Thursday, September 20, 2007

Donovan's Statement Was Not That Interesting

Much ado has been made over Donovan McNabb's statement that Black NFL quarterbacks have to do "extra." Why? He's only stating the obvious.

Anyone would know that, for example, after watching the ESPN post game summary of the Eagles-Redskins game Monday night. The "game" summary seemed to focus solely on how terrible McNabb was. Not how inadequate any other coach or player of the Eagles was. There was hardly any commentary about how why the Redskins won - except for the fact that McNabb sucked. There was no admiration about how McNabb pushed himself back on the field from serious injury to lead his team. It was meekly mentioned that the head coach might be responsible for some questionable play calling, but most commentary for Andy Reid was saved for a lengthy segment in which the play callers went on and on about his family situation. They had nothing but sympathy for Reid although if your sons are drug addicted criminals you might, in fact, be a bad father. And to top it all off, ESPN had a montage of all of McNabb's terrible throws ready for the six o'clock SportsCenter the next evening. Brett Favre, Eli Manning and Rex Grossman don't get that sort of treatment. Genuine critique is one thing, but piling on is another. McNabb is not above criticism, but he doesn't deserve the piling on he receives.

The national media, not just the fickle fans of individual markets, are often highly critical or indifferent to the handful of Black quarterbacks around the league. Michael Vick won't be given retroactive credit once the world is exposed to how crappy the Falcons are without him. They'll just go on about how the Falcons should have kept Matt Schaub. And although most agree Vick will be back in the NFL, many have no respect for him at his position. Idiots suggest that he should come back as a running back or a punt returner. Vince Young will be figured out, but Drew Brees is the next big thing. Steve McNair was literally locked out by his former team. Groans are elicited at the mention of Byron Leftwich's name. The nation sits on the edge of its seat awaiting the fulfilled potential of Matt Leinart and Alex Smith, with seemingly little interest in youngsters David Garrard and Jason Campbell.

It's not Donovan's statement that was interesting, but the progression of his statements over the years. Donovan has been a pleaser, actively courting the middle. Predictably, that path has had mixed results. It's interesting that Donovan is gradually becoming more outspoken, recently speaking his mind about Michael Vick and the overall plight of Black quarterbacks.

The interview on HBO Real Sports was an insightful look into Donovan's background and upbringing, not an excuse to play the race card. When Donovan was young, his parents moved to an all white suburb of Chicago. Their house was vandalized with racist motivation immediately after the closing. Donovan spent his childhood with the challenge of fitting into a majority environment. Donovan was not raised with a "bite your tongue" mentality. Rather, his parents described it as a "twist your tongue seven times" mentality. That is, think long and hard before you respond to your antagonists. And, at Donovan's age, he has had an opportunity to think on a lot of things.

So, I'm intrigued to see that Donovan is becoming confident enough to speak the truth and not back down, even if he has to walk out of his own press conference. Even if younger Black quarterbacks Vince Young and Jason Campbell allegedly disagree with Donovan. It's not Donovan's statement that was interesting. The interview was really about the progression of events that has gotten him to this point. It will be interesting to see where the sequence of things leads Donovan ultimately.

11 comments:

Jarrett Carter said...

At least somebody's willing to say the obvious. Young QB's realize they still have a lot of dues to pay before they can make that kind of noise.

CoCo said...

Vince and Jason are naive. How soon Vince forgot about the way they dissected his throwing mechanincs and etc. before he was drafted. Even though he killed Matt Leinart in the Rose Bowl they spent the majority of their time pointing out his flaws while praising Matt Leinart's readniness for the league. I guess Vince thought it all vanished because he was taken 3rd. Let's check back with them after they've served the time in the league that Donovan has.

Sportsbruh said...

Looks like Donovan is FORMING into his OWN man. Something Jordan and the other corporate whores never did.

Anonymous said...

Yes, maybe young QBs DO have to dues to pay before they can REALLY speak up. But that doesn't excuse Vince Young totally throwing Donovan under the bus with his "It's not my fight" remark. (The only black NFL player to come off looking more dumb and clueless than Vince this week was Antonio Pierce, the immature Giants linebacker.)
Trust me, Vince it WILL be your fight soon enough as an NFL quarterback. Soon enough.

Miranda said...

Great piece HCIC...well said.

JJ said...

Jim Brown had his problems but hte man SPOKE his mind. He was not a step-n-fetch-it for anyone and regularly called bullshit where he saw it.

Now we're stuck with the Jordans and Kobe's of the world (apparently Young and Campbell can be added to the list).

Miranda said...

HCIC,
I hope you're blogging on that farce of a townhall meeting that ESPN will be holding in the ATL tomorrow night. Its on "Mike Vick and the Racial Divide"....and for reasons that, once you realize that this is still AmeriKKA, make perfect sense...Neal Boortz will be on the panel.

Anonymous said...

Some of your statements really irked me. Here in NYC, Eli Manning got blasted on almost a daily basis last year for failing to lead a team that had tons of talent to any kind of success. Rex Grossman gets booed on his homefield constantly. He's got to be the least popular starting QB of them all.

Brett Farve doesn't get criticized because he's a legend and an icon. This isn't fair, to be sure, but to say that it's because he's white is just not true.

As far as the game commentary, McNabb was bad, there's no questioning it. Now, his receivers didn't run routes well and the Redskins played solid man defense, but in ANY game the QB will always get the blame first. Even in Indianapolis when the Colts couldn't win the Super Bowl and fell apart in the playoffs year after year, people blamed Peyton Manning for the losses, not Marvin Harrison who had god-awful numbers in the playoffs (and still does).

As for "leading"... exactly what kind of leading did McNabb do uptil this past game? I'm impressed by the way he rallied his offense this past week, but all the criticism came when he wasn't so great the other two weeks.

As for the others? The Falcons should have kept Matt Schaub because Joey Harrington is terrible, I don't know how you can twist that in a racist way. Everyone loves Vince Young and they have since the Rose Bowl. Steve McNair looks like a shell of his former self, anyone can see that. Bryon Leftwich has been terrible, and he was replaced not by a white QB, but a black one. David Garrard played for East Carolina while Matt Leinert won a National campionship at USC. So of course he'll come in with greater expectations.

By the way, Jason Campbell didn't completely disagree with Donovan... he agreed that in high school and some in college he felt some discimination- just not in the NFL.

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