Bob Costas hater

Name haters get a “two-fer” with Chiefs at Redskins

Because when you don't want to think about the Redskins game prospects, you can always talk about the name controversy.

When the Chiefs visit the Redskins at FedEx Field today, the name protesters will have a two-for-one opportunity to malign two team names. I wonder if they have the nerve to show up on a raw, Mid-Atlantic  wintry day. Thirty-three degrees in DC feels worse than 20⁰ in Chicago or Detroit. It's no snow job that the upper-Midwest's drier climate makes 30⁰ in Minneapolis more comfortable than the same temp in Baltimore. (TRUST me on this.)  

The Chiefs and the Redskins are the two biggest targets of the name-changers.  MLB's Cleveland Indians is another target. The campaign has led to some hilarious hair-splitting.

The Kansas City Star does not use "Redskins" to describe the Redskins. Example: Chiefs-Washington scouting report. Yet many Native Americans consider it blasphemous to their culture to use "Chiefs" as a team name. Chief is an earned title, perhaps a religious one, too.

But "Chiefs" is not anathema to the KC Star for the same reason that Redskins is not to the Washington Post. WaPOST's customers would pitch a fit if the paper banned the term. The Post is happy to let some of their columnists wave this flag. The Post can keep a foot in both camps that way. Fence-sitting isn't always safe.

The Chiefs argue that the team is named in honor of former KC, Missouri, mayor Harold "Chief" Bartle ‒ an argument oddly similar to the Redskins claim of naming the team in honor head coach William "Lone Star" Dietz.

Old Kansas City Chiefs logo
Yeah, right. The Chief's original logo looks just like Mayor Bartle.

Like Bob Costas, Cleveland Indians owner Larry Dolan says he's not like the bad people.

When defending the use of his own mascot to Cleveland name-protesters, Dolan quipped, “If we were the Redskins, the day after I owned the team, the name would have been changed.”

Cwazy Wabbit. If anything, the other side is more incensed at the Indians' use of Chief Wahoo and of the Atlanta Braves' Chief Noc-A-Homa than they are at the Redskins' logo. Dolan may be relenting some. The Indians appear to be quietly phasing out Wahoo.

Maligning Redskins while defending your own use of a Native symbol is sanctimonious hair-splitting that won't satisfy the other side of the fight. When Suzan Harjo, who is at the root of this movement, was asked if there were any instances where Native American-inspired mascots are appropriate, she forthrightly said, "Nope."

Harjo is the only honest player on the other side. That puts her a leg up over Bob Costas and Dolan.

I suspect Harjo is not a sports fan and does not "get" why mascots mean something different to fans than it might to an oppressed minority. As Hog Heaven contributor Scott Hirsch put it, the accusation says more about the accuser than the accused.

Redskins were fighters. That's why the name fits.

More to the point is the reason Harjo and company targets the Redskins.

“The Washington team  it’s the king of the mountain, when this one goes, others will.” ~ Suzan Harjo

Harjo doesn't care how the word redskin originated, or how The Redskins apply it to football entertainment, or whether teams use the mascot to disparage anyone other than Cowboys. It's immaterial to her goal.

Only Indians should control Indian images says Harjo. The real goal of her law suits against the Redskins is to change federal Indian policy (her words) for trademark law ‒ which is clearly on the Redskins side.

Trademark law does more than allow Washington to sell "official sponsorships." The law gives to the Redskins alone the right to define what the brand means when used as a sports brand. The team itself must use the brand to disparage for it to lose trademark protection.

Harjo would change all that. If she wins the case, she will apply it against the Chiefs, Braves, indians and Warriors merely for the word. Fans of those teams have more skin (not used an a racial way) in the game than they realize. Her non-Native, PC-biased, superficial-thinking supporters are buying into her argument without knowing it.  

The protesters lose points with me and fans of these teams with their narrow, dogmatic refusal to follow the Native American aphorism, "Never judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins."

When they open the conversation by disparaging the sincerity of our ties to the team and its images, we tune them out.

If Dan Snyder caves on this, you are Harjo's next victims, Messrs. Hunt and Dolan. I wonder if Costas knows that?

Well, I have to give a prediction.

Does anyone really expect a Redskins win today?

Hog Heaven opens these write-ups with a comparison of QB passer rating. Alex Smith is having a better year than Robert Griffin III, but only because he protects the ball better. Aside from that, the performance is closer than you think.

Robert has a more effective No. 1 receiver in Pierre Garcon than Smith has in Dwayne Bowe. Bowe is very good though and, like every other receiver, must drool at the prospect of going against the Redskins' secondary.

Alfred Morris will have a tougher time against the C-words defense than Jamaal Charles will have against the Redskins.

So everything's on Griffin's shoulders. All things considered, it's a push with Smith today.

The Redskins are -3 in turnover differential.  The C-words are +14, largely because Smith takes care of the ball the way RG did last season.  

The Redskins are decent on third-down stops. They only allowed 35.9 percent of them to be successful. They are Titanic movie-bad on fourth down. Opponents converted 75 percent fourth-down attempts against the 'Skins. The C-words allow fewer successful third and fourth-down conversions.

The Chiefs are doing well playing a fourth-place schedule. The Redskins are not up to a first-place schedule. If these trends hold, Washington is in deep doo-doo.

When asked if the Redskins will beat the C-words, the Hog Heaven Magic 8-Ball says, "It is decidedly so."

Like the Redskins, the 8-Ball has committed too many errors this season to be taken seriously.

Verdict; The Kansas City Football Team

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Anthony Brown

About Anthony Brown

Lifelong Redskins fan and blogger about football and life since 2004. Joined MVN's Hog Heaven blog in 2005 and then moved Redskins Hog Heaven to Bolguin Network. Believes that the course of a season is pre-ordained by management decisions made during the offseason. Can occasionally be found on the This Given Sunday blog and he does guest posts.

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