How's that for being more critical, D-Mac? Hopefully when you do your research for your next HBO interview, this post comes up in your Google search, and you can lament the woes of being a professional athlete.
The fact is, it's not black quarterbacks that get criticized more than anyone else. It's quarterbacks. Peyton Manning broke records and was still cited as someone who "couldn't win the big game." John Elway had a similar reputation right up until the end of his career. Jim Kelly is starting to receive some of the credit he deserved, but he's still not thought of in the same class as Elway, Young, Montana, Marino, etc.
And bad white quarterbacks get yanked with seemingly the same frequency as bad black quarterbacks. Cade McNown actually improved slightly in his second season, but was shelved for Shane Matthews, who didn't have the mobility or game management skills of McNown, and proved it. And what about Kelly Holcomb, a career 64.6% passer who's been a perennial backup annually, even after helping to lead Cleveland to their only winning season since being re-born as an expansion franchise?
I do not argue that McNabb personally takes more heat than most white quarterbacks, but look at his specific situation. He's been the face of a Philadelphia team known best for losing 3 consecutive NFC championship games, then losing in the Super Bowl the next year. In that Super Bowl loss, the offense appeared to have no sense of urgency at the end of the game when down two scores, and game management decisions/mistakes will always fall on the coach and the QB, even if the superstar WR doesn't say that the QB got tired.
Speaking of Terrell Owens, that's another situation that McNabb botched. His whining and unprofessional stance of "I don't like this guy, so he's got to go" probably cost them another shot at a Super Bowl. Think about your work, for those of you who have jobs. Do you have to work with people you don't like? I bet you do. Do you demand that they be removed from the company? No, because you're not a Nancy who can't deal with having his feelings hurt.
On top of all that, McNabb is the starting quarterback, the most prominent figure on a sports team in Philadelphia. Philadelphia fans apparently didn't like Mike Schmidt, lifelong Philly, 3-time MVP, 10-time Gold Glover, Hall of Famer, and arguably the best overall 3B to ever play the game. Philly fans are best known for booing Santa Claus and cheering when Michael Irvin suffered what ended up essentially being a career-ending injury. They're gonna ride you a little bit, pal.
Are there fewer black quarterbacks than white quarterbacks? I haven't crunched the numbers, but that sounds correct. There are more white people than black people in the United States, so that shouldn't come as too big a surprise. But the thought that owners or coaches adjust their depth charts based on race is hard for me to fathom. With as massive a business as the NFL is, and with as precarious as head coaching jobs are in the NFL, I can't imagine that anything other than a player's ability to lead the team to victory would determine whether or not they started.
McNabb is a tremendous athlete, and has had some fantastic seasons. If he were my team's starting quarterback, I'd be delighted. (Especially if we're talking about the Vikings here, because good gracious, Tarvaris Jackson is awful). He's not transcendent, but there are maybe 2 quarterbacks who fall into that category in today's NFL: Manning and Brady. If he wants to be considered transcendent, then do some transcending, buddy. Stop popping off at the mouth whenever you feel slighted and concentrate on winning football games, which so far you're not doing so well.
Is it possible that McNabb is right, that fans and media and ownerships are more critical of black quarterbacks? Yes, it's possible. But I'll need some kind of proof before I buy into something that outlandish. Show me numbers.
(This post was started in August; I lost direction for a while, and obviously we've got some new information, a la the actual gameplay, ...
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