You’re next, “Redskins.”

The sports section-less Washington Times reports that the University of North Dakota is about to retire its Fighting Sioux mascot. School officials, who had been declaring a desire to keep the nickname, have apparently decided to no longer support moving forward with the Indian-themed character. It could be dropped by the end of the week.

And, of course, “Fighting Sioux” ain’t a hair off the ass of “Redskins” on the hate-speech scale.

Bet the mortgage and then some RIGHT NOW* that Sam Bradford of Oklahoma, the top quarterback on many teams’ draft boards, will not be picked by the Redskins in April. Nor will Bradford want to be picked by the Redskins come draft day, because interviewers have already begun asking Bradford, a Sooner superstar who is of Cherokee descent, how he feels about the team’s slur of a nickname. And though Bradford’s stayed mum, those questions will not go away. Bradford wouldn’t want that brouhaha mucking up his rookie season. And Snyder won’t allow that talk to dominate the first pick of the Mike Shanahan Era.

Any attention drawn to his team’s mis-handle will quicken its demise.

(As often as the name issue pops up, I tout the best rock song ever written about the  Redskins name and others of its ilk: “If You Own the Washington Redskins, You’re a Cock,” by the great Atom and His Package. And I point out that Atom’s message predates Dan Snyder.)


My hero Robin Ficker is back. The Great Dan Steinberg and Terrapin Trail (the sports blog of the University of Maryland’s student newspaper, the Diamondback) have both reported that Ficker is now showing up at matches of the Maryland wrestling team.

He’s still yelling at people, too.

Ficker is the least clever heckler in sports history. Steinberg gives several examples of Ficker’s blatant cleverlessness, among them: He’s dubbed Maryland wrestler Hudson Taylor “the Hudson River,” and teammate Bradley Neilsen is “Bradley ‘Fighting Vehicle’ Neilsen.” Get it?

But Ficker, to this day, overpowers his flaws with persistence. He’s been shouting at athletes and others since the 1980s, when he made himself known at the Capital Centre for several seasons from his seat behind the Washington Bullets bench. And he’ll yell at anybody: Last time I saw Ficker in action, he was yelling at fighters while sitting ringside for a nationally televised fight card from Ballroom Boxing in Glen Burnie in 2004.

(AFTER THE JUMP: Ficker’s still running for office? Didn’t he just lose? That’s Ficker’s daughter? Is that SFW?)

He’s annoyed even more people in the political arena, constantly running for office — out of the dozens of campaigns Ficker has waged, he’s won one election: to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1978 — and getting referenda, usually related to taxes, put on the ballot in Maryland.

He got whupped in his run last May as a Republican in the race for the Montgomery County council, with winner Nancy Navarro, a Democrat, getting three times as many votes.

But Ficker doesn’t mind losing. He was a longtime Bullets season ticketholder, remember. So he’s still making waves on the political scene. Here’s his recent application for a seat on the Montgomery County planning board, via Maryland Politics Watch:

Dear President Floreen:

Please consider my application for the Planning Board vacancy left by Jean Cryor.

I believe I am uniquely qualified for the Planning Board at a time when the Board has suffered an experience and brain drain by the departures of Jean Cryor and Royce Hanson. Allow me to list some reasons why you should at least grant me an interview for this job.

l. B.S. Engineering, Case Institute of Technology. Many of the concepts before the Board are based in engineering and mathematics.

2. Practicing attorney in Maryland since 1973 with over 25,000 cases completed. I know there are two sides to every question and would be able to discuss legal issues before the Board. University of Pennsylvania Law School and J.D. University of Baltimore Law School.

3. M.A. Public Administration, American University. Familiarity with concepts of administration before the Board.

4. Lifelong resident of Montgomery County, graduate of its public schools and witness to its growth in every nook and cranny.

5. Licensed Real Estate Broker and familiarity with issues in this vital industry. Scored highest possible score on Real Estate Broker exam.

6.Long-time activity in Montgomery County civic affairs having collected the signatures to place over 20 charter amendments on the county ballot since 1974 including the 2008 successful question to require 9 council votes to exceed the charter property tax limit.

7. Registered with Republican party now, although was registered Independent in 2006, thus meeting the registration requirement for Ms. Cryor’s vacancy.

8. Resident of the Agricultural Reserve. No Planning Board or Council members currently live there.

9. Former member of the Maryland Legislature.

10. As one who attended U.S.M.A. at West Point with the Class of 1964 and whose father-in-law was a Lieutenant General, I could easily work with the military on BRAC issues.

If you or any Members of the Council have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me at any time; for I always answer the phone. [PHONE NUMBER REDACTED]

Robin Ficker

The last time Ficker campaigned for a seat on the same board, according to a 2008 report in the Gazette, he so riled Montgomery County Councilman George L. Leventhal that Leventhal tried to have Ficker thrown out of a council hearing, saying he felt his “security was threatened” by Ficker’s presence.

Maryland Politics Watch has also reported Ficker will run for the County Council yet again later this year.

What I’ve been in awe about Ficker in my nearly two decades of watching him is how he wastes not a minute of his life. You may not like what he’s doing with his time, but he likes it. And in all my dealings with him over the years, I’ve found him to be as nice as he is weird.

That’s plenty nice.


Plus, Robin Ficker sired the “Hottest Triathlete 2008,” Desiree Ficker.


*Don’t really bet the mortgage and then some that Sam Bradford will not be picked by the Redskins in April…unless you’ve got a wallet big enough to hold a gargantuan wad of cold, hard cash!

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