Redskins resume fight for nickname
By Associated Press
© St. Petersburg Times
published July 24, 2003
WASHINGTON - The Redskins, again confronted by American Indians who find the team's name offensive, asked a judge to overturn a ruling that revoked the team's federal trademark protection.
"My clients honor - they don't ridicule," said Redskins lawyer Robert Raskopf, echoing the NFL team's long-held contention that its nickname is meant as a tribute.
Seven American Indians successfully argued otherwise in 1999, when the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board granted their petition to cancel the team's trademark registrations because of a federal law that prohibits registering "disparaging" names.
The Redskins appealed and U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly heard the case Wednesday. A ruling is not expected for a few weeks so Kollar-Kotelly can have time to review a sealed deposition by Redskins owner Dan Snyder regarding the case's possible financial impact.
If the team loses the case, it stands to lose its exclusive rights to market the Redskins name, particularly through merchandise. The petitioners hope this would lead Snyder to change the nickname, though he has pledged not to do so.
The team first registered the Redskins nickname in 1967, and Raskopf said the sealed financial evidence shows the Redskins would suffer "every imaginable loss you can think of" if they no longer had the exclusivity of the brand they had been marketing for 36 years.
NFL briefly returns to L.A.
Sammy Davis was in the house. So was a Raiders fan who just couldn't resist wearing his No. 24 Charles Woodson jersey.
The NFL returned to the Los Angeles area, even if it was just the first practice of Chargers training camp in Carson, Calif.
The next question is whether the Chargers will move there one day, satisfying the NFL's quest for a team in an area that has been without one since the Rams and Raiders moved in 1995.
The Chargers signed a five-year deal to train at the $150-million Home Depot Center, a complex for soccer, track and field, boxing and beach volleyball.
The NFL wants to put a team back in L.A. and the Chargers have been mentioned as a possibility if their negotiations for a new stadium fall through. The league recently approved spending up to $10-million to look into the viability of building a stadium not far from the Home Depot Center.
"There's a little room over there for a stadium, people keep telling me," said defensive end Marcellus Wiley, who grew up near Carson. "But I don't think we're coming up here. We're visitors up here. We have a guest pass and it expires in a month. We're coming home to San Diego."
Favre wants another ring
Is this Brett Favre's final season? Even he doesn't know for sure.
That's not to say the Packers' 33-year-old quarterback wants to stick around until he's 36. He just doesn't know what his future holds and doesn't have a grand plan to spend autumn afternoons on his tractor or the golf course.
Favre recently revealed that a year ago he was planning on quitting after the 2002 season. He changed his mind after the Packers went 12-4 and he narrowly missed his fourth MVP award.
So, what's he thinking as he enters his 13th season?
"I'm still having fun, still feel I can play at a high level. Obviously the Packers feel like I can still play. And as long as we all feel that way, I don't see any reason why I should leave," Favre said. "I still enjoy it and still feel like I can play with anyone in this league."
Favre, who has started a record 190 consecutive games, could eclipse a slew of NFL passing records if he plays several more seasons at his usual high level. He's third in touchdowns (314), fifth in attempts (5,993), fifth in completions (3,652) and sixth in yards (42,285).
Favre wants another ring, not more records.
"Trust me, if that's what I'm sticking around for, I won't stick around long," he said.
BEARS: Fifth-round draft pick Tron LaFavor agreed to a four-year contract. The defensive tackle started 13 games for Florida and had 112 tackles, three sacks and 13 tackles for losses.
49ERS: Two-time Heisman finalist Ken Dorsey signed a three-year contract. The former Miami quarterback slipped to the seventh and final round of the draft amid concerns about his arm strength. But the Bay area native impressed the 49ers with a powerful arm during minicamps. He's all but certain to make their roster in training camp, which begins Friday.
LIONS: Charles Rogers, the second overall pick in the draft, signed a six-year contract worth $40-million. The deal includes a signing bonus of $14.4-million, and with incentives the deal could be worth $54.6-million.
Rogers missed the team's reporting deadline but attended a meeting for rookies, quarterbacks and selected veterans and will join them for workouts today.
PATRIOTS: Bill Belichick received a two-year contract extension to coach the team through the 2006 season.
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