Better interim names for ‘Washington Football Team’
Once there was a man named Little Baby.
“Little Baby” was his actual real name, not a hilarious nickname. For months before he was born, and for nearly a week after, his parents argued about what to name him. They were stuck between the variously popular Aiden, Brayden, Hayden, Jayden and Kayden, eventually getting to Zayden, yet all for naught.
The parents also considered but then rejected Ralph; Adolf; Pudendum (inside joke); Kanye (similar joke); Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter; and the internet’s “Worst Celebrity Baby Names” such as Bronx Mowgli, Pilot Inspektor, FiFi Trixibelle and Jermajesty.
They also insulted their wealthy trust-funding grandfather by refusing to name their baby Wentworth III, who would be nicknamed “Wentworth The Third.”
Impatient, the authorities demanded the parents put something, anything, on their baby’s birth certificate. Thus, their little baby officially became Little Baby.
As you might imagine, Little Baby had a tough time in prep school, dating, adulting and attaining emotional health. But in powerfully overcompensating, he achieved enough high self-esteem to believe he was superior to other people and demand the excessive praise and admiration he deserved. He also exaggerated his talents and accomplishments while denigrating others, and remained obsessed with power, success and beauty.
Lesser jealous people quaking in his wake timidly suggested Little Baby was a narcissist.
Moral of the story: Beware of desperately naming your little baby Little Baby.
Some mean people say Dan Snyder, the celebrated owner of the Team Formerly Known as the Washington R******s, acts like a little baby narcissist.
They cite his childish stubbornness, willful destructiveness, and penchant for tantrums.
Yet let’s pity Snyder as he faces a similar quandary as Little Baby’s parents. He’s struggling with renaming his baby after his heroic decision, definitely not made under extreme moral and financial pressure, to be not racist.
In the meantime, never for a lack of marketing wizardry, Snyder is calling his Washington football team the “Washington Football Team.”
Yet, I humbly suggest, Snyder can do better pending a permanent name.
Trust me: I’m no unemployed philosopher still working on my dissertation after 20 years. But perhaps Snyder might embrace the uncertainty of his team’s existence (and his rightful ownership of it) with a few branding ideations lifted from books about existentialism I found incomprehensible and unreadable.
Just spit-balling here, but how about:
Inspired by Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” and honoring Snyder’s leadership style (treating coaching staff like Gregor Samsa, “a tool of the boss without brains or backbone”), the name would signify transformation.
Cockroaches as a species are also fast, sneaky and can survive anything, including being stomped and squished, so constant humiliation is no biggie. And imagine the giant ugly bug mascot grabbing and hugging your kids! Instagram viral! Needless to say, The Cockroaches would win night games.
“From the instant of my upsurge into being, I carry the weight of the world by myself, alone without help,” the eponymous Frenchman observed.
Naming his team for Sartre would underscore that Snyder, and Snyder alone, takes full credit for the team’s despicable record and reputation under his ownership.
Besides, doesn’t “being and nothingness” sound like the feeling of rooting for the hapless Washington Football Team week after week, year after year, and like insanity, expecting a different outcome?
“Do it or not do it — you will regret both,” the Great Dane declared. Washington football fans know whatever Snyder does or doesn’t do, they’ll regret it.
Fierce, right? Sounds like something out of “Game of Thrones,” so imagine the cross-branding opportunities!
On a serious note, Nietzsche wrote, “Man is a rope, tied between beast and overman — a rope over an abyss.” Just like decent Washingtonians are strung between drunk, obscenity-hooting troglodytic fans (beasts) who don’t get or care that “Redskins” is racist, and Snyder (overman) who suckers them to pay $10 for urinous beer while smashing their loyalty again and again.
No question Snyder believes he’s Nietzsche’s Übermensch, “the ideal superior man of the future who could rise above conventional Christian morality to create and impose his own values,” as the dictionary defines the term. By the way, not unlike a certain President of the United States.
At least when Snyder acts out like a little baby, football’s just a game, right?
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.