Sunday, December 30, 2007

NFL continues fumbling with whispered slurs

Kudos to Dan Popkey for his meticulous research, which he transformed into this sockdolager of an article. I bet there is much more from where this came from. Perhaps Mr. Popkey can turn this saga into a best-selling book, splitting proceeds with The Statesman. However, even if this is the last that we’ll hear from Mr. Popkey, regarding the Larry Craig saga, it is impressive enough.

For readers who don’t see how the story’s pertinence fits in with the Craig chronicle, please look again where Mr. Popkey writes. “Finally, understanding what Larry Craig saw happen to his contemporaries helps explain how he responded to any hint he was gay.”
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I find it interesting, how Sonny Jurgensen and the Redskins did not respond to requests from the Idaho Statesman for comment on this story. I grew up in sports-enthusiastic Washington D.C. as an innocent kid caught amidst the infectious rooting for our hallowed Redskins. Rooting for the team was a refreshing break from hearing the ceaseless cacophony of politicians’ bloated airs, which was sometimes considered a contributing element to the team’s popularity. Even Richard Nixon once had enough ‘football soul’ to send in a suggested play to Coach Allen- an optional play, which they ran in the playoffs, for a thirteen-yard loss!

Imagine my shock, as a ten-year-old dedicated sports fan, when I heard that some Native Americans thought that the term “Redskins” was not honoring Indian’s, but rather
derogatory.
Then my further dismay when a potential local baseball team started a contest actively searching for new names. I called up to suggest ‘The Washington Crackers’, which mom promptly informed me was also a racist term, this one meant for whites.
Years later, a friend, who knew that I grew up a fan of the team, bought me for Christmas, a Redskins jersey from NFL shops. To the jersey, you could attach any desired name. As a light joke, the order he made, was for XFL star Rod Smart’s nickname ‘He Hate Me’ to be emblazoned on the back. When the order arrived, he inspected the box, in three-inch block letters stood out surprisingly, ‘He Help Me.’
So, he called up NFL stores to complain. They told him that is their official position is to never promote hate-oriented products. Yet right on, the front of the same jersey in ½-inch letters- smaller letters than you would ordinarily expect- there it was the derogatory ‘Redskins’
After replacing my Redskins skullcap with a thinking cap, it looks like NFL shops is whispering racial epithets from behind a dirty alley, meanwhile with fans paradoxically hurling in perfect harmony, uncivil songs in allegiance of their cursed team.

This reminds me; the much-at-stake Dallas / Washington game is now underway. Perhaps today a little more will be revealed about the Redskins curse when the Cowboys come in there galloping upon their Pale Horse. Moreover, how finally changing their name might lift the team’s spirit and place a proper He Help Me guardian upon their quarterback’s shoulder, much as the fans have been praying for.
Few sports fans remember an actual ceremony performed on the team’s hallowed ground by a highly regarded Native American Shaman. This curse, conducted shortly after Coach Gibbs and his team, won the Super XXVI championship, promises to keep the Washington Team apart from another Super Bowl victory, until they decide to improve their disparaging name. This particular curse is very difficult to find on the Internet, because it occurred before most search engines and is greatly hidden among the abundant other curses the redskin’s team and their ticket scalpers have since palely faced.
I wonder how Sonny Jurgensen would comment on this.

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