I love fall, and especially love Sundays in the fall. Every fall Sunday for as long as I can remember has been punctuated by the sounds of pro football. I like football; I don’t know a lot about it but I know enough to follow along and yell at the players and the refs and eat junk food. And I know that I was born into a diehard Washington Redskins family.
But now there are some things interfering with my enjoyment of Redskin games, and it’s not what you think. First, the name. I know a lot has been said and written about whether the name is or is not offensive. My thing is, if Native Americans say that they find the name offensive, I trust them on that. I feel like they are the best judge of what they find offensive, and I don’t think it’s just that they’re holding a grudge about the whole stealing their land and obliterating their culture thing. But if they were, it would be understandable.
Of course during the government shutdown the joke going around was that the team was going to have to change its name because so many people found the name “Washington” offensive. Womp womp.
Now add to that the “Pinkwashing” of October. Enough has been said and written by people who know a lot more than I do about the issue. I personally am super-aware of breast cancer, especially since I had it. I may have been too modest to mention that I wrote a book about my experience. But I did. Write a book. In case I forgot to mention it.
Anyhoo, when I’m watching football in October, I’m seeing a bunch of huge sweaty guys swathed in pink. Pink socks, pink shoes, pink mouth guards? I half-expected to see frilly lace at the top of those pink socks, but I guess that wouldn’t be for a cause; it would just be weird. I think that now not only is everyone aware of breast cancer, they are also aware that there is a reason that no football team in the history of the game has ever chosen pink as one of its team colors. Not hot pink, not pastel pink, not mauve or dusty rose or bubble gum pink. Just. Not. Pink.
I have a limited attention span, so thinking about the team name and seeing all this pink is plenty to distract me. Now add to that the fact that my team has a player named Pierre. I’m not even kidding. Pierre. I hate to stereotype, but I don’t picture anyone named Pierre playing American football. When I think of someone named Pierre, I think of him sipping an espresso at a sidewalk café in Paris. Quite possibly wearing a pink tie or pink pocket scarf or something. I do not picture him wearing shoulder pads and pink socks and not-too-daintily tackling someone.
Then again, maybe we’re on to something here. We’ve got the pink, we’ve got the French influence…I think The Washington Pink Poodles has a nice ring to it…