NFL: I've Been Thinkin' 6/29...

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Tick-tock...Tick-tock... Tick-tock... The slowest time of the year for NFL fans is here. It seems to drone on and on, leaving fans to mash up opinions on who'll make NFL rosters, and sidebar issues which crop up every year around this time...

The Washington Redskins' name...

Dan Snyder has said he'll never change the name of his storied NFL franchise. Native American groups want it changed, and the U.S. Patent Office appears to be taking sides? The court of public opinion should be where this issue is decided, and a government agency weighing in by canceling the Trademark of the Redskins is flat out wrong! Agencies like to get their names in the news every now and then. I get it. Yet, I have a problem when the government takes sides in something like this, when you'd think there were more pressing issues for them to deal with? What's more, the political "obviousness" with which the the U.S.P.T.O. has employed is down right shameful. They suddenly decide the "Redskins" name is derogatory, and therefore no longer can enjoy Trademark protection... After decades of it being deemed acceptable, the NFL franchise's name suddenly joins the likes of the K.K.K. (Klu Klux Klan) as being to offensive for a Trademark?

I don't like political rambles, but the U.S.P.T.O. has stepped over the line of their mandate. They should have let the issue be decided by the public and the courts, and not pried their way into the discussion. To me - who has zero Native American  lineage - this is a simple issue. I like to think I'm sentient to the feeling of others, and when it comes right down to it, a name that describes a noble and rich culture by the color of  skin isn't right. Over the years, we get used to things, and they become acceptable. It doesn't make it right across the broader scheme though.

My solution: Each year, Washington adjusts it's name to include the actual name of an American Indian tribe, and uses it's vast media presence to shed light on their history. One year, they'd be the Washington "Apaches", the "Seminoles" the next, the "Comanches", "Iroquois", "Navajo", "Mohawk", etc... They'd only use names with the individual tribe's permission, and pay a use fee. If a tribe didn't want their name used, they'd opt out. Snyder would LOVE this, since Washington fans would buy licensed garb with each new name. The tribes would benefit from the millions of dollars they'd take in in license fees, plus have the opportunity to educate the country about their amazing heritages.

Your thoughts? But in the mean time: U.S.P.T.O - BUTT OUT! Get back to finding a way to stop companies from licensing our individual DNA, and stop blocking individual inventors from enjoying Patent protection.

Johnny Manziel, and Train Wrecks...

For the life of me, I can't understand why ANYONE finds Manziel the slightest bit interesting? He's either going to make it in the NFL, or he isn't. Slight of frame, but possessing an exciting skill set which reminds me a bit of Brett Farve - sans the rifle-like arm strength - he's a coin flip at best to star in a league filled with fast, agile defensive players. So what if he's going to Las Vegas, or has his smart phone glued to his ear, it's his life to live. Failure or success is up to him, and free will is everyone's right.

O'Bannon V. NCAA...

This case is going to take years to travel through the court system. If you don't know about this case, it's a licensed image lawsuit originally started by former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon. The case has expanded to include class action plaintiffs, and could challenge the very nature of amateur athletics in the NCAA. I have mixed feeling about the case. First, if college athletes are allowed to be paid for their services, smaller schools outside the major college conferences could be on the outside looking in when it comes to bidding for high school athletes. Sports agents will descend on high school campuses in droves. We've seen how hard it is for 20-something college players to adjust to making millions of dollars when they hit the NFL. Now, imagine what it will be like when a 16 year old kid gets swarmed with piles of cash?

Yet, the college players have a viable complaint at the case's core. The NCAA basically owns their images for life, which doesn't seem right to me? What's more, the billions of dollars the NCAA rakes in each year - while Title 9 has encouraged distribution across all college sports - there's something troubling about how players have to do double duty as a income producer for their universities, and go to classes - which is why they're there in the first place - seems onerous and overly skewed toward the NCAA.

Your thoughts?

Have a great weekend! I'll be around in the thread off and on if you'd like to discuss these wonderful thoughts of mine...

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