Young fans don’t remember Marquette University sports teams being the Warriors any more than they do Miami of Ohio being the Redskins.
Oh, but it’s true, boys and girls.
St. John’s once used Redmen as its nickname, and Stanford athletic teams until 1972 were referred to as the Indians.
Tick ... tick ... tick ... Washington Redskins, you’re on the clock.
Same goes for you Central Michigan (Chippewas), Florida State (Seminoles), Carthage (Red Men), North Dakota (Fighting Sioux), Southern Illinois (Salukis), William & Mary (Tribe) and all other so-called offenders pulled over by the political correctness police.
Our society has become so thin-skinned that it’s only a matter of time before the nickname of every college and professional team gets placed beneath the proverbial microscope.
Iowa State professor with too much time on his/her hands: “We need to get rid of Cyclones. People in this state have died in tornadoes, you know.”
Colleague at Southeastern University in Florida: “I feel the same way about Fire. I mean, really.”
A voice at the University of South Florida: “A great uncle on my mom’s side of the family was gorged in the Running of the Bulls. Who do I call to get this changed?”
People looking long and hard enough for a reason to disagree with something will come up with an argument:
Brooklyn Bridges (a fear of heights and water). Arizona State Sun Devils (non-Christian sounding). North Texas Mean Green (not polite-ingly correct). Richmond Spiders (disdain for insects). Toledo Rockets (not a fan of the space program).
Not being Native American, I don’t profess to being an authority on how offensive or non-offensive terms such as “Redskins,” “Seminoles” and others are to products of such ancestry.
Washington owner Daniel Snyder in time will find himself weary of addressing this group or that and will change his football franchise’s nickname — the one in place and so far unchanged since the 1930s.
Snyder’s smartest-guy-in-the-room mentality will force him to take it all the way to the 13th hour. Eventually, though, he’ll cave.
When that day comes, Washington will need a backup plan. A nickname hopefully representative of the area more accurately than Bears (Chicago), Rams (St. Louis), Lions (Detroit) and Bengals (Cincinnati).
Here are a few possibilities:
The Washington Snyders. If the Cleveland Browns can be a tribute to former coach (Paul Brown), an owner should be able to get into the act. The difference being that Snyder’s arrogance might mean his likeness on the side of the players’ helmets. Nobody wants that.
The Washington Burgundy (or Gold): Colors don’t often stir emotions, so why not go with one of the franchise’s two primary ones. Gold actually has kind of a cool ring to it.
The Washington Gibbs: All three of the Super Bowls claimed by the franchise — 1982, ‘87 and ‘91 — were with Joe Gibbs as head coach.
The Washington Jurgys: A tribute to still-popular former quarterback Sonny Jurgensen, whose 11 seasons (1964-74) resulted in four of his five Pro Bowl invitations.
It’s been said owners and general managers always have a list of potential head coaches should the current one not pan out as planned.
Let’s hope Snyder feels the same way about nicknames.