You might be inclined to dismiss this as a cheap publicity stunt meant to get larger publications to write blog items about the Washington City Paper, but…uh.
Anyhow, my friends at the Washington City Paper announced on Thursday that henceforth, they will refer to the Washington Redskins as “the Washington Pigskins” and only “the Washington Pigskins.” Well, or the ‘Skins, since that still works, abbreviationally.
More than a thousand votes were cast after the local alt-weekly announced five finalists for the team’s new alt-weekly nickname. About 50 percent chose “Pigskins,” so the City Paper decided to go ahead and use Sea Dogs.
No, no, I mean, it decided to go ahead and use Pigskins, even suggesting this little ditty: “Hail to the Pigskins, hail victory, Hogs on the warpath, fight for old D.C.!”
This was all prompted, of course, by the Kansas City Star’s longtime policy discouraging the use of the “Redskins” nickname, which bizarrely became a “news” story in recent weeks due to the departure of Kent Babb from the KC Star to The Post.
“I remain unconvinced by every argument I’ve ever heard that the name is not a racial epithet, plain and simple,” The Star’s public editor, Derek Donovan, recently wrote. “And I’ll even break my usual rule about commenting on issues outside The Star’s journalism to say that I find it inconceivable that the NFL still allows such a patently offensive name and mascot to represent the league in 2012.”
That ain’t subtle. My own feelings on the issue are complicated and boring and rather meek, so I won’t bore you. And if there are any comments on this issue below, I figure they will be overly angry recitations of identical comments from years past, so I would instead recommend readers to the following passage from Lermontov’s “A Hero of Our Time.”
“I have an inborn urge to contradict; my whole life has been a mere chain of sad and futile opposition to the dictates of either heart or reason. The presence of an enthusiast makes me as cold as a midwinter’s day, and, I believe, frequent association with a listless phlegmatic would make me an impassioned dreamer.”
Maybe that has nothing to do with the topic at hand. But it’s fun. And yes, the City Paper and the Redskins have something of a history.