Surely Povich Jr.

My father is dead. He wrote about sports. He smoked cigars. I am his offspring. I write about sports. I smoke cigars. I am alive.

To Daniel Snyder on Yom Kippur

As the greatest sportswriter in the history of this sleepy little swamp-town, my father loved the Washington Redskins more than anything in the entire world, except for maybe his stupid typewriter, and his cigars of course. Everybody and their Jewish mother knew that Dad could write about the ‘Skins until his fingers just about fell right off. And towards the end, they actually did!

Pops especially loved the Redskins teams of the early ‘70s, when he would write sweet little juicy ripe peaches about Head Coach George Allen and the group that came to be known as The Over-The-Hill Gang. In those days, Dad and George would go out for long nights, big benders that left my father with a hangover the size of the Pentagon! I remember Yom Kippur in 1972, when the Povich and Allen children were dropped off at our Oriental babysitter’s house with nuthin’ but a dreidel and a sack of nickels. It was me and Maury of course, and also the Allen progeny, future Redskins GM Brucie and his brother, future governor of Virginia Georgie Allen Jr.—a quartet of boys that would change this town forever.

I wouldn’t learn until later what transpired that night—turns out the old codgers blew off services and went to a key party, a pretty popular shindig back in those days—screwed each other’s brains out until the cows came home. Dad was real progressive in that way. The man took his love for the home team to a level unprecedented in sportswriting history. His passion for the Redskins sold millions of newspapers for The Washington Post, giving it dignity and credence at a time when the Watergate scandal had it mired in criticism.

Maybe that’s why Dad’s favorite holiday was Yom Kippur. The day after the Povich-Allen orgy and many Days of Atonement thereafter, my father would park himself in the first pew of Adas Israel and wait for all the other bigshots to pay their respect to the great man. It also gave him an excuse to fast. You see, my mother’s cooking was absolute dogshit and it was the one time of year that Pops had a legitimate excuse not to eat her overcooked brisket and soggy carrots. Anyone who knew Dad could tell you that the man preferred the Post cafeteria over anything served up in Casa de la Povich. For all my years I never saw him eat anything but Salisbury Steak. Vegetables were for “The Reds” as he put it.

Many Washingtonians had a great deal to atone for this Yom Kippur. I personally had very little. Well, I suppose the young birdie I met through the web…I tell ya she looked like Meryl Streep from Out of Africa in her profile picture, bathing Rwandans by the dozen and smiling broadly. I took her to Hank Dietle’s and she talked about how lame it was compared to her favorite dive bar in Columbia Heights. I pretended to agree with her even though Hank’s is the best. Well, turns out I played my cards right. We went back to my duplex, played a game of mancala, and humped. Ethel screwed like a beaut and I never called her again. But that’s my journey. Anyways, where was I? Yom Kippur! Right! I can never remember what day it is. At my age when you try and fast I end up slow and weak. I’M AN OLD MAN! I tell ya I was so feeble this morning I could barely reach down to pick up the papers, which I only pick up every three days or so from the overstuffed mailbox of my NorBeth duplex.

Needless to say, Friday’s op-ed page nearly gave me a third heart attack. I had to take a Bayer when I saw what the editorial board had printed, asking Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change the name of his business and asking Washingtonians to accept that their favorite team must alter its allegedly racist nickname. One month after it was bought by that forest ranger guy and they go and print this schlock! Dad would roll over in his grave. What a pile of phooey!

Dad’s former employer has become the latest in a long line of publications that have begun to incite hatred of the Redskins name. I can speak personally when I say that such words are incredibly hurtful to fans of the Redskins. Now more than ever, people have taken to denigrating the team as having the worst nickname in sports. It pains me to say that over the years such painful criticism has taken its toll on the fanbase—many have become alcoholics, degenerate gamblers, and ticket scalpers—others spend the majority of their pittance of income supporting the organization, some writing and photographing members of their favorite team for little to no pay in return. We are a dedicated tribe.

There’s a guy I know at Hank’s—his name’s Mark Frankel and he’s a quarter Cherokee—tells us his tribal name is Mark PleaseDontChangeThisName. Good guy. We watch all the games together and sometimes he even comes over my NoBeth duplex. We sing the fight song together! He does rain dances after every ‘Skins touchdown! So I call him up the other day, asking about the article:

“Hey Chief Markie-boy, whaddya think of Dan Snyder?”

The Indian man pauses. “No man cares more deeply for the plight of the American Indian than Daniel Snyder,” he solemnly declared. “Furthermore I have great pride in the Redskins name.”

That’s all the proof I need to hear folks! Straight from the mouth of Mark Frankel—a real red-blooded Indian man. I mean, do these schmegegges at WaPo not realize what Mr. Snyder and the Redskins name represents? This team represents the underdog; Native Americans who were outmanned and outgunned by white Europeans fought for their rights to survive on this land. It is with that mission statement that the Redskins name must also persevere, to let the other NFL teams know that we will fight until the bitter end with bows and arrows and rocks and sticks. It’s not the name dummies, it’s the symbol. Besides, aren’t all of us non-goyim, Redskins in some way?

Therefore, it is with much disappointment when I say that I will no longer besmirch this webpage with the name of DC’s most widely distributed newspaper. I shall never utter it’s name ever again or deign to read its compelling little ‘ticles. Consider this the cancellation of my subscription to the once great paper my father built from scratch with his own eight fingers. And to the editorial board of this town’s largest newspaper, I’d say you had a great deal of atoning to do this Yom Kippur—you owe this team, its fans, and its owner a big fat apology! And to Daniel Snyder—a true member of the tribe—I hope you had an easy fast. YOU DESERVE IT! GO REDSKINS!