Rename the Redskins? Why Don’t We Rename the Eagles?

As Ben Franklin once said, the bird is “of a bad moral character.”

Eagles Helmet

All this noise about the Washington Redskins’ name makes me want to feather up and hit the warpath.

The latest politically correct paleface to join the drumbeat is NBC sportscaster Bob Costas, who did his bit during halftime of the Redskins-Cowboys game on Sunday Night Football. Costas broke no new ground, opining that “Redskins” was a slur to Native Americans and should be changed.

As far as I’m concerned, Costas and all the other sanctimonious crybabies have left the reservation.

The Redskins have been around since 1932. Owner Dan Snyder would rather become a human tackling dummy than change the name of his team. Not gonna happen on his watch.

So why is this suddenly a cause celebre in our nation’s capital, home to the most rabid fans this side of the Eagles? If it’s so damn important, why aren’t Native Americans in an uproar, or, at the very least, picketing every game at FedExField?

Because, according to reports, a majority of them are cool with it. Absent an organized lobby by Native Americans, there is less impetus for change. (Other minorities in a similar situation arguably would be far more vocal.) Moreover, having the torch carried almost exclusively by non-tribal types appears patronizing.

Changing the name of a team, for any reason, presents huge challenges in pro sports, particularly for older franchises. When it’s a question of relocation, it must be done. (See Baltimore Ravens, et. al.) When it’s an attempt to conform to some sense of political correctness, all bets are off.

It is in that spirit, therefore, that I offer this modest proposal: If the Redskins cave to the P.C. Police, all 31 other NFL teams should change their names, too, beginning with the Eagles. Yes, the Iggles.

So what if the Eagles have been the Eagles since they began in 1933, founded as a replacement for the bankrupt Frankford Yellow Jackets? (Now there’s an image.) It’s never too late to right a wrong. And I say it’s all wrong for an NFL team to exploit an animal that holds deep spiritual meaning for–wait for it–Native Americans.

Some tribes see eagles as metaphysical messengers between humans and gods, some as a symbol of peace. Eagle feathers are used in traditional ceremonies and customs. They adorn headdresses, clothing, hand-held fans. They’re awarded as honors.

Eagles don’t belong on the ground, anyway. They’re sky creatures, whose phenomenal eyesight makes them natural drones. (Fun Fact: Female eagles are larger than males. Drone amongst yourselves.)

On the other hand, eagles have their dark sides. They steal prey from other predators, and they are notorious scavengers. No less a light than our own Ben Franklin once described them as birds “of bad moral character.” And he had never met Michael Vick.

So I say drop the Eagles name, Philadelphia. As for a replacement, I hear “Redskins” might be available.

Around The Web


Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.