Hey, what’s this in the Washington Post? Another story “uncovered by Redskins, verified by The Post, or whatever”? Why no! This story is about the Redskins suing fans who’ve fallen on hard times, and it is seriously harshing my day.
You see, I like football. And even though I am fully aware that I am essentially cheering on a color scheme year after year, I can usually justify this pastime by saying that millionaires can spend their money as they see fit and that nobody (with the exception of that guy Albert Haynesworth brained) is really getting hurt here.
But many people are getting very hurt by the Redskins’ despicable practice of suing fans, like the 72-year-old grandmother James V. Grimaldi profiles in today’s story. She tells Grimaldi “she was humiliated when a process server arrived at her door notifying her that her favorite team was suing her. ¶Yet it hasn’t dimmed her fidelity. She brightens at the memory of meeting Sonny Jurgensen in the locker room 47 years ago.”
Grimaldi slowly nails the pelt of Redskins General Counsel David Donovan to his wall:
Donovan said other teams sue their fans. “I don’t know of any pro football team that doesn’t,” he said.
But spokesmen for the following National Football League teams said they do not sue their fans over season ticket contracts: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants and Jets, Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans.
The New England Patriots have sued multiyear premium ticket holders. A Chicago Bears spokesman said, “In rare instances, we have sued.”
Donovan tells Grimaldi that the suits are necessary: “this is a business. And we rely on these contracts for our planning.” OK, but doesn’t the team’s purported 160,000-strong waiting list negate this concern?
Years ago, annoying but compelling one-man punk band Atom and His Package recorded a song called “If You Own the Washington Redskins, You’re a Cock,” which was about the inconvenient racial weirdness in the team’s name.
The way I’ve decided to justify that is to not think about it.
But that is not a courtesy I can extend to this story. I’d love to say that I’m principled enough to stop rooting for the Redskins, but I am not. I love this perpetually mediocre, racist-named, fan-suing, for-all-intents-and-purposes-pure-evil team. I have no way to justify any of this, and even less now. I will watch the Redskins, but stories like this make me hate myself for it.
(Some other stuff happened yesterday, but it wasn’t about the Redskins, so screw it.)