My hometown baseball team, the Atlanta Braves, angered a lot of their fans yesterday by booting an easy grounder, dropping Indian images from their team uniform.
"Enough with the politically correct B.S.," wrote one commenter. "PC is BS," wrote another. "Way to cave by all means give in to political correctness even when its not correct to start with," wrote a third.
In fact there was never any need to back up the wahmbulance. All that was required was some imagination.
You know that tomahawk that was on the front of all the uniforms for years, and that got turned into a potent rally point after the team "stole" the Florida State University "arm chop" cheer? (They later sold foam tomahawks with which to do the cheer.)
You know what that tomahawk looked a lot like?
A fire axe.
You know who's really brave, for reals? Firemen. Police, too. All first responders. And you know what they call the heads of their departments? Chief.
So just announce you're going to drop the "s." The Atlanta Brave. The home of the Brave, the last line of the "Star Spangled Banner." The tomahawk on the uniform becomes a fire axe. The Indian joins the Village People and gets a cop hat. He can have the same crazed look — just pretend he's going after an Occupy demonstration. (I kid.)
And when you make the announcement, you do it with a native American who has also been a fire chief, or a police chief. Find someone of native American ancestry who served on 9-11. Or the fire chief up at the Cherokee reservation in North Carolina. You trot him out, in uniform, you put a hat on him and voila — Chief Nokahoma! You replace the old teepee from the 70s with a fire station set-up, and when we hit one out the "chief" (or his successor) comes down the pole and rings the fire alarm, cheering.
Problem solved. Don't pay me, guys. Just win, baby. (And Jason, get back to hitting .300 soon.)