(Ronald C. Modra/SI)
(Ronald C. Modra/SI)

A Public Relations Nightmare

Joe Theismann on Washington’s nickname and what the NFL would have been like had the Internet existed back in his day

By
Robert Klemko
· More from Robert·

ROBERT KLEMKO: You have said you were honored to represent Native Americans with Washington’s team name. Do you believe it will eventually be changed?

JOE THEISMANN: I don’t know if the Redskins’ name will change anytime soon. There are people on both sides, obviously. You have to recognize and understand the sensitivity of words. If enough people find that term offensive, then at some point there will be a change.

KLEMKO: Is RG3 a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback?

THEISMANN: We focus so much on the QB position and say this type of individual can get us to the Super Bowl, when in truth you need a solid, steady offensive line, you need to stay healthy, and you need a functional quarterback. One of the big keys to the Redskins was that [right tackle] Tyler Polumbus was the only one to miss games. Look at teams in the playoffs and look at the number of starts the lines have together, you’ll see a correlation. You can have a Peyton Manning, a Tom Brady, a Drew Brees, an Aaron Rodgers, but unless you have somebody upfront giving you a chance to do your job, it’s not going to get done. That said, I think the onus is on Robert to keep himself healthy. The No. 1 responsibility of a quarterback is to keep himself available to play. He knows what he needs to do and he’s smart enough to understand his value.

KLEMKO: How did the Internet change the experience for today’s athletes?

THEISMANN: I was talking with a couple of old teammates about this the other day. Can you imagine how much trouble we would have been in if social media existed when we played? People with cell phones? The pictures that would be out there? We would have been a public relations nightmare. You couldn’t hire a PR guy for the guys I played with. You take any great team from my day—the Raiders, the 49ers, the Giants, the Bills, the Redskins—any group of those guys, and if social media existed then, those teams would be 24/7 trying to put out fires. I’m thrilled for the guys today, economically, but they don’t know what it’s like to have the freedom to go out and have a good time.

More from The MMQB
8 comments
ChrisAitken
ChrisAitken

Look at this guy Klemko's picture. No, really look at it. Smug Anyone ? Probably thinks handicapped children who love the Redskins, or lifelong Redskin fans buried in their Redskins gear are beneath him. The Washington Redskins have brought joy to people who look at this organization as something good & decent. This guy along w/ many others will continue to pervert it. So Klemko doesn't like my team's name and demands a change. Well Klemko I don't like your smug face, it offends me, so change it now. 

Hail To The Redskins Now & Forever

Chris Aitken

demarziod2
demarziod2

Who is the copy editor who used this misleading headline?  Really stupid.  I guess I won't "use" MMQB throughout the season, especially when looking to read about REDSKINS football.

ackpffft
ackpffft

I found the title of this article to be rather misleading.  Joe doesn't say/imply it's a nightmare or anything of the sort.

jminnerk
jminnerk

A modest proposal...

1. Change the name of the team to the Washington Americans.

2.  Keep the logo.

It would honor Native  Americans, while removing an offensive (to many) team name.


KolnerGiant
KolnerGiant

Makes sense.  The man who incurred one of the most gruesome broken legs in NFL history talks about the importance of the OL.  Of course, there was no blocking LT (other than possibly social meda if it existed then).

ChrisAitken
ChrisAitken

@jminnerk  Why ?  There is nothing wrong w/ The Washington Redskins. The term used above "Native Americans" is also offensive to some, and has been removed from history books in various school systems. Where does it stop ?

Bayertoe
Bayertoe

@jminnerk Or we can recognize D.C., Congress, and Theisman's OL comments and call them the Washington Blockade, or perhaps the Sequestered.


Jell
Jell

@jminnerk That is a great idea. Perfect solution to keep everybody happy. As a fan, I would get it.

Newsletter