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WHAT’S IN A NAME?

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Apparently everyone has decided to ignore my suggestion for replacing the odious nickname of the Washington NFL franchise. Now that owner Dan Snyder has agreed to get rid of the R-word slur that has stained the team since 1933, my idea would be to call them the Washington Crows in honor of the meal that Snyder was required to eat. What was it he said in 2013? Oh yeah: “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”
It’s too bad that the pro football squad down the road is already calling themselves the Baltimore Ravens. If that R-word was available all he would have had to say is “NEVERMORE”!
Not that Snyder had been influenced by the anti-racist movement that has captured the American imagination right now. Whether it’s a fad or whether it’s a commitment, after so many centuries we can believe it’s for real and long lasting when we see it.
Nonetheless, it has reached the corporate consciousness, and top executives of NFL investors no longer want to be associated with a brand whose name is a study in bigotry. So they hit Snyder where he lived, which is to say in his wallet. Credit FedEx, Nike and PepsiCo with threatening to stop the flow of millions of dollars that are a key part of the profits. Suddenly, Snyder had the league’s rug pulled out from under him. The league and the commissioner made it clear that unless he relented he’d be standing out there with his obnoxious mascot by himself. So he caved.


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He announced a “thorough review” of the name. As if it hadn’t been thoroughly reviewed over the decades. It didn’t take long, and as a result the team announced it would bag the R-word and choose something else once they review all the trademark complications. Which means whatever they chose, somebody will have to be paid lots of money. Although highly appropriate, the crow moniker never had a chance. They had already decided that whatever they choose would no longer offend Native Americans, and there is a Crow tribe who would probably be irritated.
Meanwhile, Snyder and his wealthy buddies are figuring out how to make this profitable. There will be expenses, like getting rid of all that discredited team logo merchandise. I believe that properly marketed, the franchise could sell it all as collector items, like Confederate flags. Then there will be all the new stuff. What self-respecting football fan in the area wouldn’t want a new jersey and hat for him- or herself and all the kiddies, with the name of their favorite player stamped on it along with a new logo? Knowing Dan Snyder, he’ll also be selling face masks with the new logo. Come to think of it, as attached as he was to the old name, maybe he’ll have a bootleg line with the old one.
Of course, fans won’t be going to any NFL games this year. The plans are to play the season for TV only, perhaps with canned cheering. As an avid sports fan, I’ll certainly watch, at least until I get bored. I will have had my practice seeing baseball as World Series champion Washington Nationals defend their title. Although there could be the same possible boredom problem.
More important, there’s a real danger the players might get COVID. With the unpredictability of this pandemic and the gross mismanagement of it by our government leaders, it’s entirely possible they’ll have to terminate their season not long after they start, just as governments are now being forced to re-shut down what they just reopened.
In professional football, Dan Snyder has a new project: He’s dealing with sexual harassment issues in his organization, serious allegations. And, of course, he might want to field a decent team, which he mostly has failed to do in his 21 years of ownership.

© 2020 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 18, 2020 4:43 AM.

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