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Skins game


Sports loyalty is based on the illusion of continuity through constant change. A team, like a river, never stays the same. Symbols remain.

So pity the Washington Redskins, who will eventually succumb to national sensitivities and forsake the name Redskins, and to owner Jack Kent Cooke's deal-making and leave Washington.

Should the club move to a race course on the banks of the Patuxent, the obvious name would be Colts, a label unhappily owned in the NFL by a rival in the Midwest and unavailable.

So, if the Washington Redskins became the Laurel Stallions -- as threatened -- to their legions of loyal fans in the nation's capital, they just would not be the Washington Redskins any more. And that should be food for Mr. Cooke's thought.

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