A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Black QB Dreams
LONG AGO AND FAR AWAY
Well with the Football Season
here or is it almost here as you
prefer to view the pre-season
here in the Black Box
our Dreams turn to
Black Quarterback to be specific season after season. Because as they used to say in the days of the Civil Rights struggles ( are they really over !! ) THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES for EQUALITY for African American Quarterbacks. And with all the notable successes for Black Quarterbacks this Struggle is going to go on for a very long time …
Because as has been said in the Box again and again and again these last 6 years the position of Quarterback in American Football is unique in all the world of sports. And the reason why while Black players have long been dominant in every other position on the Football Field ( except kicker ) dominance at Quarterback still alludes African Americans because …..
The Quarterback represses the defining image of not only each football team but often the cities in which the team plays and most of all in the PSYCHE of America a country in which Football is closer to RELIGION than what takes place in what are called churches on Sunday morning and therefore ….
With NFL teams all having WHITE owners with all cities bring controlled by WHITE power structures and the media being so important to football being WHITE controlled the idea of African Americans being the BLACK face of football across the nation is not something White America can easily accept.
Which brings us to today’s Box
about Black Quarterbacks
and their Struggles
4 in particular
The 4 are Troy Smith, Heisman Trophy winner last December now fighting for a Backup QB job with the Baltimore Ravens., Chris Leak, Quarterback for the NCAA Champion Florida Gators, now a long shot undrafted competing to be a Back up with the Chicago Bears, Veteran Anthony Wright fighting to be the New Jersey Giants # 1 Backup QB to Eli Manning. And young Brad Smith being considered by New Jersey Jets head coach Eric Mangini to be #3 Backup to Starting Quarterback Chad Pennington.
It is not an easy road
for any of these 4
least of all Leak
and Troy Smith
Smith, Leak, Wright and Smith are members of a cadre of Black Quarterbacks who are not fighting for the Spotlight at lest not now but rather for simple Survival as NFL Quarterbacks who may get little or no playtime during the regular season. For whom pre-season in many ways is their season in more ways than one.
On the other hand
What is so fascinating and paradoxical about the Quarterback position is that a Backup can go from pacing the sidelines trying to look busy to a potential NFL team SAVIOR in the blink of an eye when the Starting Quarterback goes down sometimes for a series of downs other times for the season.
You can virtually be guaranteed a few Starting Quarterbacks will suffer significant injuries during any season to be replaced by one of the Backups. even rarer but still statistically possible a Starter will perform so poorly …….
………… and the teams record so dismal that the Starting Quarterback will lose his Starting Job at least temporarily. These are the possibilities that make the life of the Backup Quarterback bearable as well as better than the alternative OUT of football and a boring job in the Real World.
Which brings us back to
Smith, Leak, Wright and Smith
Troy Smith is hoping to get his first chance to prove himself Monday evening after our deadline, in the Ravens first pre-season game against the Philadelphia. Smith has NO chance it would seem of becoming the First Backup to Starter Steve McNair ( African American ). Smith is fighting for #3 behind Kyle Boller. It is not certain if he will make it or rather be beat out by former UCLA QB Drew Olson, There is NO doubt either Smith or Olson will be Cut.
Back in February Troy Smith and Chris Leak were on Top of the World playing each other for the NCAA National Championship. Now Chris Leak who was not even drafted faces a similar fate if anything more dismal than Smith’s prospects..
Chicago appears to have their 3 QBs in place. Starter Rex Grossman and Backups Kyle Orton and Brian Griese.. An ominous signal for Leak is that he did not get to play at all in the Bears pre-season opener vs. Houston.
In reality both Troy Smith and Chris Leak would probably be glad to trade places with either the Giants’ Anthony Wright or the Jets’ Brad Smith neither of whose QB prospects are all that bright but BRIGHT compared to Troy Smith and Chris Leak right now. They will both be roster players this season.
The Giants actually went out and signed veteran Anthony Wright in the Off Season to be a Backup QB for 2007 so he at least has a job this season whether or not he sees any play. Barring an injury to Eli Manning Eli is likely to play just about every down in every game this season. Then there is the BIGGEST QB in the NFL Jared Lorenzen, all 285 lbs. of him, who head coach Tom Coughlin seems to favor as #1 Backup to Eli Manning..
On the other hand in the Giants first pre-season game against the Carolina Panthers Anthony Wright got to work the 4th Quarter and while he did not score any points his tenacious performance and his ability to keep plays alive could well win him the # 2 QB spot if he performs as well all pre-season.
Then there is Brad Smith
Of the 4 the most likely to see playtime this season EXCEPT probably not at Quarterback. Brad Smith was indeed an outstanding college Quarterback. He was Missouri’s brilliant Quarterback for 4 seasons amassing a string of records and awards. In fact he Started EVERY Missouri football game for FOUR years.
Brad Smith is the FIRST NCAA player to EVER pass for 8000 yards and rush for 4000 yards.
SO WAS HE DRAFTED AS A QUARTERBACK. NO the Jersey Jets drafted him in 2006 not as a Quarterback but as a Wide Receiver. In 2006 he saw limited play as a Receiver. None at QB.
But this season Head Coach Mangini …
Has put on his Thinking Cap during the OFF Season and said to himself HEY rather than carrying a Third QB behind Starter Pennington and # 1 Back up Kellen Clemens HOW about freeing up that roster spot for another position AND use – OR more likely NOT use – Brad Smith as our 3rd Quarterback in a Dire Emergency. And so Brad Smith who remains on the roster as a Wide Receiver got some very limited playtime at QB in the New Jersey Jets pre-season opener against the Atlanta Falcons on Friday night. Will he get more ??
So that Dear Reader is
the PLIGHT of
4 Black Quarterbacks
BEFORE the start of
2007 NFL Season
it is quite possible
none of them will
take a single snap
From Center all
2 may be Cut
almost certainly one
and be gone forever ?
on the Bright Side
one of the 4
find unexpected success
in the NFL at QB
that’s Life for Black
and it isn’t Pretty
Whenever you want to reach us with comments or better yet an idea for a topic for the Box ……. email@example.com
VERY LONG SHOT