September 02, 2003

Washington Redskins Vs. Dallas Cowboys:

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Raiders may have played in the last Super Bowl, but in the playoffs for payoff, nobody beats the Redskins and Cowboys. The two teams are worth more than any other American sports team (our most recent evaluation of baseball's New York Yankees in April had the Bombers at $849 million, just a sliver less than the Cowboys), according to our valuations (which don't deduct team debt).

In America's richest sport, the Indians beat the cowboys, with Washington's $952 million value outpacing Dallas' $851 million. The Redskins pulled in more money than the Cowboys last year ($227 million in revenue versus $198 million), and enjoyed a higher operating income ($87.8 million versus $52.3 million).

[via SpoFite-made-good Oliver Willis]

posted by kirkaracha to football at 12:31 PM - 52 comments

The industry-by-industry sponsor matchups are interesting. The Redskins are backed by PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch, Cadillac, and Nextel Communications; the Cowboys are backed by Dr. Pepper, Miller Brewing, Ford Motor, and Verizon Wireless.

posted by kirkaracha at 12:32 PM on September 02, 2003

All that cash...
and I still don't see a way that either team makes the playoffs.

posted by lilnemo at 12:49 PM on September 02, 2003

"Los Angeles Raiders" eh... Oakland maybe :-)

posted by stuartmm at 01:13 PM on September 02, 2003

which don't deduct team debt the 'skins owe like $400 million on fedex field -- which is starting to challenge the cowboys as the fans most hated entity. it really is a lemon. (is jerry jones name really "Jerral Jones" or is that an LA raiders thing?) oh, and owillis is right about spurrier turning it around this year, mark his words.

posted by danostuporstar at 01:30 PM on September 02, 2003

I still can't see how Spurrier's system will work in the NFL (especially when he keeps bringing in his own rejects). Maybe if he could get some quality players. But for the sake of the people in Washington I hope he can turn it around.

posted by lilnemo at 01:48 PM on September 02, 2003

As a Cowboys fan, I'm looking forward to the day when the Redskins lose their trademark, which will doubtlessly cause their net worth to drop below Dallas. Spurrier will never be able to overcome inept front-office moves by Dan Snyder.

posted by rcade at 01:59 PM on September 02, 2003

Two quarterbacks? Or is that just a ploy to see if anyone useful came through the waiver wire? Also, what is it we're discussing here?

posted by billsaysthis at 02:13 PM on September 02, 2003

As a Redskins fan, I'll bite. I actually enjoy Fedex Field. What I don't enjoy is getting to it, and leaving it after games. I've sat pretty much everywhere in the stadium and always had a good view of the field. I think Spurrier is learning since the 'Skins let Danny Worthless go. I'm hoping that Kornheiser is correct when he says that Spurrier learned from his pre-season blow-outs last year and is playing his cards close to the vest this pre-season. Regardless, I'm so glad the NFL season is here. This is the best time, when all of our teams are undefeated and playoff-bound.

posted by BigVACub at 02:15 PM on September 02, 2003

You don't lose a trademark. So long as you consistently use the mark and submit a section 8 and 9 application for renewal (with the accompanying fee) every 10 years after your mark is registered you can keep that mark as long as you use it. Assuming the mark is registered and in use. That's why the trademark for Coke is still going strong.

posted by lilnemo at 02:17 PM on September 02, 2003

I think rcade was referring to the Redskins losing the rights to trademark because the term Redskin is disparaging. And for the record, I don't buy Easterbrook's argument that Braves and Seminoles aren't disparaging. I'd be willing to bet that I could find Native Americans who are offended by the use of these terms in reference to a sports team.

posted by BigVACub at 02:32 PM on September 02, 2003

Stop looking. I don't find it disparaging.

posted by lilnemo at 02:40 PM on September 02, 2003

However, I find the term "Cowboy" inappropriate, degrading, and misleading.

posted by lilnemo at 02:42 PM on September 02, 2003

The worst in the disparaging category has got to be the the Indian in Cleveland, though as a fan of the indigenous persons, it's pretty bad too.

posted by trox at 02:44 PM on September 02, 2003

I bet I could find people who would be offended by the use of Vikings/49ers/Saints/Patriots/Packers/Cowboys/Buccaneers in reference to sports teams. But that doesn't make them disparaging. There's no shortage of people willing to be offended. IMHO, Redskins is offensive. But Braves, or Indians, or Chiefs, or Seminoles is ok - as long as there aren't any Chief Wahoo type logos.

posted by mbd1 at 02:45 PM on September 02, 2003

Cleveland Indians official shop, is this a Chief Wahoo type logo? lilnemo, you don't find Redskin disparaging, or you don't find Braves/Indians/Chiefs/Seminoles disparaging?

posted by BigVACub at 03:08 PM on September 02, 2003

None of the above. I understand the intent of some of the groups who detest these names, but it just comes off so "touchy" to me. It's like George Carlin says, People (in general) are too sensitive. Soft kids make soft adults. It's the pussification of America!

posted by lilnemo at 03:26 PM on September 02, 2003

All the same, it is the right of these people, and all other Americans to voice their opinion on such matters. I just don't agree.

posted by lilnemo at 03:28 PM on September 02, 2003

Trademark law is clear -- a racially disparaging term like "redskin" cannot be owned as a mark. It's all over but the crying on this one. The Redskins will be the Washington Warriors within two years.

posted by rcade at 05:05 PM on September 02, 2003

lilnemo - would the term 'Jigaboos' be offensive? I think you miss the point - it's not whether or not you're offended, it's whether or not the labeled group is offended - and justifiably. The name Redskins is just plain ignorant and speaks of people who forgot to study. It's an insult that this would be the team of a national capital. Like calling a Palenstinian soccer team the 'West Bank Kike Smashers'.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:32 AM on September 03, 2003

Not that I know the in's and out's of trademark law, and haven't read the 65 page ruling, it is far from certain that 'redskin' as a term is disparaging. Historically, it is a term without excuse, and would have died off by now if Washington hadn't kept it alive. Does 'redskin' mean the same thing as it did when it was in common usage? I doubt it. And, since I don't derive meaning from an 186? Oxford dictionary, it's present day meaning is vastly different. On preview - Weedy, I would agree, but there is a time gap that is significant.

posted by garfield at 08:46 AM on September 03, 2003

My take: Redskins - terrible and gotta go (thank god the old logo is gone) Indians - not good, and logo is definitely bad Braves - good (the equivalent is the Ottawa Senators), but they lose points for the fucking chant Seminoles - not bad as it's a tribal name not a racial name and the logo is respectful (but there is that fucking chant again...) Chiefs - not great but not bad, and the logo works Blackhawks - same as Seminoles, but the logo needs work (side note: named after the owner's army platoon, not the tribe) garfield: Just because a derogatory term has gone out of style, it doesn't mean it's okay to use it. I'm pretty sure the "Washington Coons" or "Washington Nips" wouldn't be acceptable and those terms have pretty much died out.

posted by grum@work at 09:09 AM on September 03, 2003

grum, I agree, those two options are still offensive. I just find 'redskin' not on par with 'coon' and 'nip'. Not to make light of the discussion, but 'nip' came about from WWII, 'coon', well, that was during that whole triangle thing in the Atlantic, but 'redskin', thats like when Euros first got here. Not that the mere passage of time dilutes the meaning, but the reduction of common usage does impact how disparaging the term really is. This isn't a un-hip PC argument, it just a thought on meaning, where it comes from, and how it evolves. 'Redskin' just seems to have evolved in a less disparaging vein than 'coon' and 'nip', almost to the point that to use the term in a derogatory manner would be laughable. In addition to that, 'redskin' has evolved so that its primary meaning, at least in the contintental united states, seems to be integrally linked to the Washington football team, without even a thought of its disparaging origin. Maybe I'm crazy to think this way, but I think its crazy to see it as red and white.

posted by garfield at 09:29 AM on September 03, 2003

Historically, it is a term without excuse, and would have died off by now if Washington hadn't kept it alive. A reason enough to make the organization suffer some monetary angst. My wife went to high school in Pekin, Ill., where the school mascot was -- I am not kidding here -- the Chinks. The name was beloved in the community, but enlightenment finally came to the Rust Belt in the early '80s and they changed it to the Dragons. I don't think a term becomes less racist because it is used by racially insensitive people for generations.

posted by rcade at 09:33 AM on September 03, 2003

Google searches for coons and nips show the terms aren't a thing of the past for some people (#1, #2, #3). As for the harmlessness of redskin, tell it to this kid: "The suit alleges that students have hurled racial epithets at David since he was in kindergarten, with students repeatedly calling him a "savage Indian," "stupid Indian" and "stupid redskin," and that teachers and administrators often ignored the harassment."

posted by rcade at 09:41 AM on September 03, 2003

I don't think a term becomes less racist because it is used by racially insensitive people for generations. Nor do I. If the football team had been using the term in context to actual Native Americans, then the usage would be insensitive. The change of context from referring to an actual person or persons, solely based on their ethnicity, to a context of a football team is where the change of meaning lies. It's easy to crucify them for the term, and I at one time would've jumped on that wagon. However, if one wants to honor the history of Native Americans, there are much better ways of doing so, beginning with reclaiming the term and instilling it with positive meaning.

posted by garfield at 09:47 AM on September 03, 2003

'nips' and 'coons', are still in the common asshole lexicon, "are still offensive." And though thats a horrible story, blaming the term 'redskin' for such actions is preposterous. You wanna know why kids treat eachother differently? It's not because they hear the word 'nip' or 'coon' at home. It's because they hear a word that differentiates.

posted by garfield at 09:52 AM on September 03, 2003

Under that reasoning, a black-attired team could call itself the Niggers and not be "referring to an actual person or persons, solely based on their ethnicity." I don't think racist insults work that way -- they target actual people by denigrating them on the basis of race. The use of the term "redskins" is what makes us -- NFL fans, the league, the media -- insensitive. We know it's hurtful to some members of a race, we know it's still being used to denigrate people, but we keep using it anyway -- as if the names used in a sport were something sacred that could never be changed. Even though team names and locations change all the time, and we're even to the point of selling names. I can see why people are loathe to change the name Redskins. It's a part of NFL lore, and though I'm enjoying the team's predicament as a sports fan, in some ways I would hate to see it go. However, when you weigh our traditions in a sport against the damaging power of the insult for a segment of the population, I don't see how we can defend our continued use of the name.

posted by rcade at 10:13 AM on September 03, 2003

rcade, most racist insults are never said within earshot of the target, if there is an actual person to target, or just some ethereal 'redskin' in a racist's mind. Maybe I should've qualified my statement 'person or persons' with 'real or imaginary.' I don't follow your example of my reasoning. Nigger is not even close to being equatable, seeing as it has developed a much richer and diverse definition since its incept, apart from a professional sports team keeping it in use. And I think you miss my point. By the way, I don't know its hurtful. I'm told its a hurtful horrible term, but I'm sure there's more than one version of the story. It might even be possible some are proud of the term.

posted by garfield at 10:55 AM on September 03, 2003

Garfield, since you are not a member of the group referred to by the allegedly offending term, I think you really don't get a vote on this (nor do I, of course). No offense but your rhetoric reminds me a lot of things I read or heard as a kid being said by supposedly enlightened Southerners about why it was okay to refer to certain men as boys, even if the person referred to was, oh, 75 years old.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:17 AM on September 03, 2003

None taken. Just applying anthropological linguistics to the situation. Sorry for the theory-heavy speak. And apologies to those I may have offended. I stand by my statement that there are better ways to honor the history of Native Americans, and that by attacking a word, nothing substantive is really accomplished.

posted by garfield at 12:11 PM on September 03, 2003

If you're applying anthropological linguistics to the situation, why are you disregarding 500 years in which the term was used by practitioners of genocide to dehumanize their victims? Isn't that enough justification to stop perpetuating its use in any form, simply because a pro sports team adopted it in the '30s? Knocking off the Redskins trademark would have a huge impact -- it's the biggest example of Indian mascots in sports, and if it's ultimately ruled to be derogatory there will be more pressure on any school with similar mascots to finally dump them.

posted by rcade at 12:42 PM on September 03, 2003

Funny, I thought being part of said labeled group would make my voice count. Apparently not. Either way, being of mixed heritage it doesn't offend me at all. By taking a racially offensive or insensitive name and using it to represent a sports team is not a good idea. I don't dispute that. But you can't argue the effects it has on language, and civil rights debates. Agreed? Okay. Now, this name has been in use for many years (officially redskins since 1933) the ruling was in 1999. Four years later and nothing has changed. If anything the connotation of the word has changed. Making what was a slur into an NFL franchise has to some small degree taken the stigma from being native american. Do you think kids in Washington from 1985-1995 hated redskins? No, they wanted to be Redskins: Art Monk, Doug Williams, Mark Rypien. I hate to say it, but if it weren't for this issue would Native Americans even be discussed in a modern setting? I don't think so. We already treat "Native Americans" as people of the past. Eliminating icons like this just makes it easier to push them into the background.

posted by lilnemo at 12:48 PM on September 03, 2003

This Mascots Racism site demonstrates the depth of feeling among some Native Americans about this issue and the number of schools that have been persuaded to change racially inspired names. A question asked on the page: "Indians are real living people, and we are the ONLY living race of people to be used as mascots. Why?" Can anyone answer that?

posted by rcade at 12:49 PM on September 03, 2003

well said nemo.

posted by garfield at 12:52 PM on September 03, 2003

rcade, I'm not disregarding history, I'm actually incorporating more history into the picture, with perhaps more weight on recent history. I wish I had an answer, or a clue, as to why Indians are on the only living race used as mascots.

posted by garfield at 12:59 PM on September 03, 2003

Indians aren't the only peopl portrayed as mascots theres:
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Dons
William Mitchell College of Law Conquistadores

posted by lilnemo at 01:00 PM on September 03, 2003


posted by lilnemo at 01:02 PM on September 03, 2003

Conquistadores? Now thats a ballsy choice.

posted by garfield at 01:03 PM on September 03, 2003

I like Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops myself.

posted by lilnemo at 01:04 PM on September 03, 2003

Ah, the Crusades. Another fine historical period Europeans can be proud of.

posted by garfield at 01:07 PM on September 03, 2003

What race is known as the padres, dons, or conquistadors? I think you can make the argument that the last one is racial because the conquistadors were Spanish, so that's comparable to warriors or braves. The other two are more generic. In any case, a mascot that's completely identified with one race lends itself to offensive stereotyping, even when the mascot is supposedly positive. Such as when a school plays against a team with an Indian mascot and there's a "scalp the Indians" sign. Or even worse: "a man I know took his son to a high school football game. His son was only five the team was called the Indians. The opposing team took a life size doll and dressed it up like an Indian. They put a noose around this doll's neck they hung it from tree and began screaming and chanting kill the Indians, anhilate the Indians, scalp the Indians, Kill all the Indians, this boy, who was native american began to cry looking up at his father he said daddy they are going to kill us. Daddy we are going to die, daddy we need to get out of here. Some people say that they honor Native American's by naming sporting teams after them. How is this an honor? And if you treat every race equally in this state then what other race would this State Board of Education choose to honor in such away?"

posted by rcade at 01:07 PM on September 03, 2003

Looks like they're not the only race: Let's all cheer the Imperial Valley Arabs. Lord only knows what anti-Arab pep rallies are like.

posted by rcade at 01:14 PM on September 03, 2003

How is the school responsible for the behaviour of anyone outside of its own students? Assuming it wasn't their students conducting this distasteful act? My high school's mascot was a Brave, not a single time in my crummy high school basketball career did anyone in the opposing stands make such a heinous show. Then again when we faced the Padres we didn't exactly start setting fires to crosses or scripture either.
I was giving examples of groups of people not races. It is possible to offend someone within a group without using race. Why isn't the Catholic church putting the smack down on the Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops? Or the Padres for that matter?

posted by lilnemo at 01:16 PM on September 03, 2003

Whats wrong with fans now anyway? What ever happened to the simple "Beat < opposing team name>! Go < home team>!" signs?

posted by lilnemo at 01:18 PM on September 03, 2003

This thread is a good resource on the wackiness of school mascots. Offensive or not.

posted by lilnemo at 01:21 PM on September 03, 2003

How is the school responsible for the behaviour of anyone outside of its own students? When you pick a mascot that's readily identifiable with a race, you know that it will be used in a derogatory way by opposing schools. I can remember many "scalp the Indians" kind of things when I was growing up. I thought it was harmless fun. (As a tangent, at around that time in Dallas a school was about to play Plano East High School at a time that city was plagued with student suicides. A pep rally sign got them into trouble: "Let's kill Plano before they kill themselves.")

posted by rcade at 01:24 PM on September 03, 2003

That is harsh.

posted by lilnemo at 01:25 PM on September 03, 2003

Does PETA get pissed when fans have signs like:
"Make shoes and belts out of them 'Gators!"?
"Skin those Wildcats!"?
"Put chemicals in those Bunnies eyes!"?
Wait a minute...

posted by lilnemo at 01:30 PM on September 03, 2003

My point here being, it doesn't matter what your mascot is; opposing fans are going to say nasty stuff, and do nasty deeds.

posted by lilnemo at 01:31 PM on September 03, 2003

Thanks for that link, lilnemo: There are Britons, Dutch, Dutchmen, Flying Dutchmen, and (duh) Fighting Irish.

posted by rcade at 01:33 PM on September 03, 2003

Crap who could forget those Sluggin' Micks?

posted by lilnemo at 01:37 PM on September 03, 2003

'The Fighting Irish' has taken on new meaning for me ever since I saw 'Gangs of New York'

posted by garfield at 01:39 PM on September 03, 2003

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