Phil Simms planning on not saying the word 'Redskins' during NFL games

Former New York Giants quarterback and current CBS color commentator Phil Simms has thought about it and he probably wont say the word “Redskins” during NFL games, even in games involving the Washington Redskins. CBS will be televising the Giants-Redskins game on September 25. If Simms is true to his word, he will go the entire game without referring to one of the teams by its name.

In other words, Simms will be collecting a paycheck without actually fulfilling his job duties. Being a professional color commentator means, among other things, that you have to specify the team you’re talking about when throwing down some color. Simms thinks he will refer to the Redskins as “Washington”. Can he even pronounce Washington?

Knowing Phil Simms, he will probably pronounce it as “Warshington”.

Simms’ in-booth partner, play-by-play man Jim Nantz, has a different attitude. He said that it was not his job to take a stance.

In other words, Nantz is a professional who plans on acting professional. Imagine that.

I think the controversy surrounding the Redskins name is silly. It’s been the name of the team since 1933. If the name is a slur, when exactly did it became one? For my entire life, it’s been the name of a football team, not a disparaging name for a person of Native American decent. I’ve never heard someone refer to someone else a “Redskin” unless they were a football player.

Words change. They evolve. It’s one of the reasons were aren’t all speaking Latin. Even if the word “Redskin” was a slur a long time ago, it’s not one now.

Man behind Washington Redskins name change is a casino kingpin

Change the Mascot, the group behind the movement to get the Washington Redskins to change their name, has an official website dedicated to their task. This is how they describe themselves:

Change the Mascot is a national campaign to end the use of the racial slur “redskins” as the mascot and name of the NFL team in Washington, D.C. Launched by the Oneida Indian Nation, the campaign calls upon the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell to do the right thing and bring an end the use of the racial epithet.

First of all, the Washington Redskins don’t even have a mascot. If they want to force the Washington Redskins to change their name, why did they call their organization Change the Mascot?

Second of all, Nowhere on the website does it point out that the Change the Mascot organization was created by a casino operator. The Oneida Indian Nation is based in Verona, New York and is represented by Ray Halbritter. He’s their Nation Representative, whatever that means, but he’s also the CEO of Oneida Nation Enterprises, an LLC that operates the Turning Stone Resort Casino.

Throughout the Change The Mascot website, Ray Halbritter is mentioned repeatedly as the Oneida Nation Representative, not the CEO of a major gambling enterprise.

I used to live near Verona, New York. In fact, I used to drive by the Turning Stone casino on my way to and from work. Before I read the Change the Mascot website, I had no idea the Oneida Indian Nation was involved in trying to get the Washington Redskins to change their name. Until now, I thought they were solely dedicated to getting gullible people to get off the thruway and gamble their hard-earned money away. Before the Oneida Indian Nation opened the casino in 1993, they sold gasoline and cigarettes, both tax-free, to non-Indian people coming off the thruway.

They also ran a bingo hall.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would be nuts if he allowed Ray Halbritter, or any other two-bit casino operator, try to dictate what a team’s name should be. If Halbritter doesn’t like the Washington Redskins name, then he shouldn’t watch their games or buy their merchandise. He should just stay in his casino on Indian land and watch his non-Indian employees help his non-Indian customers gamble away their non-Indian money.

I don’t like gambling and I don’t like casinos. That’s why I don’t gamble and it’s why I stay away from casinos, especially Indian casinos that pay no federal tax on the money they fleece.

University of Minnesota wants to ban the word 'Redskins'

The Minnesota Vikings will be playing all their home games at the University of Minnesota while they wait for their new, shiny stadium to be built. The Vikings will be hosting the Washington Redskins November 9. According to the school’s president, Eric W. Kaler, the university is working with the Vikings to keep the word “Redskins” out of all promotional and game date materials. According to Lester Bagley, vice president of public affairs, the team is still deciding how to respond to the school’s request.

In case you’re wondering, the Minnesota Vikings are paying the University of Minnesota $250,000 a game to play in their stadium.

I’m not sure what this request means. It’s been a long time since I’ve attended an NFL game. I don’t remember seeing the visiting team’s name anywhere unless it was on the scoreboard. The word “Redskins” appears on each player’s jersey, between the NFL shield logo and the player’s number.

What’s the school want to be done about that?

I feel sorry for anyone who’s genuinely offended by the name of the Washington Redskins. I would hate to be someone who’s so easily offended by a word. I don’t think I’ve ever been offended by what someone said or by the long-standing name of something, but I imagine if I ever had, it would be quite awful. Words I don’t like, I don’t use. It would never occur to me to get other people to stop using them.

That to me seems pushy.

Why I changed my mind about the Redskins controversy

With football season fast approaching, I’ve been thinking more about the controversy surrounding the name of the Washington Redskins. I’ve changed my mind. I no longer think the name should be changed.

What made me change my mind? This photo, for one:

20130915_JEL_BS6_006_33180805
The r-word? Anyone who wants to equate the n-word to the word Redskins is stupid and doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Nothing equals the n-word. It’s the apex predator of all racial slurs. If someone wants to argue that the word Redskins is a negative racial slur, then I’m more than happy to listen to the evidence proving this. On the other hand, if someone wants to declare that not only is the word Redskins a negative racial slur, but that it’s equal to the word nigger, then I’m out.

Don’t get me wrong. If you were going to create a professional sports team today in 2014, I don’t think it would be a good idea to name it after a minority group or a term referring to skin color. The thing is, the team has been called Redskins for so long, that any real or perceived racial insensitivity connected to the word, was mitigated a long time ago. The word Redskins has been in the public lexicon for decades, not as a racial slur, but as the name of a professional football team.

Words change. Language is an ever evolving thing. Even if the word Redskins began as a negative slur, and the experts can’t seem to agree if it did or not, it’s not one now.

It’s the name of a professional football team in the National Football League that plays its home games here in Maryland. People should stop burning so many calories trying to make it something that it’s not.

About those Redskins-Patriots special practice tees

A lot has been made on the Internet about special commemorative t-shirts on sale at the Washington Redskins official online team store. The shirts feature both the logo of the New England Patriots and the Washington Redskins along with the dates the two clubs will be practicing together.

The shirts cost $30 each, plus $6.99 shipping.

People seem to have a problem with the high-cost of the shirts. I too think they’re ridiculously expensive. I don’t think I’ve ever paid thirty bucks for a t-shirt, and I have a hard time imagining a scenario where I would do so. I buy most of my t-shirts at Marshalls, Ross, or TJ Max. I’ve also bought t-shirts at Shank & Tittle, a local, regional sports store, but only from the clearance rack.

When it comes to t-shirts, I’m a cheapskate. There are so many t-shirts available from a whole bunch of outlets, that you never have to overpay for a t-shirt.

When I look at this $30 t-shirt, I realize it was not made for someone like me. Although there are people out there that are more than willing to drop thirty bucks on a t-shirt, I’m not one of them.

I’m not even sure how many Redskins fans would want a t-shirt that has a New England Patriots logo on it. My guess is not too many.

The fact that there is a special t-shirt commemorating a group practice doesn’t surprise me. In 1995, the Redskins began having training camp at Frostburg State University. We went to a group practice between the Redskins and the Pittsburgh Steelers, and it was a lot of fun, more fun in fact than going to an actual football game. You were allowed to sit very close to the field, so close, that you could talk to the players. I told Steelers linebacker Kevin Greene that he looked like Fabio.

Kevin Greene
Kevin Greene

With his long blond hair, he did. He stared intently at me for what seemed like longest three seconds of my life, and then broke out his best Fabio impersonation. It was funny and very cool.

I would never have had that experience at an actual game.

I don’t think they were selling high-priced special commemorative t-shirts at that 1995 practice, but if they had, I believe people would have bought them. I had so much fun there that even I, the t-shirt cheapskate that I am, might have bought one.

RGIII to wear street clothes for the rest of the season

Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan made the announcement on Wednesday that Robert Griffin III will finish the remaining three games of the season on the inactive list. Starting at quarterback in RGIII’s place will be fellow second-year player Kirk Cousins. Backing up Cousins will be none other than Rex Grossman, a former Super Bowl starting quarterback. He of course lost that Super Bowl, but still, he once started a Super Bowl.

RGIII is reportedly quite angry about the benching. If that’s true, now he knows how Skins fans feel who shelled out over $100 for his jersey. To say RGIII has played like a giant bucket of suck this year is an understatement. He’s thrown 12 interceptions and fumbled the ball 11 times. He’s also been sacked 24 times in the last five games. That fact alone probably has more to do with the benching than anything else.

Mike Shanahan is probably gone after this season, but pulling the plug on RGIII at this point in the season is probably the smart play. The smartest play would have been not to trade three first-round draft picks for the privilege of drafting RGIII, but that’s water under the bridge. Plus, I don’t think Shanahan had anything to do with that decision. To put that trade into context, the same draft that the Skins traded their future for the right to draft RGIII, Russell Wilson went in the third-round.