Well it’s only me, your neighborhood referee for all things politically correct. I am also a big fan of sports and the contribution given by the knowledgeable people who are pundits, talking heads and commentators. I have my favorites and will only name a few – Rich Eisen, Jamie Dukes, Bob Costas, Jim Nance, Hannah Storm and Pam Oliver. These talented professionals have covered sporting events ever since I can remember. They possess integrity, morals, that good old charm, and the words from their lips on Saturday and Sundays are like music to my ears.
So today, as I watched and listened to the Mike Greenberg’s YouTube video clip, where supposingly he said “Happy Martin Luther Coon Day”. I was stoned out of my mind that one responsible adult could have played the biggest bonehead on his very own show. Too bad, the Golden Globes Awards were handed out the night before – or else the envelope please… I found this comment or whatever Mr. Greenberg claims he did not say, to be offensive on two fronts – both by way of the truth or lack thereof and the cheap shot, he took with our rich heritage as Americans. I say this, because if Mr. Greenberg had stopped to think about his rich heritage, it probably would have become a sensitive matter. But I guess its okay when the shoe is on the other foot.
ESPN should issue their own statement, as I think one is needed after the Greenberg war room failed at the spin they attempted. And yes “Greenie”, we are not stupid. It’s okay to discuss these off the wall thoughts and comments with your boys on the golf course, if that is how your conscience rolls. But please spare me the aggravation of having to spend an entire blog denouncing this juvenile act. And if you thought that your pre-written statement, is going to get you off the boneheaded island – you had better renew your passport. They say forgiveness evidences healing, but it’s going to take a lot of healing for me to forgive that sly move.
The Rooney Rule, established in 2003,requires National Football League teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operations opportunities. The rule is named after Dan Rooney, the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the chairman of the National Football League’s diversity committee, and indirectly the Rooney family in general, due to the Steelers’ long history of giving African Americans opportunities to serve in team leadership roles. It is often cited as an example of affirmative action. The Rule was established to make sure that qualified minority coaches were considered for high-level coaching positions. Until 1979, Fritz Pollard was the only minority head coach in NFL history (which was during the league’s early years in the 1920’s) and by the time the Rule was implemented, only Tom Flores, Art Shell, Dennis Green, Ray Rhodes, Tony Dungy, and Herman Edwards had ever held head coaching jobs. (Only Dungy and Edwards were actively head coaching when of the Rule’s implementation, though Shell and Green would later return to the sidelines as head coaches.) Dungy in particular had struggled for years before getting a head coaching job; he was often promoted as a head coaching candidate by Chuck Noll when Dungy was an assistant under Noll in the 1980’s with the Steelers, but he would not become a head coach until 1996 when he took over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Although Mr. Rooney had good intentions for minority sports professionals, the rule has done more harm than it had done good. Of course, we can say it has helped Lovie Smith, Romero Cranell, Herm Edward, Tony Dungy, Rahim Morris and Mike Tomlin. But for me, the rule is more of an annoyance, when it make news headlines with the obligatory overtone.
Over the years I have been quite irritated by the focus and attention given to the head coaches’ selection process. NFL franchises are always happy to let us know, which candidates are in the running for the vacancy, followed by the cliché “after the team complies with the Rooney Rule”. Now tell me why these teams feel like they have to compel themselves to letting us know, that they were thinking about a few minority candidates to soothe their inner thoughts a/k/a Rooney Rule.
The Rooney Rule – to use or not to use is a matter of good human principles, and not a matter of making a media alert.
If finding the best candidate is the goal of each NFL franchise, why would I want ESPN to tell me that the Seahawks has agreed to a contract in principle with Pete Carroll, but they have to make sure they entertain a few in a black, hispanic or another minority candidates first.
Do me a favor team owners save that drama for your losing record – spare me the agony and just go ahead in “principle” with Carroll or which ever over- rated candidate, you will hire and fire after one season again.
It’s okay just to say you have selected Carroll, Mangini, Daniels, Zorn or any other Coach. Heck just schedule your press conference and make the announcement like the Redskins did. Snyder surely did not think about letting us know whether he invoked the Rooney before hiring Shanahan. Political correctness is a key part of our culture, but if you have to let the media know what you are doing about the Rooney Rule…do us all a favor – go to hell.
Sports fans are not in this business of skin color, we accept whichever play-caller you select, we buy the expensive sports packages, we mortgage our homes for season tickets and we listen to post game shows, when your prodigy selection screams “playoffs, playoffs”. Personally, I think the NFL should rename the rule and call it the “Phony Rule” – no disrespect to Mr. Rooney.
Dear Andy and Donavan:
This is Alice, the biggest pain in the neck Eagles’ fan ever. I am writing this letter to you both, because my state of mind depends on it. You see, I have been up and down with these Eagles from the days of Cunningham. I have stayed up late on Sundays and Mondays and even changed my schedule for the early games. I have given up playing golf during football season, just be able to see my Eagles.
I have cried with the “almost bids” to the Superbowl and the shortcoming during the playoff bids. Yes, I have also scream my heart out during the days we have success. Heck, I am a diehard fan.
Donavan, you have made steady strides, you have been hurt and even had your selfishness challenged this year when Mike came to town. But I am thankful for the days that you are in the starting lineup. I can tell with the first snap, if you will have a great day in the huddle. But while I have not doubted your committment, today I am begging you to show up. Yes I know that Andy might not play you for the entire game, but I am begging you to play your hardest.
Andy, thank you for your leadership, courage under pressure and that calm demeanor, which has produced great success over the past decade. But make no mistake, you are as good as your last game. You and No. 5 have come a long way, and today is as important as any other record-breaking game.
Today Andy, you play the Cowboys – note to self, I loathe those freaks. But if pleasing your most outspoken fan is not enough, then just win one for the Gipper.
The Eagles’ Defense has been on fire, and I give props to Samuels and Cole, the offense get a bet sheepish and causes me insomnia sometimes. I am confident however, that the team is all on board for this last parting shot against Wade and the boys.
Hint, hint guys, the possibility does exist that the Eagles and Cowboys will meet again in the playoffs, so a win today is a must. Today, we might have to rely on Ackers to finish the job, but meeting him half way is a must.
Today boys “we play to win the game”. Today – “winning isn’t everything, is the only thing”, Today is about the heart and soul, pride and joy, do or die and any other cliché football quote.
So buckle up your chin straps and lace up your cleats, you are my prime time, cause you have to compete. Make no assumption, I will be up front and center watching – so please execute like your bonus depends on it.
Today, boys, you putt for dough and drive for show – ops thats a golf cliché, but hell you all could use it.
Sincerely – You Know!!
Hal Borland once said that “the year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning, but instead its a going on, with the wisdom that experience can instill in us”. Since I am no great poet or philospher, I will only say that a year brings about time for reflection, re-evaluation and rejuvenation. Its a time to edit the broken reel, make amends, ask for forgiveness, forgive, and yes more soul searching.
As a divorced single mother of two well-rounded teenagers, I can say that my life has been tested over the last 17 years, but I have always stuck it out. For each year introduces itself with a brand new sets of challenges. But with every challenege, I managed to stay the course, leading my family for another 365 days.
Not everyone is built to play by my ground rules though, and sometimes, I even venture out with my friendship, to help those in need. Sometimes when the times gets rough and quitting could be only one thought away. I re-saddle my horse and and ride the mountains to see the other side of life.
Mainly because, I am never a quitter, I am all for team, yes I am that quarterback who plays hurt, defying all odds to win. So my friends and family always look to me, as the one who is built “Ford Tough”, but even when I feel down, I always rely on one word and one premise – “Tomorrow”, living today moment by moment.
So as 2009 came to a close, my reflection was in line with all my expectations, my re-evalutaion – I took too little time for myself with no regrets, rejuvenation – one day at a time.
As I faced the challenges of as a mother, an employee, a volunteer, a mentor and friend this year, I have always counted my blessings taking on the challenges and goals that were attainable. I am always hold myself accountable with the morals my mom taught me.
So thank you 2009, for the lessons learned, the obstacles, the successes and failures. I will head on into his new year being 2009 reformed and since I have completed the first challenge of 2010 (waking up), I am off to a great start.