Deflategate – Let’s Get Generally Aware of Some Facts

The Wells Report and Deflategate penalties came down this week and it has caused QUITE the ruckus on my Facebook page with every hater of Patriots nation being very vocal about the report and results. And while I didn’t like the punishment or the report, I really, really didn’t like how many people only read the headlines and ignored a lot of the facts. So here’s a not-quick-at-all-can-barely-be-called-a-summary of what people are getting wrong:

1. Football tampering is SUPER important to the integrity of the game

Instances the NFL did not care about football tampering:

Panthers at Vikings, 2014 – Sideline cameras showed (Evidence! Actual evidence!) both Panthers and Vikings football attendants warming up game balls on the sidelines with a heater. That is changing the air pressure in the footballs and considering tampering and illegal. Both teams were issued a warning. A warning.

San Diego Chargers, 2012 – The Chargers were investigated for having an adhesive substance on towels and using those towels on the game footballs. They were fined $20,000 after the equipment manager did not give over the towels. Hm…an uncooperative equipment manager? The Patriots equipment manager was accused of being uncooperative in the Wells Report because he was not available for a FIFTH interview. He has a day job and offered to do it by phone, but Wells refused. And the Chargers were merely fined 20K and this story was never covered by The Today Show.

Patriots vs Colts, 2015 – What’s that you say? The NFL didn’t care about football tampering during The Game? The Colts went to the NFL to warn them about under inflated footballs and the NFL didn’t take the accusation seriously. They didn’t even record the footballs original PSI! No recordings even after they had been warned something might be up? And speaking of PSI levels…

And please don’t tell me about the junk science article you read about the Patriots fumbling record. Not everything you read on the internet is true.


2.The Science of PSI


  • The football pressure was not recorded before the game. Even after the heads up. So we have to take their word for it that the Colts started at 13 PSI and the Pats at 12.5. What if the Colts started at 13.5 or 13.25? Then the difference between the Patriots and the Colts PSI isn’t significant and definitely attributable to weather.
  • One of the Colts footballs measured at 12.95 at half time. And we’re supposed to believe it started at 13? Every other Patriots AND Colts football dropped significantly in the cold weather except that one? In my opinion, it’s more probable than not that the Colts football started at higher than 13 PSI.
  • Two different gauges were used, and the official (Anderson) couldn’t recall which one he used for sure, but “believes he used the logo gauge” (the logo gauge is the one that recorder higher, .3-.45). But the Wells Report states “it’s more probable than not that Anderson used the non-logo gauge.” The gauges were different by .3 to .45. A huge difference when you’re talking these numbers. So The Wells Report decided to report what fit THEIR narrative even though its printed in the report that when interviewed, Anderson said he thinks he used the Logo gauge.
  • Eleven of the Patriots footballs were retested. Four of the Colts were retested, AFTER the Patriots were done. So for almost 15 minutes the Colts footballs were warming up in the nice, heated locker room while the Patriots footballs were checked. If you are currently thinking, “oh come on, you’re reaching…” add that small temperature change in PSI, with the change of using different gauges, with the change of not knowing exactly where the Colts footballs started? It adds up. Also. Small sample size much?
  • In conclusion: No baseline was established for the footballs, different gauges were used, subjects tested at different times, and a different amount of test subjects. My seventh grade science teachers says that is NOT how you prove a hypothesis.

3. Text Messages


  • There is absolutely no mention in those texts that Brady instructed anyone to go less than 12.5 PSI on the footballs. Zero. In fact, the only time a PSI is mentioned, the equipment manager says “I just measured some of the balls. They supposed to be 13 lbs… They were like 16. Felt like bricks”
  • The texts are from months before the AFC Championship, and mostly concern a Jets game were Brady was angry at the equipment manager for not getting the footballs to where Brady preferred. The texts indicate the footballs were closer to 16 PSI. No wonder Brady was angry. Numerous NFL quarterbacks have come forward and said that it is totally normal to want the footballs exactly how they feel best. Aaron Rodgers even admitted to wanting them OVER the legal amount, and purposely pushing the limits.
  • If you read the texts and are convinced Brady asked the equipment managers to go below 12.5 PSI, that can be concluded by what you read. If you read the texts and assume he is just riding them hard to get the footballs exactly like he wants them (12.5) then you can conclude that as well.


4. Uncooperative Patriots and Brady?

The NFL seems to be touting this line from their penalty letter that “the failure to cooperate in the subsequent investigation” was one of the reasons for the harsh penalty. And that seems silly because the Wells Report stated “The Patriots provided substantial cooperation throughout the investigation.” Huh. So this must be all about Brady’s reluctance to pass over his cell and emails? Because if I was Brady there is no way I would ever give over my cell and emails. We live in a world where everything leaks. The CIA gets hacked and you want me to trust you my personal cell records because you’re on a witch hunt? Absolutely not. His right to privacy is just as sacred as yours or mine.

5. Draft Picks and Fines

The Wells Report clearly states that Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization as a whole did nothing wrong: “We do not believe that the evidence establishes that any other Patriots personnel participated in or had knowledge of the violation of the Playing Rules or the deliberate effort to circumvent the rules described in this Report. In particular, we do not believe there was any wrongdoing or knowledge of wrongdoing by Patriots ownership, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick or any other Patriots coach in the matters investigated.” So…why the exorbitant fine and TWO draft picks targeting the entire organization? The Atlanta Falcons AS AN ORGANIZATION cheated for TWO seasons by pumping in crowd noise. That is something that effects every single play called by the opposing offense if they cannot hear. And the Falcons were fined a mere $350,000 and a fifth round draft pick. And those charges were proven. Not “probably.” Not “generally aware.”

6. A Culture of Cheating

This one REALLY bothers me, primarily because most people haven’t even bothered to read this blog post all the way through and educate themselves about what they’re talking about. First off, most people get the facts of SpyGate so wrong that it’s absurd. Opposing fans love to throw it around and yet most have no clue what happened. I still have people, who I used to think were at least informed NFL fans, posting on my Facebook wall that the Patriots taped an opposing team’s practice. That is unequivocally false. In fact, the Boston Herald had to publish a full, front page story apologizing for printing that story without any evidence. I might need to write an entire “Facts about SpyGate” post because people still don’t get it. Anyways. Culture of cheating? Do the Ravens have a culture of felonies because Ray Lewis was accused of killing someone about ten years ago too? And Ray Rice then knocked out his fiancé in an elevator (this is where I insert the obligatory: And Ray Rice originally got a two game suspension for it?!)? And if you think whatever team you are a fan of has never done any against the rules? You’re wrong.

7. Media and Public Opinion

As I stated in February, the public and media care more about the Patriots than any other team because they win. A lot. So this story is going to make The Today Show, and casual fans are going to decide the Patriots cheated. Because they’re not reading the Wells Report. They’re reading the headlines. And the opposing fans are forgetting “innocent until proven guilty” because it’s convenient. The Wells Report, with language like “more probably than not” and “generally aware” is not convincing and nor should it be. But they didn’t have to convince – they had to construct a narrative that makes sure the NFL doesn’t look stupid (not recording the original PSI? really? I’m stuck on that) because the NFL is their boss (millions of dollars of billable hours to this company that once “proved” in court that tobacco doesn’t cause cancer) and enable the NFL to once again make an example of the Patriots. Tom Brady was absolutely not caught cheating.


Here’s the thing. Bill Belichick was made an example of because he made a mockery of Roger Goodell by disobeying a rule that has been put in place THAT YEAR that prohibited videotaping from the sidelines. So Goodell made an example of him. I understand. Tom Brady is being made an example of because of two things – he did not take this seriously enough at first. He laughed and the NFL did not. He probably had a PR guy in his ear that said “admit nothing, say nothing, this will go away.” And it did not. And he did not cooperate by handing over his cell and email, even after submitting to a six hour interview, in person. So that’s apparently not cooperating.

witch hunt

My parting general questions:

  • Seriously though – you were warned the footballs might be altered and you didn’t record the PSI? Really.
  • Where are the other quarterbacks now? Don’t want the NFL to come knocking on your door? Because Rodgers made that comment about wanting his footballs above the legal limit BEFORE deflategate was ever a thing. He flippantly talked about it with an NFL commentator like it was no big deal. Because altering a football isn’t a big deal apparently if Rodgers, the Vikings, the Panthers or the Chargers do it.
  • Most importantly: The equipment manager and ball boys never said they deflated the balls after they were checked. Why not? They had said terrible things about essentially their boss (they really, really hated on Tom Brady in those text messages because he was so demanding) and admitted trying to take free sneakers and clothes. They must have known as soon as those texts were released they’d lose their jobs. Why not admit it? One of them is a part time employee! Surely if he deflated footballs in a bathroom he would just admit it when he had nothing to lose.

I stick by this thought, originally from February:

And just to make this clear – if this was sanctioned by anyone in the Patriots organization, it is absolutely wrong and I agree they should be punished for it. But the punishment should fit the crime… and at this point, if they are found innocent of wrongdoing, will people even believe it?

I doubt it – because the court of public opinion has already ruled against them.

Because. They. Win.

Has the punishment fit the crime? Absolutely not. Has the crime been proven? Absolutely not.

This is a big deal because it is the Patriots. End of story. You’re deluding yourself if you think otherwise. Because I didn’t see this kind of coverage during the Falcons or Browns investigations this year. I didn’t even see this much coverage after the original Ray Rice video was released. Or Adrian Peterson. A man can beat his fiancé or child? But something that typically comes with a warning or a $25,000 fine is more important and warrants a several million dollar investigation? Where are the priorities?



Based on the evidence you’ve read above, do you think it’s fair to ruin a man’s reputation? Tom Brady’s legacy is forever tarnished by THIS? That makes me sick to my stomach because of the injustice. This is a media driven story with a narrative developed by a dislike for a team and fostered by an organization (NFL) that needed a scapegoat after  a season of bad decisions. The NFL has gone so far off the rails that I personally think other NFL fans should be upset (they’re not, because #patriothate). And I think Roger Goodell will eventually lose his job over this. Because you can’t make up the rules as you go and expect to just lay the hammer down on the last guy you happen to want to make an example of after an entire season of mishandling sensitive subjects like child abuse and domestic violence.


Obviously I am a Patriots fan. But I’m also an educated adult who believes I can see clearly. The “crime” is equivalent to using pine tar or stickum. It’s a misdemeanor. It should not be done, but I’m not calling Brady a cheater any more than I’d call Jerry Rice a cheater for stickum. If the equipment manager or ball boy someday comes forward and says, “Yes, I let air out of the footballs in the bathroom after they were checked and Tom Brady specifically told me to” then I’ll come right back here and say Tom Brady did it, without a need for a videotape or text message. But right now? The evidence is not there. And if I am going to ruin a Hall of Fame quarterback’s reputation and brand him a cheater, I’m going to need more than “generally aware” and “more probable than not.”

Like I said. Not a brief summary. But then again, the Patriots didn’t exactly summarize their defense either. If you got this far, thanks for sticking around.

In Someone Else’s Shoes

I’ll just start with this: I am not Gwyneth Paltrow’s biggest fan – Don’t love her, don’t hate her, don’t read her blog. But she was recently challenged by Mario Batali to participate in the Food Bank New York Challenge to walk a week in someone else’s shoes and only eat $29 worth of groceries in a week, an estimate of what people on food stamps (now it’s called SNAP) live on in a week. Below is her photo of what she bought:

29 paltrow

The photo now has hundreds of comments and thousands of shares. Many of which are negative. And, surprise, surprise, I have a few things to say about it:

1. A Poor Vacation

Articles have been written about her taking a “poor vacation” and slamming her for insulting the poor by choosing to live on a $29 grocery budget for just a week when poor people don’t have a choice. Why can’t we praise her (or ANYONE participating in this challenge) for attempting to bring awareness to a pressing worldwide issue? She literally can’t win – if she ignored the Challenge, she’s a terrible person who doesn’t care. She does the Challenge, and now she’s insulting the poor by making the choice. Maybe her week of $29 living will make her a better person. And is she not using her celebrity status for good by making a donation and encouraging others to do so? We tell children all the time to “put themselves in someone else’s shoes” and yet when someone chooses to, it’s an insult because it’s a “poverty vacation.” So instead she should forego this experience and pretend hunger doesn’t exist because it doesn’t exist to her?


2. Only $29

Are there people that get more than $29 in SNAP assistance a week? Of course there is. Are there people that only get $29 or less a week? Of course there is. It’s determined by state and the margins are wide in this area. I fail to see the problem in her attempting to replicate the weekly food budget on the lower end of the spectrum. It exists. *It should also be noted Gwyneth Paltrow didn’t choose that figure – the Food Bank New York City Challenge did because Congress has cut food stamp budgets twice since 2013 and food pantry and soup kitchen traffic immediately increased.

3. Food Choices

The comments advise her to “buy Ramen noodles” and “don’t buy so many limes.” Who cares if she bought food that is fresh or nutritious? That’s how she actually eats and we fault her for not buying additive-laden snack foods because that’s not realistic to how a poor person might spend their money? The point being most cheap food is junk food. The irony should not be lost on us that there is BOTH a hunger problem AND an obesity problem in America. I have no idea why she likes kale. I have no idea why she needs seven limes. Maybe her child won’t drink water without lime in it and she wants him to stay hydrated. Who. Cares. The bottom line: She went grocery shopping and only spent $29. She bought things she likes and eats. Of course Ramen Noodles are cheaper. So now we’re mad that a person that has never had to eat like a poor person doesn’t know how to eat like a poor person?

4. Get a job!

The overwhelming sentiment in the comments section of this photo is that most people on welfare or food assistance are lazy or taking advantage of the system so this Challenge is worthless. The people milking the system? They’re outliers. You hear about them because the story is there. The media isn’t going to report on the 97.33% (that’s a real number – fraud was only found in 2.67% of welfare recipients in a three year study of numbers, on average) of welfare recipients who are just trying to get by and feed their children. You’re not going to see a meme or read an inflammatory forward about a mom that works two jobs and needs the extra assistance to put food on the table for her three children. And this thought, that welfare recipients are living it up on lobster and champagne is pervasive (and yet, no proof) and results in a punishment of those in need. In general, I am all for welfare reform to continue to tweak the system so those who abuse it can no longer do so. I am specifically bothered by unnecessarily making it harder for a child to be a child. For example, Kansas has drafted up a new bill prohibiting welfare recipients from using their EBT cards on movie theaters or swimming pools, as well as limiting them to $25 a day withdrawals. If this isn’t an example of rich people not understanding what it’s like to be poor, I don’t know what is. How should they pay for their child’s field trip if they already used the $25 from that day for the electric bill? And get hit with a mandatory $1 transaction fee every withdrawal, in addition to any additional ATM fees? A huge inconvenience and takes money out of their pockets. Why are they making it harder to be poor? It’s already hard. And children shouldn’t get to enjoy the rare luxury of swimming in a pool or seeing a movie? They’ve been punished enough – they’re POOR. And trust me, they know.


5. Something to Chew On

  • 805 million people on this planet combat hunger every single day.
  • In 2013, 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households.
  • 2.6 million children die of hunger-related causes every year.

Facts: and

Learn more about the Food Bank New York City Challenge. I’ll be making a donation to our local food pantry this week, and I challenge you all to do so as well.

mother teresa

Is walking in someone else’s shoes not an excellent tool for awareness? Is deepening your understanding of millions of your fellow humans’ plight ever a bad thing? Knowledge is power.

I, for one, applaud her reality check.*

What do you think about the Food Bank Challenge? How would you spend your $29?

fighting a battle


 *But I still wouldn’t buy 7 limes.

State of the Union – NFL Edition

The Super Bowl is over and my beloved New England Patriots are reigning champions. They won despite being plagued by accusations regarding under inflated footballs during their AFC Championship stomping of the Colts. Accusations that have been categorically denied by everyone from Tom Brady to Robert Kraft and none of which have been substantiated. But I am not going to talk air pressure, or defend the Patriots…my rant is this: In the last THREE days, the following NFL stories and scandals have broken – not a single one of which has appeared on my Facebook or been a leading story on The Today Show.

In order to differentiate, I have placed each story into the three main issues that people seem to be wailing about with the Patriots:

C – Cheating       I – Integrity      NFL – Actions not in accordance with the NFL “Shield”

1. Cleveland Browns, TextGate, C & I & NFL

The Cleveland Browns GM stands accused of texting coaches during the game – a practice that is expressly forbidden because it could lead to a competitive advantage. They currently face fines and a possible loss of a draft pick. That’s serious business and if found guilty, will face the exact same sanctions currently being threatened against the still innocent until proven guilty Patriots. PS: The Browns have plenty of other breaking news within their organization – Josh Gordon was banned from the NFL for a year for violating once again the Drugs and Alcohol policy and Johnny Manziel has checked into rehab.

2. Green Bay Packers DT Letroy Guion, FelonyGate, I & NFL

Good ol’ Letroy was pulled over with $190,000 in cash and over 350 grams of marijuana in his truck. He was extremely uncooperative and hostile to the police and was charged with felony drug and gun possession. Definitely not keeping up with the integrity side of the NFL.

3. Baltimore Ravens NT Terrence Cody, GatorGate, I & NFL

Cody was indicted this week on 11 counts of animal cruelty, including abuse or neglect of a dog and an alligator. The aggravated animal cruelty are felonies (as they should be) and are also coupled with a drug possession charge (of course). It is hard for me to contain my rage regarding people who abuse defenseless animals, so I am just going to leave it at that.


4. Atlanta Falcons, Artificial NoiseGate, C & I & NFL

The Falcons are currently under investigation for pumping in artificial crowd noise during the past two seasons while their opponents were trying to call plays and during the huddle. It is definitively cheating, and appears to have definitely happened – The Falcons owner has apologized and expressed his disappointment in their lack of integrity, though the investigation is continuing and the Falcons still face fines and possible loss of a draft pick. Fines and loss of draft picks? That sounds familiar. But fans don’t care about the Falcons (or Browns) cheating because no one cares about the Falcons (or Browns). Because they aren’t beating your team all the time.

5. Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle, ArrestGate, I & NFL

Randle was arrested for drug possession after police responded to a call for domestic violence with a weapon. Drug arrests in the NFL seem to be a weekly occurrence, but I am including this one because it is his second arrest in four months. He was arrested for shoplifting in October. Clearly a wonderful representation of the NFL.

6. New York Jets, TamperingGate, I & NFL

The New York Jets owner apparently publicly expressed his interest for Darelle Revis to return to the New York Jets. This is a violation of the league’s Anti-Tampering Policy. I chose not to give this one a C for Cheating, primarily because I think it’s silly – but the rules are the rules and the integrity of the game is sacred and everyone just keeps telling me that when they discuss the PSI of footballs in a game won by 30+ points.

7. Indianapolis Colts LB D’Qwell Jackson, Just a MisdemeanorGate, I, NFL & Idiot

Jackson was arrested this week for getting in a physical altercation with a pizza delivery guy over a parking spot. A parking spot. So I am charging him with insulting the NFL Shield, a lack of integrity, and being an idiot. And not to add insult to 30+point defeat injury, but Jackson is the 5th member of the Colts to be arrested in the last 9 months…including the Colts owner (DUI). Maybe the NFL should launch an investigation and examine the science behind an organization with more mug shots than playoff wins this year.

insulting you

Just a reminder…these stories all broke THIS WEEK. And can all be found on ESPN – some front page, some buried. NONE can be found on The Today Show or on my Facebook feed. Did adding “Gate” to all their offenses make it real to you? Make you want to design a meme or haunt my Facebook page posting articles of football pressure? No? Could you look inside yourself and see that this Patriots situation was treated unfairly by both the media and opposing fans because it’s personal (we hate the Patriots) rather than an actual big story? Especially considering the cheating accusations against the Browns and Falcons – the ones that come with the same exact possible penalties as the Patriots? But no one cares about because the Browns and Falcons do not win. And that’s the truth of it.


And just to make this clear – if this was sanctioned by anyone in the Patriots organization, it is absolutely wrong and I agree they should be punished for it. But the punishment should fit the crime… and at this point, if they are found innocent of wrongdoing, will people even believe it?

I doubt it – because the court of public opinion has already ruled against them.

Because. They. Win.



A Lot.



Have you been following these stories the past three days? Sharing articles? Worried about the integrity of the game?

Just Do It? Nah. Just Stop It.

Hey, remember that time the best basketball player in the NBA held the entire league and ESPN hostage during his free agency rumors? What’s that? It’s happening again? LeBron James has officially made my “Just Stop It” list. But this list isn’t just about athletes – here’s a list of people that I would like to sincerely ask: Please, just stop. Shhh.

1. LeBron James, Decision 2.0

Seriously? You haven’t figured out that people still hate you because of the FIRST “Decision”? And since you DIDN’T win 3, 4, 5, 6 championships, you are reeling Cleveland back in and getting that poor, poor city’s fans’ hopes up again. And even if you do pick Cleveland, you’re alienating Heat fans. You haven’t hired a PR team to help with this stuff? Someone hasn’t told you that this isn’t right? It’s obnoxious and cruel. Cleveland has suffered enough.


2. Coworkers at a meeting who say “I know we’re running over…but…”

Right. So, that means everyone is late for wherever they need to be next – and you’re still talking. Wrap it up, send it in an email, save it for next time – whatever makes you stop talking and lets us all be on our way.

3. People who put their whole life on Facebook.

Oh dear. This is still happening. Listen – I like Facebook. I like connecting with old friends, staying up to date with current friends, seeing all your adorable children’s first day of school photos, I really do love it. But. If you’re putting every meal, every argument, every piece of drama up on your Facebook – well then believe me, you’re getting Unfollowed more than Justin Beiber after his 3rd arrest and 11th breakup with Selena. Had an amazing meal that made your mouth water? A little frustrated rant about your cable (I’m looking at you Time Warner)? A tiny soliloquy professing your love for your husband/Game of Thrones/chocolate pie? All of these are fine.  But I don’t need to see your oatmeal every morning or read about every argument you’ve ever had.


4. Donald Sterling

Sigh. This guy is still talking. I really wish he’d just go away. So does the NBA. And minorities. And the whole world.


5. Obsessive Dieters

Wow, can’t wait to hear more about how you went paleo/gluten-free/carb-free/exclusively orange food (hooray Cheetos!). I am constantly working on my fitness and diet, but you aren’t going to hear me drone on about what paleo is. If you ask, sure. But if that’s all I can talk about? Then I need to be quiet and eat my salad.


6. Professional athletes that are losing and whining about it.

Athletes that whine while losing should just stop – Tennis players who throw rackets and bellow obscenities after a mishit, basketball players complaining about foul calls, baseball pitchers that talk trash after a hitter takes them yard. All of them should just stop talking. Stop with the excuses because you are getting overpaid to do what you do.

     6. B. Let’s add “Professional athletes that whine about money” to this. Latrell Sprewell once turned down a 3 year,$ 21 million contract because he “has a family to feed.” $21 million? That could feed a third world country. That’s 210 million packages of Ramen Noodles.

7. Mom on Mom Haters

I’m not even a mother and I already dread the day that the judgmental eye of other Moms is cast upon me. It seems like, especially on social media, mothers are constantly drinking the Hateorade and not supporting one another. My friends are always dealing with this and I can’t believe the world hasn’t started trending towards a more unified #TeamMom mindset. Parenthood looks to be really hard y’all! It scares me! And mothers are still insisting on being rude and unsupportive towards fellow mothers. I just don’t get it.

Mothers shouldn't let mothers lay down alone. Wait. What. You know what I mean.

Mothers shouldn’t let mothers pass out alone. Wait. What. You know what I mean.

8. Kanye West

You are not Jesus. We know you think you’re a savior (you’re not) and you think you’re a genius (hey, maybe you are, I’ll give you that) and you “have to dress Kim every day so she doesn’t embarrass you”… but calling yourself Yeezus does not make your behavior even remotely Christ-like or acceptable. The man is “a proud nonreader of books” because he’d “never want a book’s autograph”…if that’s not a reason for me to wish he would just stop it, I don’t know what is.


Who do you think should just stop it? Anyone on my list that you’d take off? Is LeBron going to Cleveland? 


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?