Open Thread: T-Bone and Heather long for the good old days, before the Commanders butted in
Will the Washington NFL football team name change destroy democracy as we know it?
WASHINGTON — Here’s a fresh take on the new Washington NFL football team name that we don’t think you’re likely to find anywhere else: T-Bone and Heather do not — we repeat do not — like the new name of the team, announced this morning to be the Commanders.
Who the hell are T-Bone and Heather, you ask?
They’re a small husband and wife radio team duo broadcasting in rural-ish southern Maryland who’ve honed that well-known morning banter thing that radio hosts do between playing hits from the 80s, Justin Beiber and the latest Taylor Swift.
We paraphrase their thoughts:
You needed to change the name for this?
I guess you did what you needed to do?
You need to start winning, no matter the name!
Only 4 people clapped when the name was announced!
They also didn’t like the looks of the team’s three new jerseys, especially the black and gold one that they say looks too much like those of the Steelers.
All in all, they didn’t say anything really and truly offensive, but the underlying “cancel-culture” current was apparent. They feel that there wasn’t anything wrong with the old name, so why change it? They didn’t use the old “we’re just honoring you” trope; in fact; they didn’t mention Native Americans at all.
Which is a good thing, we guess?
But the whole point of sharing their ideas with you is to shine a greater light on what a whole heck of a lot of people in non-liberal pockets of the D.C. area and in the country at large are thinking. And plenty of Democratic voters we know who are African American also love the old name, in spite of what they’ve read about its racist history. We all know that in some areas, especially on social media, they’re saying much, much worse than T-Bone and Heather.
Yet Natives, like anyone else, can get stuck in advocacy bubbles where the change at hand makes so much sense and the momentum seems to be headed so blatantly in one direction, only to find that the thinking going on inside the brain trust of T-Bone and Heather is actually pervasive. Sometimes, that kind of thinking can ride its way all the way to the White House, especially with a whole lot of help from the Electoral College. It’s almost like that was the plan from the very beginning.
Indigenous people know very well how colonial mindsets can be impactful (ha!), so we are well served to listen intently to all of the undercurrents.
Whether we like it or not, we need to hear what T-Bone and Heather are saying. Many advocates are today and always ready to take on their logic, and many of these advocates know all too well the battles that are yet to come on this front alone. You will see and read many of their voices in various media outlets today.
Maybe T-Bone and Heather will one day hear their voices and truly let them sink in. (Although T-Bone did think that team owner Dan Snyder’s daughter was his wife during the announcement, and Heather had to correct him. So we’re not placing any bets on T-Bone for now.)
We leave you with this final important thought from one of T-Bone and Heather’s informed on-air audience members before we ask you to sound off with your own thoughts in the comments: Washington Commandos! Yeah!!
Indeed, Washington, D.C. is going commando, and it’s an improvement, believe it or not.
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