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The Tentacle


December 6, 2013

Name-Dropping at its Best

Harry M. Covert

Call me anything you want, just don't call me late for dinner – or payday. Then there's this one, you can always tell people from (you pick the state) but you can't tell them much. Smile, please.

 

When the opportunity arrives so often to rename this or that, I just have a private laugh over the above. Why not?

 

One of the better restaurants in Maryland for 72 years was Haussner's at 3244 Eastern Ave., Baltimore. Crab cakes, crab soup and other seafood delicacies were the best. It closed in 1999.

 

William Donald Schaefer, the late "governor" of Baltimore and two-term governor of the Free State and finally comptroller, was the leading light in returning professional football to the city. This came after the fabled Colts sneaked out to Indianapolis and the Canadian Football League Stallions came in as fill-ins. Then Schaefer put the arm on the National Football League to allow Cleveland to keep the Browns’ name but move the team itself to Charm City.

 

The point of all this is name-changing always has some mighty obstacles. It was suggested to the get-things-done-Schaefer to possibly name the team the Schaefers. Perhaps quite tongue-in-cheek, the Browns were named for its original owner Paul Brown.

 

It can also be credited to Mr. Schaefer for the building of Oriole Park at Camden Yards and now M&T Bank Stadium.

 

He was an indefatigable politician. "They'll never name anything after me," he told me in Haussner's, grinning. He would have loved it but knew no such thing was going to happen.

 

The Orioles, the Ravens and every fan should remember that Mr. Schaefer made these things happen, even threatening then NFL Commissioner Pete Rozell to blast his name to the public when he attended an O's game.

 

A few years ago a proposal was made in Frederick to rename Harry Grove Stadium. This was truly dastardly. Somehow a compromise was made. Local government found a way for a commercial sponsor to have its name around the Carolina League baseball facility.

 

Does anyone want to rename the team name to the Frederick Orioles? The Frederick Youngs? That's doubtful.

 

The saga of the Washington Redskins continues. The historic franchise is sticking to its name despite objections to supposedly offended Indian tribes who don't even live around these parts.

 

Let's see. There are other Indian names in popular use. Seminoles, Chiefs, Indians, Braves, Red Devils, Oneida Indian Nation (and gambling casino), a hair style called a Mohawk, a former wrestler named Wahoo McDaniel, the Utes, and hundreds upon hundreds of streets and roads named after Pocahontas and Powhatan and others. In Virginia there's Powhatan County. No changes forecasts.

 

Maybe it's time for name changes. Barack could become Barry, officially; Orioles to Ospreys; Ravens to Schaefers; Redskins to Deadskins or Snyders; Nationals to Gunners. Terrapins to Crabs; Hood's Blazers to Hood-lums. (Apologies here).

 

Quietly, many leaders are keeping quiet but whispers are swirling that in two years, three the most, "Hail to the Redskins" will become "Hail to something else." Then, there will be another outcry from the so-called enlightened.

 

I can't claim any Indian bloodlines or membership in the 12 tribes. I do admit to being a former card-holder in the Sons of the American Revolution, Sons of Confederate Veterans, the National Rifle Association and now paid up in The Mencken Society, National Sheriff's Association and AARP.

 

hmcovert@thecovertletter.com

 



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