LIBERAL: “Isn’t it awful that the Washington Redskins haven’t changed their mascot yet? I mean, it’s like, how is it okay to just be racist? I’m not, like, a big activist or anything, but this is obviously the Koch brothers trying to re-open the wounds of the Battle of Lake Okeechobee.”
ME: So what do you want, exactly, Liberal? You want the Redskins to pick a new team name and mascot following a high-profile controversy. So, essentially, you want Dan Snyder’s public relations team to get together and carefully focus group a synthetic new corporate symbol to salvage some of their remaining cross-promotional contracts and merchandising revenue? You want Tim and Mitchell to come down to the Regional Office and brainstorm some strategic solutions to maximize their “Stay Out Of the Red Zone” project objective points?
Because when you change the name of a proud sports team, you don’t get hilarious alternatives like the ones I recently proposed. Nope. You get a name from the top floor. It’s no easy task. It takes synergy innovation creative dynamic inspire. Or is it creative innovation synergy inspire dynamic? Better people know.
Do I think that corporations’ tax rate should be lowered to encourage job growth? Yes. Does that mean I want my HR guy picking the name of my favorite football team? No. It does not.
How do I know that your plan, Liberal, will be yet another progressive talking point that if realized would only force our buddies in finance to make our country even lamer than they intended to?
1. Wally the Green Monster
Opening Day 1997. Fenway Park. The Boston Red Sox rolled out their new mascot “Wally the Green Monster.” Fans immediately hated the creature, which was subsequently merchandised in a series of children’s books advertised on websites including chowdaheadz.com. The Red Sox limped to a 78-84 record in a year marked by the failure of starting pitching acquisition Steve Avery. Seventeen years after that initial outing, Wally can today be found in some various Red Sox promotional materials and employee training videos:
Overheard: “Listen, I got 25 guys in there who are laughing their asses off about this. No, I will not call San Diego on this. I am the goddamn bench coach of this baseball team. The thing is an embarrassment. The mascot, let me just tell you this so you know it, Dan, because I’ve been in baseball 31 years so I think I know what I’m talking about. It is an embarrassment. Okay? Thanks, Dan.”
Who To Blame: The Red Sox were then under the management of the Yawkey Trust, an estate conservatorship set up for the wife of the legendary late Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey, who died in 1976. The team president during this period was a former General Accounting Office official and team treasurer named John Harrington, and the general manager was Amherst College graduate Dan Duquette, a former scout for the Montreal Expos. Harrington later sold the team to an ownership group led by John Henry after his plan to destroy Fenway Park was ill received by the public. We hear he has a good job now at the telephone company.
2. Hip Hop:
Hip Hop was a white rabbit that danced to hip hop music. He looked much like a person. His slam dunk presentations failed to galvanize the Philadelphia 76ers crowd.
Introduced in 1998, he was retired after 13 years in 2011 by a unanimous vote of the new ownership team. The team formally acknowledged his absence three years later.
Overheard: “Well, I don’t know what to tell you, Denise. They don’t like this rabbit. I don’t understand it either. Hand me the gin over there, dear, thank you. Yes, Yes. It dances to rap music. Yes, it’s shaped eerily like a person. No, of course not, it’s, you know, it appeals to all fans. Well, what the hell do you want me to do, change it to Malcolm X?”
Who To Blame: COMCAST! The 76ers were owned between 1997 and 2011 by a company called Comcast Spectator, which by then was 63 percent Comcast and 37 percent the company from the early ’70s that was set up by the owner of the Philadelphia Flyers, which shared arena space with the Sixers.
3. Happy the McDonald’s Object:
This is the thing that Ronald McDonald quietly glares at every night before he leaves the office, half-texting his fiance some encouraging news about how work is going.
Overheard: “Happy is a positive word. Happy makes us feel whole and content. Happy is what keeps the Dow Jones Industrial Average soaring off the charts. Happy is what you are feeling right now. Happy sees you. Happy is very proud of you.”
Who To Blame: McDonald’s? What do you mean McDonald’s? Blame McDonald’s for what? Listen, pal, if you want to blame McDonald’s you might as well blame yourself. Everyone is McDonald’s. You dig? So don’t start asking questions you don’t want the answers to. Oh, hello, officer. Nothing to see here. Just out getting myself a bag of root beer candy sticks. Yessir. Some game there Sunday by the Washington CyberCats. Off to the mall. La-dee-da. La-dee-da.
4. Lebron James: