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Ordinarly American / Unordinary Writing
Go, Washington Fat Cats!
Because we don't want bad things to happen to rich white men
You’ve heard the talk about whether the NFL team in our nation’s capitol should change their name. Why, even the former Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate won’t attend home games unless the name of the team changes.
Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. Here’s mine. I believe they should change it. To call a professional sports team the Redskins and use iconography that depicts Native Americans in distasteful, disrespectful ways is not only bad for football, it is bad for the NFL and bad for business.
As the Governor of Massachusetts said, “words have power.” Negative words have negative power.
Negative words can make bad things happen to good organizations.
Think about the NBA, which we hopefully agree is a good organization that tries to make good things happen, like promoting multi-million-dollar salaries for people who play a game and wear silk clothing.
As we’ve seen in Los Angeles, with the Clippers organization, the consequence of distasteful, disrespectful crap talk is that fans and sponsors were making it known they would stop pouring dollars into the organization – and, hence, the NBA.
Bad things were going to happen. Really bad things, like rich white men seeing a drop in the value of their business enterprises, because hate is so last-century.
And the NFL, just like the NBA, is first and foremost a business. And a successful one. The National Football League’s nine billion dollars a year in revenue is not a bad take, again for a small number of mostly white men who would really feel like a bad thing had happened if the value of their business took a hit because of disrespectful crap talk.
So, if moral imperatives and passionate pleas are not enough to change the mind of the Washington franchise owner, than looking out for the bottom line of all that small group of rich mostly white men is reason enough to make a change.
The sale of the Clippers came about because momentum built that demanded action from a Commissioner and the fellow owners, who had to look out for their fat cat positions. It’s not free to dine at the owners’ table, after all.
Let’s assume that the same momentum is building behind the need to either change the name of the Washington team, or to push out the owner who refuses to protect the financial well-being of his fellow fat cats.
The big question then becomes not “when” or “if” the name changes, but instead: What do you change the name to?
We’ve got to move from the complaining phase to the money-ball round, where we can ring up value by finding a name that takes us away from controversy, and instead makes for fan enjoyment, merchandizing opportunities and just general all-out good times like Washington has not felt since Teddy Roosevelt won the Presidents’ Race.
I present for your consideration, a few iconic franchise opportunities for our nation’s capitol….
The Washington Independents. America is breaking with parties, and so the Indies are true to the changes in the country. The hometown team in our nation’s capitol could be claimed by all sides. If Harry Reid and John Boehner can’t find common ground in congress, at least they can cheer on the Indies, in luxury boxes supplied by corporate fat-cats, who don’t care which party is in power, so long as their will be done.
The Washington Mavericks. Maybe the moment has passed for the Mavs, since Sarah Palin can’t lead the crowd in a drinking game about how many times she can use the word in a debate, but everyone in Washington would be proud to call themselves Mavericks, if it meant being able to make money off of a shirt or paying six dollars for a cup of Genuine Southwest Maverick Chili. (Can’t beat Ben’s Chili Bowl, though.)
The Washington Orgasms. Perhaps controversial in its own way, but Big O Stadium would be a place people would come to over and over to watch a team that explodes with such power that they make you fall in love all over again with the hometown boys. Smoking rates may rise on game day and marketing whizbangs will have to be delicate about pitching the Os as a wholesome family experience, but just think of the merchandizing. The shirts. The giveaway nights. And as the long litany of congressional scandals show, everyone in Washington loves their Orgasms.
The Washington Roadkill. We’ve been worshipping at the temple of dead animals since time in memoriam. Why not just admit that no one truly can tell us what is in a Dodger Dog or even the Milwaukee Bratwurst? Scoop it off the highway, put it in the grinder and throw it in a bun, and give the fans what they want – charred meat on soggy starch. Package it for twelve bucks, and the real winners are not just the players on the field and fans in the stands, but those rich mostly white men up in those luxury boxes, who are laughing all the way to the bank.
The Washington Fat Cats. Let’s just call it like it is. Washington has always been home to the Fat Cats. Giving them their due on the field of play merely sets the record straight. True, Toupee Night might be under-attended and giving a bailout to all K Street lobbyists could make for some angry fans, but with renegotiated TV royalties spread around to the rich mostly white male owners of the league’s franchise, who would care? Well, who among those who matter would care?
There will always be naysayers about any name that is proposed. After all, the arch of progress isn’t straight. It’s an arch.
Should we care what it takes to get Harry Reid to a game? I say, yes, because the only way to ensure the financial future for those rich mostly white men who populate the rarified ranks of NFL owners is to move past controversy and starting ringing the registers again in Washington.
Who would miss a showdown between the Orgasms and the Rams? Who wouldn’t cheer the Indies or Mavs as they take on the Patriots? And who wouldn’t feel good about the Roadkill going on a murderous march up the middle of Meat Eater Field?
Go, Fat Cats! (Can we all do the Big O wave on that play?)
A lightning round.
What will Bill spend his congressional career seeking to bring back to the 44th?
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