A rose by any other name (in sports) is always profit-driven

Okay, I get the thing with the Redskins name soon disappearing from the NFL. “Redskins” is and has always been a derogatory term; and there is no way anyone can (or should) sugarcoat it. Bye-bye!

But “Indians”? When was the last time – if ever – you heard someone use the term in a derogatory manner? Can’t recall, can you? And that’s because you haven’t heard it used in that context. So, what’s the beef, Chief? (See what I did there?)

Shame on the Dolans for jumping on the bandwagon otherwise known as political correctness. Because the last thing on their grubby little cash-poor minds is “doing the right thing.” What the heck is that of which I speak, you ask? Has the Sporting Views scribbler finally gone daft?

Under the pretext of social consciousness (notice how we have all upped our moral game of late) the Dolans have chosen to “study” the idea of changing the team’s name, and soon. Yet, however the team decides to spin the name change – and they WILL change the name, I assure you – it won’t be out of any newfound respect for Native Americans. It will be more like the age-old respect for the American dollar.

See, when the Indians reluctantly decided to “retire” Chief Wahoo in 2018, they saw quite a spike in sales of Wahoo-related merchandise. After all, Wahoo fans needed to load up of the Chief’s merchandise before the Wahoo well went dry. So, the Dolans mourned the loss of Chief Wahoo … all the way to the bank.

This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on all the major (and minor) sports in the country, baseball owners are looking at plenty of red ink. What better way to ease the financial burden in Cleveland than by pretending to actually care about people all of a sudden? (That buzz you hear in the background is the sound of the Cleveland baseball team’s cash registers ringing up sales of soon-to-be-gone Indians gear: Cha-ching!) And, although the front office will tell you they want to do the right thing and all, they will also drag their feet long enough to milk the Indians merchandise cow for all it’s worth before calling it quits on “Indians.”

Quite a group of humanitarians, those Dolans.

So, we’ve heard ideas for new names for the franchise. Most of them – like Spiders – make me want to hurl. I get it: that was the original name of the National League franchise, so nostalgia buffs get pumped by this sort of thing. But think about it: If the name is that great, they’d still be using it, right? So, grab a can of Raid and blast that stupid Spiders name into oblivion … please!

The Naps (named after legendary player Nap Lajoie)? Yawn. All that name does is make me want to take one.

The Fellers (named after iconic pitcher Bob Feller)? A team consisting bunch of “fellers”? Sounds like the Beverly Hillbillies bought and renamed the team. Thanks, but I’ll pass. Does this city have a shred of dignity left? Anybody?

The Blue Sox (named after Heaven only knows what). Sure. Great name. I think of a bunch of oxygen-deprived fools staggering around on the diamond, but that’s just me. Where can I get tickets? All I ask is you think this one through, people!

After much thought and introspective, I have a name which I think would both be a great reflection on a successful era of baseball in Cleveland which, try to stay with me here, could be parlayed into world recognition if things roll our way. Hear me out …

In the late 1940s, a man named Bill Veeck bought the Indians and took them to their last world championship in 1948. The guy was quite a promotions wizard (before promotions were fashionable) and is known for signing a dwarf to play with the team (okay, okay, maybe all of his ideas weren’t flashes of brilliance).

Okay, we could call the team the Cleveland Veecks. (I can hear your ”Ho-hum” response). But let’s take that a step further: this era will forever be known as the coronavirus or COVID-19 era, right? And we will have a vaccine in the next few years, right? We could name the team the Cleveland Veeccines. What if Cleveland had a hand in the development of the vaccine? And even if we didn’t, so what? The Dolans could sell Cleveland Veeccines stuff world-wide, baby!

Aside to Larry & Paul: You’re welcome.

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!

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Volume 12, Issue 14, Posted 10:05 AM, 07.21.2020