Cleveland Baseball Progressive Field

Some Clevelanders are likely to update their wills

When lifelong fans of a big-league team are told that their club is changing its name, there will be many who whose ire will take years to cool.

Some Clevelanders are likely to update their wills to make sure they go to the great beyond wearing a Cleveland Indians jersey, or at least a hat. Chief Wahoo, the much maligned – or mindlessly adored – caricature of a Native American, has already been eased out the door.

This should not be considered a big thumb’s up for Guardians. That sounds like the name of a fictional franchise that doesn’t require a rights payment from the movie producer.

Still, to their credit, it didn’t require a pitstop as The Cleveland Baseball Team for the Indians to come up with something, amazingly bland as it may be. 

Maybe someone from The Washington Football Team should give them a call.

The team formerly known as the Washington Redskins had to be dragged, kicking and pouting, to make a change during last summer’s racial unrest. But it wasn’t the discovery of a moral compass that guided owner Daniel Snyder. 

It was, incredible as it may seem, the scowls of corporate sponsors that persuaded Snyder that the time had come. The likes of FedEx, Pepsi, Nike, and Bank of America pony up lots of sponsorship dough. Snyder would likely change his name to keep them happy.

Considering the disintegration of the franchise under his administration, Daniel Nitwit would be a nice fit.

As a placeholder, The Washington Football Team was almost adequate. But the shelf life for a placeholder should be no more than one year.

The WFT’s expiration date was July 13.

On July 13, 2020, a WFT public relations person hit the send button on a press release announcing the demise of the Redskins. The release was written beneath a Washing Redskins letterhead.

That may indicate Snyder’s predisposition to continue humming “Hail to the Redskins” each time The Washington Football Team scores a touchdown.

The Atlanta Braves never seemed as boldly offensive as Redskins. They have attempted to detach the more offensive symbols of their heritage. The Tomahawk Chop was discouraged last season as the ballclub discounted selling the foam tomahawks. Many fans continued it anyway.

Chief Noc-a-Homa packed up his teepee and left the house decades ago. They have reached out to Native American communities, a goodwill measure that has softened opposition to the Braves. 

Snyder’s obstinance can be blamed on the original owner of The WFT, George Preston Marshall, who was awarded a franchise in 1932. With Braves Field as its home, the Boston Football Braves seemed a reasonable choice.

After just one season at Braves Field, Marshall moved into Fenway Park and changed the team’s name to the Redskins.

Had Marshall stuck with Braves, Daniel Nitwit maybe would have had time to come up with a better name than the Washington Football Team.

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