Washington Redskins ‘thrilled’ to win right to slur by proxy

The Washington Redskins: the Aunt Jemima of football — legally protected, but oof.

The Washington Redskins have long been a team of contradictions and frustrations — always trying to have it both ways.

They talk every year about how this is the draft where they take building a defense seriously, and then throw away millions and risk the franchise tag on the latest and (once) greatest wide receivers. They’ve thrown their weight behind 20 different quarterbacks and eight head coaches in 20 years, and it’s only a matter of time before they turn on their latest ones.

And now that the Asian-American punk band, The Slants, won their U.S. Supreme Court case to trademark a racial slur, owner Dan Snyder is “thrilled” that his team’s name — which was previously not a slur, but “an honor” — is now likely a legally protected slur.

While The Guys fully agree that the government should stay out of deciding which speech is offensive and isn’t (well, until the next debate over National Endowment for the Arts funding), it’s probably not great if your name is only kosher because of free speech. Welcome to the same legal defense as the Klan, the Westboro Baptists and every dude with a strong opinion about feminism online.

But, hey, we’re proof positive that you can’t legislate common decency.

Numbers don’t lie, but Redskins do

What? Lots of legitimate venues replace their balcony seating with weird, boxy shrines to their main sponsor.
What? Lots of legitimate venues replace their balcony seating with weird, boxy shrines to their main sponsor.

As a business, the Washington Redskins have a … unique relationship with numbers. They’re obsessed with the numbers ranging from 1982 through 1991, which was the last era they mattered. Then there’s the number 20, or the alleged number of years you have to wait on a list for season tickets; meanwhile, the number of available seats isn’t readily available because the team is covering them up with weird boxes now. They used to love the number 3: three Super Bowl victories and RGIII; but before Joe Thiesman could change his name to Joe Threesman, the number’s been ruined by going 3 and 13 in 2013 and only slightly improved to 4 and 12 last year.

And now, they’re claiming 7.8 billion unique visitors to articles about last years training camp — only slightly outnumbering the entire Earth’s population by a measly 600 million people. (Perhaps owner Dan Snyder has provided WiFi to previously uncounted hunter-gatherer tribes in the remote corners of the planet?) They also claimed to raise media coverage (and then, somehow, revenue) for the city of Richmond by over $76 million dollars just by moving their training camp there, which may explain why some of the defensive line looked so sluggish last year — that’s a lot of fancy dinners at local restaurants.

With off-the-field numbers like that, we can only assume the Redskins’ poll of Native American support for their team name is equally as believable.

You Missed It: End of 2014 edition

I'm not eager to do this, and you shouldn't be, either.
I’m not eager to do this, and you shouldn’t be, either.

We’ve reached the end of the year. I know, I didn’t think we’d make it, either. We found new reasons every day to get mad at each other online. We dumped ice water over our heads so we didn’t have to donate to charity, and felt good about it. We allowed Taylor Swift back into our lives. We voted out a bunch of Democrats because of Ebola. We watched Vladimir Putin close the Winter Olympics with the ceremonial invasion of Ukraine. In a year this dismal, one can feel lost. When I start feeling that way, I just ask myself, “What would Ernest Hemingway do?” Then I get rip-roaring drunk and forget the question. So pour yourself a glass and let’s do this.

January

At least she was clothed
Lena Dunham (of course we’re starting with her) was on the cover of Vogue magazine in January, and not in an ironic way. It got all the lady bloggers of all the internets upset, too, because her picture was clearly touched up. The Girls creator has touted herself as an example of what real people look like, and the photo betrayed all that, they said. In other news, Dunham was given an award for best magazine cover ever.

Let your bowels take a vacation
It was not a good month to be on a boat. First, a Royal Caribbean cruise ship had to cut its tour short because some 700 crew and passengers got sick. Then, a Princess cruise ship had a similar outbreak. We’re not talking about a head cold going around on the ship–it was the norovirus. A sizable amount of people were enjoying their vacations either in their cabin bathrooms without ventilation, or heaving over the side. They say bad things come in threes, but sadly the Bud Light cruise ship at the Super Bowl wasn’t affected.

In case you’re not sick of him already
Justin Bieber was arrested after police said he was drag racing in Miami while drunk and high, which is probably how everyone else in Miami drives in the first place. Bieber reportedly cried when he got arrested, and compared himself to Michael Jackson after posting bail. Between him and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, it’s nice to see that Canadians can be just as big asses as Americans. Continue reading You Missed It: End of 2014 edition

Take it from Snee: You sure you want to side with Dan Snyder?

It's like Dan Snyder collects shitty associations.
It’s like Dan Snyder collects sh*tty associations with noted weirdos.

As another football season looms (or even cross-stitches) on the end of the month, Washington Redskins fans — including yours truly — find ourselves experiencing the usual dread/cautious optimism that accompanies every year. We have a new coach. RGIII is allegedly healthy. The receiving corps looks good on paper.

But, as if there wasn’t enough hype about what will be different this year (and yet somehow end the same as every previous year since 1991), there’s even more hype about what won’t be changing: the owner and the team name.

And yet, somehow, Dan Snyder has managed to turn the Washington Redskins fan base into a “grassroots” army for keeping their name — which is the subject of a lawsuit by actual Native Americans and not just some issue du jour by the Liberal Keyboard Civil Liberties Union.

So, here’s the question Washington fans need to ask ourselves: are we really thinking and acting in our favorite team’s best interest by ever siding with Dan Snyder? Let’s explore Snyder’s latest moves for why we’re stupid if we can say “yes” with a straight face.

Continue reading Take it from Snee: You sure you want to side with Dan Snyder?

You Missed It: Colbert bump edition

I own the rights to this photo. EAT IT, VIACOM LEGAL TEAM!
I own the rights to this photo. EAT IT, VIACOM LEGAL TEAM!

I have to be straight with you: I didn’t do a March Mental Illness bracket this year. I don’t think I did one last year. There wasn’t any particular reason, I just didn’t really feel like doing it. When I tell people I didn’t do a bracket, they look at me as if I said I don’t like puppies. I’m considering telling people I didn’t do it because I have a crippling gambling addiction. If you were busy trotting out your black hole theory this week, odds are you missed it.

Internet stops making jokes, being racist, to point out racist joke
This week, The Colbert Report did a send-up of the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation, which was created this week. On his show, Stephen Colbert announced he was forming the “Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.” The show’s Twitter account then sent out a corresponding tweet, and Twitter called it racist. Then other people said it’s satire, not racism. How many breaks can Dan Snyder get?

Hope meets pope
President Barack Obama and Pope Francis met for the first time this week. They celebrated by giving each other weird gifts. The pope gave Obama two medallions and a copy of the book he wrote. Obama gave Pope Francis some carrot seeds in a box made from wood from the first cathedral to open in the U.S. Less than an hour later, The Colbert Report tweeted, “Hey, did you hear the one about the priest and the black guy?”

Ug, those two again
Actress Gweneth Paltrow and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin announced that after being married for a decade that they are “consciously uncoupled.” It’s not clear why they didn’t use English in their announcement, but it makes me now wonder what constitutes an unconscious uncoupling would entail.

Take it from Snee: The ‘R’ Word

"Oh, but it's OK for Costas to 'play Indian?!'"
“Oh, but it’s OK for Costas to ‘play Indian?!'”

During the Redskins-Cowboys Sunday Night Football Game, Redskins fans — including yours truly — were very, very quiet on social media.

This isn’t too surprising when Skins fans have found ourselves lost in the wilderness, shocked at the difference between the first six weeks of this season and last year’s playoff appearance. Throw on top of that a Dallas squad that is clearly dominating the NFC East — although, it is the NFC East — and it’s only natural for us to completely retreat from the usual banter online with our rivals. (Except, of course, for our friends at Redskins Breakdown, who are more than living up to their name this year.)

But, it only took an editorial from Bob Costas about the team name during halftime to rile the fans back up again. I will admit that, between Costas’ delivery and the timing, it felt like a kick while we were already down.

The online reactions from my fellow fans, however, seems a bit familiar, though. We like to assure everyone that we don’t say “redskins” with any malice or ugliness. We save that ugliness for arguing about why we should be able to, though. Continue reading Take it from Snee: The ‘R’ Word

Eat My Sports: Best and worst of the trade deadline

Stop your complaining about me not addressing the Brett Favre issue yet, I’ll have plenty of time for that when Aaron Rodgers commits himself to an asylum.

The media circus last week revolved mainly around the trade deadline, who (specifically Manny Ramirez) was going where, and who was going to get what. In one of the busiest deadlines I’ve ever witnessed, we saw three future Hall of Famers get shipped, and some for some questionable returns. You know what time it is kids, time to find out who got the good, and who got screwed. Continue reading Eat My Sports: Best and worst of the trade deadline

Eat My Sports: Quarterly calls

Officially past the quarter mark of the 2008 MLB season and we’ve had some surprises, some things we’ve expected and the last place Yankees. We’re going to size up the top teams in each league, then give you the one team to look out for. Us in the sporting world call this the “wild card,” look it up.

AL East
At 31-20 the newly christened Tampa Bay Rays have the best percentage mark thus far. I really like the Rays, their young talent is spry and standing tall like a seasoned porn vet. The longevity of this club to sustain season-long success isn’t going to hold though. It’s going flop like Ron Jeremy staring down a donkey. Don’t expect the Yankees to finish in the cellar, but don’t expect them to beat out Boston or Tampa either. The Rays’ pitching will falter down the stretch, and look for the Sox to take the crown, but the Rays in the wild card. Continue reading Eat My Sports: Quarterly calls