A Free Market Solution to the Redskins Dilemma

This might work! 

Congratulations to the Washington Redskins. They made me do something I’ve not done in decades: pay nominal attention to the National Football League. I’m on record as hating football. But the ‘Skins have sent me to the morning paper to look at the NFL standings for the first time in years. (Jacksonville has a team? Why?) I receive great delight when I find that the Redskins have lost and, lucky for me, they seem to do that almost all the time.

Those who read this blog know that I recently posted about how the Redskins name is an archaic racist holdover from the days in which white cultural hegemony passed unchallenged–an embarrassment in the present-day reality of multiculturalism. I hope the Redskins lose every game until the name is changed, and I was similarly happy to see baseball’s Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians lose. In the original post I sought to illustrate just how wrong those names are.

I now realize the error of my ways in appealing to morality and fair play. This is America after all, a place where the word ‘justice’ is often invoked and too seldom practiced. The moment one appeals to abstract principles other than individualism, one is subject to being called a liberal PC wuss at best or a flag-burning communist at worst. So I’m with the capitalist program now. Here’s the solution to ‘Skins controversy: let the free market private sector fix it.

The Redskins can pave the way as they appear to be so horrendous as to invite a radical change in direction. From what I read, they’re so stinky that even their most ardent fans would probably welcome a chance to disassociate with a name synonymous with losing. I propose that, starting with the Redskins, teams with socially awkward nicknames sell naming rights. We already do this for stadia and Bowl Games, so why not team names? It might even provide a large enough revenue stream for Washington to buy a few professional-quality players whilst shedding its troubling nickname. Win-win, baby!

A very mild dose of market constraint may be needed, though I suppose that won’t be a problem as antitrust exempt professional sports leagues are already the most socialist organizations in America. The NFL can’t be as desperate as National Public Radio and take backing from anyone who offers. It’s a matter of logistics, not ethics. The Washington Archer-Daniels-Midland: ADM Supermarket to the World simply wouldn’t fit onto uniforms–it’s too long even for the steroid-inflated bodies of football players. But I’m sure other compnaies would come forth. The team could try to divert attention away from steroids by calling themselves the Washington Ruth’s Chris Steak Houses. How about the Washington Quicken Loans.coms? Or maybe appeal to all those suburbanites who attend megachurches by becoming the Washington Hobby Lobbies? Or get some serious capital into the Capitol with the Washington JPMorgan Chase? (Singular names are all the rage in sports these days!) The Washington Bristol-Myers Squibb Kicks, anyone? Maybe the team could advance its standing with women via the Washington Pottery Barns. Does the team leave a bad taste in your mouth? How does the Washington Budweisers sound? Maybe Washington could piggyback on the idea of a big comeback and call itself the Washington Twinkies. Well… maybe not!

I’m sure some of you have ideas on the subject. As of this moment, though, I’m pushing for a total makeover. A new name means new uniforms, right? I’m thinking the Washington Armanis. New team motto: We Suck, but Boy Do We Look Good.

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