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October 17, 2003

A Quarterback of a Different Color

Over the past couple of weeks I have given Rush Limbaugh and his comments on the ESPN NFL Countdown show a lot of thought. My conclusions are as follows: #1 - Rush sucked on that show and it is a blessing that he was removed for whatever reason, and #2 - I think he was right, in part, with his comments. So, why was there such a big controversy over what he said?? Because society apparently has not changed enough for us to have open conversations about race without somebody getting pissed off, even when the comments are not racist in nature.

Rush said that Donovan McNabb was overrated. That is his opinion and I disagree with this. I think McNabb has proven himself as a quality NFL quarterback and will do so again when the other pieces of the puzzle come together for that team. He has size and mobility and is a better quarterback than Rush gave him credit for being.

What got people upset was his comment that the media jumped on McNabb's bandwagon and hyped the guy up because he is a Black quarterback and America wants a Black quarterback to do well so badly that they will promote anyone who has a chance of being, is this really news? You are damn right they jumped on his bandwagon, just as they do on the bandwagon of the newest White guy who shows up on the block. Marketing is all about finding the latest thing, so this should not have been a surprise to Rush.

Was Rush wrong in what he said? I don't think so. People do want McNabb to do well simply because he is Black, and I don't understand how that can be argued. As I mentioned in an earlier post, how is this any different from when a Black head coach is hired? People want him to do well for a number of reasons, some of which include, if he does well it will open the door for others in the future, and people want to show that a Black head coach can be just as effective as a White one. When I heard him make these comments I only gave a reaction to him saying that McNabb sucked, not his offerings on the issue of being Black. To me it was a complete non-issue.

If it was so earth-shattering that he said this, why didn't the guys on the show have a greater reaction? They acted like it wasn't a big deal either. It was only after Rush got canned that they acted as if they were offended by it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad he is gone. I felt as if his presence on the show was forced and his segments in no way fit into the rest of the program. He didn't look or sound comfortable and I dreaded when his mug appeared on the screen. So, good riddance, I'm glad I don't have to watch him anymore, but the reasons for his dismissal were ridiculous. His comments were neither offensive nor racist. If we want to have greater race relations in this country then we need to at least be able to talk about race without it turning into a major controversy. Rush's comments fell far short of a controversy for me, however, I realize that for some that will just be proof that I am a racist as well.

Posted by Woundwort at October 17, 2003 08:58 AM | TrackBack
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Speaking as a member of the media, I want McNabb to do well ... because he was my frickin' rotisserie-league football team's FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK this year, not because I think it's important in the abstract for a black quarterback to do well.

Posted by: Lex at October 17, 2003 04:06 PM

OUCH!!! Who better than you to have a complaint? You of all people should want to say something negative about his performance, yet pull for his success. Why? Not to build opportunities for other minorities to succeed in such a profession, but to make some cold, hard cash. God Bless the U.S.A.!!!

Posted by: Woundwort at October 17, 2003 04:09 PM
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