Podcast

Scott Raab on Weeden, more Chief Wahoo, political correctness, and the Cavaliers – WFNY Podcast – 2013-10-14

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WFNY Podcast LogoAs I’ve done in previous (but not all) weeks, here’s the Sunday night email that I sent to Scott. It largely saves you from hearing the tap tap tap of me taking notes during the podcast.

Here we go…

The Cleveland Browns lose not simply because Brandon Weeden had a bad day, but it’s impossible to get over that embarrassing shovel pass he threw. In a week where Brandon Weeden was simply outplayed by someone like Thad Lewis in Buffalo, is it fair to hope we never see Weeden play again for the Browns? Is that an overreaction? Does Weeden still give the Browns the best chance to win even if we all know he has no future as a starter in the league? Is he even the best backup available to play for the Browns right now?

I want to do some follow-up on Chief Wahoo. The debate raged on after we talked last week. You and I agree on the topic, but it’s worth looking at a couple of the arguments. I don’t represent these arguments/questions, but they are ones that I saw in the comments of a WFNY post this week in which Andrew from WFNY was saying it was time for Wahoo to go. It’s not even unanimous among WFNY writers, by the way.

1. First of all, we’ve talked about political correctness. Why is it alright to bow down to the P.C. pressure on Native Americans with regard to Chief Wahoo but still hate political correctness in other arenas?

2. Following up on the first question, what is your response to the slippery slope argument that if you allow Chief Wahoo to go that all sports team names will be scrubbed next?

3. How much of this whole debate boils down to the fact that people really just hate to be told what to do?

Now for some of my new personal enlightenment on the topic, here’s what I’ve been thinking about since the Wahoo debate has been re-ignited among Clevelanders.

I started thinking about the Redskins name and all the hubbub over Riley Cooper’s use of an n-bomb. The NFL might be able to survive the Redskins name and just not care about criticism if they weren’t also the same league that jumped through hoops whenever anything remotely racist was said by one of the players. The Riley Cooper situation further reveals a hypocrisy with the NFL’s willingness to have the word Redskins as a team name.

What would the Indians do if one of their players referred to someone as a “f***ot” in a post-game presser? I’m sure the player would be punished by the team, league or both like Kobe was in the NBA. If you’re going to run a business that is so sensitive to controversial and discriminatory language by a player, you really can’t stand by Chief Wahoo.

Chief Wahoo is actually antithetical to MLB’s business plan. Pro sports are built to be these big safe things for mass audiences. That’s all the more reason that these antiquated names – now racist by most everyone’s modern definition – have got to change. Did the world change around them? Did standards change? Yes. That observation doesn’t allow you to ignore reality.

I want to finish up on a positive note. The Cleveland Cavaliers are a team that I don’t know very well right now, but I want to get to know them better. This team might be deep, but in the very very promising kind of way. They’re not deep in the Miami Heat kind of way with proven stars only capable of playing 12 minutes per game because they are aged. These are up and coming depth pieces and the Cavaliers will get to choose the best of them over the course of this year. I’m simultaneously excited for the present and the future with these Cavaliers even though it’s just pre-season.

That’s what I’ve got. Look forward to talking to you tomorrow.

Check out this episode

  • HRD53

    As incredibly interesting/convincing as it is to listen to other white people tell me what is offensive to other minority groups, i’d like to hear what an actual Native American thinks about this issue (hint hint for future WFNY article). And preferably not someone who is a professional activist. Just the opinion of an average Native American(s) on this issue (specifically their opinion on the ‘indians’ team name.).

  • bobby

    maybe like this guy?

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCkQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Findiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com%2F2013%2F10%2F10%2Fblackfeet-elder-says-rick-reilly-misquoted-him-wants-redskins-banned-151696&ei=NCBcUta5D4HQ8QSU94HADA&usg=AFQjCNHoeT1Sw95wIoZbLwd8XviplyrexQ&bvm=bv.53899372,d.eWU

    or as long as 1 guy is okay with it then so are you? Like this guy

    http://deadspin.com/redskins-indian-chief-defender-not-a-chief-probably-590973565

    even when he is a fake?

    Like Craig said. You are just offended by being told what to do. You say so yourself.

    It doesn’t matter if it is right wrong or indifferent, you just aren’t going to hear it.

    As long as 1 voice tells you what you want to do is okay, you will ignore all those that say ‘yea, not so much’.

  • bobby

    The black, brown, yellow, red and female of the species have been calling the white man out for his offensive behavior for quite a while now, sorry you haven’t been paying attention.

    There have been native American protestors at the jake since it opened, I am now ashamed to say that I walked by them trying to ignore them. It worked for a while.

    “people NOT mascots”

    And just an FYI when the white people come around to realizing that it is offensive it is over.

    The white people are the last people to

    1)realize it

    2)admit it
    3)alter their behavior.

    Most are now at least at 1….wrestling with 2…on the cusp of 3.

  • HRD53

    Thanks for sending me links to articles complaining about the Redskins name, however i’m interested in hearing what native americans have to say regarding the ‘Cleveland Indians’ name. Also why do you guys get so worked up over this stuff? I mean, it really is a pretty baffling thing to me. If how we treat Native American’s bothers you so much, maybe you should donate some time/money to help their communities or something more productive than eliminating cartoon characters and team names.

    I also get it that I probably don’t understand this issue because i’m not a native american, but once again the people that get so passionate about it are also white guys who have no concept of what it is to be a Native American. All i’m saying is i’d like to see an actual Native American’s take specifically on the Cleveland Indians. thats alls i’m sayin.

  • bobby

    perhaps because there aren’t so many of them around…after we committed genocide against them and all.

    You haven’t seen them because you haven’t wanted to see them.

    Washington Redskins.

    Cleveland Indians + Chief wahoo.

    You don’t see how these are the same? then you don’t want to see and a native american telling you won’t make a difference.

    If you really wanted to, google has a plethora. But I am sure you will be able to tap dance around those too.

    I have no idea what it is to be African American. I can certainly see how Amos and Andy Aunt Jemamia and little black sambo are offensive.

    This isn’t that hard.

    I don’t care is easier to defend than I just don’t really know.

  • Bryan

    Its depressing to hear you guys be so unsophisticated in your defense of T-Rich. Raab points to two statistics (TDs and total yards) that are agreed to be useless in making inferences about future production, and then makes fun of YPC, the one statistic discussed that best isolates a RB’s production.

    Ripping T-Rich is not a new thing. More statistically inclined folks have been calling T-Rich a possible bust since last year, and I guarantee the more analytically inclined FO was ready to shop T-Rich since Day 1, they just never had anyone as stupid as the Colts to give away a 1st rounder for a mediocre back.

    And for the tenth time, even though you keep insinuating the Browns would be magically better with T-Rich still on the roster, T-Rich has been no more productive than the collection of backs currently on the roster.

    Your argument is really silly at this point. It seems to boil down to the belief that people are “justifying the trade” after the fact (not true) and to some magically belief that T-Rich is good because he was a big name coming out of college. It was a good trade – why not be happy about that?

  • Bryan
  • hrd53

    I’m specifically interested in the team’s name being controversial. I actually have not been able to find a Native American’s take on the Cleveland Indians name. I welcome a link to an article if you have one (i’ve read the articles on Wahoo and the scene magazine one that always gets referenced). And i’d prefer it not to be an activist because their entire career revolves around this issue. I think it would make for an interesting story to see an average Native American’s take on it. Sorry if that upsets you.

    You can go ahead and make me out to be someone that doesn’t care about other people. I just think the righteous indignation is silly. I mean to your point, we slaughtered their families and drove them off their land and this is our consolation to them? No more teams called the ‘Indians’?

  • Mick

    Amen these guys need to just drop hating the Richardson trade. He has proven absolutely nothing. And your exactly right many people were questioning him half way through the season. I know I was. The week before he was traded I jokingly told my friend we should trade him for a 2nd round pick. The fact that we got a first rounder is amazing and I think the colts will regret it. But they are in a position to do whatever they want as long as they have luck they will win a lot of games.

  • bobby

    well Scott said it in the podcast

    louis soxelexis’s tribe. The guy the Indians are supposedly honoring

    Petitioned the indians to drop the name

    http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_124th/billtexts/HP104501.asp

    what more would you like? are they native enough for you?

    Yes and I think that if they prefer we not call our sports teams Indians, redskins, warriors, or braves it is the absolute LEAST we can bother to do.

    Please go back and read your very own sentence

    “just think the righteous indignation is silly. I mean to your point,
    we slaughtered their families and drove them off their land and this is
    our consolation to them? No more teams called the ‘Indians’?

    No this is the bear minimum acknowledge they are Human…. and not the same as bears or rattlesnakes or buckeyes or wolverines. Stop using them as cartoons and mascots acknowledged their humanity.

    you know, the least we could do, but we seem to need a debate about it.

  • The criticism is two-fold. We’re never going to agree on the TRich trade, at least at this point, so stop harping on me every time I mention it. I am not going to stop at this point when it’s relevant to the topic.

    Where we should agree is that these guys didn’t adequately react to their own trade. Willis McGahee + Ogbonnaya + Bobby Rainey doesn’t cut it. I like Ogbonnaya, by the way. McGahee only had two carries in the second half. They didn’t speak to why they abandoned the run from what I’ve heard, but they should stop looking scared to run the ball if they don’t want me to bring up how they traded a potential would-be horse of a back who they talked up at potentially carrying a huge load for their offense this year.

    Even if TRich stinks, their plan coming into the year seemed to include running the ball. After the trade of TRich that’s not the case. Seems there’s some sort of disconnect and sorry if I don’t feel like waiting for the draft to get any satisfaction out of my football team.

    Give me a Kevin Smith rumor. Give me a Beanie Wells rumor. Michael Turner? Cedric Benson? Someone? Anyone? What they have ain’t working and even if they were right about Trent Richardson, they have a responsibility to compete right now in my book.

  • Bryan

    I do agree that there was a lack of a Plan B. But I think the lack og Plan B reflects the fact that the FO did not think anyone would offer them such a great deal for T-Rich. In other words, there is an assumption that because we traded T-Rich it must have been in the plan all along. Its seems quite possible (especially given the lack of Plan B) that they never planned to trade him but did so because a unique, unexpected offer came along.

  • Steve

    I know the fans want a winner now, but the organization reacted to the trade the right way, realizing this this team wasn’t going to truly contend this year. I know, we scratched out some wins, but it’s looking like Minny is going to be an awful team, and Buffalo isn’t much to brag about either. So we’re left clutching to that Cincinnati, a team that has been up and down so far, win. They’re going to be around .500 instead of the 4-5 win team that many projected. It’s still not good enough to sacrifice assets down the road. I know that sucks to be a fan of, but being upset that you aren’t satisfied now doesn’t get you anything, and its par for the course as a Browns fan anyway. At least it looks like there will actually be a system for the QB to succeed when this team finally gets one, unlike the majority of the previous iterations of Browns 2.0. Having a slightly more mediocre RB this year doesn’t do a whole lot for Browns teams that actually could contend.

    As far as what the organization said about their plan this year, every team stresses how they want to establish the run, control the clock, and all that nonsense. It’s nice talking points that the local media likes to hear, and has proven time and time again to not be much of a predictor of what the team actually does.

  • In the article I wrote last week on this subject, there’s a quote in there from the NY Times in which they talk to a chief who discusses how these names and images affect how we perceive American Indian culture, customs, and religion. We often take images like Chief Wahoo for granted as not being offensive because American media and many history books paint them as savage warriors. When, if you listen to many American Indians, they identify their history as encompassing a lot of really great traditions that have nothing to do with war paint, feathers, and general violence.

  • Renate Jakupca

    People Not Mascots’ Logo
    Acrylic on Canvas 22″ x 28″
    1992
    Artist David Jakupca
    Signed Lower Right
    Current Owner assumed to be Lake Erie Native American Council (LENAC)

    The ‘People Not Mascots’ Logo is meant to be a Native American protest
    caricature of the Cleveland Indians Baseball team. It was originally
    painted by David Jakupca, it has drawn criticism from some
    sportswriters, fans and local businessmen, but gained immediate
    acceptance among humanitarian, religious groups and Native Americans. It
    gained international popular attention when it was it exhibited by ICEA
    at the 1993 UN World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna, Austria
    and has become one of the most recognized anti-racists logo’s in
    existence. It also caused repercussions for the groups connected with
    the logo and this has been documented in the INTERNECINE MATRIX..

    Reference Links:

    INTERNECINE MATRIX http://theicea.com/page21

    WIKIPEDIA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_Wahoo

  • Renate Jakupca

    People Not Mascots’ Logo
    Artist: David Jakupca

    Acrylic on Canvas 22″ x 28″ 1992 Signed Lower Right

    Current Owner assumed to be Lake Erie Native American Council (LENAC)

    The ‘People Not Mascots’ Logo is meant to be a Native American protest
    caricature of the Cleveland Indians Baseball team. It was originally
    painted by David Jakupca, it has drawn criticism from some
    sportswriters, fans and local businessmen, but gained immediate
    acceptance among humanitarian, religious groups and Native Americans. It
    gained international popular attention when it was it exhibited by ICEA
    at the 1993 UN World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna, Austria
    and has become one of the most recognized anti-racists logo’s in
    existence. It also caused repercussions for the groups connected with
    the logo and this has been documented in the INTERNECINE MATRIX..

    Reference Links:

    INTERNECINE MATRIX http://theicea.com/page21

    WIKIPEDIA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_Wahoo

  • WFNY_DP

    “Even if TRich stinks, their plan coming into the year seemed to include running the ball. After the trade of TRich that’s not the case.”

    But, they showed during the two games that they still had TRich that they weren’t that committed to running the ball. They ran the ball 13 times TOTAL against Miami, and 20 times TOTAL against Baltimore. Neither of those games were to the point on the scoreboard where you abandon the run if it’s part of your offense.

    It’s not exactly 100% accurate to insinuate that the Browns stopped running the ball AFTER the trade. They had no real conviction about doing it before, either.

  • Bryan

    I assume everyone saw T-Rich splitting snaps with Donald Brown last night, and plowing forward for a big 40 yards! He is a “superstar.” How could we have traded him?

  • HRD53

    I don’t doubt your sincerity. I do doubt your reading skills though. There is NOTHING in that petition that talks about dropping the indians name. In fact it mentions that Sockalexis was the inspiration behind the name “Indians” (which doesn’t follow your narrative by the way). Do you even bother to read the links you are sending me?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Indy only ran the ball 17 times Richardson had 10 of those carries that’s not exactly splitting the carries. Last night was easily Richardson’s best game so far with Indy. Gruden also pointed out that due to pass protection schemes as well as all of the audibles Luck makes that Richardson is still learning. Just a few things to keep in mind.