Past Their Prime – Episode 7

Talk about a late start this week. Between Passover and the Celtics kicking ass, we haven’t had a chance to record and post this thing until now. Well, it was recorded on Wednesday, but you get the idea.

Here’s what you have in store for your listening pleasure – Lee and Jesse break down the NBA Playoffs, discuss the most American football matchup ever and Lee makes a prediction about Jesus . . . Shuttlesworth. Plus Jesse sends his condolences to Cameraman Kevin.

Be a part of the show! Submit your questions to PastTheirPrime@gmail.com and you could be a winner too.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter at @_PastTheirPrime.

Listen to this episode

Advertisements

What’s in a Racist, Offensive Name? No Redskins, It’s Your Logo

The Washington Post’s Courtland Milloy’s recent editorial about the Redskins racist and patently offensive name is just another salvo in an otherwise fruitless venture.  Every year, some member of the press or a civil right organization takes up this mantle.  The courts and other government agencies have agreed with the franchise.  Polls indicate that most Native Americans either don’t care or are not offended by the Redskins name.

From what I understand, the name is so anachronistic that when the word ‘Redskin’ is used in parlance, nearly everyone understands that the one using the word is talking about a football player.  Regardless, each successive time the name is challenged, we are no closer to a name-change.  The Redskins stay the Redskins.

What is blantantly more obvious to this intrepid blogger is that the name itself isn’t the biggest problem.  It’s the blatantly offensive logo that needs to go.  The featherheaded “Indian” on the helmet is patently worse than the name.  The visual is what makes the name a hundred times worse.  The incredibly stereotyped version of Native American culture the logo embodies is straight out of the ’50s even though it was introduced in 1972.

Tradition sometimes gets in the way of true progress.  Symbols are the most effective way to show loyalty, camaraderie, even fanaticism to a cause.  A symbol becomes part of a tradition once the cause it represents maintains an attachment to it.  This could not be more true in modern times than in sports, particularly American sports.  Sports logos are everywhere and used not just to comport loyalty but to bring in dollars.  This marketing connection is even stronger when you consider when old logos are necessary – and expendable.

Old logos are typically washed away in favor of new logos to promote a new tradition in the face of flailing, unsuccessful franchises.  NFL examples of completely changed logos in the past 15 years or so: Broncos, Bucs and Pats.  But also think of the franchises that made subtle changes recently: Cardinals, Seahawks, Falcons and Lions.  After the Rams won the Super Bowl, the Ram horns turned gold.  To maintain continuity with tradition, Tennessee kept the old Houston Oilers colors.  Both New York teams scuttled logos they used for years in favor of even older ones.  My point is that changing the logo wouldn’t be blasphemy, it would usher in a new sense of destiny and direction.

The old spearhead that the Redskins occasionally use, or a variant of it, would be a perfect replacement.  If not, create a new logo.  Think about the dollars Mr. Synder.  Every Redskins fan in the DC area will have to buy all new s***.  Talk about creating new traditions.  The Broncos changed everything in 1997.  They won the Super Bowl – that year.  New England killed off Pat Patriot after 1992.  How’s that working out for them?  The Redskins need to do this.

A logo, after all, is just a logo.  Coincidences such as the Broncos aside, the Redskins should implement this idea.  The Redskins need a new identity.  Since Joe Gibbs retired the first time, Washington has qualified for the playoffs just three times in 18 seasons, never reaching 11 wins or the NFC Championship.  Three playoff wins, just a tease what could have been.  This, as opposed to the previous 18 season when the Redskins went to the postseason 9 times, winning 3 times in 4 Super Bowl appearances.  This doesn’t include the early 1970s (1971-4), when the Skins went 40-15-1 and made the playoffs four straight years, only to loss to the undefeated ’72 Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VII.

To sum up, some team names are not racist but they are patently offensive.  Take for example the Washington Wizards.  I remember the day the rename was announced and was horrified.  The name is God-awful and everyone knows it.  You felt, beyond any doubt, that the team would stink from there on out.  And so far, what has come of the Wizards?  Absolutely nothing.  They were awful as the Bullets and they are awful as the Wizards.  Maybe if the team embraced a better name and a more forceful logo I could get on-board rooting for them.  For now, I will continue to campaign that anything Wizards must go.

Don’t Count Out the NFC Beast

I understand the point my colleague is trying to make about the state of the NFC East, but with all due respect, I believe he is misinformed. I will be doing a season outlook for the division before kickoff, but I feel I must defend this division and try and get the last word in.

On paper, the Cowboys do have the beat team in this division. ON PAPER. Unfortunately for the ‘Boys, games are played on football fields, so paper victories mean nothing. The coaching of this team is still a big question mark, as is the linebacking core, and yes, even the wide receivers. Can everyone expect another stellar season from Austin Miles? Can Roy Williams find his form as Pro Bowl WR? Can Jason Witten stay healthy for a full season? Nobody doubts the talent that this team has, but before we give them a division title, let them play some real games first.

As for the rest of the division, I do not think you can count out the Eagles and Giants from the conversation about NFC East champs – and certainly not from the Wild Card discussion. The Eagles are starting a new regime at QB with McNabb in Washington, but all Kolb did in 2 starts last season was put up 718 yards, 4 TD’s and a 65% completion rate. There are sure to be bumps on the road for a “rookie” QB, but the Eagles still have a quality defense, a young, talented group or WRs and RBs, and a coach that knows how to win ballgames. On the flip-side, the Giants have all of the pieces of a top-notch team, but can they stay healthy? Injuries did the G-Men in last year, and training camp hasn’t been good to therm either, but if they can keep their core guys on the field, this is not a team to take lightly. The defense, which collapsed last season, has a new leader and a new look. Kenny Phillips is back from injury, and key new additions Rolle, Bulluck, and Grant and depth that was sorely missing last year. The Giants still have one of the best D-lines in the league, and the offense took major strides last year. There is no reason to think this team will not be in the hunt all season.

The Cowboys may be in prime position to bring home the NFC East crown, but if the Eagles and Giants have any say in the matter, expect a fight to the end.

2010 NFC East: Disaster on I-95

Cowboys – Eagles – Giants – Redskins.  This is perennially the hardest division in football, maybe in sports.  They pound on each other like Rocky working on steaks in a meat locker.  The rivalries go back decades.  The NFC East is flush with Super Bowl titles and no one is ever guaranteed the division title.  This year, the I-95 teams are not endearing themselves to anyone.  Philly, Big Blue, Hogs – you’re going nowhere.

We know each team has a laundry list of weaknesses, save the Cowboys.  We know the Dallas bandwagon cannot get any fuller.  Billy’s on the wagon too.  The Cowboys should not run but sprint – sprint – away with the East.  The Cowboys at 12-4 and the I-95ers at 8-8 apiece.  And by making that prediction, I’m virtually certain that no wild card teams will come from the East, the first time since 2004.

Eli Manning is not elite but he’s a solid QB; though Super Bowl XLII was a long time ago and David Tyree is nowhere to be found.  Kolb’s young and capable but his team is by no means ready.  We should talk about Rex Grossman and John Beck because let’s face it, the Eagles made a smart move.  If Donovan McNabb has been injured the past eight years, what will his injury report speak of over the next two.  So what are you saying to us Billy Bob, Tony Romo is the best quarterback in the division?  Ummm… This year – Yeah.

The NFC East is in transition.  The Skins are on the rise, the G-Men are waning and the Eagles are retooling.  Big-D, at the moment, is loaded.  If there is football in 2011, this division will be competitive.  For 2012, the NFC better be on notice that the East is back on top.  I wouldn’t worry I-95er fans, the Cowboys will not be playing in Super Bowl XLV at Jerry World.  Jerry Jones’ hype and Wade Philips coaching will make sure that doesn’t happen.

%d bloggers like this: