In October I wrote that I was sick and tired of the constant bad news about the Shutdown and suggested the media shut up about it until the Feds shut down the Shutdown. A friend wrote back “Why don’t you write something about changing the name of the Redskins?"
So, you want me to open a can of worms,” I replied.
He responded. “YES!!!, take a stand. You grew up in Seattle, and you were involved with the Seattle Indian Health Board."
So I picked up my pencil and wrote something I knew they would understand in DC. It’s time for a change. But how many times have you seen a pro sports team solve a problem by changing its name or mascot? Much easier to fire the coach.
Yes, back in October I suggested the Redskins organization fire Mike Shanahan and replace him with a Native American football coach.
Last week was “Pink Slip Monday” - and the shopping began for six NFL head coaches to replace Rob Chudzinski (Cleveland Browns), Leslie Frazier (Minnesota Vikings), Jim Schwartz (Detroit Lions), Greg Schiano (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), and, of course Mike Shanahan. Tampa Bay has already fallen in love with Lovie Smith. But that's another FLOG.
Shanahan is the only one who has piqued my interest because I had a friend named Mike Shanahan, who was the Chief of Police of the University of Washington Police Department (where incidentally in early December coach Steve Sarkisian fired the U of W which four days later hired Boise State coach Chris Petersen to replace him).
Meanwhile back to Shanahan. He has been the head coach of the Los Angeles Raiders, Denver Broncos and Washington Redskins. He was a quarterback at Eastern IIlinois University in 1972, where he took an NFL-type slam on the practice field which ruptured one of his kidneys, causing his heart to stop for thirty seconds. It was so bad a priest was summoned to administer the last rites to Shanahan, a devout Roman Catholic.
This experience certainly qualified Shanahan as a quarterbacks coach in his first NFL coaching job. The rest of his coaching career has been like musical chairs. After four seasons with the Redskins his record was 24-40.
But who can blame Shanahan for "Black Sunday", Oct 27, when his star quarterback, Robert Griffin III was leveled in the pocket by Denver Bronco defensive lineman, Terrance Knighton. It was downhill all the way from there for the Redskins, where there was more concern about the political correctness of the football team’s name than its players.
I wrote at that time that when there is controversy within a football team, whether it’s an insensitive moniker or a bad trade, team administrations usually fire the coach. I decided not to post what I wrote because I didn't want to be perceived as casting aspersions when I really didn't (and don't) have anything against Shanahan. Plus, Shanahan’s son, Kyle, was a member of his father’s coaching staff and I'm pretty sure he could (can) beat me up.
Interestingly, I recently discovered Shanahan’s wife Peggy has Native American lineage. She might be relieved to have her family disassociate from Dan Snyder.
Don’t worry about Mike and Peggy, or Kyle. Shanahan won’t have to coach the Redskins again and he still has $7 million remaining for the fifth year of his five year contract.