The Washington Redskins haven't won a Super Bowl since Jan. 26, 1992.
And they soon might lose their nickname.
Anybody sounding that alarm back on Aug. 19, 1961, when the lowly Redskins lost to the Chicago Bears, 29-13, in an exhibition game at The Citadel's Johnson Hagood Stadium, might have been suspected of drinking firewater.
But 50 U.S. senators - all Democrats - are among the pressure groups demanding the dropping of the Redskins moniker on the ground that it's a "racial slur."
The busybody federal lawmakers have even chastised defenders of the nickname, including team owner Daniel Snyder and league executives, for being "on the wrong side of history."
So who's on the wrong side of history by spending America into bankruptcy?
An anti-Redskins commercial from the National Congress of American Indians has been airing in seven major TV markets, including Washington, during the NBA Finals. Viewers see Native Americans past and present, famous and unfamous, while a narrator's voice begins, "Proud, forgotten, Indian, Navajo, Blackfoot, Inuit and Sioux. ... Sitting Bull, Hiawatha and Jim Thorpe."
He ends: "Native Americans call themselves many things. The one thing they don't ..." The screen then shows a Washington Redskins helmet next to a football.
Yes, some Native Americans - and other Americans - are offended by the word "Redskin."
So what about our Atlanta Braves? They're getting a new stadium in 2017.
Must they get a new nickname, too?
On the chopping block
As political analysts read smoke signals from Tuesday's primaries, remember how the Tea Party got its name:
Eighteenth century New England patriots (not the 20th and 21st century New England Patriots), some disguised as Indians, boarded British ships and dumped tea in Boston Harbor to protest "taxation without representation."
Remember, too, that college football's reigning national champions are the Florida State Seminoles. The Seminole Tribe of Florida is fine with that - and with FSU's pre-home-game tradition of a horseman done up like Osceola (who's buried at Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island) throwing a flaming spear down at midfield.
The real Seminoles are even OK with Seminole fans doing the Tomahawk Chop, a variation of which is incessantly performed by Atlanta Brave fans.
However, NCAA pressure helped turn our state's Newberry Indians into the Newberry Wolves in 2010.
Of course, Native Americans aren't the only Americans who can cite historic, ethnic-based injustice to their ancestors while objecting to symbols that offend them.
Charleston County Councilman Henry Darby recently suggested that if The Citadel didn't remove the Confederate Naval Jack hanging with 56 other flags in the Summerall Chapel, the county should scrap nearly $1 million in funding for renovations to Johnson Hagood Stadium.
That's heap plenty wampum.
But the state attorney general's office issued an opinion Tuesday, at council's request, that the flag should stay in the chapel under the state's heritage law.
So how about those Ole Miss Rebels?
And how about giving our slumping minor-league baseball team an oxymoronic title twist by replacing that silly RiverDogs label with the parent club's name and calling them the Charleston Yankees?
Back to Johnson Hagood for a trivia tester (answer at column's end):
What Native American kicked a 27-yard field goal in the third and final NFL exhibition game played in Charleston?
Back to the Redskins:
The clash of cultures that ensued when Europeans started colonizing this continent produced not just our grand, ongoing experiment in self-government but devastation of native peoples on a genocidal scale.
Yet this Dallas Cowboy fan has long regarded "Redskin" not as an ethnic slur but as the nickname of the most bitter rival of "America's Team."
Maybe those of us who are still OK with that nickname are ignorant and/or insensitive.
Maybe time is running out on the "Redskins" - and the "Braves," "Chiefs," "Indians" and even Wando "Warriors."
But if we must change the name of the South's first big-league baseball team, please, let's not revert to this title of what was long our region's most popular minor-league team:
The Atlanta Crackers.
I saw Miami linebacker Ed "Wahoo" McDaniel kick that 27-yard field goal to give the Dolphins a 17-10 third-quarter lead before the New Orleans Saints rallied for a 20-17 exhibition victory at Johnson Hagood Stadium on Sept. 2, 1967. The former Oklahoma Sooner went on to become a pro wrestling icon before dying in 2002 at age 63.
And yes, Wahoo had a powerful "Tomahawk Chop" of his own.
Frank Wooten is assistant editor of The Post and Courier. His email is email@example.com.
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