By Brian Hoffman – Sports Editor
Here it is, day 119 AG. In other words, it’s now been 119 days “After Gobert,” when Rudy of the Utah Jazz tested positive for Covid-19 and sports came to a halt.
This Sunday will be exactly four months, or one third of a year, without NBA basketball, college basketball, NHL hockey, Major League Baseball, or high school, college and recreation sports of any kind. Did you ever think you’d see this?
It’s been the craziest four months of my life, hands down. In addition to the pandemic we’ve had rioting in the streets, long time monuments being torn down and civil unrest like we haven’t seen in a long time. I’m thinking the pandemic is somewhat contributing to the other, as people just don’t seem to be “happy” these days.
A few weeks ago I wrote a column about how it was time to change the name of the Washington Redskins football team. Every so often I’ll suggest this, but apparently this time the people at FedEx, Nike and the United States government must have read my column. FedEx is threatening to end stadium naming rights, Nike has pulled Washington football apparel from its website and congress asserted it won’t allow the team to move from Landover, MD to Washington D.C. unless the name is changed.
“I call on(Redskins owner) Dan Snyder once again to face that reality, since he does still desperately want to be in the nation’s capital,” D.C.’s nonvoting House Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton said in a recent interview.
In my column on changing the name I asked for any suggestions readers might have for a new moniker, and one reply caught my attention. H. Beeler from Craig County had this suggestion.
“The Redskins don’t need a new name, they just need a new logo/mascot,” he wrote. “There is a Redskin variety of peanut. Imagine having a ‘Mr. Peanut’ type figure. This would give the team lots of new products, they could keep the name and be a unique figure among all the wild animals, etc.”
That’s food for thought, so to speak. Everyone knows the peanut industry is big in our part of the country, so I Googled the Virginia Peanuts brand to see what I could find about “Redskins,” and here’s what I found.
“Redskin peanuts are the ones with the red skins still on them. This red skin is between the outer shell and the peanut and it is full of nutrients. For our Redskin Peanuts, we have left this skin intact so you can enjoy all of the added benefits of them. At the end of the process, we are left with the same peanuts but there is a different taste experience for you. They contain a lot of flavor, making them the perfect snack no matter where you are.”
Is this possibly a way out for Snyder to keep the name but become politically correct? I don’t know that the Native Americans would buy it(the name change, not the peanuts), even if they changed the helmet design from the current one to a Mr. Peanut type logo. They could even keep the burgundy and gold colors, with a gold colored Peanut logo on the burgundy helmet.
With a change of logo like that, the team better be good. You wouldn’t want to see a headline like “Redskins shelled by Cowboys.”
There would be some other changes as well. The team could still play “Hail to the Redskins,” but they would have to change a few words. For example. . .
Hail to the Redskins!
Goobers on the Warpath
Peas, for old D.C.
Run or pass and score we want a lot more!
Beat em, shell em touchdown let the points soar!
Fight on, fight on, till you have won
Nuts of Wash-ing-ton, Rah! Rah! Rah!
Hail, to the Redskins!
Goobers, on the Warpath
Peas, for old, D.C.
The team could also play the hit song “Peanuts,” recorded by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, during timeouts. When they host the Giants that would be especially appropriate since they’re the “Jersey Boys.”
You could even incorporate the “Peanuts” gang cartoon characters into the marketing program. You know how Lucy likes to pull the football away just before Charlie Brown kicks it. The team could make a commercial with a scantily clad Washington cheerleader holding the ball, then pulling it away from kicker Dustin Hopkins just as he tries to kick it. Then a voice comes on that says, “Fans are nuts for the new Redskins. Don’t miss them.”
Of course, the Washington team would have to make the logo different enough from the trademark “Mr. Peanut” or face threat of a lawsuit from the Kraft-Heinz company, who owns the Planters brand Mr. Peanut represents. Maybe drop the monocle and change the hat from a top hat to a ball cap, and put a football under his skinny arm.
And that brings back some memories. When our local Carolina League baseball team changed from a Pittsburgh affiliate to a Colorado affiliate in the ‘90s they decided to change the mascot. It had been a parrot nicknamed “Long Ball Silver,” and that went well with the Buccaneers name. However, when the team changed affiliates they had a contest for a new name and “Avalanche” was the winner, and the parrot didn’t go as well with that.
Soon thereafter a new mascot was unveiled called the “Baseball Nut,” which I thought was a good idea at the time. It was a guy dressed in a nut suit with a big smile and a baseball cap.
Unfortunately, the fans didn’t go for it. They made fun of the “Baseball Nut,” calling it the “Scrotum,” among other unflattering names. It didn’t last very long and was replaced by “Mugsy,” who is still the mascot today.
Maybe the Washington football team can take a lesson from that, but all in all I thought H. Beeler from Craig County had a very creative, if a little nutty, suggestion.
Bad Career Move
If I had it to do over again I’d probably be an NFL quarterback. Can you imagine getting 503 million dollars for 10 years?
Shoot, I’d be happy with 10 million dollars for 53 years. If you’re not good at math, that’s $188,679.24 a year.
The POTUS managed to insult both the African American and Native American communities in a manner of minutes this week when he tweeted that NASCAR shouldn’t have banned the confederate flag, then followed with a rant about how the Redskins and Indians shouldn’t change their names.
That’s quite an accomplishment. Only a person with a great mind would be capable of pulling that off.