City Desk

Cheap Seats Daily: Elgin Baylor Gets His Day, But Not Here?

Today is Elgin Baylor Day in Washington!

But not this Washington. Greg Nickels, the mayor of Seattle, Wash., has officially dedicated today to Baylor.

Baylor was in Seattle for a couple years of college ball. So if he gets a day named after him there, Baylor should have a day named after him in D.C., too. And a street named after him. And a building. Maybe even a neighborhood. Why not the whole town! (Instead, all he's got is Ginuwine — a D.C. native whose real name is Elgin Baylor Lumpkin.)

Butt seriously: Baylor's the best basketball player this city ever produced — and that's saying something — and he remains a legendary figure to an elderly generation of black folks. His lack of any real presence in his hometown is a crime. He's 75 years old now. Because the white media ignored his side of town, Baylor never got his due when he was a schoolboy god at Spingarn and local playgrounds in the early 1950s, though he was literally changing the way the game of basketball was played.

Give Elgin Baylor his due now, D.C.!

Who do I call?

***

More evidence that the Redskins don't have god on their side.

(AFTER THE JUMP: Christians don't turn the other cheek on "redskins"? Dan Steinberg calls off the Kornheiser/Wise war? Without telling me? FIOS is great, unless you're a Caps fan? Chris Webber, down and out, still gets razzed for that timeout?)

The Supreme Court just declined to hear a case filed by a group of American Indians who had argued that the term "redskins" is too offensive to be afforded trademark protections.

A lower federal court ruled that the plaintiffs waited too long to file the suit, because they were of legal age when the Redskins registered their trademarks in 1967. The Supreme Court's refusal to look into that decision means Dan Snyder's marks are safe, for now.

But the various courts of public opinion are now starting to weigh in on the case. And some men and women of the cloth want folks to know that they think "redskins" should go.

This from the Church Report, a newsletter that describes itself as "Christian. Conservative. Concise.":

United Methodist leaders are disappointed the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal challenging the National Football League’s use of the mascot and term “Redskins.”

But they have vowed to continue the church’s struggle opposing team names and symbols that demean and offend Native Americans.

“This is a very disappointing development, but we stand with Native Americans, especially Native American children, across the country who are continually confronted by racially offensive sports mascots,” said Jim Winkler, top executive of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society. “We oppose any and all uses of racial sports mascots as contrary to The United Methodist Church’s position condemning racism and recognizing it as a sin."

The United Methodist Church has denounced the continued use of Native American names as nicknames for sport teams as “racist and dehumanizing,” according to the 2008 Book of Resolutions.

I know Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I'm not up on my Book of Resolutions.

***

The Great Dan Steinberg should go to work for Bob Arum or Don Corleone. Steinberg showed himself this week as the top matchmaker in town, with the power to build up feuds and call 'em off when the spirit moves.

He got the long-simmering Tony Kornheiser/Mike Wise rivalry to boil over on Tuesday with a post Steinographing how Kornheiser had gone after Wise on his WTEM show.

Because of Steinberg's post, Wise was getting hammered by readers and listeners to his WFJK radio show to come back at Kornheiser. And so he did. And Steinberg was there, Steinographing every word!

Then yesterday, just as the Kornheiser/Wise brouhaha was making Redskins/Cowboys look like Regis/Kelly, Steinberg counseled the involved parties and Bog readers that the hottest DC media feud in, well, at least several days wasn't worth it.

"[W]e all basically realize that this is beneath us, and that you, the reader/listener, have better things to worry about," Steinberg wrote.

Cold water!

I didn't get the word that Kornheiser/Wise had been called off in time. So I tried to exploit the feud to talk about me. Uh oh!

***

Turns out some folks who have cable ain't getting all the Caps games. Apparently if you live anywhere in the D.C. market and have cable but don't have FIOS, you get to watch every shot Ovechkin takes. But if you have top-shelf FIOS service in certain parts of Maryland, you don't get to watch every shot. Games are blacked out on FIOS networks, say angry fans.

It's all to techy for me and my rabbit ears. I don't have cable of any sort, so I don't get any Caps games on TV other than the NBC national telecasts. I get my hockey by listening to the great Steve Kolbe on radio or "watching" the games on ESPN's "GameCast."

The tension you get following ANY game on a computer screen — football, basketball, baseball, and even hockey — is amazing. Sounds weird, I know, but try it and get back to me.

I never thought anything would top baseball on the radio for me, but GameCast and its brethren services (yahoo, MLB, etc.) are as addictive as Grand Theft Auto.

'Course, I've never played Grand Theft Auto — I'd have to unplug my rabbit ears to get the game console in. But I hear it's, like, really addictive!

***

Chris Webber's restaurant, Center Court with C-Webb, has closed.

This from the Sacramento Bee's write-up of the former Washington Bullet's travails:

A recording on the restaurant answering machine said that Chris Webber is calling a time out for his sports bar and restaurant at 3600 N. Freeway Blvd.

He said Webber is "calling a time out!"

Get it?

Maybe Elgin Baylor shouldn't have a restaurant named after him...

***

Story tips? Wanna Play the Feud? Tube amps for sale? Send to: cheapseats@washingtoncitypaper.com

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Comments

  1. #1

    If Elgin Baylor was from Spotsylvania or Germantown, or if he attended DeMatha, then the Washington Post would acknowledge his extraordinary accomplishments on the basketball court. Like his fellow Spingarn alum Dave Bing (now Mayor of Detroit), these two D.C. products are from a time when our local athletes were about more than bouncing, shooting and running a ball. Just as we honored Maury Wills with a baseball field in his honor we should recognize and honor Baylor and Bing for their contributions to the rich history of basketball in the Washington metropolitan area.

  2. #2

    Very interesting blog post thanks for writing it I have added your blog to my favorites and will be back.

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