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Barbershop Buzz: Week 7
Cletis Cutts
October 16, 2013
 

Barbershop BuzzThe Shop is a community meeting place where advice is dispensed and the topics of the day are discussed. It can be sports. It can be politics. It can be the shock and awe of twerking now being associated with 20-year old Disney white girl with a flat ass. The topics vary by the day, but always tend to get a little heated.

So it was that the fellas congregated on Columbus Day to discuss Native Americans. Funny, but the only people who don’t have to work on Columbus Day are government employees – those who still have jobs. I had to work. I didn’t get the day off. Most of the customers in The Shop were cutting out of work on the company dime to hang out for an hour. They didn’t get the day off…at least not most of it. But, as happens way-y-y too often, a stray comment about Chrissy Columbo led to an argument about the Washington Redskins.

It’s not a new argument. It’s been discussed it many times over the years. Some think its offensive. Some think it’s much ado about nothin’. Most fall somewhere in between. But, when the President of the United States, the ultimate big baller and shot caller, speaks out of his new hometown (he’s a Bears fan, after all) that, if he owned the team, he would change the name, that got a lot of attention.

Not since the Great Tebow Debate of 2011 has conversation been quite so heated. At one point, I actually had to do an inventory of the in-house blades to make sure things didn’t escalate and get out of hand. But, as most Shop debates, cases are made and clarity is found. Here’s we came away from the discussion with.

It’s hard not to find the name Redskins offense, because the color of skin is mentioned in the name. Not too many have a problem with the Cleveland Indians, although Smilin’ Joe looks like a stereotype cigar advertising mascot from the 1940s. Almost nobody had problems with names like Blackhawks, Chiefs, Warriors, Seminoles, etc. because they embody the fighting spirit of young Indian warriors. Redskins? That’s another story.

Almost by definition, the name Redskin is a name a white man called somebody of a different skin color. One can only wonder if there were teams that drew their names from a term used to describe the skin color of African Americans, Hispanics or Asians would be viewed with a similar lack of outrage. Keep in mind that the only reason Native Americans are called Indians is because Columbus thought he was in the West Indies. And it was also pointed by Pops Watson that, if there is somebody on the beach watchin’ your boats come in, you didn’t “discover’ a damn thing.

The bottom line as it came out over chatter at The Shop was that, if Danny Snyder had a brain (or contacted the Wizard to procure one), he would change the name…on his terms. At some point, we’re all hustlers of some kind. There is respect given and earned by a hustler. If you ain’t hustlin’, you ain’t trying.

A man with a dollar hustles to make five. A man with $5,000 is hustling to turn into $50,000. A man with a 10-figure net worth – that’s nine zeroes, friend – you don’t get to many hustling opportunities to add a whole lot more to that pile. Danny Boy has that opportunity.

Sometimes the best solutions are achieved through the collective – differing opinions that come together. If something is bad for bidness, you change. If cash can come into your personal bank as a result, all the better. Snyder has a golden goose opportunity to make the big splash of community largesse and fat stacks of cash by changing the name. The fellas have laid out the golden goose plan.

Here’s how it works. Danny Boy publicly claims he is upholding a tradition, allowing him to retain his dignity for fighting the good fight, but giving an alleged victory to those professional protesters who fight for the rights of everyone from the needy to the Nazi. Snyder will have a “come to Jesus” mea culpa moment, but will, out of fan loyalty, retain the right to exclusively market the Redskins brand. As part of the agreement, once a year, the Redskins can have a “throwback” game. That way, even players who never actually played for the Redskins of old, will have played a game in their jersey and thus, they can be sold under the tradition branding rights.

By picking a new name and color scheme, the hard-core Washington fan will eventually feel obligated to pay to get the “must-have” version of the RG3 jersey, the Alfred Morris jersey, etc. with the Nike swoosh and, seeing as it’s Washington D.C., likely having a patriotic color palate that sells throughout the country. America’s Team Version 2.0, if you will. But, traditionalists (or racists, depending on your point of view) will still get the “old school gear.” Every player who ever played for the Washington Redskins will still be able to have fans buy jerseys with their names on them. Danny makes the money. If you put the word “Throwback” or “Classic” on the current Redskins property, you can charge twice the going rate and still get takers. Hustle, Danny, Hustle.

Daniel Snyder may be a purist. But, he’s a billionaire. He crushes people at whim. Why? Because he can. If he has a shot at a lucrative revenue source that he can be fashioned into being his private domain and not subject to revenue sharing, why not take it?  He can publicly swallow his pride, but privately swallow Kobe beef because he will make bank on tens of millions of dollars by selling two separate-but-equal jerseys to fans of Washington players past, present and future.

At The Shop, we’re not business moguls per se. But, we have a lot of hustlers come through the door and this sounds like a “can’t miss” for Danny Boy. He keeps his dignity. He claims to be doing the best for the politically correct general public out there, while lining his pockets with thick green. Isn’t that the American way?

SWEEPING UP

  • Clyde the Bookie came in after hours for a trim last week and dropped some information dime on me. All of the low-action gamblers were putting their money on Denver to cover a massive 28-point spread against the lowly Jaguars. But, “the whales” were putting their coin on the Jags. While Denver won by 16 points and convincingly buried the Jags in the second half, the big boys made their money and the little man coughed up his – situation normal in the gambling world.

  • My son by a different ex-wife Orange Julius (a.k.a. Julius Thomas) continues to be as dominant as any player at any position in the fantasy world. He has seven touchdowns in six games and has at least one TD in six of seven games. Only W2 (Wes Welker) has more TDs than Orange Julius and he has at least one TD in every game. But W2 was taken in the early rounds. Savvy players took Orange Julius late. The lucky had him fall in their laps. Get paid, young man.

  • The last two games are the first two in which Denver hasn’t blown out opponents, which was telling from the perspective of the running back position. In their first four games, Knowshon Moreno has 46 carries, whole Montee Ball had 39 and Ronnie Hillman had 25. In the last two games, where the Broncos have had to keep their foot on the gas, Moreno has 34 carries and four touchdowns, Hillman has 11 carries and Ball has just four. The pecking order has been decided.

  • Say It Ain’t So Joe. Detroit tight ends Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler have combined for 27 catches and no touchdowns. Undrafted rookie Joseph Fauria has just seven catches for 66 yards, but five of them have gone for touchdowns.

  • Had a Reggie Bush owner come in The Shop with a tale of woe. Didn’t play him Week 1 because he was his No. 3 RB. He tore Minnesota a new one. He started him against Arizona. His Kardashian sweat stink came to the surface. He was out of town in Week 3 romancing the stone and didn’t have time to pull him when he was inactive. As a result, he didn’t play him in Week 4 against Chicago. Felt bad and played him against Green Bay. After throwing up in his mouth, he benched him last Sunday. The happiness one gets from Bush is relative to situation – Grandma may embroider that on a Christmas gift pillow.

THE RAZOR’S EDGE

10. White On Rice – Wino Carl is prone to making outrageous claims that are hard, if not impossible, to verify. He claimed that he was asked by President Obama to help mediate the government shutdown and, because of his affinity for crab cakes, took the train to Baltimore, where he said he ran into Ray Rice. He said he asked him pointedly, “Didn’t you used to be Ray Rice, playah?” Hard to prove that conversation happened, but one has to wonder. In most leagues, Rice was a first-round pick in most drafts, but, through six games, he is averaging just 12 carries a game, has less than 200 yards, is averaging just 2.8 yards a carry (better than the team average) and has 20 catches for just 87 yards. This isn’t the Ray-Ray that was expected and one has to wonder is his car is heading at high speed toward a brick wall?

9. What You Talkin’ ‘Bout Willis? – When the Browns traded Trent Richardson, one of the points made to justify the move was to claim that T-Rich wasn’t explosive. Maybe is want T-Rich, it was the Cleveland offense. The Browns have given ratty retread Willis McGahee every chance to win the starting job and keep it. In four games, he’s had 59 carries for just 164 yards (2.8 yards a pop). If you need two yards, Willis will get you two. If you need three yards, he’ll get you two.

8. Break the Tie Already – We’re six games into the Patriots season and Rob Gronkowski still has as many receptions as Aaron Hernandez, who is busy on Sundays (and every day of the week). When the Pats said they weren’t going to put Gronk on the P.U.P. list, which would have kept him out until Week 7, a lot of fantasy owners thought they got a value pick when they snatched him up. Six weeks later, he has yet to see the field and that pick has crippled a lot of teams. When he comes back, he’s expected to be huge, but he’s been an anchor on the neck of owners who took a risk/reward snap on him and haven’t been rewarded yet. That could all change quick, but it’s been a slow burn so far.

7. Last Man Standing – On draft day, there was a ton of interest shown in the Packers. Aaron Rodgers didn’t last long. Randy Cobb, Jordy Nelson and Jimmy Jam Jones didn’t last long after wide receivers started coming off the board. All four of them were regular fantasy starters and for good reason. But, in the span of a half hour, the Packers lost both Jones and Cobb for at least a couple of weeks if not more. Cobb is a unique athlete who is as dangerous in the open field as any wideout in the game. All J2 does is score touchdowns, which is what fantasy owners want. The Packers can survive, but how can Rodger

6. We Need More Mo – What’s wrong with the Redskins? They aren’t using their best weapon – not RG3, but Alfred Morris. Morris was a workhorse last year, setting a franchise record for rushing yards. Through five games, Morris is averaging less than 15 carries a game and doesn’t have more than 16 in any game. He’s averaging 5.2 yards a carry, but has been limited by his own team. The Redskins made the playoffs last year by running the ball with Morris. Their defense blows, but you don’t take the ball out of the hands of your best player, who may be Morris, not RG3.

5. I Dream of Geno – When Geno Smith threw for three touchdowns against reeling Atlanta, there were some believers that he had turned the corner and could be a legitimate fantasy quarterback. Then came the Steelers. Winless and without a defensive turnover, they picked of Geno twice and held the Jets without a touchdown. Through six games, Smith has twice as many games with two or more interceptions (four) than games with two or more touchdowns (two). It seems like it’s the same old, same old with the sputtering Jets offense.

4. A Child Shall Lead Them All – As much as we have warned those seeking knowledge to just avoid the Raiders, it took six weeks to make the point, but the leading rusher in Oakland is quarterback Terrelle Pryor. The problem with that? 1. He’s a quarterback. 2. He’s only played in five of six games. 3. He has 26 less rushing attempts than Darren McFadden. If you can’t smell the shart happenin’, just give it a minute. You will.

3. Drinking In the Boos – Around The Shop, sympathy doesn’t come early. The language is salty and the criticism extends to players’ mamas. But, even the fellas in The Shop thought the reaction of thousands of Texans fans cheering that Matt Schaub got hurt was sickening. The Texans are in trouble, but, after their bye week, their schedule eases up quite a bit. They’re down and out right now, but Houston ain’t dead.

2. Minny the Moocher – There wasn’t anybody lining up to get a Minnesota quarterback on draft day because what they do best is turn around and hand the ball to Adrian Peterson. Christian Ponder sucks. Matt Cassel is a stop-gap at best. Will Josh Freeman make the third QB the charm? It can’t get much worse in the land of ice and snow.

1. Double Wide – Can things get much worse for the Giants? Since Week 1 when Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks lit up Dallas for 232 yards and three touchdowns. The two have combined for just one touchdown in the last five weeks and the two have just four games combined with more than 70 yards. For a team losing every game, you would think those numbers would be higher, but Cruz ain’t dancing and Nicks has been nonexistent more games than not. At least they get Minnesota next week.


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