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From the Press Box—Week 7

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From the Press Box—Week 7

So we've got a few 'rant' topics here for the five of you who read this thing, so buckle up.

We're a step closer to the mindway point of the season, but have you noticed almost nothing has clarified? Certainly, the Atlanta Falcons are the class of the NFL right now while the AFC is, by and large, pretty awful.

I don't expect any clarity next week either, but that's actually good. It keeps things very interesting.

Take the NFC North for example. I love covering this division, because it has yet to prove itself boring. Sure the Lions are not playing well, but who expected the Vikings to be in the hunt for the division title?

Even as optimistic as I was, I can't lay claim I thought they had a shot.

That, along with Crazy Jay Cutler, make the league interesting.

Speaking of interesting—


I had an interesting pair of back-and-forths regarding the recent decision of a Washington paper to cease calling the Washington Redskins by their very obviously racist name.

At some point I seemed to become the bad guy in the situation. Maybe it's because my point is this—it's an empty gesture.

I mean, don't get me wrong, it's a step. However, unless the paper is making it a jumping-off-point to get the name changed, it's pretty hollow.

That we even need to have this discussion in this day and age is insane. How Dan Snyder hasn't looked at it and said 'wow, that's bad' is beyond me. Maybe he has and maybe he's worried about angering the fanbase which seems to not care or maybe he's clueless. I can't say.

I can say this—not using the name is a nice gesture and not nearly enough.

If the paper is truly offended, it needs to do something about it. Heck, I'll sign on. Got a petition? Is there an email campaign? You want more suggestions? Let's get this done.

However just not saying the name isn't going to do much of anything. One thing which was brought up to me yesterday was, if papers and media stop using the name, people may stop buying gear with it on it—that perhaps folks will realize it's not different from wearing a jersey with any number of other racist words on it.

I don't think it's likely to happen. It's a nice idea, but I don't think 99% of the jersey-buying public are worried about the name on a jersey unless it says 'Rex Grossman' not RG3.

Nobody will boycott jerseys UNLESS and UNTIL a big effort is made to educate people. Not saying the word isn't going to do that on a large enough scale. You need to writers and editors hammering out columns about it, heck, you need columns like this raising awareness.

It should end up a story on Sportscenter.

You need to 'shake the pillars of heaven', as Jack Burton once said in Big Trouble in Little China.

Maybe I'm cynical, but small gestures like these get forgotten. How many people remembered the first paper to do this in Kansas City (which, by the way, still refers to their team as Chiefs last I knew)? Probably not many before this story came up again.

I do applaud the editors and papers for taking a stand. I really do.

I just think they shouldn't be stopping there.

As a sidenote, it occurred to me that I wouldn't be writing this today without that paper doing what it did, and I hesitated writing 'Redskins' for this and other work.

So perhaps I should put aside my cynicism and consider maybe it does make a difference, even in the smallest ways.

Crazy Jim Harbaugh Was Right

Are you going to tell him he's wrong?

In reality, he was. I know Vegas is angry and I get that on the surface it makes little sense. With the safety, the Niners had a nine point lead and there was no way the dropsies infested receivers of the Seahawks were scoring nine points.

Unless they did.

So from the start, we have to acknowledge anything can happen and in the NFL, often does.

Aside from that, Harbaugh had to be concerned that his team avoid any injuries. Frank Gore was banged up (XRays say his ribs were bruised not broken)and in the likely scrum coming from an almost inevitable onside kick, there's a chance someone on the 49ers could get hurt—perhaps badly.

Even if it's a less than .0001% chance, Harbaugh can't take it.

Finally, on some level Harbaugh might have known what we all knew watching the broadcast—that was a terrible flag.

As for your concerns he shaved points, Harbaugh had something to say.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (22) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Evan's picture

1. As for the Redskins, I guess anything to raise awareness helps. But I do think there is a difference between names like The Chiefs or The Seminoles or The Braves and a name that is an outright epithet like Redskins.

2. As to Harbaugh's decision. I guess I can see the logic. But if we're really concerning ourselves with such microscopic risks, what about the risk of fumbling two kneel downs down by only 1 score? That seems more likely to happen than the Seahawks getting the ball back and scoring twice with, what, a minute left?

andrewgarda's picture

Well as for fumbling kneel downs, I suppose that is a risk (especially if you're playing Tampa). I guess ultimately the arguments can go either way.

As for the Skins, I agree with the idea that Seminoles isn't particularly offensive (in part because I believe the tribe endorsed it) but Chiefs is, as far as I know, a pejorative in many respects unless we're strictly talking title, which I don't think they are.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

ohenry78's picture

I've never had an issue with Chiefs. Maybe it's just the time I've grown up in or something, but when I think "chief" I think of your stereotypical Native American Chief, and there is absolutely nothing negative about the connotation.

Same with Brave and Seminole -- doesn't seem to be much wrong with those. Or the Cleveland Indians, for that matter.

Redskin, on the other hand, is definitely something that could stand to be changed. There are plenty of other Native American themed team names that they could use. It would be like calling the Patriots, the Whities. Or calling the Vikings the Herring Chokers. "Redskin" isn't a name that pays tribute to a clan or race, and it's not a positive term for any race, it's a pejorative term and nothing else.

The rest of those (Chiefs, Braves, etc) seem fine. Redskins, not so much.

Evan's picture

The Indians mascot, of course, is a whole other issue.

ohenry78's picture

True story.

Evan's picture

Reminds me of the great Louis C.K. bit:

andrewgarda's picture


Chief Wahoo. Good Lord.

Paddy McIrish's picture

"I guess I can see the logic".... you guess? It's the fastest way to end the game, what is there to guess about?

Franklin Hillside's picture

He looks like Christopher Lloyd from "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" when he gets Dip dumped on him.

A_Lerxst_in_Packerland's picture

"What a world, what a world!"

Wegerbauer, Max's picture

I like the Redskins name and the Chiefs name. I have no problem with Indian names and neither do most Indians.

dat der Packer-backer's picture

Fact based statement? I don't think we can presume to know what "most" Indians are thinking. An earlier poster brought up a perfect point. It's not paying homage to any clan or race. It's derogatory. There's no way to know what most Indians think about it, but it's definitely racist.

Evan's picture

I take back my previous comment. Mr. Wegerbauer's persuasive argument changed my mind.

Inquiring Minds's picture

Miami University were known as the Redskins for close to 100 years, and had an agreement with the Miami tribe. They renewed that agreement every year and never had any controversy. The tribe was glad for the association and everyone benefited. Every reference to the Miami tribe was respectful, honorable and historically accurate.

MU became the Red Hawks because of the muck-raking of do-gooders from outside the relationship deciding that the tribe SHOULD be offended, so they forced the change.

Another case of those who "know better" watching out and making decisions for other people, even if it is against their own desire - "for your own good."

Bearmeat's picture

IMO the Atlanta Falcons are NOT the best team in the NFL. They've looked like absolute crap the past three weeks and squeaked by with wins.

Just like GB did at the end of '11. I know, a long time left in the season. But this race is WIDE open in both conferences.

Evan's picture

Agreed on the Falcons. Paper tigers. Reminds me of 2010.

packsmack25's picture

Agreed. I said this at TBWII multiple times, but I really think all the Seahawks game did for us was allow us to go into Atlanta and spank them in the playoffs again instead of having to host somebody in the cold. It's lining up to benefit us in the long run.

a-polack-spic-inwisconsin's picture

It's been around so long I don't think most people pay attention until some liberal candya** makes a big deal out of it. Then the average fan who's more offended by the assault on their hallowed tradition pushes back. Too many people make a living out of being offended. All this pushing diversity has done nothing but divide us. What happened to the melting pot?!
Ok, rant over, I'm better now. :D

A_Lerxst_in_Packerland's picture

"So we’ve got a few ‘rant’ topics here for the five of you who read this thing, so buckle up."
Make that at least 6 now...

+1000 for Jack Burton reference. You rule, man!

andrewgarda's picture


Ruppert's picture

Who cares about the actual issues? What matters is a post containing references to both "Big Trouble in Little China" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit."

That's substantial. Keep up the good work, AG. Franklin, too.

andrewgarda's picture


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