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The Spill: Redskins No More

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Football Team Set to Change Name

The death of George Floyd has thrown the nation into a frenzy as Black Lives Matter activists step up their efforts to change the direction of America. All over the U.S., historic statues are being torn down as demonstrators seek to erase reminders of America’s past leaders who would be considered racist by today’s standards. The movement isn’t just about black lives; companies everywhere are looking at their brand names and products to see if any kind of affront or racial slur could be associated with them. The most recent organization to join the bandwagon is the National Football League (NFL) and its Washington Redskins team.
The battle against the name has been raging for more than two decades as protesters said the name is a slur to Native Americans. But not everyone is on board with this change. Some suggest this isn’t as much about racial injustice as it is money. “This is a political and financial decision,” said former center for the Redskins, Jeff Bostic, who claimed he will never call the team by any other name. “This isn’t what most people want. I’m sure if you’re taking polls in the D.C. area, how many want to keep or change it, I guarantee you the overwhelming number is probably to keep it.”
The Washington Redskins have been known by that name for more than 80 years. They can claim three Super Bowl wins to their name, and fans and players now wonder what will replace their iconic identifier. The team has suggested the new name will honor Native Americans while adding a military theme. Coach Ron Rivera, of Puerto Rican descent, has been assigned the task of coming up with alternative names. “This issue is of personal importance to me,” Rivera said in a statement, “and I look forward to working more closely with [team owner] Dan Snyder to make sure we continue the mission of honoring and supporting Native Americans and our Military.”

The Trumps Wear Face Masks

To wear a mask or not to wear a mask, that is the question. Or, at least, that seems to be what American citizens have been debating since the Coronavirus pandemic first hit, and the World Health Organization (WHO) said wearing one was not necessary for healthy people. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the White House’s advisers on COVID-19, at one time said there was no need to wear a mask to prevent either catching or spreading the virus. Then, the medical experts reversed their opinions and said it was imperative to cover the face to prevent further spread of this disease. So, there is little wonder that the American people are undecided on the matter, especially when the president also refused to wear a mask … until recently.
Donald Trump has been adamant against personally covering his face. He also took issue with the way people end up touching their faces more often when wearing a mask. “They put their fingers on the mask, and they take them off, and then they start touching their eyes and touching their nose and their mouth. And then they don’t know how they caught it?” he said.
But recently, the president was seen wearing a mask while visiting veterans at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Trump critics immediately attributed the act as a response to the rapidly increasing numbers of Coronavirus infections, but the president disagreed, saying, “I think when you’re in a hospital, especially in that particular setting, where you’re talking to a lot of soldiers and people that, in some cases, just got off the operating tables, I think it’s a great thing to wear a mask.” The president smiled and said it was kind of fun wearing one as he felt like the Lone Ranger.
The First Lady, Melania, took up mask-wearing as well and posted a video of herself wearing one at The Mary Elizabeth House charity organization, a day after her husband’s appearance at the military hospital. Many attribute the new mask-wearing presidential couple to the higher number of COVID cases but opponents argue that more testing, the massive protesting and riots, skewed numbers, and reopening of states have inflated the numbers and are not representing an accurate picture of the situation. In either case, the Trumps wearing masks was the big headline in the news, at least for one day.

The Rare and the Bizarre on Sale

Bargain hunters are forever on the lookout for that special deal. Whether they are shopping online, from discount racks, or garage sales, they thrive on finding goodies for the lowest price possible. Then there are the other shoppers, those who don’t necessarily care about the price of an item, but more about its uniqueness. Estate sales and auctions are excellent resources for these collectors to find rare and bizarre items available to those who can afford to pay the price. Recently, two items hit the market that met those specifications to a “tee”:  a Super Mario Bros Nintendo game and a vampire-slaying kit.
What’s so special about Super Mario Bros, you may wonder? Well, this particular game from 1985 had never been opened and still had the cardboard hang tags, which were only released for a brief time when the company was testing the market. Another thing that makes this so special? It sold for a whopping $114,000, making it the highest-selling single game on record. The lucky buyer chose to remain anonymous, but is now the proud owner of a video game that set the stage for those we have today.
Okay, obviously Super Mario Bros was the “rare” element, so what about the “bizarre”? Listed as “Supernatural Interest,” a vampire-slaying box will be available in auction starting July 21. It is estimated to be worth between $2,500 and $3,700 and includes everything a 19th-century vampire hunter might need to accomplish his or her mission.
The antique box is wooden with brass trimming. The inside is lined with crimson silk, and on the inside of the lid there are two paintings: one is an enamel oval with a painting of Christ’s resurrection, and the other is an ivory carving depicting a wolf wearing a hooded robe and carrying rosary beads.
Inside the box, there are eight compartments. One holds an 1842 copy of the New Testament, other sections contain a knife with a silver blade, crucifixes and rosary beads, pocket pistol, a small bottle with sharks’ teeth, and another vial with “contents unknown.”
Vampires everywhere, beware!

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