterday, before the reports of this morning’s announcement, NBC Sports had a good piece on a trademark squatter who was complicating the team’s identity change.)

• ESPN also said the new name would not be forthcoming today but added one noteworthy detail: “[T]he plan, as of now, is to retain the franchise’s use of burgundy and gold colors.”

USA Today, however, said the team plans to “announce the retirement of the ‘Redskins’ nickname and reveal a new team name Monday morning.” To my knowledge, they are the only outlet reporting that today’s announcement will include the unveiling of the new team identity.

• Yahoo Sports did not specifically report on today’s announcement but said that “the league has asked teams to begin scrubbing ‘Redskins’ from their platforms.”

So that’s where we stand. It’s not clear exactly when this morning’s announcement will take place, but I’ll update this post once the team issues its statement. While we’re waiting for that, the Post has a good breakdown of how we got to this point.

Update, 9am Eastern: The announcement has been made. It confirms that the team “will be retiring” its name and logo, although it’s phrased in the future tense, not as something that’s effective immediately. No word on what the new team identity will be or when it will be released:

Since they did this on virtual ’Skins letterhead, and used the existing team name in the headline, I guess you could say that the legacy name is still current/active/etc. But it’s now just a lame duck, a placeholder, a dead name walking, until the new name is finalized.

(My thanks to our own Brinke Guthrie for the link to the trademark squatter story.)

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Loop-de-loop: Reds pitcher Luis Castillo is the latest MLBer to be spotted wearing his uni number on his belt’s built-in loop. As you may recall, we Ticker-linked last week to photos of Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman doing likewise. So that’s apparently a new thing this year.

The weird thing is that they’ve made the built-in loop white. That loop normally matches the color of the belt. They could have kept it that way and printed the uni number in white, but instead they’ve made the loop white. That looks okay in the Castillo and Stroman pics, because they were both wearing white pants, so the white loop on the belt sort of mimics the pants’ existing white loops. But I think it’s going to look really weird if this white-looped belt style is worn with grey pants on the road. Hmmmmm.

(My thanks to Joanna Zwiep for spotting the Castillo loop number.)

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Alphabetically speaking: Got an interesting note the other day from reader Jordan Richardson, as follows:

Given that so many colleges and universities use a single letter as their logo, I wondered if a full alphabet exists. I limited myself to Division I schools and discovered that 25 of the 26 letters are represented as single-letter logos.

The one exception surprised me: J. A few schools do use J in their logo, but they all use it in conjunction with other letters (James Madison’s “JMU” logo for example).

Wondering about those 10-point Scrabble letters? The Q is a secondary logo for Quinnipiac University, and the Z is the primary logo for Akron.

Really fun little research project there by Jordan! Is there a D1 J logo that he somehow missed..?

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Like a splinter in my brain: As MLS has returned to action, one thing that’s really been bugging me is the lowercase “is” in their current tournament name.

That’s incorrect title case. In the phrase “MLS is back,” the word “is” is the predicate, the verb. If you’re going to render it in title case, where the rule is that all verbs are capped, then “Is” should be capped, even though it’s only two letters. It appears that they may have styled it incorrectly because it reads better that way as a hashtag — #MLSisBack (instead of #MLSIsBack) — a classic case of the tail wagging the dog.

This has also created a confusing situation for media outlets. Most coverage of the tournament has parroted the incorrectly styled name, and I can see an argument for doing that — that is the official name, after all. But there’s never a [sic] or any other indication that the styling is incorrect, so the rubber-stamping the incorrect version just reinforces title case illiteracy among the populace.


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Pin reminder: In case you missed it last week, the Uni Watch Pin Club’s July design — a bobblehead pin whose head actually bobbles! — is now available.

This one is a limited/numbered edition of 500, and we’ve already sold through more than half of them. Here’s a closer look:

Again, the July pin is available here. Here’s how the monthly series of pins looks so far (click to enlarge):

Need to get caught up? Here are the January, February, March, May, and June pins. (Sorry, April is sold out.)

And remember, if you order multiple pins and get hit with multiple shipping charges, contact me and I should be able to get Teespring to give you a partial shipping refund.

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Caps reminder: In case you missed it last week, Uni Watch headwear is back! All fitted sizes of the Uni Watch Classic Cap (above left) are once again available, and our cotton “gold circle” strapback cap is back for another round of orders as well (that one will likely be available only for this week, so move fast).

My thanks, as always, for your consideration!

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Mask update: The response to Uni Watch masks has been overwhelming. After the first batch of 85 masks sold out in a mere 40 minutes a few weeks ago, the second batch of 300 sold out in about a day and a half last Thursday and Friday! All of the Uni Watch profits from this batch are being donated to Feeding America, so your purchases last week raised $1200 for them — nice!

The most incredible thing about this is that these masks have been provided free of charge by ProLook Sports. I didn’t ask them to do this; in fact, I’d never even heard of ProLook until their COO, Dan Mullins, got in touch last month to say, “I just made a bunch of Uni Watch masks for you — where I should I send them?” After the first batch sold out in no time flat, I offered to pay for a follow-up order, but Dan insisted on doing the second batch for free as well.

Now that the second batch has sold out, Dan has generously offered to do yet another batch free of charge. How amazing is that? We may do a different design this time around, just to change things up. Either way, it’ll likely be a few weeks before we’re ready to take orders again, so stay tuned until then. (If you’d like to be notified when the new masks are ready, shoot me a note.)

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New photo project: There are things I very consciously collect because the act of collecting them feels like a creative project (salesman sample catalogs, pencil sharpeners, recipe booklets with the word “Meat” in the title, etc.), and then there are things that I just seem to accumulate a lot of because I like them.

Case in point: I have a lot of vintage short-sleeved green plaid/checked shirts (you might even call them my, uh, uniform). I don’t exactly go hunting for them, but when I see one, I think to myself, “Oh, that’s nice,” and then I’ll buy it if the price is reasonable. Each time I do this, the Tugboat Captain says, “Don’t you already have a shirt just like that?” and then I have to say, “No no no, this one is completely different from the others, can’t you see?”

So while I was rooting through my closet the other day, an idea occurred to me: For how many days in a row can I wear a different vintage short-sleeved green plaid/checked shirt? I started on Friday, so I’m currently up to three days/shirts. I’m documenting the project on Facebook and also in this Flickr set. (As you can see above, I decided to take mirror selfies, which maybe wasn’t the best idea, because our house’s only full-length mirror is in a poorly lit hallway [putting the mirror there also wasn’t the best idea], but that’s the format and I’m sticking with it!)

This will be a short project — we’re not talking dozens of shirts or anything like that. Probably about 10, I’m guessing. Still, it’s always fun to wear my favorite color, and it’ll be interesting to see all the designs side by side by side. Also, the final photo will have an interesting twist, with a Uni Watch connection! Stay tuned.

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“He hates these cans!”: One of the best things about living in NYC is having access to assorted furtive/underground art events. One of the worst things about the pandemic has been the disappearance of those events, and of live events in general.

So I was super-excited to attend a furtive “bike-in theater” screening of The Jerk that took place on Saturday night in the parking lot behind a business I won’t name because they didn’t know their lot was being repurposed for the evening. The organizers provided chairs and bags of popcorn, we brought beers, everyone spread out for pandemic safety, and there was an intermission featuring video of Steve Martin playing banjo. Cars were not welcome (the invitation, channeling Orwell’s Animal Farm, said, “Two wheels good, four wheels bad”), so the scene had that nice indie/DIY/autonomous “can do” vibe that urban cycling tends to provide.

Okay, so it was just a few dozen people watching a movie. But for a few hours, it felt like New York again.

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The Ticker
By Paul (pinch-hitting today for Jamie Rathjen)

’Skins Watch: The Atlanta Braves have sent an email to season ticketholders, including longtime Uni Watch reader/pal Marty Buccafusco, indicating that their team name will not be changing and that the tomahawk chop is “one of the many issues that we are working through.” Although the email carried a date of Friday, July 10, I hadn’t heard anything about it until Marty forwarded it to me yesterday afternoon, at which point I then tweeted the email’s “View in browser” link. I guess nobody else had seen the email by that point either, because my tweet quickly became the basis for this ESPN newser. Surprised the email hadn’t already been circulating by then and that it hadn’t been accompanied by a public statement from the Braves. … A Utah town is debating whether the local high school should still call its teams the Braves, and things have gotten a bit more bitter after the mayor gave a rather inflammatory response to a resident who inquired about local teens wearing Native headdresses and red face paint at local events (from John Ewanowski). … The sponsor of a youth football team in Ypsilanti, Mich., plans to stop his financial support if the team doesn’t stop calling itself the Braves.

Working Class Wannabes™: A football player being recruited by LSU says, “Me and [offensive line] coach [James] Cregg had a real nice conversation about why he likes me as a player. He says I’m a blue collar type football player. I’m nasty, I get the job done, I’m big, athletic.” … An article about fans’ proposed new names for the Cleveland Indians included a whole category of Working Class Wannabe™ names, including the Union, the Blue Collars, the Ironmen, the Painters, and the Industrials (from Mike Menner). … The packaging for a pro wrestling action figure toy describes the wrestler as part of a “blue collar solid tag team” (from John Freeman). … An article about the 1992 Team USA Olympic basketball team describes Christian Laettner as “blue-collar Laettner.” … An article about the top NBA players in the Orlando bubble describes the Miami Heat as a “blue-collar bunch.” … An article about Toronto Maple Leafs player Zach Hyman describes him as “one of very few top-six, blue-collar NHL players.” … Edmonton Oilers communications veep Tim Shipton describes one of the team’s players, winger Zack Kassian, as a “blue-collar, fan-friendly guy.”

Baseball News: At least two MLB players — Astros IF/OF Aledmys Diaz and Yankees OF Clint Frazier — say they intend to wear masks on the field when the regular season starts. Of course, we’ve seen lots of players wear balaclavas in cold weather, so masking up on the field isn’t unprecedented, but it’s probably never happened before in July (from Ignacio Salazar and David Strauss). … Here’s an aerial shot of the construction progress on the ballfield that will be used for the Chisox/Cards “Field of Dreams” game next month (from Kary Klismet). … With Canadian health officials not yet giving the green light for regular season games in Toronto, the Blue Jays are exploring the possibility of playing home games in Buffalo instead. … The latest episode of the great podcast Sidedoor, which I’ve recommended before, is about the history of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Did you know that the familiar version played during the seventh inning stretch is actually the chorus of a much larger song about an independent-minded female baseball fan? I didn’t! … Following up on a Ticker item from last week, the Dodgers have added a black tarp to improve their new batter’s eye after Max Muncy blamed a recent hit-by-pitch injury on not being able to see pitched balls against the backdrop (from Kary Klismet).

College Football News: Here’s the first look at Cam Newton’s brother, Caylin Newton, in his Auburn uniform.

Hockey News: NHL season ticketholders are being invited to record chants and cheers supporting their favorite teams and players. Those recordings will then be cobbled together into faux crowd noise that will be played during games when the season resumes. The fake noise will be played in the arenas themselves, not just as part of the TV audio feed.

NBA News: Bucks G Kyle Korver will wear “Black Lives Matter” instead of his NOB when the NBA season resumes, and Nets G/F Joe Harris will wear “Equality,” but Lakers F Anthony Davis is sticking with his standard NOB. Davis is the second high-profile Lakers player to go that route, following teammate LeBron James. … Here’s a video showing social distancing-themed logo variations for all 30 NBA teams (from Mike Chamernik). … The Basketball Hall of Fame has just wrapped up a major renovation. … You know the de facto fashion show that happens as NBA players arrive at the arena for a game? That won’t be happening in the Orlando bubble, where players will reportedly have to arrive at the game in uniform (thanks, Brinke).

Soccer News: Lots of leaks yesterday, including the new Pumas UNAM away kit, the new Stoke City home kit, and the new Bayern away kit. … New shirt for New York Red Bulls II. … Since the telecom company Three UK became Chelsea’s shirt advertiser, the team has had lots of games involving three goals (from @TexasTrevor). … Tottenham MF Giovani Lo Celso’s NOB didn’t look quite right yesterday (from Jeff Wilk). … The Chicago Red Stars honored police brutality victims on their warmup gear yesterday (from Mike Chamernik).

Grab Bag: Ever heard that line about needing to pee “like a racehorse”? That presumably explains this urinal splash-guard brand name (from Jon Solomonson). … A man wearing a firefighter’s uniform stole an ambulance in Chicago. … Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton raised his fist in a Black power-style salute while standing on the podium yesterday following his latest win. … New mascot, logo, and school colors for the new Viera (Fla.) Elementary School (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: Here’s a ranking of the newly released uniforms in the Premier Lacrosse League. … Branding experts say racialized brands like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s need to do more than just change their logos in order to achieve lasting change.

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What Paul did last night: Just as I was snapping this photo, the Tugboat Captain was swatting a mosquito. They were out in force yesterday — the first time we’ve been seriously bothered by them during Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ session. We keep some insect repellant on the porch for such situations but prefer not to use it if we don’t have to. Unfortunately, we appear to have reached the part of the summer when it may be necessary.

Meanwhile: See how interesting the Captain’s drink looks? She made herself some white sangria — not really my thing, but it sure looks purty:

As always, you can see the full set of daily Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ photos, dating back to mid-March, here.

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Teaser: I have something very special on tap for tomorrow. If you’re a longtime reader, you won’t want to miss this one. And even if you’re a relative newbie, I’m pretty sure you’ll still get a kick out of it. See you then. — Paul

Comments (129)

    Agreed. Someone on this site mentioned a few days ago that even though it’s a change worth making, it represents a paradigm shift for the Washington fans and it’s really asking too much for them to be happy about it.

    I really hope the Redskins keep their current uniforms. It’s a beautiful and classic uniform. Paul mentioned this before, they can just change word mark above the jersey number and the logo on the helmet and call it a day. If the Redskins decided to produce new uniforms, I don’t trust Nike to make something pleasing to the eyes. I still have nightmares over the Falcons new uniforms.

    If their new name begins with an R (Red Wolves, Redtails, etc), I’d love it if they repurposed their classic R helmet logo minus the feathers. I always thought it was an underrated helmet logo.

    Agreed. Despite Brittain’s wonderfully thought out proposal (and the likely palatability of the name to those who are/were anti-name change), I am not in favor of this name.

    agree 10000000000% the last thing we need is another military pandering display by the nfl, but I’m sure that’s where it’s going

    I think it will be Redtails, which could pander to the military since the Redtails were the Tuskeegee Airmen.

    However, the Airmen were part of the U.S. Army at the time, and Washington DC is very much influenced by the nearby U.S. Naval Academy ….

    That is the only military pandering I could get behind. It was pointed out earlier that the Redtails’ commander was a colonel from Washington, DC, so there’s a fine local connection beyond the “American” connection to our national capital.

    I’m OK with military pandering in this instance, but Warriors is exactly the wrong way to go about it. Sentinels, Defenders, Commanders, Generals, Redtails, Continentals, Warthogs, Grunts, Doughboys, Operators, Dogfaces, Seals, Red Berets (historically, Airborne soldiers used to wear burgundy berets), Leathernecks, Admirals, almost literally any military-related term would be fine with me. But “warriors” is problematic on its own with regard to the usually boring but critically important field of civil-military relations in Washington.

    And yeah, Brittain’s Warriors proposal was awesome. So good in fact that it would work for almost any military-themed name so long as the team includes the word “Washington” in its name.

    The 82nd Airborne Division still wears the dark red berets.

    It’s a worldwide tradition, which started with the British in WWII. The legend goes that the color was picked by the author Daphne du Maurier, who was married to the paratroopers’ commanding officer.

    I think “Warriors” would be problematic since it would possibly offend all of the other fictional New York street gangs from the Walter Hill movie that don’t have NFL teams names after them (although it would be odd to have a football team named “The Baseball Clowns” regardless).

    They were “the Furies” (not “Baseball Clowns”). Nice try, though.

    On the one hand it’s unfortunate that they’re going to have to pay a ransom to some trademark squatter in order to get the name they want, but on the other hand, it serves them right. ;)

    For a pro team to go nameless for a year is not unprecedented; the former Baltimore CFL franchise did that in the mid-’90s due to a dispute with the Irsays over “Colts” (they ended up going with “Stallions” briefly before moving to Montréal and reviving the Alouettes).

    I still like “Renegades” but if they’re really jettisoning the American Indian motif entirely, I think I’d like “Generals” because the USFL team’s link would look great on that helmet, and I’d rather they have to negotiate with the Harlem Globetrotters than with trademark squatters.

    Someone else suggested “Warthogs” to me, which is kind of an ugly name but the link is the coolest thing ever and would make a great logo (“Thunderbolts” might be good too, although it might clash with the Chargers being called “‘Bolts”
    for short, as with “Redhawks” vis-à-vis Seahawks).

    There is recent history of teams going nameless in a similar situation.

    A few teams that dropped the Redmen name a year ago went through their most recent seasons nameless. McGill University in Montreal still has not picked a replacement for all men’s sports teams. In Ontario’s Senior “A” lacrosse league, Major Series Lacrosse, the former Brooklin Redmen are still going by Brooklin Lacrosse Club. Understanding is that there were to pick a new name but no news about that. This would have been season 2 as Brooklin LC had they been playing right now.


    The University of North Dakota retired their Fighting Sioux name in 2012 and just played as North Dakota for a few years before announcing the new Fighting Hawks name in 2015.

    Just to add what the fans prefer, North Dakota hockey games are still filled home and road with fans wearing “Sioux” jerseys and other gear. The Hawks name has been decoded as “How About We Keep Sioux.”

    If you can explain how calling your team Sioux is an insult to the native Sioux tribes, I’m all ears. Does Notre Dame insult Irish people? Do the Yankees insult all American citizens who are nicknamed Yankees?

    Sigh. Nobody said “Sioux” was an “insult.” (Ditto for any of the other names you mentioned.)

    What we have said — and what the Sioux themselves said — is that the name is not the school’s to use.

    Serves the team right, but as much as it indicates a failure of corporate governance for the team not to have had an alternate identity and a rollout plan already prepared and ready to use on short notice, it’s also par for the course. There’s a lot of IP squatting out there, and while most of it wouldn’t stand up to litigation, it’s usually cheaper and faster to just cut a check and settle with the squatter. Identify possible litigants and pay them off is SOP for this kind of major branding effort.

    Warthogs somehow suits the colors for me. As much as I like burgundy and gold, that’s a weird color scheme for an overtly military/patriotic-themed team based in DC, where everyone else is bright red and navy (or black for DCU). And the A-10 (technically the Thunderbolt II) is an endearing plane, for a military aircraft. The Pentagon has been trying to retire the plane since the early 1990s, but it just keeps chugging along despite not being based in politically important places, despite its manufacturer not even being in business to do any lobbying, despite multiple attempts to replace it with more expensive new aircraft, despite the last one rolling off the assembly line 36 years ago, and despite its original mission having been made obsolete decades ago. It’s an ugly plane that does two things really well, everything else really badly, and the Pentagon keeps trying to scrap it but failing to do so. It’s currently slated to remain in service into the 2040s, when it will be 70 years old.

    Plus, Warthogs lends itself nicely to headlines & memes about 30-50 feral hogs.

    I think it’s a beautiful plane. ;)

    I’ve only ever seen one of them in-person, at the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island; the Intrepid doesn’t have one, the Midway (in San Diego) doesn’t have one, even the Smithsonian doesn’t have one (at the Mall or at Udvar-Hazy).

    There was an Air National Guard unit with A-10s based in my hometown in Iowa back circa 1980, and sometimes when we’d drive out past the airport the Warthogs would be flying practice missions. Being overflown by a pair of A-10s on takeoff or flying 1,000-foot maneuvers produces a distinct feeling in the chest that you don’t forget.

    “Ugly but deadly and unstoppable” is close to the platonic ideal of things a gridiron football team would want to name itself after.

    Paul, with Washington dropping the Redskins moniker, what will you call the “Skin’s Watch” portion of the ticker? Or will it be dropped from the ticker as it no longer requires watching?

    The section will definitely continue, as the issue of Native American iconography in sports is ongoing. Not sure if I’ll give it a new name — it’s something I’ve been pondering.

    Certainly, this is your site, so you can choose how to move forward on ‘Skins Watch name wise, but I feel like (again just my humble opinion) the issue of Washington’s Football Team has been “resolved” -insert MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner, lol- but I think making it an all-encompassing / general name would be a good way forward and maybe something you can involve the Comm-UNI-ity on.

    But ’Skins Watch was never just about the ’Skins. It has always been about the larger issue of Native iconography in sports. The vast majority of ’Skins Watch items over the years have been about high schools (some of which called — and still call — their teams the Redskins).

    I see your point. And again, I yield to you on this, but allow me to raise this point;

    if it’s Skins watch shouldn’t it be JUST teams named the Redskins? If it’s about NA iconography shouldn’t it have a bigger bucket to call them out?

    If their is any truth to the copyright issue then my guess would be they are going with Redtails. The history behind that name would be great.
    If they go Warriors they could just switch to the spearhead logo and call it a day. And I’ve always preferred the spearhead logo / and uniform similar to the throwback they wore in 2002 anyway.
    Either way I am hoping the uniform remains mostly unchanged aside from the helmet logo.

    It’s already been reported that they won’t use any Native iconography, which presumably eliminated the possibility of using a spear or spearhead (thankfully).

    A spear could work, bereft of a feather. Perhaps a streamer forming a “W.” The Golden State Warriors went with a Grecian warrior for a time and no one made any connection to the franchise’s past use of American Indian imagery.

    I don’t think it would work in this case, though. If they were to immediately go with a spear, too many people would think it to be a direct connection with the past, regardless of how many pains they take to claim otherwise.

    I would also go with the darker maroon and gold colors.

    Trademark, not copyright. Two separate, and very different, areas of law; one protects authors from unauthorized use in commerce of their works, the other protects consumers from confusion as to the source of goods and services.

    By way of example, if I designed an original logo for a football team I could probably copyright the logo, and I could probably get it trademarked as well, but I couldn’t copyright the name “Washington Whatevers” because the law would not consider a two-word phrase like that to be a work of authorship preserved in a tangible medium of expression.

    Here’s another way of looking at it: there are “trademark squatters” and “patent trolls,” people who obtain trademarks and patents from the USPTO (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) for the sole and express purpose of extorting licensing fees from businesses that want to use them, but there is no analogous enterprise in copyrights.

    Would anybody be opposed to the team going by “the Washington football club” for the upcoming season? They could go without a logo (Browns, Penn State). Reminds me somewhat of the Rams situation, where they complied with the one shell rule while updating their Brand. Also, reminds me of how teams originally got their names. By journalist deciding to call them by certain monikers “red stockings”. Seems organic!

    No, the blank helmet is Cleveland’s intellectual property. I would like to see a big gold “W” on the helmet, preferably rounded off like Brigham Young’s “Y”, because my name is Walter, and in my head it just looks right.

    Sponsors. LOL. Believe it or not, they’re not a Pop Warner team. Advertisers! Then, a sorry confirmation that the advertisers come first, with the fans *maybe* a distant second, and the community *definitely* a more distant third.

    It seems strange that “Coach Rivera” is involved in this. First off, what does coaching a NFL team have to do with making someone qualified to “develop a new name and design approach”. Also we all know being a NFL head coach for a particular team can be a very short lived endeavor, and we may look back and think it was odd that he had so much to do with re-naming the team. And personally I hope his comments about honoring the military doesn’t play out with this, unless it’s in reference to the Red Tails.

    I also find it odd the Rivera is so heavily involved and mentioned. Given that he doesn’t have some great legacy of coaching the franchise to glory, and could easily be fired after one disastrous first season.
    Presumably the team is asking for feedback from players, coaches, and fans. At the end of the day Snyder is going to make the call, if he is smart he is going to be listening to various stakeholders to hear their thoughts, but it seems a little strange that Rivera would be so prominently involved in the process.

    Usually when coaches are blamed for poor performance and fired, it’s really an issue of the organization having lots of problem well beyond the control of the coach, but he’s sort of the public face and scapegoat. Much easier to replace the coach than to sort out how the entire medical or player-evaluation staff is dysfunctional. Plus, when the problem comes from the corporate office where the people screwing up their jobs are the same ones with final authority over hiring and firing everyone else, which is usually the case for a poorly performing NFL team, it’s much easier for them to fire one coach than to liquidate each other’s jobs.

    So I suspect that loading as much fake responsibility on Rivera’s shoulders suits Snyder just fine. Change the name to satisfy the minority owners and advertisers, make the coach the mascot for the name change, then when the fan backlash hits, blame Rivera, fire him as a sacrificial goat, then keep the new name, having excised the person set up to bear the blame for the change. It would be a very Dan Snyder way to play this out over the next six to eight months.

    I agree-if Coach Gibbs was involved/consulted (I wonder where he stands on this…I’d not be surprised that he’s supportive of the rebrand, given his NASCAR sponsorship relationship with FedEx), any change would surely carry more weight than input from a newcomer.

    Agree 100%. Rivera has been there for about 6 months at this point and hasn’t even coached a game. We can agree at best he’d likely be there maybe 10-15 years whereas this hopefully will be the name for the next 100 years. This is like asking a person you’ve gone out on a date 2x to help you decide on what house to buy.

    I don’t think the coach will be designing a new logo. He will probably be involved with the selection process of the firm and design they select going forward.

    The cynic in me wonders if Snyder is including Coach Rivera in this PR campaign as “cover.” That is, Snyder may think that Rivera, based on his Puerto Rican and Mexican heritage, represents an ethnic minority who will provide a certain amount of “legitimacy” to the name change, while also appealing to the part of the fan base who opposes the name change because of his pro-military viewpoints. Snyder is well-known for finding individuals with claims to Native American heritage (sometimes link link) to serve as his proxies to promote the ‘Skins name, so I wouldn’t put something like that past him.

    The Jackson State University baseball team uses a single J on its hats. But I’m not sure it counts as its logo. link

    Colleges having baseball-only logos has always been one of my favorite uni gems. Does anyone know if there’s been a project about their history/use?

    Watched a few minutes of Soccer games this weekend with fake crowd noise. I find that all sorts of annoying.

    Me too. Without sound is just too eerie. I know it’s fake, but oddly enough it’s not distracting the way that actual natural sound is.

    I happened to see the last ten minutes of Southampton v. Man City, as the home underdog was hanging onto a 1-0 lead. The added routine crowd noise was especially noticeable because it was easy to imagine how loud the Southampton fans would have been every time the ball got cleared upfield. I’d much prefer no sound to fake sound.

    That’s a heck of a tease there at the end, Paul. As a ‘longtimer’, I’m intrigued.

    In reference to the Tomahawk Chop (only referred to as the chop in the Braves’ e-mail) inspiring the players, any group of players that needs people waving their arms up and down in unison to be inspired needs to find some other inspiration.

    Honestly, as a non-Washington fan, Red Tails checks all the boxes for a name change.

    — Honors Tuskegee airmen in a largely black community.
    — Still works well w/ the burgandy and gold.
    — The “R” logo can be recycled.
    — W/ a little bit of tweaking, the fight song can be recycled. “Hail to the Red Tails!”

    Isn’t this essentially the same issue as Chiefs, Braves, Warriors, etc.? “Using something that doesn’t belong to them” to quote our fearless leader. I understand the majority of the players are Black, and the community is largely Black, but the ownership is mostly white and allowing them to profit off of Black history/culture seems kind of weird, no?

    FYI I’m quite pleased they changed the name and not trying to be confrontational or troll – just trying to flesh this out a bit.

    I would prefer they avoid naming the team after a group of people altogether. While noble, naming it Red Tails comes off like they’re overcompensating the other way after being called the Redskins. There will be people who would say “what about (insert group) are they not worthy to be honored?” as well.

    I have seen a lot of talk about “Red Wolves” which doesn’t roll great at first but the more you hear it it does sound better. They can keep the HTTR song with changing a couple lines etc.

    Even though I have some friends who type HTTR a lot – a lot a lot! – I still habitually read it as “hater” and sometimes have to pause to remember that so-and-so is a Skins fan and it means what it means. Honestly COYS is more intuitive to me, among abbreviations friends use when rooting for their favorite team.

    You’re not alone in being concerned about Red Tails having exactly the same problems as the Native American names. As a white man myself, I can’t speak for them, but I can imagine the Tuskeegee Airmen saying, “I’m not your mascot.” and “You’re not the Red Tails; we’re the Red Tails.” The defenders of the name saying “But we’re honoring you by naming ourselves after you!”, same as they do with the Native American themed names. Would you end up with the same problems of fans who currently dress up as caricatures of Native Americans now dressing up as African American pilots?

    Choosing RedTails as a new name would definitely raise some of the same cultural appropriation/marginalized-group-as-mascots issues that the team’s current (soon to be retired) name has. The major difference is that the team could engage in a concerted outreach with the African-American community (especially in the DC area), and family members of the Tuskegee Airmen to build consensus and get de facto approval to use the name.

    That would definitely bolster the idea that it is honoring a group of people in a way that never sounded true when it was said about the Redskins name. Unfortunately, with Dan Snyder in charge of this project, I fully expect him to blunder through without engaging in that type of outreach or to otherwise bungle the PR on the name change.

    Out of curiosity, would those opposed to the Braves’ name/uniforms be satisfied if they went to their Sunday alts full time, since there is no tomahawk? (Left sleeve patch would need a replacement). As someone who is fairly agnostic about the Braves’ situation, I wanted to get more perspective, and this seemed like a decent compromise to me, but maybe I’m wrong.

    Perusing the stories this morning on the main sports websites, it’s remarkable to me how dumb the reporters and headline writers are in inability to understand the difference between a team name and a nickname.

    I wouldn’t say “dumb”, really – even in these comments people are still referring to R as the team’s nickname.

    There may be a consensus here as to how to refer to team names, but that’s only because Paul has preferences and listed them. There certainly isn’t a general consensus in the greater world.

    I’m sure others have mentioned this but I do wonder if the Washington NFL team is considering Hogs as their new nickname. It is part of the team’s fabric already and pork is a term used in political circles. Seems like it should be an obvious candidate at least.

    I heard on sports radio that the Redskins are not changing their name, they’re just changing their logo to a potato.

    Regarding the Kyle Korver/Joe Harris NOBs.

    Wondering what’s your take on the NBA list of approved slogans that can be worn?

    A controversy has arisen concerning a letter sent by a U.S. senator to the NBA commissioner expressing his concern that the NBA is not prepared to allow slogans that support the Hong Kong protestors for fear of alienating the Chinese government and jeopardizing its access to the Chinese market. A recent comment by an ESPN reporter only added fuel to the fire.

    I suppose there’s always danger anytime someone attempts to draw a line.

    In reference to “Hashtag Machine Learning Sis Back,” I don’t have a problem with the grammar. It’s never a standalone sentence in a headline, and almost always used as an apposite to a noun or noun phrase (e.g. “the ‘MLS is Back’ tournament”), so the capitalization seems OK to me.

    If I were writing Times headlines myself, I would case an “is” sentence grammatically (“LeBron Is a Statesman for Our Age”) but for MLS’s slogan/hashtag, the capitalization is what the sloganeers say it is.

    I love Jordan Richardson’s project! I don’t know if retired logos are eligible for consideration, but the Manhattan Jaspers had a spectacular secondary “J” logo from 1981 to 2011:


    It’s been a few years since I took IP law in school, but I’m pretty sure the trademark squatter guy will not pose any sort of issue with the re-naming. He has to have some actual bonafide intent to use the names he registered. The registration itself is pretty toothless. He’s just hoping to recoup his investment (which is a pretty terrible moneymaking strategy, FWIW).

    So now that the low hanging fruit is out of the way (Chief Wahoo and the Skins), what’s next as the target of our collective ire? The stupid tomahawk chop seems like an easy one, but that seems like a half measure. I would imagine that the Chiefs, Braves, and Blackhawks are next for some sort of action from the uni community.

    It’s not even a registration, it’s just an application.

    My prediction is that he’ll get a sternly-worded letter about not having a bona fide intent to actually use the mark in commerce and a warning that he’ll be crushed in court (pick your favorite court). Then he’ll give the mark up voluntarily. Or he’ll refuse and get crushed. Either way – no big hurdle here.

    So now that the low hanging fruit is out of the way (Chief Wahoo and the Skins), what’s next as the target of our collective ire? The stupid tomahawk chop seems like an easy one, but that seems like a half measure. I would imagine that the Chiefs, Braves, and Blackhawks are next for some sort of action from the uni community.

    To be fair, I don’t think the “uni community” has a single voice on these issues, as the vigorous debates in Uni Watch’s comments section over several years has revealed. To the extent that certain participants in this community have viewpoints that line up with Paul’s stated positions, teams that use Native American names and imagery are entitled to criticism as long as they use them because those symbols have been appropriated from a culture that didn’t have a say in their use.

    Most of the remaining names and logos aren’t “offensive” in the same way that the Washington football club’s name or the Cleveland Indian’s “Chief Wahoo” logo was. But some of them do engender stereotypes that can be problematic.

    Additionally, a certain segment of the fan bases of teams with Native American identities will always act like those names and images give them license to engage in behavior that many Native Americans feel further dehumanizing stereotypes, represent historical inaccuracies, and demean sacred cultural traditions. This includes wearing face paint and war bonnets, the “Tomahawk Chop,” and fake war chants.

    If teams could somehow police their fans better to eliminate bad behavior, maybe some of the criticism of them would die down. But the only sure way to get rid of it is to get rid of the names and symbols that encourages fans to do these things.

    If there is one team that I would like to see come under closer scrutiny fort its name and logo, though, it’s not a current pro or college team. It’s a high school in the Eastern Plains of Colorado – the Eaton Fightin’ Reds. Their name (in context) and link are every bit as racially insensitive as “Redskins” and Chief Wahoo.

    Unfortunately, the community where the school (with a proud sports tradition that includes numerous baseball state titles) is situated, in the heart Colorado’s socially conservative agricultural region, has been fiercely resistant to change. The current generation has been active in calling for a change to the name and logo, but older alumni have successful in holding off the movement. Here’s a good story about it from Colorado Public Radio:


    I find it pointless to speculate on the next grievance because it reinforces the stereotype that a sports fan’s default setting is when their nose is out of joint. When the issue comes up, it’ll come up and we’ll deal with it then.

    To quell the “tomahawk chop”, play some different music on the PA when the spectators start up, and retire the tom-tom music. I was in a pep band that played it 35 years ago and the name of the team was the Great Danes. Go figure.

    I find it pointless to speculate on the next grievance because it reinforces the stereotype that a sports fan’s default setting is when their nose is out of joint. When the issue comes up, it’ll come up and we’ll deal with it then.

    I agree with every word of this — except the word “grievance,” which is unfair and inaccurate as used in this context and hints at the buzzterm “grievance politics.”

    So let’s be clear: I do not oppose the use of Native American imagery in sports because I am personally aggrieved; I oppose it because I think it’s wrong.

    Big difference.

    The supply of “blue collar” quotes seems to be endless. It reads like a verbal tic at this point. I wonder if/when it’ll ever fall out of favor.

    Yes, I too have been amazed at the sheer volume of entries in the Working Class Wannabees section

    I’m curious about the purpose of that section of the blog. Is it to point out how often this terminology is used? There’s not a suggestion that this is somehow offensive or “not theirs to use” is there?

    Washington DC is very well known for its cherry blossoms and apple orchards hopefully the team recognizes this in their new name, “Warriors” just seems violent.

    Paul, is there a story behind the Hamm’s glass? I, for one, have a great affinity for the retro dad beer iconography, and being from the midwest Hamm’s has a special place in my heart.

    An idea that I like but perhaps no one else does. For this year only just take the logo and name off. They are simply Washington (football team) especially with pandemic and being a weird year why not? Gives everyone more time to come up with a proper name and visual identity

    I have a bunch of vintage glasses of that size, but the Hamm’s glass is my favorite — beautiful multi-color design (and the colors are nicely complemented by the color of lager!).

    There is indeed a good story behind it: A long-ago girlfriend stole it for me from a bar in Wisconsin. 1996, I think. Very sweet of her, but I’ve always felt a bit guilty about that, so I tip extra-well when I’m drinking in the Badger State.

    I like Red Wolves for the new name. Redtails just doesn’t sound like a name for a football team, or any team, for that matter. I’ll take Redtails over Warriors, which seems lazy and obvious, though. It should be something that starts with the traditional R.

    Could be a debate about going one-word Redwolves or two-word Red Wolves? I have seen both versions on social media.

    Am I the only one who cringes when teams who previously called themselves “Redskins” or “Redmen” change their names to something else that still includes “Red” as part the name? I find all the “RedHawks,” “Red Wolves,” and “Red Storm” names to sound lazy and amateurish. And, frankly, they all hearken back a little too easily to the previous name. When you hear one of these names, you kind of always know what the team’s name used to be.

    I agree. Also makes it too easy to keep the existing fight song, which will in turn make it too easy for people to sing the old lyrics with the old name.

    I would think that the only reason they do this is because their uniforms probably have red in them. It’s a lot easier to change a team name than team colors.

    True, but you don’t have to include “Red” in your team name just because red is one of your team colors. The Miami RedHawks could have chosen “Hawks” as their new name and still stuck with the red color scheme.

    Warthogs seems like it’s trying too hard to force “Hogs” into the name. I know, I know, “The Hogs” were fantastic–30 YEARS AGO!

    Those same idiots who still wear hog noses in the stands–let it go. Pick something newer.

    (btw, Dumb Guy is a lifelong ‘Skins fan and is fine with a name change. As long as they wear yellow pants, he will be happy)

    This is not sarcasm. It is a genuine observation. I like how you call taking a selfie of your outfit (shirt) in front of a full-length mirror “a project.” My middle school students consider that a regular part of life.

    Anyway…haha…I think it is just one of many generational differences. I look forward to seeing the entire green shirt lineup.

    If Washington tweaks their unis, I hope they fix the pants stripes on the white and burgundy pants. The 2 stripes (a la Ole Miss and close the the Eagles) always looked incomplete to me. I find even-numbered pant striping dissonant. Their tan alt pants (sans stripes) and their gold pants have more traditionally balanced stripes.

    Never been a fan of aesthetically dissonant stripes on pants. Truncated stripes, graphic stripes (Chargers), and pointy stripes (Jets) are even worse than dissonant stripes.

    No stripes, one stripe (Raiders and Steelers), 3 stripes (Majority of teams and my favorite—Giants still looked best with 3 instead of 5), and 5 (Chiefs red) to my eye all look vastly superior to 2 stripes.

    Anyone else have a preference here on stripe count?

    Re the two-striped pants thing: I was aware of it, but it didn’t really bother me until you mentioned it. Thanks for that! :-)

    My big thing is consistency in striping patterns across the entirety of football uniforms. I think it looks much better if the sleeve stripes match the pant stripes, and maybe even the helmet and sock stripes. I was *okay* with the ‘Skins’ two-stripe pattern since it was consistent across the jerseys and the pants, at least with the white and burgundy sets. The yellow pants look nice with the burgundy jerseys, but I’ve always been acutely aware of the inconsistent striping. Whatever the team does to update their identity, I wouldn’t complain if they standardize their stripes!

    The good ol’ Johnson State College Badgers are the only “J” logo I can find for college. My guess is they aren’t D1. Upon further research, apparently and more appropriately, the official name is Northern Vermont University at Johnson. Nice logo though…

    If you ever create Uni-Watch glasses like the Hamm’s one you pictured above, I’d buy a set of six, like today!


    I kinda wish the Reds would have added a mask to the Mr. Redlegs logo on their jersey. Talk about a one-year only affair!

    I was hoping to have purple Uni Watch masks available but since amnesty day isn’t until next year we’ll probably never see them.

    I was hoping to have purple Uni Watch masks available but since amnesty day isn’t until next year we’ll probably never see them.

    At this point, I HOPE we never see them! Although it’s possible that mask-wearing in public when you’re sick could become the new normal in the US, kind of like it is in several Asian countries. Not sure if it will catch on or not, but that’s about the only reason I would be okay with purple Uni Watch masks for sale next year.

    I gotta say, the Washington Football Team putting out a press release on how they’re not going to use the racial slur as a team name anymore, and then using the racial slur SEVEN TIMES in the press release is pretty on-brand for an organization that has (so far) failed to understand why it needs to change its name.

    There is a high school in Red Mesa, Arizona. It is deep in the Navajo Nation and attended by Native Americans. They honor their sports teams with the nickname “Redskins.” Do they have to drop their nickname that they chose for themselves?

    Do they “have to”? Of course not. The Washington NFL team didn’t “have to” either — they chose to.

    As far as my personal opinion, I’ve said for nearly a decade now that if a Native school on a reservation wants to call itself the Redskins (or Braves, or Chiefs, or Injuns, or Noble Native Savages, or whatever), that’s up to them. It’s their culture, their history — they can do whatever they want with it and define themselves however they choose. But I don’t think non-Natives should be using that iconography.

    But my opinion can’t make anyone “have to” change anything.

    Ok, I’m not an Irish native. I should stop insulting Irish people by using the Notre Dame nickname? Many who attend Notre Dame and cheer for Notre Dame are not Irish. When should Notre Dame be changing its nickname?

    Doug, after explaining this stuff to people who make the same faulty arguments based on the same faulty logic, the same apples/oranges comparisons, and the same straw-man points for a decade now, I’m worn out (plus it’s time for my bike ride).

    If you like, go back and re-read some of my work on this topic (there’s a lot of it). It addresses the points you’re trying to make.

    Stay well.

    Notre Dame, an institution with deep and historic ties to the Irish Catholic community, is celebrating its own heritage with the Fighting Irish name and logos. Since they’ve decided to call themselves by that name, they’ve effectively invited their fans to do the same. The same thing goes with the Boston Celtics and the Irish-American community of Boston, the Minnesota Vikings and the Scandinavian-American community in the Minnesota, etc.

    When George Preston Marshall chose the name Redskins for his team, he wasn’t naming it after his own community or a community with close ties to the team. And the people groups after whom he named the team weren’t given a say in it.

    If Native Americans in Indian Country (or anywhere for that matter) want to name their sports teams the Redskins, that’s their choice. And if you want to root for them with those names, they’d probably be happy to have you. But they should be the ones who get to decide how to name their teams in a way that they feel celebrates their community, just like Irish Catholics at Notre Dame.

    If Irish-Americans are bothered by Notre Dame’s nickname and/or mascot, then I’d say they have some work to do.

    The same goes for non-Irish-Americans.

    Checked back in on the site after being away for a long time and noticed a new section in the blog. What is the purpose of the working class wannabe section? It seems to be a listing of references to “blue collar” players/effort. Is the use of this terminology somehow objectionable? Genuinely curious as I’m having trouble understanding what the issue is here. Unless it’s just that it’s such a common occurrence.

    Apostrophe catastrophe?


    “The American president’s son’s forthcoming book, Liberal Privilege, is subtitled “Joe Biden and the Democrat’s Defense of the Indefensible”. Unless Trump Jr is referring to only one Democrat, then the apostrophe needs to shift one place to the right to make the title grammatically correct.”

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