Updated: January 27, 2016

What Will It Take?


Gary Norris Gray-BASN-Staff Reporter

OAKLAND, CA.- As the Super Bowl reaches the half century mark one-tenth of the starting quarterbacks were of African American origin. Williams, McNair, McNabb, Kaepernick, Wilson, took Super Bowl snaps with those surnames on their pressurized backs.

African American football fans are excited and proud because another Black quarterback, Cam Newton carried his team to victory over the mistake ridden Arizona Cardinals. The Carolina Panthers are headed for Super Bowl 50. Newton will be the 6th African American quarterback to lead his team to the title game. It is also the 3rd Black quarterback in a row to win the National Football Conference Title, Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers 2013, Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks 2014-15, and now CAM NEWTON of the Carolina Panthers 2016. The Football Pundits continue to say that the mobile quarterbacks cannot win titles yet these three gentlemen prove them to be incorrect.

These same broadcasters and coaches want Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, and Colin Kaepernick to stand in the pocket. WHY? Because all three quarterbacks add to the offence of their respective team with their running skills. Kaepernick is the lightning bolt out of the pocket. If he ever gets behind the defender he will never be caught. Newton just runs over people because of his size and strength, while Wilson never gives up even when his team is 30 points down.

On Sunday Jan. 24th the Carolina Panthers played the Arizona Cardinals for the National Football League-NFC Title. It also will be the historic 50th year of the Super Bowl in Santa Clara, California. Americans will remember this game because of its anniversary.

In the Conference Final, Superman soared over the field in Charlotte, North Carolina at Bank of America Park. The light blue and black clad Panthers did their job dispatching their opponent waiting for Captain America and the New England Patriots. The Broncos broke up that proposed party beating Captain American 20-18 in Denver, Colorado a few hours earlier.

The Carolina Panthers beat up the Arizona Cardinals 49-15. Cam Newton passed for (2) touchdowns ran for (2) touchdowns and handed off to his fullbacks for a touchdown. Newton went 19 for 28 and over 300 yards. The Carolina defense shut down the Cardinal offense and stifled quarterback Carson Palmer forcing him into 2 fumbles and 4 interceptions


Doug Williams-Washington Football Club started the parade in 1988, Steve McNair – Tennessee Titans in 2000, and Donovan McNabb – Philadelphia Eagles in 2005


Colin Kaepernick quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers started this new parade of African American quarterbacks four years ago. The Head Coaches (Jim-John Harbaugh) Brothers fought for the Lombardi Trophy. It came down to the last play ” The Baltimore Ravens used a last-gasp defensive stand to hold on after the momentum strangely swung to the 49ers. San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree was bumped in the end zone on the 49ers‘ final offensive play — the contact appeared incidental – but coach Jim Harbaugh insisted a penalty should have been called.”  It would be the same play called a year later in the NFC Title game against the Seattle Seahawks. This also was the beginning of the end to for Kaepernick, Harbaugh, and the 49ers run to glory.


The torch was passed to the Field General, Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks as they defeated the Denver Broncos 43-8 in the next Super Bowl. This game was over on the first play as the Bronco center passed the ball to an un-expecting quarterback Payton Manning. The football went into the end zone for a safety and a two point lead just seconds into Super Bowl 48. The Broncos never recovered. Russell Wilson became the second African American to win the Super Bowl, Joining the ranks of the first African American winner Doug “GET UP, MAN GET UP” Williams of the Washington Football Club.  Williams and the Washington Football Club beat John Elway and the Denver Broncos 42-10.

Russell Wilson won more games in his first three years than any other quarterback in the National Football League; still he got little respect from the sports media corps. Wilson was too short, Wilson could not see over defensive linemen and Wilson was a game manager.

Field General Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks returned to the Super Bowl the next year and faced Captain America and the New England Patriots “Tom Brady threw for four touchdowns and Malcolm Butler intercepted Russell Wilson‘s pass in the end zone with 20 seconds left, helping the New England Patriots hold on to beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 Sunday night for their fourth Super Bowl title”. This game ended on one of the strangest plays in Super Bowl history. The Seahawks had marched down the field with time running out and were on the one yard line with 59 seconds to go and two timeouts left. The Seahawks had one of the best running backs that year in Marshawn Lynch and of course the Field General Russell Wilson leading his team.  The question still remains why Pete Carroll and the Seahawk coaching staff called a pass play that close to the goal line?


The torch was passed to Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in 2015-2016. The Panthers only stumble this year was the loss to the Atlanta Falcons, breaking a 20 game winning streak. The Black Cats will face the Denver Broncos the same team that Doug Williams defeated in 1988, The same team that Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks defeated in 2014. Now the question is will Cam Newton and the Carolina Panther turn the hat trick on the Denver Broncos and become the third African American quarterback to win the Super Bowl.

What will it take to just say somebody won the Super Bowl without signaling out that he was the “x” Black quarterback to win the Lombardi Trophy? It will not stop until we have African Americans in the league’s upper management positions.


The time will come when we will no longer state that he is a running-option quarterback. The time will come when reporters will just state the statistics of the day regardless of color. Until then, African American fans are rooting harder for the brothers behind center. Teddy Bridgewater of the Minnesota Vikings, Jameis Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tyrod Taylor and E.J. Manual of the Buffalo Bills, and lest we cannot forget Robert Griffin III of the Washington Football Club or even Geno Smith of the New York Jets.

We give tribute to all Black quarterbacks including those who have won or participated in the Grey Cup- Warren Moon-Edmonton-Eskimos, Damon Allen-Edmonton-Eskimos, Roy Dewalt- BC Lions, Danny Barrett– Calgary Stampeders, J.C. Watts- Ottawa Rough Riders, Condredge Holloway-Ottawa Rough Riders, Charles “Chuck” Ealey– Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network on Blogtalkradio.com Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com


©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

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