The Redskins Rant

I’ve had many, many sports-related arguments in many, many bars. And today I decided to play out one of my favorites for you right here on my blog.

Last night, during the NBA Finals, a commercial brought to you by the National Congress of American Indians aired in seven major cities, examining many of the words Native Americans use to describe themselves – ‘daughter’, ‘father’, ‘patriot’, etc. The emphasis of course being at the end, when they explain the term they do not use is ‘Redskin’. I’ve been writing pieces of this list for a few years now…jotting down thoughts and ideas and my take on the name change controversy as it has unfolded…and of course I’ve been arguing about it:

Random Bar Patron: “But Daniel Snyder said they were originally named to honor their coach, a member of the Sioux tribe! It was an honor!”

That has been found to be incorrect. You can find proof of that printed in 1933 in the Hartford Courant. Oh, and if it was named after Coach “Lone Star” Dietz? They might want to find a different man to honor – It was later found that Coach Dietz wasn’t Native American at all. He made it up so he could avoid the World War I draft and served jail time for this offense. They didn’t even pick a good character to pretend to honor.

Random Bar Patron: “But the Native Americans don’t even care! Ask them!”

Partially true. Many Native Americans and entire tribes are indifferent to a Redskins name change. But. Being indifferent to a racial slur is not the same thing as speaking FOR the Redskins name. And entire tribes have spoken out against the name. In fact, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation just spent a lot of money on a commercial doing exactly that. Clearly they care and perhaps its time to retire that argument.

Random Bar Patron: “But what about tradition? It’s tradition!”

Oh, please. I could go for the obvious examples of “traditions” that changed (ahem, slavery, women’s suffrage, etc) but instead I’ll give you some traditions the Redskins in particular have delineated from: They have moved stadiums, which included changing the name of the stadium to just another <insert major corporation here> Field…they have changed their fight song (removed the phrase “scalp ’em”…good call guys) …and one day, long ago, they became the last NFL team to racially integrate. All breaks in traditions. Let’s have one more shall we?

MLK quotes

Random Bar Patron: “But other teams are named after Native Americans and stereotypes – what about the Indians? Chiefs? Fighting Irish?”

Ok, I am sick of this argument. Those are not racial slurs. Native Americans call themselves Indians. The word Chief is a positive and reverent term within Native American culture. In fact, both “Chief” and “Indian” are both words used in the commercial above. Neither word was intended to be used to imply hatred and disrespect. And the Fighting Irish? The Fighting Irish was meant to honor the grit and tenacity of the Irish…a stereotype? Sure. But not an ethnic slur.

Random Bar Patron: “But they don’t MEAN it as racist!”

I totally agree. I am sure when people say “Redskins” in reference to the NFL, they aren’t intentionally being racist. Of course not. But this is where the institutionalized racism within the sport becomes applicable. Just because it’s always been done or said doesn’t make it an acceptable nickname for a football team. Grow. Learn. Evolve. It is not acceptable to defend a term born out of hatred and meant as a slur just because it has been accepted. It is absolutely like taking another racial slur and making it a professional sports teams’ nickname. I won’t write an example here because then I would be perpetuating the word and hatred involved in such words. But use your imagination. And then picture the riots that would occur in the streets if that happened.

Random Bar Patron: “This is just another example of how our world is becoming too politically correct, I’m sick of it!”

Really. Really. We’re going to call insulting a large contingent of people okay? You must be saying it is okay if it’s just being “politically correct” to change the name. This isn’t a “The Native Americans are being overly sensitive” situation. It’s always been a racial slur. We’re not talking about changing the name of Christmas tree to “Holiday Trees”. Becoming “too PC” seems to be a trend these days – but changing the names of sports teams out of respect for Native Americans began 50 years ago! It’s not a recent development. So this isn’t an example of just pandering to the PC masses – this is an example of rectifying a situation that has gone on far too long.

elie wiesel quote

For me, this isn’t about being politically correct, or placating the feelings of a few – this is about respect. The word is defined as derogatory, is considered defamatory and was created to incite hate. I realize their numbers are few and that Native Americans may not have the voice to bring out about change on their own. I even realize that this may not impact their every day lives and will never impact my every day life. But that doesn’t make it acceptable. I believe you are on the wrong side of history if you continue to support the use of a racial epithet. Love thy neighbor. And thy neighbor should not have to be subjected to this term in the National Football League.

It will be changed. It’s just a matter of time.

If you were at the bar with me, would you jump in and contribute to this argument? Or would you sit back, sip a beer and watch my blood pressure rise?

Country Life

Introducing a new section of the blog today that takes a look at this City Girl’s exposure to Country Life. Future stories will be nestled under the “Country Life” tab!

Right before our move a hysterical example of #countrylife occurred and I’ve been meaning to post it. I’ll set the scene:

I’m inside the house, watching the Bruins game. Suddenly the door opens and Josh comes bursting in, Professor Quirrell-style.

quirrell

Josh: “Cows! There’s cows on our side of the river!”

Cailyn: “What.”

Josh, very agitated: “I just went down to the river and somehow the cows crossed it and they’re on our land.”

Cailyn, unfazed: “Okay. Sweet.”

Josh: “Well what should we do about it?”

Cailyn: “Are you kidding? What is there for us to do? I don’t know how to herd COWS.”

Josh, still worried: …”Are you up for an adventure then? We need to try.”

Cailyn, sighing: “Fine. Let’s go. Let’s go herd cows. Ginormous animals. COWS. Let’s attempt to get them to cross a stream. I hope they respond well to me politely asking.”

Now, as to be expected… we got down to the river, and the cows had already crossed back over. Because, you know, they’re animals. They go home.

The cows, safely navigating the hill on the correct side of the stream.

The cows, safely navigating the hill on the correct side of the stream.

 

I’ll Try Anything Twice

I always say “I’ll try anything twice.” This started by learning early on that you can’t really judge most things by the first try. I tried asparagus and sweet potatoes and hated them both – but after trying them a second time, prepared by excellent cooks (my friends Tami & Eli), I discovered I liked them. So giving everything at least two chances is one of my Life Rules. Here’s a list of things I have tried twice and never need to try again:

1. Skiing

I’ve gone skiing twice in my life, both times in my mid-twenties. I left the mountain a reasonably good skier, getting past the bunny runs and onto the intermediate slopes without any injuries. But while I didn’t fall down the mountain, I found that I was constantly afraid of hurting myself. It just seems like a really silly way to A. Blow out your ACL or B. Die. Not to mention I was never happy while doing it – Cold and, inevitably wet, under the threat of injury, is not my idea of a good time.

2. Mission Space (Orange Team)

If you’re not familiar, Mission Space is a ride at EPCOT meant to simulate what an astronaut would feel during liftoff on a mission to Mars. I don’t normally have a problem with any motion sickness or thrill ride, but I felt yucky and had a headache for at least an hour after both times I rode Mission Space. And I wasn’t alone – after a few years, they started offering a “Green Team” mission, which does NOT simulate the centrifugal force (spinning) that makes most people nauseous. Honestly, I don’t know why I even gave it a second shot – the ride features a barf bag in front of your seat. Yeah, I’ll pass.

3. Cut my own hair

Bahahahaha just kidding! I have never cut my own hair. Plus…I feel like that’s a “try once and learn the hard way that it’s not for you” kind of thing.

Haircut

4. Coffee

It’s just not my favorite flavor – or smell. Twice I have tried it from someone’s coffee pot and both times I was reminded I did not enjoy that flavor. I can handle a Java Chip from Starbucks, which is basically chocolate, sugar and whipped cream… with a hint of coffee. When I was younger I never wanted to try it because my Mum told me that it stunted your growth, and “Don’t you want to be tall like Papa?” So perhaps it’s a holdover from that because I sure do still want to be like my Papa.

5. See a game at Braves Stadium in Atlanta

Twice I have seen the Red Sox play the Braves and twice it has been unbelievably hot, crowded and dirty. And the traffic is a nightmare. Not to even mention the Red Sox lost both times. The Braves are getting a new stadium and maybe I’ll give that one a shot (okay, fine, TWO shots).

6. The Opera

Call me uncultured, call me lacking in good taste or education – but I really disliked the experience both times I have been to an opera. I mean, I love the spaghetti/Olive Garden/pasta commercial music as much as the next girl, but I just really did not enjoy either opera I saw. To quote Josh, I’d have to say they were too “singy”.

7. Wine

I tried wine on my 21st birthday (I was at a winery, in Tuscany. I know, best 21st birthday ever) and once while trying to Drink Around the World at EPCOT and the glass of wine in ‘Italy’ was on special… And that went a little like this: “A drink special, at Disney World? I’ll take it! …” (Sip, sip) …”Ew. I still hate wine!” (throws back rest of glass like it’s a shot). So, I’ve tried wine in actual Italy, and EPCOT Italy…if I can’t like it at either of those places, it’s not for me.

If I remember, I’ll come back and add to this particular list when more examples come up. It was fun to brainstorm and remember a few things that I had forgotten that after doing them, I was all set with never doing them again. Obviously I may go skiing again. I’m just saying I’m pretty sure I don’t ever NEED to.

Insanity

Do you try everything twice like I do? Anything you’ve done a couple times and aren’t willing to try again?

Hello world!

Oh, Hello there!

Welcome to my corner of the internet. I am going to be entertaining the masses with my lists (about anything and everything), as well as snippets and recaps from my life. I am going to kick off my blog with a list of things that will eventually end up in the About Me section.

1. I’m a 30 year old who loves to make lists. I made a list once of the lists I needed to make. I don’t understand how people manage without them. Oh, and I like to laugh and live my life to the fullest, hence the blog title.

2. I have a husband who is better than most. He makes me laugh, saves the good bite of the sandwich for me, and listens to me about 2/3rds of the time….which is really an excellent percentage, given how often I talk.

3. I am a Northern girl, living in a Southern world and still trying to adjust after over a decade. I have zero appreciation for sweet tea, the Confederate flag or grits. I have, however, wholeheartedly embraced flip flops in February, Chick-Fil-A and the actual use of the phrase “bless your heart.” I currently live in rural Virginia and my experiences adjusting to farm life have managed to entertain many of my friends and family.

4. I love sports with a passion that is equaled by few and surpassed by no one I’ve ever met. I love the Red Sox, Bruins, Patriots and Celtics…but the reality is I love watching sports because sometimes the impossible becomes possible. I’ve been known to fill our DVR with 190 hours of Olympic coverage every two years, watch the Little League World Series like my own child is the starting pitcher, and have a library of over 100 different sports books on everything from the knuckleball to the impact of soccer on global politics.

5. I love to read almost as much as I love sports. I read everything – fiction, nonfiction, science fiction, young adult fiction, mystery, fantasy, politics. One of my biggest soapboxes I tend to shout about is that people don’t read enough and that they’ll “just wait for the movie.” It was a book first. Read the book. The book is better. Trust me.

Grumpy Cat meme

6. I am a runner, in the sense that a mile is a mile is a mile, no matter how fast you go. I really don’t like running, but I like sitting down after running. And I like the sense of accomplishment I get from running. In order to keep up my running, I sign up for races – 95% of which are RunDisney races because…as I mentioned…I don’t like running. So if I am running, Mickey better be there to greet me at the finish line and I better be able to get a Dole Whip and a Mickey pretzel after I’m done.

7. Traveling is my favorite thing to do besides watching sports and reading. I love a good adventure and seeing new places and cultures and trying new things. I try to combine my passions by visiting baseball stadiums (16 down) and insisted on visiting the New York Public Library during my bachelorette party. To me, not traveling and seeing the world is synonymous with opening a book and only reading one chapter. I have to explore. And I love sending post cards to my friends and family…just like my favorite Fraggle.

fraggle

8. I like being organized. Remember Caboodles? They appealed nicely to my obsessive compulsive disorder – a place for everything and everything in its place. 57 compartments filled with scrunchies, Lip Smackers and slap bracelets. Nothing wrong with that. My cousin gave me one as a gift a few years ago and it might be the best gift I’ve ever gotten that I already got once as a child and wanted again as an adult. It’s filled with scrapbooking supplies now. Nothing wrong with that either.

9. I don’t really have OCD – I am blatantly misusing the term in hopes of defining my need for control and organization in a more socially acceptable way. Sort of like when you’re on a job interview and they ask you to name your biggest weakness and you obviously reply with something that could be a strength on your application to work at The Container Store – “I hate when things are out of place.” <hangs head in shame>

Organized

10. I am a certified cat lady. I have two cats, Nomar and Pesky, and if you are my friend on Facebook, you see them on a daily basis. I catalogue and photograph their lives like they are my children. I love dogs too, we just travel too much to have one right now.  I am an equal opportunity lover of furbabies, especially cute ones.

Look at that. Ten things about me. Ten feels right. But don’t get too attached – my lists will be as inconsistent as our current Spring weather. Sometimes I will have ten things to say…sometimes I will have four…and I won’t be using any filler paragraphs like I’m writing an English 101 final essay.

Any list topics you just can’t wait for me to talk about? Suggestions?