City Desk

Hail to the Pigskins!

 

Hail to the Pigskins!

Meet your new football team, D.C.: the Washington Pigskins. That’s the name Washington City Paper will use from now on to refer to the folks in burgundy and gold who play at FedEx Field, instead of the name the team prefers, which is a pejorative term for Native Americans.

Over the last week, 1,125 of you voted on which of five names we should go with, and Pigskins—a.k.a. Hogs, in a tribute to the team’s great offensive line of the first Joe Gibbs era—stiff-armed the competition like John Riggins did to Don McNeal in Super Bowl XVII. The name won 50 percent of the vote. Washington Monuments came in a distant second, with 16 percent; Washington Bammas got 13 percent, Washington Half-Smokes, 11 percent, and Washington Washingtons 10 percent. There were a few late entries that we liked, such as the Washington RG3skins—inspired by the quarterback’s touchdown run last Sunday—and the Washington Americans.

But our readers have spoken, and the Pigskins it is. One added benefit to the name: The ’Skins abbreviation still works. And even the team’s fight song can fit our new style, with only slight modification: “Hail to the Pigskins, hail victory, Hogs on the warpath, fight for old D.C.!”

Illustration by Carey Jordan

Due to an editing error, this post originally misidentified Don McNeal.

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Comments

  1. #1

    I like it!

  2. #2

    Seriously folks? Get a life.

  3. #3

    Don McNeal guys...

    Pigskins covers the bases pretty well, but the PETA folks won't be too happy.

  4. #4

    @WFY:

    Not sure how I had that as John, I knew it was Don as I typed it -- must have had Riggo on the brain though.

  5. #5

    @WFY lol you can't make everyone happy. I actually kinda like it...Pigskins. It's alright

  6. #6

    Works for me! Historical, football related and delicious...#HTTP!

  7. #7

    I DON'T GIVE A FUCK WHAT WE ARE CALLED JUST BEAT DALLAS!

  8. #8

    I think it would be interesting to know how many votes for "Redskins" y'all just threw out because they didn't meet your expectations. I also think the City Paper should be more concerned with accurate reporting than political correctness, but that's another thing entirely.

    Continue your beef with Snyder. You've accomplished SOOOO much.

  9. #9

    “...which is a pejorative term for Native Americans." Not according to this seemingly complete history of the term “Redskins": http://neddybee.blogspot.com/2005/04/redskins-and-war-paint.html . Mike, if the linked historical account of the term is inaccurate, can you provide evidence from your research? I'm assuming you found such evidence before writing this and other articles concerning this topic.

  10. #10

    @ Patrick:

    Even that link, which doesn't exactly appear to be from a widely recognized source, says most dictionaries began to define it starting in 1967 as "usually offensive." If it's usually considered offensive, why use it? Like I wrote in my first post on this, it's hard to believe there would be a team called the Washington Kikes (to pick a term that applies to Jews like me).

  11. #11

    H A I L T O T H E
    W A S H I N G T O N
    H A L F S M O K E S

  12. #12

    This article is a joke, just like the City Paper.

  13. #13

    @Mike

    I agree the argument in the linked blog post would be much stronger with proper attribution. It's also 7 years old and not from a credible source. But that's expected for a medium that is somewhat devoid of standards. But the 'traditional' media, including you and 'The City Paper', are, and should be, held to those standards. I'm asking you to "show your work", so to speak. Attribute the sources of your research that led you to the conclusion that "Redskins" is a derogatory term. I believe you're not writing from personal opinion or agenda or bias (as some have charged). Did your research answer why dictionaries started referring to the term as derogatory nearly 40 years after the team was named? Did you find historical writings that contradict the samples provided in the blog? If not, do you believe the meaning of the term evolved over time from an descriptive term (red war paint) to a derogatory term? If so, when was the shift?

    I'm asking for you to walk me through the data that brought you to this conclusion.

  14. #14
  15. #15

    @ Patrick:

    The team's been in court for most of the last 20 years defending the trademark against claims that it's derogatory. The Native American Journalists Association asked news organizations 10 years ago to stop using the name, on the grounds that it's offensive. Several other papers have done just that. I don't really care why the name was first used; there is no question now that it's considered offensive by at least some of the people who it describes.

    But we actually are making this change out of an agenda: that agenda is that we think the name should be changed, and that until it is, we prefer not to use an offensive term to describe the team. Obviously we only control our own in-house style, not the rest of the world's, but we believe referring to the Pigskins as the Pigskins instead of the name most people know them by will at least remind people that there's some controversy around the team's name.

  16. #16

    City paper is scum shit. fuck you people

  17. #17

    the "City Paper" name is offensive to me. Its so derogatory. We should call it the City Buttfucker. Liberal cunts

  18. #18

    City Paper just lost this reader.

  19. #19

    I understand your paper has a legitimate bone to pick with the scumbag owner of the redskins. But I don't think the people on your staff who thought of this were thinking about how much it would alienate your paper from the countless redskins fans in the area who sympathize with your plight, but also love the team. It just comes off as a passive-aggressive jab to the ribs of the organization based on residual anger. Tragically, the worst part is, it damages your credibility as a newspaper. There were many people who wrote in "Redskins" and those votes were ignored, thrown out and simply not calculated in your final results. Perhaps, in the interest of full-disclosure, you'd like to republish the real results and include those as well. It would certainly help the credibility of your newspaper. You guys also might want to grow up.

  20. #20

    @planet:

    The vote was intended to pick a new name for us to use, not to see what people preferred. And the results we published above were the complete results based on the options people had.

    I love the team, myself; my dad was in their marching band when he was in high school in the 1960s, and I've been a fan my whole life. But I still think it's time to change the name.

  21. #21

    Pigskins? Jewish and Muslim fans will probably root for the Ravens now.

  22. #22

    nice, funny....but to be real, if we want the Washington DC professional football club to consider changing their terrible name, what about a viable, marketable alternative instead of something cute and bit of grunt funny. I've long thought the name should be changed to the Washington Marshalls. This in reference to Us Federal Marshalls, based out of DC since the country was founded. The logo could be a 6-pronged golden US Marshall Star Badge from the 1800's. They could switch over from yellow to gold (like the Rams did) or...better yet, 'cuz those yellow pants are looking great this year (George Allen would be smiling), simply add gold to the color scheme: Burgundy, Maize & Gold. The name flows off the tongue. Say it aloud. Also say things like, "Cowboys versus the Marshalls this week on Monday Night Football" or "The Washington Marshalls, led by RG3, knock of the Green Bay Packers to earn a berth in Super Bowl L in Miami"

  23. #23

    I would guess that most people who are indifferent to the name or staunchly support the name don’t even realize that Potomac and Anacostia are Native American names. It’s not hard to imagine this considering Native Americans have virtually been wiped out of Washington. However, this only serves to reinforce my opinion that most people are good and although they might be ignorant they are not necessarily racist. To most locals that stand by the name, Native Americans are only movie depictions or history book illustrations.

    On that note, my only suggestion about your strategy to pressure the team to change the name would be to couple it with another idea. I would feature a cover story on the historical significance of Native Americans in this region. The local tribe here in Washington up until the end of the 17th Century was the Piscataway. I would guess some of their descendants continue to live among us today. It’s not a stretch to think that many of your readers would be compelled by a piece on these Native Washingtonians and the unique historical perspective on this region that they possess.

    Ultimately, I think the best way to fight injustice against any group of people (and perhaps get a mascot changed) is to humanize the group. Do what your paper has always excelled in. Show their faces and tell their stories.

  24. #24

    TO ALL YA’LL HATIN ASS MOFO’S THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THE TERM REDSKINS IS DISRESPECTFUL AND DEROGATORY SO IS THE TEAM LOGO. MOST OLD SCHOOL ‘SKINS FANS KNOW THIS BECAUSE OF THE PROTESTS NATIVE AMERICANS USE TO HAVE AT EVERY HOME GAME AT RFK WHICH I BELIEVE IS PUBLIC LAND AND SINCE FED-EX FIELD IS PRIVATE THEY DON’T HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO CONTINUE PROTEST.

    THE REDSKINS CAME FROM ONE OF THE MOST RACIST AND DIVIDED CITIES AND HAD A RACIST OWNER. THE IRONY IS THE SKINS WERE THE LAST TEAM TO HAVE A BLACK PLAYER ON ITS ROSTER AND THE FIRST TEAM TO HAVE A BLACK QB AS A SUPER BOWL WINNER ALONG WITH REPPIN’ A MAJORITY BLACK CITY.

    ALL THE NEGATIVE RESPONSES SURROUNDING THIS MADE TO BE HUMOROUS NAME CHANGE ARE TYPICAL OF IGNORANT WHITE FOLK.
    I BELIEVE MAD MIKE STARTED THIS CAMPAIGN STRICTLY FOR WASH CITY PAPER BECAUSE ANOTHER PUBLICATION IN THE MIDWEST REFUSED TO USE THE MONIKER AS WELL OUT OF RESPECT FOR THE NUMBER OF NATIVE AMERICANS IN THAT REGION SO BECAUSE OF SNYDEE BEEF, WHAT IS CONSIDERED A NEGATIVE CONNOTATION AND THE LOVE THIS CITY HAVE FOR THE ‘SKINS I COULD SEE THEM HAVING SOME FUN WITH THIS.

    AS A LIFE LONG SKINS FAN, A SYMPATHIZER FOR NATIVE AMERICANS AND A BROTHER I DON’T SEE A PROBLEM WITH IT SO ALL YOU BAMMA ASS MOTHER FUCKERS HATING ON SOMETHING THAT IS TRIVIAL INSTEAD OF HATING ON WHAT IS THE REAL ISSUE EITHER BACK DA’ FUCK UP OR JUST SIMPLE COMPLAIN LIKE THE REST OF US THAT MAD MIKE DIDN’T CHOOSE YOUR SUGGESTION.

  25. #25

    Who the fuck would want to be a "Pigskin"? This isn't some pee-wee football team, let's get a hold of ourselves please!

  26. #26

    I don't care whether the old name for the team is racist or not, but I'll gladly support anything that helps undermine Danny Boy's deathgrip on the mindless yokels who keep pouring out their money for him.

    Besides, when Snyder's finally given up and sells the team, the NFL will inevitably "force" the new ownership to choose a more appealing name.

  27. #27

    Madden is a moron. Noodlez needs to go back to jail.

  28. #28

    You are just as overbearing with your crap as Lukas is at Uni-Watch...get a life...it's just a name

  29. #29

    I have long favored Pigskins as a choice. I appreciate the predicament the team is in if they want to change. It's very tricky. And wholesale name change would be a disaster. I feel like they should start pushing the name Skins in their advertising. It's time for a logo update anyway. How about taking the Indian head off and put in a block W with a circle around it. Leave the feathers for now. The other thing is the media needs to help. Don't just attack. Help then make a sly transition. Just call then Skins for now.

  30. #30

    Just...awful. All of the suggestions.

  31. #31

    YO STEVIE WALSHIT-I'M TRYING TO MAKE MY WAY BACK TO GET SOME MUCH NEEDED REST BUT YOUR MOTHER IS CONSTANTLY MAINTAINING A FETAL POSITION ON MY ANKLE WHINING SOMETHING ABOUT PIMPS, YOUR FATHER BEING INADEQUATE AND BEING PAID WITH WET FOOD STAMPS.

    I TOLD HER ABOUT THOSE FLIES BUZZING AROUND HER ASS BUT SHE WOULDN'T LISTEN.

  32. #32

    I think we should drop the Red and call them The washington Skins. We have all different nationalities living in the Washington area that are fans of the team. The team will be representing all who love them.

  33. #33

    To the Washington City Paper and whomever had the courage to do this in either a real effort to address this issue (or even if it was done for other reasons), I as a Native American who lives in this area but also have many relatives living on reservations in SD and MT, I thank you and salute you. No one's equality or rights is truly ever valid until we at least respect each others. People argue over the meaning or origin of the name, I know what I was taught it meant by my elders. I know our US history in the treatment of its's first inhabitants. I remember this team doing their summer camps at Carlisle and wonder how many who support the team know the history of the Indian school there or ever visited the Indian children's cemetery there or looked at the various grave stones marked "unknown".... You would think that in our Nations capitol, where laws are passed, pressed, supported to insure equality for each of its' citizens regardless of race, sex or religion that in that place at least we would not find in this time a team with a racist name. Pilamiya.

  34. #34

    I don't know if I have enough room to type how stupid, this entire topic is.
    I am part Cherokee and all Washington Native.
    I am more upset AND so should you all that the team is called the Washington Redskins they don't play in DC, the owner dosen't live in DC, training camp is not even in the DC area anymore. Where is the OUTRAGE in that????

  35. #35

    When you went toe to toe against Dan Snyder I was your corner. No longer is that the case. This article is garbage.

    But it really does not matter since these are the only two articles of yours I have read.

    Feel free to continue to wallow in obscurity.

  36. #36

    Seriously? Instead of a productive dialogue, you resort to name-calling? I hope that the owner bans your reporters from the locker room. Quite immature. Also - fyi - I'm part Irish. I would like you to start calling the Notre Dame 'Fighting Irish' by the name 'Hibernians' thank you very much. Because the Irish have LONG been stereotyped as drunks, fighters and ignorant.

  37. #37

    Dumb. Screw political correctness. Guess there's a reason I have never heard if this paper, and I won't ever buy anything from it.

  38. #38

    Aren't pigskins those delicious potato skins with bacon and cheese?

  39. #39

    Pigskins, seriously?

    I agree with Patrick, a pretty slack article and if you really are concerned about the name then where is your real reporting?

    I was born in DC and have been a fan all my life. Until some of the protests came up, I never thought the name redskins was a racist/derogatory name. Looking at a bit of history, it seems the term was used by both whites and Native Americans in a non-derogatory term. http://anthropology.si.edu/goddard/redskin.pdf

    If this paper has any real journalists, why not do a piece to find out if a substantial number of Native Americans in this country today actually think this is a racist name? If so, then the team should work with them to find a name that keeps the Native American reference but celebrates them in some tough football way? I love tradition, love the Redskins, and love the Native American reference, but don't want to use it if it is truly offensive.

    But I' m not sure that's the case, especially if you don't have the time to do some homework before you make up some silly poll to rename a team with such great history that we have.

    Blast away, as I see there is no filtering to the comments here...

  40. #40

    @Brooks,
    That article you linked you is not exactly damning evidence, it merely states that as of ~150 years ago it was a relatively neutral term (though it is only subtly differnt from terms that were apparently considered more offensive, e.g. 'Red man')

    Surely the history of language is littered with words that started out with a neutral or benign meaning and took on an offensive meaning! Think of any minority group and it would not take long to find examples.

    And lets be honest, even if the name is not outright offensive it's at least patronising considering the teams racial history. I.e. 'We will put a stereotyped version of you on our logo, but you can't play in our game!'

  41. #41

    This is a stupid ploy to get more readers. Looks like it worked though; although I will never read or respect the WCP ever again. The Redskins is their name, if you don't like it, cheer for someone else or call them "The Skins" If someone created a team called the Washington Crackers I'd laugh at it. Words only hurt if you let them and apparently a bunch of activists are butt-hurting for something to complain about. Hail To The Redskins.

  42. #42

    Thank you-- City Paper-- for making the effort! To briefly respond to some of the scary/angry comments:
    Brooks: It's naive to think that polling native people will provide one answer. Native people are very diverse, some are democrats some are republican, some are poor some are not...it's not one size fits all. Have you heard the saying that it's difficult to make a decision by committee? Anyway, what is this "great" history?

    Patrick : The offensive part is that something as historically trivial as a sports team has appropriated an entire ethnicity, encapsulated everyone into one word and insists that "it's a complement because WE think it's a complement". Can you pinpoint exactly!! when antisemitism started? We don't even know how many native people lived in any one area of the US before they started taking census. Instead of asking for data to support the conclusion that the term is offensive (like people asking you to please stop isn't enough) YOU should start reading history books that are outside of curriculum designed by the Boy Scouts. It is not for you to judge.

  43. #43

    Came across this too late to have much of an effect, but for me, it's time to dump the racist name. My rule of thumb is, if enough of any minority objects to something involving name-calling or using a term that obviously refers to that minority, it's time to make a correction. We outsiders have no business telling that minority whether they should relax and forget it. It would be like telling Jews, "Enough with the Holocaust already." It's up to that group, not you, to make that determination.

  44. #44

    Oh, and I don't follow the Skins, never go to their games, and obviously don't buy any merchandise of theirs. And I won't until they change their name.

  45. #45

    @Andrew - agreed. My link was just an example of some historical context out there and what a little research will give you, not trying to prove a point either way. Words and their context do change (both ways) over time.

    @Josey - my post was certainly not angry, and hopefully not scary. My point was simply if the paper really wants to change the name of an great NFL team, there should be more homework and true concensus before just re-naming it. And btw - an NFL team around since 1932 (6th oldest active) 5 championships and 3 Superbowl wins qualifies as 'great history' I'm my book.

  46. #46

    I like the name Pigskin so much then I like them to us Redskin it is a racsim name and that is why they are cursed the first place they shouls us thst name the first place.

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