The Washington Football Team That Must Not Be Named

Play associated audio

Anybody who possesses a scintilla of good taste (and/or decency) is against the Washington football team using its longtime nickname. I don't have to scrounge for Brownie points by getting all indignant about it.

The one person who is most adamant about keeping the name is Daniel Snyder, who owns the Washington football franchise, and who appears to be either especially stubborn, or insensitive or both.

The obscene nickname is, of course, Redskins, and increasingly it's been suggested that we in the media should stop saying or writing it.

It's certainly an original proposition. We would, however, get tired of just hearing "Washington" all the time. Nicknames are such a useful alternative in sports. However, maybe we could say the "D.C.-ers" or the "Columbias" or even the "Snyderers." After all, the Cleveland team was named Browns after its coach, and even "Snyderers" is a nicer name than "Redskins." Well, barely.

Or, even better, we could all — not just the media, but everybody — take a lesson from the Bible. If you remember, the people wanted to build a tall tower up to heaven, but this displeased the Lord, so he made everybody talk in different languages. They couldn't communicate, so they had to stop building the tower, which was in a place called Babel — or, as some people now call it, the House of Representatives.

Anyway, I think rather than not calling the Redskins anything, we should all call them whatever we want. You might call them the "Federals" or the "Presidents" or the "Lobbyists" or whatever. You could call them the "Muskrats" or the "Skunks" or the "Nincompoops." You could call them the "Who" or the "Whatzits." You could call Mr. Snyder's team whatever your heart desires, except what Mr. Snyder wants. The team and the franchise would get lost in the chaos ... just like that tower.

To hear Frank Deford's commentary, click the audio link above.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Gene Wilder, Star Of 'Willy Wonka' and 'Young Frankenstein,' Dies

The actor and writer who brought his signature manic energy to comedy classics reportedly died at his home in Stamford, Conn., of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 83.
NPR

A Chocolate Pill? Scientists To Test Whether Cocoa Extract Boosts Health

Chocolate lovers may agree cocoa is the food of the gods, but how strong is the evidence that it boosts heart health? Researchers are recruiting for a new study aimed at answering this question.
NPR

Huma Abedin To Separate From Anthony Weiner After New Sexting Allegations

The longtime Hillary Clinton adviser said she made the decision "after long and painful consideration and work on my marriage."
NPR

FAA Expects 600,000 Commercial Drones In The Air Within A Year

The soaring number of drones for hire is forecast in response to new federal rules that simplify and streamline the process of getting government approval and certification.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.