(Spoiler alert: Please do not read until you have finished watching Season 2 of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”)
No sooner does Jane Krakowski‘s down-on-her-luck socialite find herself developing romantic feelings for a wealthy attorney in the second season of Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” then she learns an unfortunate truth about him.
Krakowski’s Jacqueline White, an American Indian who has long been passing for white, discovers that the family of her beau, Russ (David Cross), owns the Washington Redskins — or, as the TV sports commentator says on the show, “the team that is from Washington.”
“We Snyders love our football,” Russ says — an apparent nod to the NFL team’s real-world owner, Daniel Snyder.
At first, Jacqueline tries to gently raise the issue of the team’s name. “It’s just some people find it offensive,” she says.
“Some of my best statues are of Indians,” counters Russ’ arrogant brother, Duke (Josh Charles). “And the Redskins’ very first coach was Lone Star Dietz, a man who pretended to be Indian so he could get out of World War I.”
It turns out that William “Lone Star” Dietz really was the first coach of what was then called the Boston Redskins, and his ethnic background is the subject of some controversy.
According to historian Linda M. Waggoner, Dietz was a German American from Wisconsin who passed himself off as one-quarter Sioux when he enrolled in Pennsylvania’s Carlisle Indian Industrial School in the early 20th century. He played football at Carlisle for coach Pop Warner with fellow student Jim Thorpe, Olympic gold medalist and football legend.
In 1919, Dietz was tried in federal court for falsely indentifying himself as Indian to avoid the draft in World War I. The trial ended in a hung jury, but Dietz later pleaded no contest to the same charges and served a 30-day jail sentence.
Dietz later got into coaching, first at the college level and then for the nascent NFL’s Redskins team from 1933-34.
Kimmy Schmidt and 11 Other Relentlessly Sunny TV Characters (Photos)
Kimmy Schmidt, "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
Ellie Kemper's Kimmy has a remarkable sense of optimism, especially for a young woman who spent the better part of her life kidnapped and trapped underground in a crazy guy's bunker.
Sue Heck, "The Middle"
Played by Eden Sher, "The Middle's" socially awkward Sue Heck often fails at the things she sets out to accomplish, but she still manages to maintain a cheerful sense of determination -- and a smile -- throughout it all.
Chris Traeger, "Parks and Recreation"
Even among a cast of fiercely sunny characters, Rob Lowe's Chris Traeger is the obvious standout. Throughout his four-season run on the NBC sitcom, his relentless positivity was both a frequent source of inspiration and of great annoyance to his co-workers.
Kenneth Parcell, "30 Rock"
No one has ever loved being a glorified intern as much as "30 Rock's" NBC page Kenneth, played by Jack McBrayer.
Linda Belcher, "Bob's Burgers"
Just about every character from Fox's most underrated comedy — with the possible exception of Bob himself — could be described as "sunny," but none more so than Linda, whose catchphrase is actually "all right."
Shirley Bennett, "Community"
Though the show frequently hinted at a darker side to Shirley, Yvette Nicole Brown's character will be remembered as the happy, polite, good Christian mother of the Greendale study group.
Phil Dunphy, "Modern Family"
Ty Burrell brings a childlike cheerfulness to his "Modern Family" character that provides a stark contrast to Julie Bowen's high-strung Claire.
Rose Nylund, "The Golden Girls"
Betty White received seven Emmy nominations and one win for her role as the airhead Rose on the classic NBC comedy "The Golden Girls."
Phoebe Buffay, "Friends"
Despite Phoebe's past hardships — her father abandoned her and her mother committed suicide when she was 13 — Lisa Kudrow's "Friends" character still managed to be the least cynical of the group.
SpongeBob SquarePants, "SpongeBob SquarePants"
The star of Nickelodeon's longest-running series, SpongeBob has been flipping burgers for a living since 1999, and has somehow never shown an ounce of dissatisfaction.