OPINION: Brainstorming less deplorable mascots for the Washington Redskins


A Washington Redskins helmet is seen in 2014 on the field before a game. Tribune News Service

Finally, the Washington Redskins made the long overdue decision to change its mascot after years of outcry due to its racist connotations.While its product on the field provides little indication of progress, the organization has at last decided to step beyond a time of horse-drawn wagons and smallpox with its ideologies.

Having never lived near our nation’s capital, I hold essentially zero authority to comment on what its NFL team ought to be called, other than that it shouldn't involve a slur. Regardless, in the Washingtonian spirit of democracy, I have suggested several substitutes that might accomplish the apparently previously impossible task of satisfying Redskins faithfuls without simultaneously being extremely derogatory to a marginalized group of Americans.

Historical tributes

Regrettably for Washington, Philadelphia absconded with the title of 76ers and New England snatched up Patriots. Still, there is no shortage of ways for D.C. to honor a past teeming with iconic events.

The league’s best secondary would surely belong to the Washington Watergates, whose cornerbacks and safeties could find a way to cover up just about anything. Crédit Mobilier once secretly slid money into the pockets of the Grant administration, but opposing quarterbacks’ pockets would be even fuller of edge rushers courtesy of the Washington Bribes.


If not for the NFL’s pre-existing infatuation with birds, the Bald Eagles would be an easy choice. However, the only thing thicker in the D.C. air than freedom—pollution notwithstanding—is humidity, making it the third most popular breeding site in the United States for one potential mascot

Any sporting event can get attendants in seats. Fortunately for the Washington Mosquitoes, those viewers won’t be able to leave once a dense layer of sweat has adhered their backsides to the bleachers.


Every fan wants his favorite squad’s players to compete as if they were engaged in mortal combat. Since musket-armed minutemen protected its majestic swamps, D.C. has housed its share of warriors.

Today is no different. Just as the spartans fought bravely despite insurmountable odds, the Commuters won’t cease their gnashing teeth and impassioned war cries against a foe they can’t hope to defeat. I doubt even the fiercest viking or raider could survive the guerilla elevator pitches of the Lobbyists.

Mythical beings

Teams often borrow from legend to ascribe superhuman traits to their athletes. For a current Redskins fan to buy into the hype, this name would have to be something totally fantastical that D.C. residents could hardly dream of. 

I’ve seen enough tall people to fathom titans or giants, and some street magicians are a pointy hat away from wizard status. No, the sheer mysticism required to test a Washingtonian’s imagination could only be accomplished by the Honest Politicians or the Affordable Rent.


If the Boston Red Sox were not such a storied franchise, its name would have changed decades ago. The most threatening thing its mascot has ever done is given a pink tinge to a load of white laundry. No, a chromatic moniker must make opponents quake in their cleats.

All the Redskins have to do is take their existing logo, remove the offensive skin tone and headwear, then simply add a wireless earpiece to its profile. All of the NFC East shall fear the unrelenting networking and deal-making prowess of the Washington Bluetooths.

Natural phenomena

Heat blankets Miami’s beaches while avalanches rattle the mountains of Colorado and storms sweep across Seattle. These forces of nature go on interminably and uncontrollably, defining the regions in which they exist.

Let’s see the opposition try to reach the end zone when it first has to overcome the suffocating defense of the Washington Ozone. Even the toughest linebackers are at risk of being run over by the Washington Traffic. Above all, never overlook the inescapable assault of the Eighth-grade Field Trippers.

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