For this week’s challenge from Jennifer Nichole Wells I’ve stepped outside the lines.
This post isn’t so much about maroon as it is Burgundy and in this town you can’t have Burgundy without Gold!
Of course when I say this town it is a general term. I am talking about the Washington Redskins and this town, (since I do not live in DC or even its suburbs any more) refers to “my circle”; those who share my love for the Washington Redskins. A circle which over the years has dwindled to my brothers, cousins, and a few diehards from the old neighborhood I see now and then on facebook.
I was raised in the Maryland suburbs of Washington DC by a man who was raised in the very city of.
My mother hailed from Baltimore but she too was a Washington Redskin fan (although she rooted for the Baltimore Orioles come baseball season).
All our neighbors were Redskin fans also. I can remember being a kid in the old neighborhood playing with the other kids. On warm Sundays in October and November we would ride our bikes to the sounds of our parents’ ooh’s and aah’s simultaneously echoing through our screened front doors.
The Redskins we will all agree haven’t been the same since owner Jack Kent Cooke died and the team was sold to Daniel Snyder for a record 800 million dollars in 1999. I will refrain from making derogatory comments about Daniel Snyder.
But back to the topic; Maroon.
That seems to be the great controversy facing our beloved team that hasn’t won a Super Bowl since I was pregnant with my youngest child (who still, bless his heart, tries to be a fan.)
I always thought of The Redskins as tough warriors who hopefully would beat The Cowboys. These days I have read that the name I grew up loving is derogatory and that Native Americans are offended by it and want it changed.
Daniel Snyder is fighting this change. Personally I believe his objections come from his approval rating. Nobody in this town cares much for Daniel Snyder and changing the name so dear to our hearts will only hurt his image. Maybe you think “Why would he care? He’s a billionaire”.
If Jack Kent Cooke were alive I think he would change the name. I think he would speak to us on our level (he was one of us, after all) and reason with all the fans. He would talk about respect and dignity and how The Redskins epitomize that. We would begrudgingly follow along lamenting the money we have spent on hats and shirts emblazoned with The Redskins. We would buy each other new memorabilia with new insignia’s for Christmas. Mr. Cooke might even offer us discounts on our new apparel. Yes I think he would. Daniel Snyder would not.
If Native Americans truly are insulted by this name then despite our strong ties to the name of the team we grew up with, we should change it. Respect is more important than nostalgia.
Addendum: I’d like to add this link to a more thought out post. I believe it helps to read a more intimate view.