The late Charlie Taylor was not a wide receiver for the Washington Commanders, he played for the Redskins

By John Ruberry

On Saturday, Charley Taylor, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame who spent his entire National Football League career with the Washington Redskins, mostly as a wide receiver, died Saturday. He was 79. Taylor is the franchise leader in receiving touchdowns and overall TDs, and he was named to the Pro Bowl eight times.

Taylor, an African-American, was drafted by the Redskins in 1964, just two years after Washington became the last NFL team to integrate. That’s an interesting story, which ESPN doesn’t bother to mention. From 1946, the year before Jackie Robinson broke the color line in Major League Baseball, thru 1970, the ‘Skins got what they deserved, they had just four winning seasons and no playoff appearances. 

But if you look at the ESPN.com headline for the story about Taylor’s death, you’ll think he played for the modern incarnation of the Washington team. It reads, at the time of the posting of this blog entry, “Washington Commanders Hall of Fame wide receiver Charley Taylor dies at 80.” 

The Washington National Football League franchise has been using the Commanders nickname for not even three weeks. Controversial for years, the Redskins moniker reaches back nine decades, to the brief period when they played in Boston. “Redskins” has always been perceived as a pejorative. No, let me use a stronger term, a racist insult. Native Americans and many other people have long called for a name change, the process accelerated two years ago after the murder of George Floyd, and for the last two years the team known as the Washington Football Team. 

“Go team!” Yawn.

But the Redskins they once were. Obscuring or omitting that fact by the media is a disservice to their audiences. Or it could be that ESPN is surrendering to its innate wokeness, or it is afraid the 50 or so people who agitate constantly online about any leftist grievance they can find, such as the storied “Cat Lady” who hounds Dan Bongino.

Not surprisingly, the Washington Post also omitted “Redskins” in its Taylor obituary. The facts and history die in darkness, it seems. So did the Associated Press, CNN, and NBC Sports.

The New York Times, which hasn’t as this posting has published a report on the death of Taylor, famously says that it publishes “All the news that’s fit to print.”

Instead, the woke media publishes “All the news the way we think it should be or how it should have been.”

Oh, I don’t have a personal horse in this battle, I’m a Chicago Bears fan. Other than their Super Bowl XX win nearly, sob, four decades ago, my favorite memory of the Monsters of the Midway was their upset win of the Commanders–just kidding, the Redskins, then the defending Super Bowl champions–on the road in a 1984 playoff win. Mike Ditka’s Chicago Bears announced to the world that they had arrived as an elite NFL team. 

The Pro Football Hall of Fame entry on Taylor, for now at least, says he played for the Redskins.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Review: Ozark, Season 4 Part 1

By John Ruberry

After a nearly two-year gap, the Netflix series Ozark is back with Season Four. Actually, this is Part One of Season Four, which consists of seven episodes. Part Two of this season, also consisting of seven episodes, will be released later this year and then Ozark will conclude.

The series, if you haven’t heard of it, is centered on the Byrde family from the Chicago suburb of Naperville. Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) is a financial planner whose firm launders money for a Mexican drug cartel. As I mentioned in my first Ozark review, this is not a wise idea. As he is about to be murdered after the cartel discovers money is being skimmed, Bryde convinces his assassins that the Lake of the Ozarks area of Missouri is an ideal place to launder even more money for the drug fiends. Byrde quickly departs for the Ozarks with his family, which is comprised of his wife Wendy (Laura Linney), their teen daughter Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz), and their younger son Jonah (Skylar Gaertner). 

The Lake of the Ozarks area is hardly crime free paradise, and they quickly encounter two other criminal families, the Snells and the trailer dwelling Langmores. 

Skipping way ahead to season four, the interactions, alliances, and betrayals among these three families continues. The FBI, here shown as an underhanded and conflicted agency, you know, kind of like the real FBI of the 21st century, is trying to break the cartel–through the Byrdes. Oh, the Kansas City mob has a presence here too. As does a big pharmaceutical firm.

By the time viewers reach the current season, the plots and subplots of Ozark are quite complicated. So if you want to enjoy Ozark–and I believe you will–you must start with the first season. However, Ozark hasn’t had a new episode in two years and memories, mine for sure, tend to fade. So I found myself, while watching the new episodes, having thoughts like this one: “Hey, whatever happened to that guy, wasn’t he murdered a couple of seasons ago? Who killed him again? And why?” Clearly, Ozark now needs Game of Thrones style recaps.

Bateman, Linney, Hublitz, and Gaertner all deliver captivating performances. However, topping them all is Julia Garner as Ruth Langmore. She’s already received two Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Emmys and I cannot imagine her not getting another nomination at the very least. Also quite good is Lisa Emery as Darlene Snell. Her character is involved in a complex relationship with Ruth’s cousin, Wyatt Langmore (Charlie Tahan). 

There’s even a rift in the drug cartel between its head, Omar Navarro (Felix Solis), and his nephew, Javier “Javi” Elzondro (Alfonso Herrera).

While it is set in the Ozarks, most of Ozark is filmed in Georgia. In the latest batch of episodes unlike Season One, the Chicago scenes were filmed in Atlanta. So I found it amusing to see a streetcar in what is supposed to Chicago’s Loop. Chicago hasn’t had streetcar service in decades. A new character, a street-smart Chicago private detective, Mel Sattem (Adam Rothenberg) travels to the Ozarks to investigate a disappearance. He also has a New York accent, not a Chicago one. I mean, hey, if Heath Ledger, an Australian, can do a Chi-CAW-go AXE-cent as the Jokerthe Dark Knight was filmed in Chicago–so can others. Here’s a tip: talk through your nose. In an unintentional bit of humor, while discussing a potential move back to Chicago, Marty tells Charlotte that Chicago will be “safe.” Clearly, they haven’t been following the dramatic rise in crime in the city since their move to Missouri, including in Lincoln Park, a neighborhood they are considering. 

Wendy was a Democratic Party operative in Illinois. She’s conspiring, as she did in season three, with Republicans to buy respectability for the Byrdes. During that alliance-building the Republicans look really bad. But I have to point out Illinois, which is essentially a one-party state, a Democrat one, is one of the most corrupt states in the country. And let’s not forget Wendy is the matriarch of a money-laundering family. But the Republicans are the villains here. In Season Four, “Republican” is used in the dialogue twice. “Democrat” not once. 

Coincidence?

All four seasons of Ozark are streaming on Netflix. It is rated TV-MA for graphic violence, drug use, obscene language, and nudity.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from the Chicago area at Marathon Pundit.