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Al Michaels says Redskins name debate ‘is nuts’

(NBC Sports Group Photo by Zade Rosenthal
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Because the sun rose on Wednesday, I got into an online debate with a Redskins fan who accused me of not posting blog items when famous people back the team’s name. I assured him that wasn’t the case. Thus, even though you might lament yet another Redskins name post, I can hardly avoid this one, right?

Anyhow, NBC “Sunday Night Football” play-by-play man Al Michaels was on Jim Rome on Showtime this week, where he was featured on the Front Row segment. Rome asked Michaels whether he thought Daniel Snyder would hold on to the name.

“It seems to me as if he is going to hold on,” Michaels said. “I mean all of the sudden — I mean, for 70-some odd years this was a zero issue, and then it became an issue. I understand we live in this politically correct environment. It’s crazier than ever; you know, senators want to weigh in on this, like there’s nothing better to do in Congress. This becomes a big issue. I mean, I just think it’s nuts. And I do know, I’ve talked to Snyder about it — not recently but when we were in Washington last year — and he basically said “over my dead body.’ ”

Meanwhile, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon also weighed in on the ad that ran in seven markets during Tuesday night’s NBA Finals broadcast.

“You and I both agree that the rightful conclusion to this is to change the nickname, and it’s a question of when that’s going to happen,” Kornheiser said on PTI. “I think little by little, incrementally, a lot of things have helped. There have been organized protests that have helped. There was a letter from 49 senators just the other day, Congressional pressure, that’s helped. There’s all sorts of demonstrations that help. This, to me, is bigger than anything else so far, just because of the visual impact and the persuasiveness of it.”

“It is, it is,” Wilbon agreed. “But is it a game-changer?”

“It comes close to me,” Kornheiser said. “In terms of social impact, this feels like a momentum-changer to me. It does.”

“It does Tony; now it’s also going to be seen in seven cities,” Wilbon said. “Big cities, but seven cities. It’s going to be interesting to see if there’s momentum to make it larger than that, and if that public pressure comes to bear.

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