WASHINGTON — One of the odder subplots to come from the Redskins reaching another avoidable impasse with Kirk Cousins has nothing to do with the quarterback’s contract — or lack thereof — and everything to do with his name.
Kirk. K-I-R-K — Kir-k Cousins. For years, D.C. sports fans have been aware that Redskins president Bruce Allen cannot, or chooses not to, pronounce his quarterback’s name correctly. Allen prefers the ‘Kurt’ pronunciation. That that’s not Kirk’s name seems neither here nor there for Allen.
Perhaps Dan Steinberg’s video going viral was the straw that finally broke the camel’s back. For whatever reason, Allen’s awkward statement Monday explaining why team and Cousins could not reach an agreement finally brought the ‘Kirk’ vs. ‘Kurt’ conundrum-which-should-not-be-a-conundrum into the national spotlight.
And now, it’s definitely a thing, with headlines all over national outlets and splashed across lower thirds covering the stunning mispronunciation. The Redskins told John Keim of ESPN it could be explained as simply as Allen’s “accent.”
But Tuesday afternoon, radio legend Jim Rome was making a mockery of Allen across several hundred CBS Sports Radio affiliates in the country.
“That was not a surprise,” Rome said of the contractual stalemate. “What was a surprise was how they handled it, by releasing a statement that took a weird situation and made it worse. And then on top of that, you have team president Bruce Allen coming out and butchering Kirk’s first name.
“Look, that’ll happen. So he called ‘Kirk,’ ‘Kurt.’ … Did you seriously just refer to your starting quarterback as ‘Kurt’ five times or more? Nothing says respecting your starting quarterback like calling him by the wrong name repeatedly, Bob!”
At least this experience is refreshing and new, something Allen says or does having embarrassing unintended consequences. Imagine if things like this happened all the time, for years, and no one ever did anything about it. That might be somewhat difficult to put up with.