Straight No Chaser: The Race Game

By Desi Cortez, BASN Columnist
Updated: September 22, 2009

Mike Singletary

Mike Singletary

DENVER (BASN) — There’s always more beneath the surface, then above it. Ask Captain Smith of the RMS Titanic . . . . There’s always more to a story . . . then what meets the eye .

Race, the issue of race playing both a prominent and subtle role in sports, creates a uncomfortable situation for White sportswriters who so want to avoid, if not ignore elements of racism when discussing the games we play.

Week One in the NFL brought to light a number of controversial issues which the conventional monolithic sports media machine examines from only one perspective — that of the 24-54 year old White guy.

It’s a given, like a win over the Motor-less City Lions — there are other perspectives, other angles beyond those of the mundane, typical, predictable storylines the established press harps upon.

The New York, New York Jets ( so nice, they named it twice) sent a direct and deliberate message . . . . No more. The intriguing aspect of what’s going to be the AFC East brawl; there’s no way, no way this side of the Mississippi that Lovie Smith, Mike Tomlin or Marvin Lewis could have gotten away selling all the wolf tickets Big Rex Ryan was.

The press would have snapped, people would have pointed out how he wasn’t ready for the position, how he hadn’t been seasoned and groomed adequately . . . how this character was lacking character . . . . How he didn’t belong.

Such arrogance, such audacity, cockiness of that type – would simply not be tolerated by White sports writers, if a Black man were talking similar s-h-i-t as Ryan. We’re not going to debate that are we?

That’s another given.

Society loves the quite, docile, unassuming Black man, i.e., Floyd Patterson, David Robinson, Derek Jeter, Tiger, for they abhor, fear any Black man not walking around like he’s got a feather up his ass pacifying paranoid White folks.

Ask President Obama, Black men well understand this nation despises angry, arrogant trash talking Black men, Obama can never show anger or arrogance it will ignite the Right, yet Joe Wilson can “lose his cotton pickin’” Confederate mind for a moment . . . and it’s OK.

Compare and contrast these dual standards with this country’s duplicitous adoption of the Sopranos, where America elevates this Italian gangster fiction to icon status, propels it to a cult like standing – while simultaneously claiming to be outraged by street violence, drugs, casual sex, corruption in the law enforcement and legal systems across the land.

Nevertheless, they insincerely adore these small-time hoods pretending to be . . . hip/ tough/cool . . . black – same thing. How can a nation allegedly detest violence, yet love contemporary Al Capone look-a-likes?

Can you say hypocritical?

Hang on; just wait to Mark Sanchez throws a few INT’s, there will be a national dialog about his ability to read offenses, his intelligence will automatically come into play, because this nation’s conservative sector – are sports fans also – who see Latinos as lazy and not too bright.

Just give it time. More then justice and fairness fuels the Immigration argument in America. Color preference play’s a role.

The Atlanta Falcons are starting out on fire, and the side-bar to the Matt Ryan story is; this great White Hope QB has come in and cleaned-up the mess Mike Vick left. Reinserted character where there was none.

Vick did not have a police record before Dog-Gate. That’s the song continually coming out of the deep South; how this kid cleaned up the franchise, turned it all around. I believe Vick’s dragged down way too-far, and this Ryan has already been place in Canton.

One thing for sure, the stadium parking lot has a lot more Country n’ Western blaring from cars then Snoop . . . and that makes real Americans smile.

The City of Brotherly Love — home to the Philadelphia Eagles — remains in QB turmoil, with no end in site. Before it’s over, believe me you, after any INT thrown there will be a chant from the cracker gallery demanding Vick and McNabb be benched, traded, or transformed into Running Backs, and Kolb be anointed the starter, with Garcia as a back-up.

The despised Oaktown Raiders won – that in itself is a miracle, considering the experts ridding the pine up in the press box, are suggesting Young Mr. Russell bench himself, switch to Tight End, stop the pipe dream of being an NFL QB.

It’s a good thing this kid’s got thick alligator skin, or he world have stepped out of the pocket a long time ago. Keep on keepin’ on Russell, buckle down, don’t let the SOB’s turn you ’round!

The Minnesota Vikings - Now, I’ve no qualms with Favre . . . But, it’s not what was done – it was how Brett was brought in, the anointment of the aging Great White Hope.

The Purple People Eaters are doing fine now at 2-0, but it’s hard to believe the vastly all Black locker room is healed, I’d think it’s flammable if nothing else. Perhaps dormant today, but wait for the 4 INT outing by #4.

The Buffalo Bills have not imploded with the Cancer that is Terrell Owens, and that saddens much of the sports media corps and the fanatical fans who just can’t wait. People want TO to go off, not so much to discredit himself, but to exemplify the spoiled prima-donna “Black Athlete” as a whole.

Granted, you can call that a racist stretch, but I recall the contemptuous climate when Vince Young was missing – the snickering, the mocking the argument being made on sports talk radio that he was clearly not a leader, but weak . . . how he should blow his head off.

Here in the Mile High City, the latest “Wonder Boy” Denver Bronco head coach, Josh McDaniel, who threw caution, common sense and Jay Cutler to the wind . . . is 2-0.

This is shocking in my guesstamation, clearly there were more qualified coaches, not tied to a cheating scandal in New England, qualified Afro-American coaches who could be 2-0, but team ownership couldn’t find any. . . .

Man love; all the sports writers are having a “bro-mance” with the Boston Patriots Julian Edleman, he’a another Wes Walker/ Great White Hope . . . . who like Floyd ” cold cash” Mayweather pointed out – the press can’t wait to elevate to super-star status.

The American sports fan never halt’s his endless quest for . . . Great White Hopes, never. All this cat has to do is . . . not screw up, and the product endorsements will go thru the roof.

Mike Singletary’s Inglorious Bastards, the 49er’s, are demonstrating how a guy like Singletary, bold, audacious, demanding, voluble and combustible, in your face, yet fair, consistent, compassionate . . . and Black – can motivate and mobilize his men to the point they’ll run over the conference champions one week, and man handle pre season pretty boy Seahawks the next.

Very few White coaches in the NFL could have redirected and redefined Vernon Davis into a team captain. Perhaps few would have been interested in reshaping a young Black man like Davis – that’s not apart of their job description, nonetheless, Davis is no longer the problem child.

Sorry, but I’ve seen this on a everyday basis working in the public school industry; White faculty so very quick to “write off” and “throw the book at” Black males . . . the “he’ll never amount to a damn thing” attitude which is prevalent in White America, including sports.

I hate to drudge up yesteryear, but let’s not dilly-dally; the reason why there are so few Afro-American Head Coaches today in the NFL . . . White owners regard Black men as lacking intelligence, leadership abilities, character and organizational skills.

So When Dungy and Tomlin victories require them to eat crow, and Singletary’s exploits defy the expert’s predictions . . . I like to remind the sorry-ass mofo’s owning NFL teams their racism is costing them championships and revenue.

Hell, Ball State baller, Nate Davis, San Fran’s 3rd QB, who impressed the scouts at the combines last year as much if not more so then Sanchez and Stratton, but was “passed over”, “slighted by the vast majority of other clubs because of a learning disability . . . and who had a brilliant preseason, has found a place to grow and hopefully prosper.

This would not have happened on most other NFL teams.

Singletary, like most Black men has empathy and compassion for the Black athlete; I’d argue this nation of sports-fans doesn’t. I’d submit most White coaches don’t, for many coaching is like horse racing, these men are merely mindless thoroughbreds

This football is a funky onion, with many layers. Check back every week or so, and I let you know how deep, how funky it is surely to get.