17

February

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

As I get older, I can’t tell if I’m getting soft, getting smarter, or both.

I was always one of those people who wasn’t bothered by the use of American Indian imagery and slang for team logos and nicknames. I went to school at St. Cloud State University (the Harvard of the Midwest), which was in a hockey conference with the North Dakota Fighting Sioux.

The Fighting Sioux nickname has been debated endlessly in North Dakota and Minnesota for years. Some say it’s offensive to American Indians and should be scrapped. Others say it’s honorable and should be kept.

In college, I proudly supported keeping the Fighting Sioux nickname. I was the guy at parties who had one too many Keystone Lights and got into fierce political debates. When someone said that the Fighting Sioux nickname should be changed, I would shout them down while cracking open another can of Keystone.

I’ve grown up a lot since then. Most importantly, I now drink good beer, not Keystone Light. Almost as importantly, I now hate American Indian team logos and nicknames.

The Fighting Sioux nickname is bad enough, but nothing gets me going more than the Washington Redskins.

I mean, seriously. The Redskins?! How is it ok to name your team after an obvious racial slur? The fact that our nation’s capital still refers to its professional football team as the Redskins in the year 2013 makes me embarrassed to be a football fan.

Nicknames like the Braves, Fighting Illini or Fighting Sioux are questionable enough, but at least they aren’t blatant racial slurs.

Of course the people in my life who knew me during my pro-offensive-Native American-nickname days are stunned by my change of heart. They ask me when I became so politically correct, why I turned into a weak-ass liberal, or why I care either way.

I tell them it’s got nothing to do with being PC, and it sure as hell has nothing to do with liberal or conservative politics.

To me, my change of heart had to do with two things: 1) First and foremost, common decency. I would never walk up to an American Indian and call him or her a “redskin.” Therefore, to me, it’s only common decency that we shouldn’t refer to a sports team as the Redskins. 2) Using nicknames like the Redskins makes us appear stupid. Do people really understand what the word “Redskin” means? They should, but they probably don’t. According to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress, only 12 percent of high school seniors were proficient in American history and only 2 percent could identify the social problem addressed by the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

Do football fans want to be known as a group of people who chug Keystone Light and yell at others about words they don’t understand?

I don’t.

Maybe I am turning soft. But if being soft means not using racial slurs to identify our sports teams, then call me a marshmallow.

Packers News, Notes and Links

  • Thanks for everything, Charles Woodson.
  • Greg Jennings spoke on the NFL Network and didn’t sound like a guy who thought he’d be returning to the Packers. He also said that football is a business, and that he’d be open to playing for the Vikings. For some reason, people got mad at Jennings for his Vikings remark. Chill out, people. Jennings is right. It is a business. If Jennings ends up in purple, it’d be a totally different situation that when Brett Favre put on the Helga horns. A big part of Favre’s motivation was sticking it to the Packers. Sure, Jennings will want to prove to the Packers that they made a mistake, but revenge would not be his ultimate motive.
  • John Rehor at Packerstalk.com has high hopes for the 2014 Packers hall of fame class. Brett Favre, Donald Driver and Ahman Green all going in at the same time would be quite the ceremony. Something tells me the Packers might not want to induct all three of these guys at once — all of Wisconsin would overdoes on Packers memories — but if they did, it’d be awesome.
  • Devin Shanley at Acme Packing Co. takes a look at Mike McCarthy. It’s a great breakdown, and very fair. I’d like to know about McCarthy’s role in the defense. Obviously, McCarthy’s expertise is offense, but that doesn’t mean he should just leave the defensive side of the ball to his assistants. I’m not saying that’s what McCarthy does, but sometimes I’d like to see him be a bit more forceful and insightful when asked defensive questions.

Non-Packers Links and Other Nonsense

  • Everyone should read this story about “The Shooter,” the Navy Seal who killed Osama bin Laden. It’s a fascinating read that touches on everything from the raid to healthcare benefits for veterans. If you want to know more about the healthcare benefits angle of the story, read this. The Shooter’s claims of getting “nothing” from the government after leaving service are not 100 percent true. Nonetheless, read the story. It’s great.
  • I’m going to this on Monday and I can’t wait. “Clear alcohols are for rich women on diets.”
  • Even if you’re sick of the coverage Michael Jordan’s 50th birthday is getting, read this piece on Jordan by Wright Thompson, anyway. It’s that good.
  • Friday Night Lights fans know how awesome Connie Britton is. For the rest of you, read this.
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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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25 Responses to “Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived”

  1. Chad Toporski Chad Toporski says:

    I got my undergraduate degree at IUP (Indiana University of Pennsylvania). While there, they were forced by the NCAA to change their names from the IUP Indians. (They decided on the “Crimson Hawks” as the new nickname.)

    Obviously, we were all pretty PO’ed, especially considering Florida State is still the Seminoles. Plus, the college resides in the city of Indiana, PA, which also resides in the county of Indiana… all of which is named for the Indians.

    Aside from that… I just started watching Friday Night Lights last year on Amazon Prime. GREAT show, and I can’t believe I’ve been missing it all these years.

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  2. Ed Schoenfeld says:

    There are two differences between the Seminoles and the nicknames of other teams:

    1) ‘Seminoles’ is a simple tribal name without embellishments (like ‘Fighting’) or stereotype (like ‘Warriors’ or ‘Braves.’)

    2) Florida State has a specific mission to educate members of the Seminole tribe and has had a close relationship with the Seminole tribe for decades.

    There are other schools that have similar relationships with tribes (Catawba in N.C. comes to mind) and these will keep their ‘Indian’ nicknames. It makes a difference when the petition to keep the name is signed by the group of people it refers to.

    ‘Redskins’ is just a national embarrassment. It’s on the same level as calling a team the N****** [reference to African American people that would get this post bounced by the moderators if spelled completely]. In fact, ‘Redskins’ should really be spelled ‘R*******’ in all public media. Maybe that would get through to the ownership.

    FWIW, I have no trace of Native American ancestry. I do know a few people who do.

    Ed

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    • Adam Czech says:

      Doesn’t some of the fuss around the Seminoles have more to do with the mascot, an Indian guy riding around on a horse with a spear?

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      • Ed Schoenfeld says:

        Not really — the person playing the mascot is always a member of the Seminole tribe, and the outfit is authentic.

        Unlike the costume that used to be worn by mascots such as Chief Iliniwiek (sp?).

        (Ps I am not an alum of FSU or the U of Illinois.)

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        • Dan LaPine says:

          Fortunately for us U of I alumni, they finally retired “Chief Illiniwek” a few years back. You can support your school and the history of the area with the “Fighting Illini” but having a white frat boy play the part of an Indian chief is just silly and an insult to the memory of the local tribe. If it had been a tribal member that would be one thing, but it was always a frat guy. Sad really.

          I keep telling them that we should license the Blue Man Group for a new mascot with blue guys and orange instruments- that would be cool. BMG is from Chicago originally so we have a common link.

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  3. JimR_in_DC says:

    As a Florida Gator, we refer to FSU as the Criminoles or Free Shoes U.

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  4. Ron LC says:

    I, for one, am tired of football teams being named after condums. No more USC Trojans! It’s disgusting. :)

    Nicknames and mascots are not on my top ten concerns. I must admitt that the “Redskins” does push the envelope though. Sure don’t hear a lot of critique by the generally left leaning “Sports Press” for some reason. I think Costa owes it to the American Indian to champion that cause.

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    • Adam Czech says:

      It comes up in the press fairly often. I think the typical sports reader would rather know about who has the inside track at left tackle instead of debating team nicknames. Plus it’s one of those issues that’s been beaten to death over the years. Taxes, gun control, abortion…people get numb to issues that have been debated endlessly where both sides yell at each other without introducing any sort of new information.

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  5. Chad Toporski Chad Toporski says:

    Why no backlash against the Vikings? Is it just because they don’t exist anymore? Those guys didn’t actually wear horns on their helmets, either…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • Ron LC says:

      Sorry Chad, they’re fat, hairy, smelly white guys. No one to protect them, especially the english maidens they ravished.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  6. mike sherman says:

    what about the fighting Irish? you mentioned fighting sioux numerous times but not the irish.

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  7. James says:

    So why haven’t anyone complained about the stero type…”Fighting Irish”?

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  8. Stroh says:

    I think of the “fighting” in front of a nickname is a tribute to bravery and courage. 2 admirable traits. If you CHOSE to look at them differently, thats your perogative, but thats what its meant for, not for indians being warlike in nature. Therefore its only insulting to them if you CHOSE to view it as such.

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    • Stroh says:

      Which is pretty much the case w/ anything PC. It isn’t insulting unless it was meant as such. THat doesn’t however mean I in anyway advocate that its right to insult anyone. Anytime a word is used alot as a descriptive it will eventually become considered not PC, even if wasn’t meant that way in the first place. So where does PC end? It never will… Whats considered PC now will become non PC sooner or later.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

      • Adam Czech says:

        Good intentions are not an excuse for ignorance.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

        • Stroh says:

          Good intentions are never ignorant. Trying to always be PC is. Its a never ending, non productive waste of time to have to worry about.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

          • Adam Czech says:

            “Good intentions are never ignorant.”

            LOL.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

            • Stroh says:

              Good intentions are trying to do the best for all parties. Thats not in anyway ever ignorant. Trying to be PC is. Its an exercise in futility, since it will always continue to change.

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              • Adam Czech says:

                Stroh:

                “Hell is paved with good intentions.” That’s one of my favorite quotes, and it’s 100 percent true.

                Many of the people who made blacks sit in the back of the bus thought they were doing African Americans a favor.

                Many of the people who denied women the right to vote thought it was best for women if they didn’t vote.

                Many of the people who stole land from Indian’s in the early days thought they were just trying to help.

                No, I’m not comparing these very serious issues to a silly mascot or team nickname. Just trying to illustrate that some of the most terrible things that have happened in this world have been done by people who genuinely think they are doing something good.

                Good intentions mean nothing. Actions mean everything.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

              • Ed Schoenfeld says:

                Oddly, I’ve never needed any sort of ‘PC’ guidance to remind me not to insult someone by using terms derogatory of their nationality. A swift and effective lesson in manners administered by my mom is all it took.

                PC may be futile (the entire concept is actually a joke), but manners will never be. We shouldn’t toss manners out the window in our quest to get rid of PC fakery. JMO.

                To add the obligatory Packer content, Coach Lombardi apparently shared the same opinion.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • Dan LaPine says:

      I have to disagree with you there, Stroh, for 2 different reasons.

      First off, I’m pretty sure that your opinion of what the term “fighting” means is irrelevant to the meaning it originally had, whether that’s positive or not. You can call me “Fat Dan” and intend it to be a compliment (“well, you’re not Obese Dan”), but in the matter of insults, it really isn’t your opinion that matters, it’s the opinion of the person to whom the term is directed. What you, or some 3rd party thinks is irrelevant. It’s insulting to them, if THEY think it’s insulting to them, regardless of what you think you meant. You don’t have to be PC to avoid a lack of manners.

      Secondly, and separately, the term may not mean what you think it does. For instance, the term “Fighting Illini” is not actually applied to the local Indian tribe, but to the WWI veterans from Illinois. That’s why the NCAA allows it. Chief Illiniwek was a creation of the Frat houses and just confused the issue about the term meant.

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  9. FITZCORE1252 says:

    “Clear alcohols are for rich women on diets.”

    Ron Swanson???

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