THE BLOG

What's in a Name?

03/19/2013 05:34 pm ET | Updated May 19, 2013

In a departure from the heavy political noise of the day I decided to turn my attention to the little known bubbling dissatisfaction over the Washington Redskins. Not their poor play of late -- they may never get better again -- but the name itself. Judges in Washington are mulling over the complaints that the Redskin trademark is offensive to Native Americans. And if it is indeed offensive it should be removed... who better to understand this sensitive issue then the Native Americans. Personally, I think it's okay, but I am a Jewish person from Baltimore, so I may lack the insight necessary to comprehend the depths of this racist slur. To be honest with you, I wouldn't mind the team being called the Washington Jews. I might actually be proud if there was a team called the Jews. I'm not sure what the logo would be, but I would love to hear the announcer say, "First down for the Jews on the 38-yard line." "The Jews score once again, pounding out yardage." "The Jews have a tough front five." It would be very exciting until you start to think of the Cheerleaders. Hopefully they won't have a Hasidic look. Cheerleaders have to have sex appeal. You have to agree, Washington Jews just rolls off the tongue. But some Jews might object, and I would have to respect that grievance.

Once Washington selects a new name, we might have to investigate the New Orleans Saints. It has a religious ring to it. Muslims don't subscribe to Saints, neither do Jews, Hindus or Buddhist. To a fan who doesn't recognize these elevated souls, they might find it confusing to root for the Saints when it is against their religious beliefs. But so far no one has objected, so maybe I'm just being a little overly sensitive. The Kansas City Chiefs haven't been criticized on their name, but maybe that's because there are so few chiefs to complain. And fire chiefs probably would like it.

Any team with a bird name is not a problem. The Ravens. Falcons. Seahawks. Eagles. No bird to my knowledge would complain. Many teams like animals to represent them. Lions, Bears, Bengals, Broncos.... Animals by and large don't care about football, so they will never object. Odd no one has taken Dogs, or Mice or Rhinos, or some of the hot names of today like Vampires, Zombies...The New England Patriots are home free. No one would dare raise a hand in opposition to that name. The Pittsburgh Steelers is a strong working class name.

Does anyone know what the Buffalo Bills are? Bills? What are Bills? Is it short for something? Or is it in reference to the cowboy Buffalo Bill Cody? By the way, as a piece of information, Buffalo Bill was never in Buffalo. Here's what it actually means: a buffalo is a bison, and the male of the species is referred to as a "Billy." That's how you get to the Buffalo Bills. So no matter how you look at, that's one obscure name for a team. You can't cheer for a team when you hardly know what the name means. That just goes without saying.

NY Jets? A team that celebrates an airplane? A big city like New York can't come up with a more inventive name? They should reclaim their old name, The Titans, and let Tennessee come up with a new name. The Tennessee Bootleggers has a ring to it.

I don't like the name Dolphins either. The are happy things in the water. Playful. Too cute for the rough game of football. The Miami Rhinos would be a good name. No team of any sort is using it to the best of my knowledge. So you could snatch that name up in a heartbeat.

Now to get back to Washington. How about the Washington Pigskins? That way they can save half their logo. Just let Pig replace Red. And little pigs on the helmet is a home run. And just to put a little clarity, a football was never made out of pigskin. It was originally a pig's bladder. They sowed it up and inflated it and threw it around. But I gotta be honest with you, there's no way when I was a kid that I would be throwing a pig's bladder around. But maybe I'm just too sensitive.