I am Mr. Joseph, and I am a fan of the Washington Redskins.
I’ve rooted for the Burgundy and Gold for about 25 years. My start was a bit ostentatious; I started rooting for them when news of Doug Williams being the first black quarterback to start a Super Bowl became prominent. Looking back on it, it was a silly reason to start rooting for a team; that being said, I decided to roll with it. In case you’re not an amateur NFL historian like myself, Washington ended up winning Super Bowl XXII by the score of 42-10, and it brought a second Lombardi Trophy to the Nation’s Capital.
I continued to root for them sporadically over the next four years, as I wasn’t that big of a football fan growing up. All of that changed with Super Bowl XXVI; Washington would come out on top by a score of 37-24, and I credit that with the rebirth of the relationship with my sister. So, I’ve been with the team through the Joe Gibbs era, the sights of RFK Stadium rocking as Washington came on top, the Richie Petibon mistake (nice guy, though), and the Daniel Snyder takeover.
I rooted for the team when Gus Frerotte decided that the best way to celebrate a touchdown was to run head first into a brick wall, Stephen Davis ending up on the losing end of a Michael Westbrook punch, the not-so-fun n’ gun of Steve Suprrier, Tony “fumblitis” Banks, the greatness of Terry Allen, the Donovan McNabb debacle, and the beginning of the legend of one Robert Griffin III, aka Bobby Three Sticks.
Now, at this point, I’m sure you’re wondering why I felt the need to go through the living history of Redskins lore; don’t worry, I’m about to get there now. Bear in mind that I don’t bring this up lightly, but it has to be said.
It’s time for the nickname “Redskins” to go away.
The nickname itself is derogatory in and of itself, and it hearkens back to a simpler, more bigoted time. The team was initially known as the Boston Braves, before owner George Preston Marshall changed the name to “Redskins” in honor of then-coach Lone Star Deitze who claimed to be part Sioux. Maybe he was, maybe he wasn’t; the fact of the matter is that it’s an uncomfortable nickname from an uncomfortable time.
Now, let’s take a look at the logo.
Once upon a time, the logo was supposed to be majestic. Now, it’s just unpleasant. In fact, the team has an alternate logo that would be tons better.
Granted the spear would be awkward, but it’s a little better than the Indian head.
Now, I wouldn’t expect this to change overnight, because that would be stupid. You don’t change over 80 years of history in an instant. Instead, it could be a gradual thing. Switch logos first, then work on the team name. And, if you’re clueless as to what to call the team, I’ve got just the answer…
The Washington Sentinels.
If you’ve seen the movie The Replacements, then you know who thee Sentinels are. If you haven’t, then…watch it first. I’ll wait.
All done? Good.
In case you decided to yank my crank instead of simply going to YouTube, the Sentinels are the movie version of the Redskins, and it’s loosely based on the 1987 NFL strike. It’s a stupid fun movie, so watch the bloody thing already.
Anyway, Dan Snyder has more money than a God at this point, so it should be nothing for him to pony up some cash for the rights to the Sentinel name, logo, and color scheme.
This is just my thought process; your mileage may vary.