Straight . . . No Chaser: As The Ball Matriculates Down The Field

By Desi Cortez BASN Columnist
Updated: September 21, 2011

DENVER, CO. (BASN)—I was just tellin’ the wife, the ol’ Ball n’ Chain how I do actually live for the NFL season to commence each fall, just as my Nana anticipated her daily “stories”. . . i.e., “General Hospital” n’ “Days Of Our Lives.” What’s interesting for me, and perhaps more telling about our society in general is that my focus has moved from the game itself to the soap-opera which plays out between the lines. As a child all I knew was Miami had the oranges but Buffalo had the Juice, powered by the Electric Company. I wanted to be OJ . . . or Elvis Peacock, Chuck Foreman, I.M Hipp, the Tyler Rose – Earl Campbell, Tony Dorsett . . . . the list is endless. But I didn’t want to be a Quarterback . . . very few kids, Black kids on my Gramercy St. block in LA clamored to portray or depict themselves as QBs. I’d venture to say it had something to do with identifying with the player. If you did play QB you were Roger “the dodger” Staubach or Fran Tarkenton . . . cats who were not non-athletic immobile statures In part I understood Ebony quarterbacks like Thomas Lott and Warren Moon were informally forbidden from playing the Signal Caller position in the NFL . . . because they were perceived to be too dumb to read defenses and throw the ball. While being an Head Coach was certainly out of the range of Black men – and that exclusion confirmed that it was all about intelligence . . or lack of. So at a early age I grasp the simplicity of a complex situation; as a Black man, I was too dumb and way too emotional to be in charge. I rejected it, but such widespread damnation of a race stuck with me. You could not have told me 30 years later Warren Moon’s Hall of Fame career or Doug Williams Super Bowl ring would not be evidence enough to silence the Rednecks, nonetheless it hasn’t – so today, at my advanced age I watch the game as much for its on field entertainment as I do in an effort to weigh n’ measure the social progress of White men. If they’ll ever live up to and adhere to the big words which pour out of their mouths. That’s where the soap opera aspect of the game becomes so evident; the lies, the hypocrisy, the deceit – it’s all so reminiscent of our real world. Dig the drive bye assassination attempted by Nolan Nowrocki in his breakdown of Cam “ The Man” Newton; Very disingenuous — has a fake smile, comes off as very scripted and has a selfish, me-first makeup. Always knows where the cameras are and plays to them. Has an enormous ego with a sense of entitlement that continually invites trouble and makes him believe he is above the law — does not command respect from teammates and always will struggle to win a locker room. Only a one-year producer. Lacks accountability, focus and trustworthiness — is not punctual, seeks shortcuts and sets a bad example. Immature and has had issues with authority. Not dependable How wrong can a man be . . . and still keep his good paying gig? The all-so-low expectations and quick damnation of the Black signal-caller isn’t by chance nor happenstance – it’s about the last finale stand of angry white men in America, there tireless efforts to keep up the charade. Think about it; McNabb’s play has not constituted benching. Luke McCowen’s pathetic play in Jacksonville makes one question the rhyme, reason n’ rational related to the sudden dismissal of David Garrard – money isn’t everything. Kevin Kolb has yet to demonstrate he’s worthy of all the praise and pennies he’s been prematurely awarded. But one must recall – Kolb’s abilities were inflated in order to justify why fans were calling for him over McNabb and why Vick was sitting behind him. Mark Sanchez is under a magnifying glass . . . and it’s getting hotter every game despite he’s undefeated this short season. He’s battling a perception that he’s a not-to-bright Mexican who can’t grasp the complexity of the offense nor read defenses.
Peyton Hillis has done nothing in the first two weeks of this new season to warrant his elevation to Thor like status. And since I’ve mentioned the term praise . . . Tim Tebow appears to be the guy who’s benefited most from unwarranted praise. Denver is abuzz, everywhere you go . . . it’s Tebow. All the attributes which tar n’ feather mobile Black QBs are the good reasons to start this kid, its amazing. The religious fanatics (fruitcakes) and non-sportsfan women are all over the radio dial declaring him the savior of the franchise. This kid could be selling the measles and folks would still be lined up to get some. They’ve created a contrived controversy; he’s a 3rd string QB who’s been anointed by the Tea Bagger fan base which is merely desirous of a Great White Hope. And of course the airwaves and Internet are full of conversation about “waiting until folks figure out Mike Vick and Cam Newton . . .” I can only imagine some Great White Hunter, like someone will look behind the curtain and see how they’re pulling off the impossible – standing in the pocket and reading defenses. Call it Black magic. Can Peyton Manning, Drew Bress or Tom Brady be “figured out. See, that entire perspective reeks of 1967 racism . . . the nigger’s doin’ it with smoke n’ mirrors.” Note; Last year’s Rookie of the Year, Sam Bradford, set a record of his own with 55 passing attempts in his debut. Through two weeks Bradford completed 46-of-80 passes for just 420 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions to go with a 63.5 QB rating. Matt Ryan, the 2008 ROY winner, completed 22-of-46 passes for 319 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and a QB rating of 60.0 through his first two starts. While Ben Roethlisberger, two time super-duper bowl winner – threw for 337 yards in his first two games. You see, what goes on outside, between and behind the white lines is as interesting as what goes on in-between them.