Skip to content

Does Bob Seger Know About This?


It had previously been reported that the Lakers would have a BFBS alternate uni this season. Yesterday afternoon, with no advance warning and little fanfare, they let us see how it will look.

Uni Watch 101: It’s stupid. It’s lame. Black isn’t one of the Lakers’ colors. Black uniforms are soooo 1997. Why not give the Celtics a black uni while you’re at it. Good thing they don’t have Shaq anymore. No wonder Dwight Howard left. At least it doesn’t have sleeves. Imagine Kareem in that thing. Jerry West is rolling over in his grave. Oh right, Jerry West isn’t dead yet, but he would be if he’d known about this. [Some sentence invoking the words “abomination” and/or “monstrosity.”] And so on.

All of that is true. But here’s something else that’s true: It’s not a bad-looking design. It’s still the wrong design for this team, of course, and it’s obviously a cynical ploy. But in strictly aesthetic terms, I think it works pretty well. I’m not defending it or advocating for it, mind you — just saying that it’s not bad when viewed in a vacuum.

My favorite thing about the unveiling is this photo gallery, which consists of nothing but super-close-ups that give absolutely zero sense of how the design looks as a complete uniform. And why did they take that approach? Because close-ups of fabric and embroidery make people want to buy things. So yeah, this is obviously just a merchandising move. But you knew that already.

+ + + + +

NFL throwback update: Yesterday’s fallout from the news about the Bucs scrapping their Creamsicle throwbacks due to a new rule forbidding alternate helmets raised lots of questions. I spent a good chunk of yesterday refuting idiotic conspiracy theories in the comments section trying to answer those questions. You can see the results in this ESPN piece, which was posted late yesterday afternoon. If you’re going to post any comments on this topic here on the blog, please read that article first before commenting, just so you’re up to speed.

And there’s more: I’ll have another ESPN piece on this subject, with some very interesting new info, later today. Link coming soon-ish. As always, the best way to know when one of my ESPN pieces has been published is to follow me on Twitter, where I always post my ESPN links.

One thing that’s interesting to me, at least based on what I’ve read on Twitter, in my in-box, and in our comments (all of which are poor barometers of the public at large, but they’re the only barometers I have at the moment), is that lots and lots of fans are really angry at the NFL about this. A lot of that anger is based on ridiculous conspiracy theorizing, faulty logic, unfounded conjecture, and a willful sense of entitlement, but the depth of the anger is nonetheless substantial and, on some level, impressive.

From my perspective, the NFL has brought this anger on itself in two ways — one short-term and one long-term. In the short term, the league’s messaging on this topic has been terrible. They’ve done a poor job of communicating their position and an even worse job of explaining the rationale behind it. They’ve also failed to provide even the slightest acknowledgment that the restriction on throwbacks is a bummer for many fans. A simple “We know this is a drag, but”¦” would have gone a long way.

But I also think the fan anger points to a larger, longer-term issue, namely the widespread perception that the NFL is run by a bunch of corporate hacks who don’t care about anything except their profit margin, their PR (which feeds their profit margin), and their legal liability (which could threaten their profit margin). Speaking as someone who’s actually, you know, dealt with the NFL personally, I can tell you that this perception isn’t completely accurate — there are plenty of good people who work there. Still, it’s easy enough to see how that perception has come about. The league often operates in very cynical ways, and cynicism tends to breed more cynicism. So while I think a lot of fan reaction to the throwback helmet story is overblown, I also think it’s pretty understandable.

I’ll continue to follow this story as it develops.

+ + + + +

’Skins Watch: Rick Reilly wrote a defense of the ’Skins name yesterday afternoon. It has its strong points and weak points, but I don’t have time to dissect it today, because I spent all of yesterday working on the NFL throwback story (see above) and was busy in the evening (see below). Fortunately, some good analyses of Reilly’s piece have already been published, including this short take by Deadspin and this longer, much better one by The Nation. ”¦ Meanwhile, someone finally asked Robert Griffin III what he thinks of all this. According to this story, he responded, “I can’t really dive into that. I’m not Native American. We’re not in that authority to know what to do with that. [I’m not saying this because of] a team directive. I just don’t know what to say about Native Americans.” I don’t necessarily expect a 23-year-old millionaire who spends most of his time in weight rooms, hotels, and airplanes to be a deep thinker — it’s not a very stimulating life — but I wonder if Griffin also has no opinions on gay marriage because he’s not gay, or if he no opinions on poverty because he’s not poor, or if he thinks white people in 1962 had no opinions on civil rights because they weren’t black. ”¦ The word “Redskin” has been banned from Apple’s Canadian App Store.

Baseball News: has handed out its awards for the best minor league logos of 2013 (from Patrick O’Neill). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Keith Olbermann wasn’t happy about the Nats only being allowed to wear their Navy tribute caps in BP but not during the game on Monday. … James Ashby came across a gem: a video from the Oakland Oaks’ opening day from 1918! Highly recommended. ”¦ Disappointing to learn that Mets pitcher Matt Harvey thinks the purpose of a radio interview is to give a stroke job to his corporate sponsor. Sigh. ”¦ Brandon Garrett found some interesting old NC State baseball photos, including a color-vs.-color game against UNC from 1988, an ACC championship cake, some great team cardigans from 1910, and a monochromatic (blood clot?) set from 1975.

NFL News: The Bills will wear white at home against the Chiefs on Nov. 3. “Wonder if the Chiefs will go red/red/red again,” says Phil. … Somone on Reddit has created new logos for every NFL team (from Ryan Rodriguez). … Just in time for Bucco Bruce’s forced retirement, Todd Radom has whipped up a good look back at the Bucs’ original branding.

College Football News: Maryland will have a new “pride” uni for this Saturday against West Virginia. The design will be officially released today, but a little birdie tells me it’ll look like this. No word yet on the helmet, although I’m told it’s a doozy. … When I tweeted that design yesterday, someone responded, “The word ‘pride’ is rolling in its grave.” Agreed — is anyone else sick of the increasing (over)use of the term “pride uniforms”? We need a new term. Hmmm. Third deadly sin uniforms? Hubris uniforms? Suggest away! … Missouri will have a new helmet this Saturday against Indiana. They’ll unveil it today at 7pm Eastern. There’s a teaser video here, but you can skip that, because a source tells me it will look like so: “It is a black matte helmet with a silver/chrome facemask and silver/chrome tiger on both sides, in the same template as the gold-on-matte helmet they wore last season.” … Benji Boyter notes that Clemson has a new end zone this season, going from this to this.

Hockey News: The Coyotes wore commemorative jerseys honoring the fallen Yarnell firefighters for last night’s intrasquad game (thanks, Phil). … New practice jerseys for Michigan (from Steve Ceruolo).

NBA News: The Bucks will unveil a new court design next Tuesday evening, Sept. 24. The unveiling will take place at the Milwaukee Art Museum (from Jeff Ash).

Grab Bag: The guy who leaked the USA World Cup kit was apparently fired as a result (from Trevor Williams). ”¦ Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Faaascinating and upsetting piece about how logo creep has spread to ultrasound images. Strongly, strongly recommended (from MartyB). … Good piece on the history of the London Underground logo (from Jason Hillyer). … The Feds have busted another jersey counterfeiting operation (from James Ashby). … Rugby note from Caleb Borchers, who writes: “Dan Carter, the All Blacks fly half, tweeted a photo of his jersey from last weekend. Each All Blacks jersey has the player’s name, opponent, date, and cap number embroidered on it.” … In a shameful and disgusting development, the Florida High School Athletic Association has partnered with a marketing/PR firm to procure corporate sponsorships (from Addarius Bryant). … This is pretty funny: If Sylvester Stallone actually ran the route shown in his training scene in Rocky, it would look like this (from Chase Martin). … College football isn’t the only realm that has merit symbols: State troopers in Ohio get lightning bolts on their license plates for recovering stolen cars (fascinating find by Kevin Scullin). ”¦ As you’ve probably heard by now, former heavyweight champion Ken Norton died yesterday. Norton is best known for his three fights with Muhammad Ali, but his most uni-notable fight was probably his 1978 bout with Larry Holmes, which found both men wearing Pony-branded trunks, Pony shoes, and striped socks. Pretty sure that was the first time I’d seen Pony on the side of the trunks like that. It was a great fight, too. RIP.

+ + + + +

What Paul did last night: Maybe we’ll make this a regular feature, or maybe just for today. In any case, last night I was a featured participant in Ask Roulette, which was a hoot. I was asked a bunch of interesting questions, including “Have you ever been falsely accused of a crime?” (no, although I’ve committed some crimes that nobody bothered to accuse me of), “Would you get in the ring with Floyd Mayweather Jr. for one minute for $1 million?” (no, because I already really like my life and a million bucks wouldn’t really change that), “What’s the worst travel experience you’ve ever had?” (long story), and a few others things I don’t remember. I also got to ask one question: “Do you prefer odd numbers or even numbers, and how does this affect your life?” The woman who fielded this question gave a really good answer about how she generally prefers odd numbers but her favorite number is four, which causes all sorts of internal conflict. Lots of other participants had great questions and answers, too — a very entertaining little event. Afterward, several people approached me and asked to know more about Uni Watch (the host had introduced me and mentioned what I do for a living), which was fun. Hi, new readers!

Then I walked east to Katz’s Delicatessen, where I attended a book-release party for a book about Katz’s Delicatessen. Yes, that’s very meta. No free pastrami (grrrrr), but there were lots of pigs in blankets and other noshables. The book has a small amount of text and over 300 pages of spectacular photographs. If you’ve been to Katz’s, you’ll love the book; if you’ve never been there, or if you only know it from the fake-orgasm scene from that awful Billy Crystal movie, the book will give you a good feel for why Katz’s is special. Recommended.

Comments (196)

    Here are some other candidates:
    Self Esteem Uniform, Ego Boost Uniform, Last Shred of Dignity Uniform, Pat on the Back Uniform.

    I think Maryland’s uniforms aren’t all bad, they are ugly and Under Armour’s marketing is pretty lame, But they do create an identity for the team which is the purpose of a uniform.

    We Uni-watchers understand that part of our fascination with competition is the uniforms, the people behind the Maryland unis clearly understand this as well.

    I think one of the major sources of anger stems from the fact where the NFL just dropped the news when the Bucs tried to throw back, and not w during the preseason. The fact that it was basically the week of is pissing people off that they don’t get to see Bucco Bruce.

    I said this yesterday (probably not on the site) but the NFL could have handled it better, or just differently.

    Well, as noted in my ESPN piece from yesterday, a memo went out to teams on Aug. 22, so it was obviously in place then. And I’m told it was in place somewhat earlier than that.

    But they chose not to announce it. Not sure why, but that was a bad decision.

    So how does the NFL explain the fact that these players most likely wear a separate helmet in practice than they do in a game? I’ve never heard of a DI program or NFL team that didn’t use a completely separate batch of practice helmets in addition to their game helmets.

    Didn’t the Falcons ditch their plans to wear a throwback helmet quite a long time ago? Seems they got the message that the Bucs didn’t.

    So how does the NFL explain the fact that these players most likely wear a separate helmet in practice than they do in a game?

    1) That is false. Many (maybe most?) NFL teams use their gameday helmets for practice.

    2) I’ll have more about this in an ESPN piece later today.

    It may be absurd (or at least outlandish conspiracy whack-job) to think that they entirely made up the whole safety issue thing for some vague money-making reason.

    But I have no problem believing that the NFL and the Bucs deliberately waited until a week and a half before the throwback game to announce this so they would have an extra month to dupe some people into buying some creamsicle merchandise.

    BFBS equals the marketing wankers wanting to sell crap to people with no taste or sense of or respect for the game/history.

    If I were a huge fan of the Redskins name, the fact that my opinion was chiefly represented in public by Dan Snyder and Rick Reilly would give me serious pause to consider that I’m probably wrong.

    But perhaps Reilly has the right of it and when, in the 1990s, I saw a beloved retired white NFL hero shout at a group of Native Americans, “Get your redskin asses back on the reservation!” he was expressing his deep respect for native culture. It’s a term of honor, you know.

    You know, I’ve heard similar comments made in the context of telling Mexicans to go back to their own country, yet somehow “Mexican” isn’t considered a racial slur. Just because a word *can* be used in that way, doesn’t mean that it always is or that it can’t also have a positive connotation.

    I’m not sure your comparison has any validity, unless you can find native organizations that use the term “Redskin” the way some groups use “Mexican” to describe themselves.

    “Mexican” is not the equivalent of “Redskin”. That would be something like “Wetback”, “Beaner” or “Spic”.

    FWIW, I’ve seen plenty of Latino folks on Twitter referring to other Latinos as “beaner”. That obviously doesn’t make the term acceptable, not the least for a major league sports team.

    The, I’ve personally heard “redskin” used as a racial slur nearly as many times in real life as I’ve personally heard “nigger” used as a racial slur. Probably the result of growing up in a part of the country where Native Americans actually live, so I understand how people who’ve never met an American Indian might have different experiences.

    But I have never, literally not once in my life, heard “redskin” used as anything other than a racial slur, except of course when referring to sports teams. Now let’s be honest, The. Have you ever heard “redskin” used as a term of endearment or respect when not referring to a sports team? How many times? Has a person of Native American ancestry ever introduced himself to you as a “redskin”? How many times?

    And since you brought the word “Mexican” into it, can you name for us just one comparable nation of 100 million or so people that has likewise adopted “redskin” as the adjective formally describing their nationality in English? Or, since of course you can’t, can you provide us with even one example of any American Indian community organizing a “Redskin Heritage” celebration or festival similar to the hundreds of “Mexican Heritage” events organized by Mexican-American communities across the nation every year? Just one example?

    “Mexican” means “Someone from Mexico.” “Redskin” is a pejorative, based on skin tone and heritage. If people use “Mexican” as a slur, it’s because they’re ignorant.

    I grew up near the Cattaraugus reservation. I went to church with a bunch of Seneca kids. When it came up at all, they made it clear that “redskin” was considered an insult.

    On the other hand, I’ve been asking my son and his friends about the word. I don’t think any of them — mostly Latino, Vietnamese and Chinese kids — have ever met a Native American. None of them had any idea that “redskin” referred to Natives, and was considered by many a slur. They had no context for the word, outside of the football team (one kid said, “I thought the word had something to do with feathers,” which I don’t really understand, but that’s what he said).

    It seems to me that Native groups have been so marginalized, so isolated from the rest of the country, that many Americans don’t even realize that they exist, let alone can be insulted. Which makes Reilly’s “honor” comment all the more insulting, and the nickname all the more repugnant.

    Eh, I think that any term can be used as a pejorative just depending on tone of voice. There’s an episode of “It’s Always Sunny” where the gang has trouble using the word “Jew” in a non-offensive context, even though the word itself is not a pejorative. Just like “Mexican,” it depends on HOW you use it. “Mexican” is a simple (legitimate) adjective to describe where certain people are from.

    That being said, “Redskin” isn’t a simple adjective derived from the foundation of a person or group of people’s existence/identity.

    “If I were a huge fan of the Redskins name, the fact that my opinion was chiefly represented in public by Dan Snyder and Rick Reilly would give me serious pause to consider that I’m probably wrong.”

    Comment of the day.

    I remember very vividly an SI article I read growing up, about a high school football referee in Illinois who committed suicide after he blew a call in a big game. That was when I realized how good sports writing could be.

    I find it almost impossible to believe Rick Reilly wrote that article.

    The Bills-Chiefs game the ticker item is referring to happens Nov. 3 (they play in NJ against the Jets this Sunday).

    This never wouldn’t have happened if Magic Johnson, Jerry West and Shaquille O’Neal were alive.

    The return of the #3 to NASCAR Sprint Cup may occur next season, and this photo created a lot of buzz:


    RCR calls it a concept. I call it a crappy one.

    The Buffalo Bills “White Out Game” vs. Kansas City is 11/3. They visit the Jets late this Sunday afternoon.

    First sentence has a grammatical error. Either remove the word “wear” or “have” and you’re good to go.

    And the possessive past participle of the future tense state of the predicate was not properly referencing the subject’s verb tense of the third preposition.

    Yesterday, several of you gave intelligent, thoughtful arguments for using elements of the Gadsen Flag in a new crest for USA Soccer. I expressed concern that those symbols, while evocative and uniquely American, had become so enmeshed with the Tea Party movement, that they’re unusable in any other context. The counter argument – we need to reclaim our icons – was powerful.

    So here’s a compromise: why not use the Traditional Navy Jack? It’s alternating red and white stripes, with an uncoiled snake slithering diagonally across it, and the slogan “Don’t Tread On Me” below. It could easily be modified into a shield, the stripes would mirror the proposed hooped shirt, and the simpl act of uncoiling the snake would divorce it from the TP nuttiness, um, patriotism.

    Better yet, if this is what you’re talking about I apologize for regurgitating it in different wording, use the hoop jersey and put the snake on a blue shield, maybe with stars at the top. It would look close to the Navy Jack, still be the hoops that the US is becoming known for, and still be something we could all love. Or not, I’m spitballin’ here.

    Exactly. The coiled snake gripping a soccer ball is just so perfect an icon for USA Soccer. The uncoiled snake doesn’t let you incorporate the ball as an integral element. Plus there’s a global culture of disrespect for and in-play abuse of Team USA, both men’s and women’s (well, actually, our women are well respected, but other teams still habitually push the limits of clean play against the US women, and the global officiating corp largely condones it) to which the ready-to-strike serpent and “Don’t Tread on Me” is the perfect rejoinder and rallying cry. Plus, the fact that link puts the snake on red and white stripes, rather than yellow, anchors it clearly in the visual vocabulary of the Navy Jack rather than the Gadsden flag.

    I hear what you’re saying, but I look at that coiled snake, and I’m seeing weird guys in tricorn hats, demanding that Obama be impeached.

    It’s Jamie Farr as Corporal Klinger: I just can’t see that coiled snake as anything other than a Tea Party symbol.

    Thank you! I’ve been on this bandwagon a while now with the Tea Party using that flag. It sickens me that a flag used to unite us is now being used by a group to divide us.

    SO like people taking the actual USA Stars and Stripes and making an Obama flag isn’t divisive? It isn’t taking Old Glory and using it to divide us? Seems those making this argument don’t recognize this knife has cut both ways.

    Jesus, Jim.

    I absolutely agree that those examples are divisive. I don’t particularly like any form of doctoring our flags or emblems. I’m a flag code kind of guy.

    It’s easy to forget that our Revolution was a civil war. The original folks flying “Don’t Tread on Me” flags weren’t cooking s’mores around a welcoming campfire, they were shooting at anyone who disagreed with them, or burning their houses and running them out of town maybe with hot tar thrown on their faces first.

    Compared to that, telling a few racist monkey jokes or mailing Lipton tea bags to members of Congress seems pretty bush league, as far as truly divisive politics goes!

    I’ve been “flying” the Gadsden flag on my car for a couple of months now, along with decidedly non-Tea Party bumper magnets, as an act of reclaiming a favorite symbol. I’ve received absolutely no hostility, or anyway no aggressive hostility. It has sparked interesting conversations both with people who probably vote like I do and with people who pretty clearly do not. If that’s really the extent of the “divisiveness” of the “Don’t Tread On Me” snake – someone will be mildly surprised! and even strike up a friendly conversation! – then I don’t think that “divisive politics” is a valid excuse not to use this particular national symbol as, well, a national symbol. Is anyone shooting at anyone? Or burning anyone’s house down? No? Then it’s not really that divisive.

    Each All Blacks jersey has the player’s name, opponent, date, and cap number embroidered on it

    Quite the occasion, first match against “South Arfica” and all…

    Yeah, when I sent in the submission I was not so interested in the embroidery (they do that all the time) as I was the spelling error.

    To all those who refer to the old Bucs’ uniforms and Creamsicle (from the Popsicle website):

    Popsicle®, Creamsicle®, Fudgsicle® and Yosicle® are registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies and can only be used to identify the frozen confection products of Unilever. They may not be used to refer to frozen confection products of other companies or frozen confection products generally. Misuse of these trademarks may violate Unilever’s very valuable rights.

    Popsicle®, Creamsicle®, Fudgsicle® and Yosicle® are brand names that should be used with the trademark registration symbol (i.e., ®) and a proper generic modifier (e.g., Popsicle® pops or ice pops, Creamsicle® cream pops or bars and Fudgsicle® fudge pops or bars).

    The Popsicle®, Creamsicle®, Fudgsicle® and Yosicle® trademarks should never be used as nouns.

    For example, it is not correct to say “I’d like a Popsicle.” It is correct to say “I’d like a Popsicle® ice pop.”

    The Popsicle®, Creamsicle®, Fudgsicle® and Yosicle® trademarks should never be used in the plural form. For example, it is not correct say “I love Popsicles.” It is correct to say “I love Popsicle® ice pops.”

    The Popsicle®, Creamsicle®, Fudgsicle® and Yosicle® trademarks should not be used in the possessive form. For example, it is not correct to say “Popsicle’s great taste.” It is correct to say “the great taste of Popsicle® ice pops.”

    So now that you know the cold facts, do the cool thing and stay on the right side of the law. Use Popsicle®, Creamsicle®, Fudgsicle® and Yosicle® only to identify our products, use these trademarks correctly, and don’t use them for any other purpose without our permission. We appreciate your cooperation.

    This is what happens when you don’t defend your trademarks; you have to resort to legalese such as this to keep them. This is why “big bully” companies staunchly defend their trademarks, even against the smallest of competition.

    Rick Reilly’s piece raises an issue I’ve thought about for some time and others have even raised on this site.

    When did ‘redskin’ become a racist term? Who decided it was? Does the fact that it refers to someone’s skin color make it inherently derogatory? (I don’t think it does)

    I’ve lived in MN my entire life. We have a sizeable Native American population and Native American iconography was always around in the form of tourist sites, educational centers/museums, historic sites, etc. I also happen to have been raised in a very small, very racist town. It was unfortunately common place to hear every racist/derogatory term you can think of for African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Jewish people and, yes, Native Americans. The Native American bigotry usually revealed itself as we drove through reservations or near casinos up north, when discussing the tax exempt status of casinos and lack of state resources, or in the many, many, many stories of clashes between hunters/fisherman and the residents of the Red Lake Indian Reservation or around Lake Mille Lacs.

    So I’ve heard it all. Injun, squaw, scalpers, prairie niggers, etc. You know what I’ve never heard anyone call Native Americans? Redskin. The only time I heard that term was when discussing the Washington football team. Has anyone else heard the term used derogatorily? Do we have examples of this? I haven’t seen them, which has put me in the same mindset as Reilly (a position I don’t enjoy) in thinking this primarily started as white people being offended for another culture.

    I certainly don’t intend to claim that no one is insulted by the term. Obviously there are Native Americans who find the term offensive. My question is, at what point did it become ‘universally’ offensive? To the point that mainstream media members are demanding change? How many people have to find something offensive before it is deemed abhorrent and racist.

    I don’t think it’s “universally” offensive (and I’m not sure who makes that claim). There are certainly Native Americans who are fine with the term.

    My thinking is that it’s more akin to “negro”, which isn’t patently offensive, but it’s just not what we say any more.

    True, but “redskin” didn’t start as a slur either. It started as a pretty neutral term, but it gained negative connotation over the years (see the NPR article I linked above). I agree that “negro” isn’t as offensive, but it’s hard to imagine “New York Negros” being a particularly acceptable team name in 2013.

    And when the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian , museum director Kevin Gover, himself a Native American, said the word was “the equivalent of the N-word.” At the same event, former Colorado Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell asked the crowd to consider an equally offensive name for the local sports team: “How you would like for us to change the name of that team to the Washington Darkies?”

    …Native American activist Suzan Shown Harjo has been battling the Redskins over the name for more than 20 years. “The name is one of the last vestiges of racism that is held right out in the open in America,” Harjo said in a recent phone conversation. “It’s a toy of racism, and the people who are holding on [to the name] for dear life, they know that.”

    Nope, it’s just liberal white folks looking for any excuse to be offended. But seriously, read the whole thing.

    I read the article, and perhaps I’m being too stubborn, but I still don’t see where ‘redskin’ has a strongly negative connotation. Its not one I’ve seen hurled at others as an insult. Even in the example of the author of the Wizard of Oz, he uses the term redskin rather benignly and feels the need to ad an additional term (curs) to cause harm. What am I missing.

    The uses are benign on the face, but since the turn of the 20th Century, the usage has become tied with depiction of Indians as savage or exotic.

    Now, the fact that you haven’t personally heard “redskin” used as a slur probably has to do more with the fact the term isn’t used that much, period. That, you might see as a defense for the term. But think about “yellow” as a slur for Asians. That’s a pretty outdated term, like “redskin”. But as an Asian, I’m probably not going to take kindly to a team owned by non-Asians calling themselves “Yellows” with a slanty-eyed mascot.

    But can we at least drop the “This is just white people being offended on behalf of other people” canard? It’s clear that a sizable chunk of (though not all) Indians see “redskin” as a pejorative?

    Try explaining those arcane rules to bunch of eight-year-olds on a hot summer day. Watch out kiddies, the Popsicle ice pops police will get you if you don’t refer to their products in the proper way! Give me a frickin’ break.

    From Zirin’s article on The Nation:
    Reilly then goes on to write of all the Native American school districts that “wear the [Redskins] name with honor” (he names three). Reilly ignores, however, the students in Cooperstown, New York, who organized a successful grassroots campaign to throw the name Redskins in the garbage over the summer.

    The “students in Cooperstown, NY” are primarily white (91% according to a quick census data search), which is exactly one of the points Reilly was making.

    Yeah, but the local Native American tribe supported their move and even gave them money to cover the cost of new uniforms.

    Look, either side can selectively cherry-pick examples to fit a particular argument. There are strong, vocal factions on each side, both among Natives and non-Natives.

    Thing is, Paul, despite my support to ending the Redskins name, is that it is really about as racist to consider all Native Americans in a monolithic fashion. The Oneida don’t speak for the Lakota who don’t speak for the Cherokee who don’t speak for the Choctaw and so on. In the race to get the name Redskins removed, the Oneida protest at Green Bay is being spoken and written about as if the Oneida speak for ALL Native tribes. To my Choctaw Grandmother, who is also for removal of Redskins but not ALL Native team names, she finds it just as racist that those non-Natives pushing for the removal of the Redskins tend to treat Natives as a single entity of people to be spoken about monolithically. Keep that in mind that what one tribe says in New York may not be what another tribe in Oklahoma thinks about the same subject whatever that may be.

    Totally agree — nobody speaks for all.

    But clearly, *some* Native Americans find the ’Skins name hurtful and offensive. Not all, but definitely some.

    So why continue with a situation that some people find hurtful and offensive, when you could change the team name and have a situation that nobody finds hurtful and offensive?

    Finally a mainstream journalist has written what most of us already know. This is non-issue conjured up by the liberal media to promote their agenda. This country is so PC now it is ridiculous. This great country continues to slide down a very slippery slope. Be afraid, be very afraid!!!

    What’s amazing to me is that the argument you are making “Redskin(s) means Washington football player/team to most people” isn’t being used by the franchise. All the “honor, respect, etc.” but not the most obvious argument available.

    That’s a really weird tautology, isn’t it? You’d basically be arguing that the Washington football team is called the “Redskins” because the Washington football team is called the “Redskins”.

    I agree it is weird, but to me that’s better than saying you are “honoring, respecting, etc.” people you won’t even meet with unless you know they agree with you. I believe it is a better argument than “political correctness” as well.

    Well, I don’t think anyone actually believes the “honor” and “respect” rationales, so that’s a pretty easy bar to clear.

    I’m not arguing that the definition of redskins is the Washington football club. I was pointing out that I have heard people talk about Native Americans in very disparaging terms for most my life, but they have never used the term redskin when doing so. It makes me question where redskin was deemed to be a racist term.

    “The only time I heard that term was when discussing the Washington football team. Has anyone else heard the term used derogatorily? Do we have examples of this?”

    Moreover, does Redskins ownership aim the term ‘redskin’ at any individual/group of American Indians? Do they employ the term ‘Redskin(s)’ outside the scope of the team’s current/former football operations?

    I’m not quite sure I get your question, but the link that the name is a reference to Indians. Like I said yesterday, I think there’s enough evidence to suggest the name isn’t referring to potatoes.

    Adam – excellent and thoughtful line of inquiry. I also grew up in Minnesota, and that’s the only place I’ve ever heard “redskin” used by anyone referring to anything or anyone other than sports teams. I’ve seen it printed on protest banners and heard it shouted at demonstrations on numerous occasions during the wave of 1980s and 1990s legal disputes over Indian treaty rights to hunt and fish out of season on non-reservation land. Including in one instance by a retired NFL hero who was a leader in the (white) sportsmen’s movement to contest and protest the treaty rights.

    I’ve also heard the word used more softly, though still as a racial slur, when I did some volunteer work for a Native American legal advocacy group in Minneapolis in college. In one instance, it was used by one Native American to speak ill of another, in a sentence where “white trash” would have been an exact parallel if they both were white. In all other cases I can recall, it was used by non-Indians against Indians.

    In addition, you can search for press accounts from pretty much anywhere in the nation, anytime since the founding of the republic, and find vanishingly few instances of “redskin” used in a neutral or positive sense, except when referring to a sports team, and numerous examples of it being used as a racial slur. Until shortly after WWII, when the American press pretty much stopped using casual racial slurs of all types, and coincidentally “redskin” drops almost entirely from use in print.

    And I think you very nicely frame a fundamental question, not only for yourself but for all of us, when you ask,

    How many people have to find something offensive before it is deemed abhorrent and racist[?]

    Personally, I approach that important question from a slightly different angle. I regard myself as a patriotic American, so to me the salient question is, “How many of my fellow Americans is it OK to disparage or insult?” Personally, I think the correct answer is zero. But that’s just me. Perhaps other people believe that a patriot need not object to an insult against his fellow countrymen so long as only 10, or only 100, or only 10,000, or only 10 million, of them are insulted. I think that’s a pretty perverse notion of what it means to be a patriot, but like I said, I respect others’ opinions and I acknowledge that I might even be wrong, and maybe patriotism isn’t about standing up for my fellow Americans at all.

    And look, I don’t believe anyone has a right not to be offended. There are other values in the world beside patriotism and standing up for the dignity of one’s neighbors. If, say, some valuable public good required adopting a policy that leaves some Americans feeling belittled, and that belittling wasn’t the purpose of the policy, then it may well be worth pursuing the public good even at the expense of some hurt feelings. Happens all the time. But the thing about “Redskins” is that I cannot think of a single actual benefit to anyone, anywhere, that comes from the name. So on the balance scales, on one side we have “Insults many of my fellow Americans,” while on the other side we have … nothing. Not a damn thing. If you want to argue that insulting a couple million Americans is a fair price to pay to achieve some good or necessary outcome, I can be persuaded. But Redskins defenders make this offer: “You let me insult a couple million Americans, and I’ll give you nothing in return, and nobody anywhere will be better off in any way whatsoever.”

    That just doesn’t seem like an attractive bargain to me, you know?

    Thank you for the thoughtful response. Perhaps I’m overly sensitive/stubborn when it comes to people being told what to do, especially when they’re told they need to change because they are ‘offending’ someone. Simply put, it seems like too many people claim to be offended by too many things these days.

    Your last paragraph though, is probably the most persuasive argument I’ve heard for changing the name.

    I don’t think one needs to be offended necessarily to point out that something offensive. I mean, if you’re going to take white people to task for being offended on behalf of other peoples, it seems equally patronizing to question the sincerity of people who express offense.

    My argument against the Washington football team name isn’t because anyone is offended, but because it’s an impolite word that has outlived its usefulness. If we’re to believe the team’s argument that their name and imagery is about “honor” and “pride”, then there are perfectly good ones to do so without stepping on a verbal landmine. I don’t dislike it because it’s offensive. I dislike it because it’s stupid.

    I saw video of that Matt Harvey segment late last night, and thought of this place. Dan seemed to be pretty ticked off about the whole situation. Of course, it seems like they could have just a.) told Harvey he couldn’t shill, or b.) cut him off in the middle of his ridiculous pitch (“Qualcomm does, like, you know… social stuff, in like, you know… your phone, you know”). I’m a rival fan, but have respected Harvey’s ability. This was a pretty jerk move of him, based on the facts we know.

    It’s one of several jerk moves. He did that Men’s Journal interview where, among other things, he said he respects and looks up to Derek Jeter because “just look at the women he’s dated.” He apologized for that. Now he’s apologized for the Dan Patrick thing too. It’ good that he can apologize, but it’s not something he should be getting so practiced in doing.

    He also posed nude for ESPN Mag. You can decide for yourself whether that’s a good or bad thing, but I thought it seemed like a bit much for a guy who hadn’t even completed his first full season in the bigs.

    I’d give Matt the benefit of the doubt. As you said about Bryce Harper, it’s not so much that he’s a jerk, it’s more that he’s incomplete.

    Say what you will about the Trent-Richardson-to-the-Colts trade from a football perspective, but it’s hard to argue with the man’s uni path.



    link (Not him but you get the idea.)


    He’s gonna look funny wearing an Orange helmet in Colts Uniform!!

    You know, since he’s being forced to wear one and only ONE helmet for the entire year!!

    Ooooohhh! With the exception of the Bengals, Vikings and Giants, I really like those new NFL logos. Well done!

    For the past 2 oakland athletics games, the entire gridiron was still painted onto the field for the raiders. Never saw that before thought it was interesting

    I’ll be the voice of the minority (once again) but I like the Lakers’ black uniforms fine. Maybe I would have done the wordmark and numeral in opposite color schemes (to match the yellow and purple suits) but I can see how the purple might have been overwhelmed when reduced to an outline. It looks like a piece of pop art based on the Lakers, which I can really get behind.

    If the team wants to put together a piece of pop art and show in the arena lobby, swell. It doesn’t belong on the court, though.

    All this time I thought the rule of thumb was that the Washington MLB team can help themselves to history/current events and wear whatever they feel like so long as it’s not this:


    I’m lucky enough to have one of link, which I’ve been wearing since Monday. A shame that EFF didn’t have a quantity on hand to overnight to the Nats. A shame EFF doesn’t even make the 1959 Naval Academy caps anymore.

    Reilly’s piece mentioning the Chiefs raised 2 piqued my attention in two ways:

    1) I find it odd that his father-in-law (“a bundle holder in the Blackfeet tribe”) is not offended by the “Redskins” nickname, but is by “Chiefs.”

    2) The Chiefs, so far as I know, don’t use any racist imagery the way the Redskins do. Their logo is an arrowhead, and their mascot is a wolf. So, to what degree is the franchise responsible for fans attending games in demeaning garb (i.e. the fan in the headdress in the photo accompanying the article)? Should they ask fans to kindly refrain from doing so? Should they also be asked to change the team name so it doesn’t inspire such attire?

    “Chiefs” was also not adopted as a Native-American reference. H. Roe Bartle, the former mayor of KC, was nicknamed “the cheif”. In honor of him, Lamar Hunt decided to call the the “the Chiefs”. It had nothing at all to due with Native-Americans. As pointed out, their mascot is a Wolf.

    “Warpaint” the Horse (retired for 20 years, but now a staple at Chiefs home games)used to be ridden by somebody, presumably a non-American Indian, dressed like this:


    I was not denying the Chiefs used Native-American imagery, etc. Just pointing out the name of the team was not originally chosen to be honorific (or otherwise) to Native-Americans. The tie-in was obvious, of course, so it was probably natural to adopt the Indian themes.

    If I were the guy that redesigned the NFL logos I would try to get them to some of the team fan clubs

    is the issue with the shells, the face-mask mounting hardware or the inner padding? The shell is just that a shell…not sure how much breaking in it will do. Face-mask hardware gets replaced all the time. The inner padding would be the part to “break in”…right? Why not swap the inner padding into a shell to match what the throwback calls for?

    Yeah, where’s my time machine? I want to join them!

    Is that a late-sixties Cap Anson catching the first ball?

    so fun! and not a bad toss for the first pitch.

    had the first pitch been institutionalized by 1918; I seem to remember various presidents throwing it out from the stands much later than that.


    I did some digging around after a comment on this blog a few months ago – Ronald Reagan was the first president to throw out the first pitch from the field, and it was basically a historical accident, but that became a tradition.

    Ronald Reagan was the first president to leave the stands to throw out a ceremonial first pitch, throwing to an Orioles catcher along the infield foul line in Baltimore and later throwing from the mound at Wrigley Field in Chicago. At Wrigley, he was also the first president to trade his suitcoat for a team-logo jacket.

    Every sitting president from Taft to Carter had thrown out at least one ceremonial first pitch during his term, and all had done so from the stands near home plate.

    And that happened because Secret Service didn’t want Reagan going to a public event so soon after an assassination attempt, but he decided to go at the spur of the moment. Since the Orioles and Secret Service hadn’t set up for him to appear, he pitched from the field and hung out in the dugout.

    So if it weren’t for John Hinckley Jr, we wouldn’t have had a link.

    How is “UNI WATCH” not talking about Alexander Semin of the Carolina Hurricanes receiving the newly-minted, first-ever NHL Delay of Game penalty for tucking in his jersey?

    That’s the kind of stuff I started reading this site’s articles for.

    Especially, since the RBK Edge transformation has made an abomination of what used to be one of the highlights of the hockey sweater. Nowadays, all of the couture cut hem lines at the bottom SHOULD be hidden from our eyes, because most look awful or empty (at best).

    The bottom of the jersey used to be full of color and the horizontal lines were mirrored by a horizontal cut in the material. Now the orthogonal lines on a curved canvas is an optical illusion and a mess.

    Tuck ’em all in, I say. Anyone who has played the game knows that the way the pants ride up above the hip bone, the jersey is bound to find its way in there on its own. It allows the players to move freely and makes the holding calls easier to see.

    That’s the kind of stuff I started reading this site’s articles for.

    I agree — that’s prime Uni Watch material. And I’ve definitely mentioned the new tuck rule. But I didn’t know about Semin’s penalty until you just brought it to my attention.

    During tonight’s Maple Leafs-Senators preseason game, Ray Ferraro of TSN spent a lot of time being critical of this rule. But he finished with some speculuation: maybe keeping the full jersey visible is the first step toward placing ads on the bottom of the jersey.

    Does anyone know if or when the Patriots will be wearing their Pat Patriot throwbacks? I’m jonesing for a nice looking game.

    I’ve been thinking for years they should rebrand (fat chance) with the Pat Patriot logo on silver helmets with their current colors.

    Couple things…

    First, I like a lot of those NFL logo concepts. The use of “hidden letters” in the logo is great. I would say the designer should get away from making all of the animals and faces 3D; there’s nothing wrong with profiles, especially when everything is to be viewed in 2D.

    Second, the matte black/shiny chrome Mizzou helmets will be an interesting look. I had also heard in preseason that Indiana was planning to roll out their link against Mizzou. Since they rolled them out last week instead, who’s to say what they’ll wear on Saturday, but a shiny stripes vs. shiny tiger matchup would certainly be…um…shiny.

    Almost a hundred posts and no one, i think, asked Paul about what crimes he may have cimmitted. :)

    Cooking purple meth?

    “A guy doesn’t Get It and you think that of me? No. I am the one who Gets It!”

    Doing some research on BFBS to write something about the Lakers’ new uni I found this old Uni-Watch BFBS post.


    And I quote “Whether or not you like the Lakers colors of purple and gold, they are classic and distinctive. But, with BFBS, how soon is it before we see Kobe wearing this?”


    I think it was mentioned yesterday but, since the NFL equipment managers aren’t talking, what about those at universities that go through multiple helmets throughout the season?
    Pitches could be made by recruiters like “Yeah, they have flashy new uniforms every week but I guess they really don’t care about you as a person since they’re being so dangerous as to put you in all of those different helmets. Come to our school where you’ll be safer using our single classic helmet.”

    Is it the Giants’ Joe Skiba? Are they still hydro-dipped by HGI? If yes, how do they maintain the look over the course of a season? How does Notre Dame do it, and couldn’t this work for throwbacks?

    Fans are upset because there is always a solution when you’re a billion dollar business, that works for everyone. This situation doesn’t indicate a lot of effort to find a solution, or hasn’t been presented in such a way by the NFL PR.

    My favorite line from the Reilly piece, “Too late. White America has spoken. You aren’t offended, so we’ll be offended for you.”

    The irony is how offended Reilly seems to be about it.

    Which is actually what people mean when they use the word “PC” about 99% of the time: “Nobody has the right not to be offended, except me. I find your opinion offensive, so shut up.”

    A little off-topic, but I really hope they decide not to use the “Redtails” moniker. It would be humiliating to be clobbered by a fierce rival, and then have to wear a metaphor of your ass-whupping on your uniform.

    Serious question. Is it only the name that is an issue? Or do you have an issue with the logo as well?

    My thing about this whole helmet issue, is that the bladder of helmets comes out. The part that gets “broken in’ can be taken out and that can be moved from helmet to helmet.

    Their argument isn’t very strong.

    An Ottawa, Canada amateur football club — the Nepean Redskins — is changing its name and logo under mounting pressure from critics who say it’s a racist reference to aboriginals.

    Read more: link

    Two things…the Zirin response to Reilly’s column was really good; the NBA logo on the Lakers’ black jersey looked incredibly chintzy, as if it were cut out of the back of a cereal box and then stuck on.

    This just showed up on Deadspin: “mashup logos (originally from Reddit) that include all of a city’s various professional sports teams”


    Not trying to be smart-alecky, but I honestly can’t find it in the ticker. It’s a different link from the redesigned NFL logos that originally appeared on Reddit.

    Shit — my bad. That’s what *I* get for being smart-alecky.

    Apologies, Brad. Someone didn’t read your comment very carefully, and that someone was me.

    I missed it in the ticker too, but that’s probably because the new ticker format befuddles me. Those are actually mostly pretty good. Big quibble, though: How is the Baltimore one anything other than the raven head, on the oriole body?

    So when do we change the name of the state of Oklahoma since it is a Native term meaning “land of the red people”?

    Meant to give the meaning of it. Oklahoma is based on two Choctaw words. “Okla” meaning people and “humma” meaning red. In the context it is used would be land of the red people. Like Illinois is French for the land of the Illini indians, Mississippi, Alabama, Kansas, North and South Dakota, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, etc, all are Native names too. Do we change them because someone might be offended?

    We’ve been through this before. Place names are tricky. Some, like Nigger Fork, are offensive and have been changed:

    But Oklahoma isn’t a slur. And place names aren’t marketing tools designed to sell something for a profit. A team name is.

    Good point Paul. Again, I am on your side here with this. I have thought for years Redskins should be changed. However, like my Choctaw Grandma, I am NOT against tribal names being used if used with permission and with the inclusion of said tribe, i.e. Florida State. There is no reason in the world not to use certain Native names and imagery if done correctly with correctly being the operative word. However, when it comes to Redskins, I can’t believe people don’t get it. Just hold the contest, change the name and make a ton of money off the new merchandise Dan Snyder.

    I am NOT against tribal names being used if used with permission and with the inclusion of said tribe, i.e. Florida State.

    Neither am I. I’ve always been fine with that, and have stated so many times.

    The should partner with the Potowamac tribe, do some charity work in the offseason, do some education programs, really involve the tribe (which is very small and local) in a meaningful way. If all goes well, they can call themselves the Washington Potomacs.

    Did anyone else notice the huge front numbers on player #33 (to the right) in that link? It looks more like a football jersey than a baseball jersey… Have there been other instances of large front numbers on a baseball jersey?

    Actually, I’m looking at it closer and #33 has on a different belt, jeans & sneaks. He’s probably the team manager or something and not in uniform…

    Here’s a good shot of the front of the Wolfpack’s link… That would make an awesome throwback.

    George Carlin on Pride:
    I saw a slogan on a guys car that said “Proud to be an American” and I thought “What the fuck does that mean?”
    I’m fully Irish, and when I was a kid I would go to the St Patrick’s Day parade and they sold a button that said “Proud to be Irish”, but I knew that on Columbus day they sold the same button only it said “Proud to be Italian”, then came Black Pride, and Puerto Rican Pride. And I could never understand national or ethnic pride, because to me Pride should be reserved for something you achieve on your own.
    Being Irish isn’t a skill, it’s a fucking genetic accident.
    You wouldn’t be proud to be 5’11”. You wouldn’t be proud to have a pre-disposition for colon cancer.

    Just read the new helmet interview with equipment guy and my question is, why can’t they just have a throwback shell? He says they change dinged up shells, but keep the inner workings of the helmet itself. So, why can’t one of the shells be painted for the throwback uni? It can be painted back to have on hand after the throwie game.

    You are asking for an East Coast/West Coast feud the likes of which have not been seen since Biggy Smalls and Tupac bought it by saying that Katz’s has the best pastrami. Langer’s in LA IMHO is as good as Katz’s…

    Read the helmet interview. I see the logic with fear of liability, making a player switch to a different model, but how can a player win that lawsuit when all of the models have been approved by the league?

    If the league is conceding that different equipment approved by the league but rejected by the player is open to potential lawsuit, then good luck with future lawsuits based on that precedent. The next guy to receive a fine for anything uniform-related should be using this defence.

    I’m not a lawyer, but this doesn’t seem very bright.

    Here’s a link to Indian Country Today’s reaction to Riley’s sophomoric essay (if you haven’t already seen it…I didn’t see a link.), with link’s to other reactions:

    “I don’t necessarily expect a 23-year-old millionaire who spends most of his time in weight rooms, hotels, and airplanes to be a deep thinker – it’s not a very stimulating life – but I wonder if Griffin also has no opinions on gay marriage because he’s not gay, or if he no opinions on poverty because he’s not poor, or if he thinks white people in 1962 had no opinions on civil rights because they weren’t black.”

    -Really guys? This is such a cheap shot. It is certainly possible that RG III has never met a Native American. Why does he need to make his opinion public? This seems better than him making a declaration that would just rile up one side or the other.

Comments are closed.