update: fixed formatting of the quotes
As promised earlier, special attention is needed to Gregg Doyel's column reacting to Donovan McNabb's interview.
Let's start at that place that always makes sense, the beginning.
Doyel starts his column stating that he clearly thinks that McNabb, by stating that Black Quarterbacks have more to overcome, is calling Gregg Doyel a racist. No really, that's how Gregg Doyel reads that interview, because Gregg Doyel IS JUST THAT IMPORTANT.
Black quarterbacks look the same to me. Every last one looks like a guy who should be playing running back. Or defensive back. Or receiver. They look like anything but a quarterback, which used to be an all-white position and should have stayed that way.
Right, Donovan McNabb? That's what you think I'm thinking.
It should be pointed out that McNabb, at no point in the interview suggests that Gregg Doyel (who?) or any other sportswriter secretly thinks that McNabb should be a running back, or a wide receiver, or a cornerback. McNabb's big statement is that Black Quarterbacks have to prove more in their rising up the ranks. McNabb makes the suggestion Doyel implies exactly Zero times. So, right from the get-go, Doyel is kind of full of shit. Which wouldn't be a big deal, except that he's writing for a big time network (on their website).
But Doyel is willing to cut McNabb a break (one he didn't ask for):
Granted, McNabb has reasons to be bitter. He plays in a vicious sports city where some of the dumber citizens have probably said racist things to him over the years. He was once attacked clumsily by Rush Limbaugh, who said McNabb was overrated but protected by media that "has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well."
Limbaugh is the living, breathing, lying, painkilling proof of the difference between sounding smart and being smart. He talks fast and uses big words and can lead a group of lemmings over a cliff more effectively than George Wallace ever could.
Doyel seems to forget that Limbaugh didn't make those remarks in front of Nazi Germany. He was hired--his dumb, racist ass was hired by ESPN to make comments just like that, only, not quite so obvious. He was hired to be the "fan's voice", if memory serves. Dismissing Limbaugh is easy--dismissing his hire by ESPN/ABC isn't so easy, and Doyel manages never to explicity say where or when exactly Limbaugh made those remarks.
But Limbaugh isn't smart. Can't be. To say what he said about McNabb in 2003, when McNabb was a dominant quarterback, was stupid. Limbaugh paid for it by losing his side gig with ESPN. America -- black America, white America, our America -- didn't tolerate his racial stupidity.
Are you reading the same subtext here than I am? That if Limbaugh had the exact same thing last year, or this year, when McNabb isn't a dominant quarterback, it would not be stupid? Why does it matter that Limbaugh said it in a year that McNabb was a dominant quarterback? Wasn't it always a racist statement? You have to wonder if Doyel understands what racism is. And just when you are wondering, he answers it for you, like magic:
So why are we going to tolerate racial stupidity coming now from McNabb? Toleration in the name of entertainment allowed racist blowhards like Limbaugh and Don Imus to spew invective over the airwaves. But toleration in the name of political correctness has allowed white-bashing demagogues like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson Sr. to inflame racially sensitive cases like the ones starring Tawana Brawley and Duke lacrosse.
Comparing genuine racists like Limbaugh and Imus to McNabb is bad enough. Comparing a man who marched with Martin Luther King to Rush Limbaugh is just fucking sick. Bringing up the Duke Lacrosse case, which was prosecuted by a white guy is just fucking stupid. And, really, Gregg Doyel, if you are going to wander into politics, can you give me an example in which Jesse Jackson is a "white-bashing demagogue"? I can think of an instance 20 years ago in which he made an anti-semitic comment. Is that what you are thinking of? Tawana Brawley is equally dated. You have to reach back 20 years to find corollaries to Imus and Rush? You do have an editor, no? Because, you know, that kind of name-calling makes you sound like a fucking idiot. Oops, was that name-calling on my part? Oops. Accurate though. In any case, what do these "points" have to do with Donovan McNabb?
You go ahead -- tolerate McNabb's comments. Or be like my colleague Mike Freeman and embrace McNabb's social commentary. Me, I'm calling McNabb on it. I'm calling it stupid. I'm calling it intellectually lazy. And I'm calling it cowardly.
Well, that would be the White Lazy, Cowardly Pot calling the Black Hardworking Kettle lazy and cowardly, wouldn't it? I think I'll be like Mike, even though I haven't read yet his commentary. "Tolerate" his comments? What kind of crazy world is Gregg Doyel living in when pointing out racist attitudes is in and of itself racist? It's not a fucked up world, it's just a very happy world, created by blinders and an unwillingness to look at things too closely. Your world must be very happy, Gregg Doyel. It just ain't the world that real people live in.
McNabb is myopic. He thinks he has it rough? Try being Rex Grossman, the quarterback of the Chicago Bears, who gets ripped even as he is leading the Bears to the Super Bowl. The next two most critiqued quarterbacks in the NFL are probably the Jets' Chad Pennington and the Giants' Eli Manning. All three are white.
And none of them have numbers like Donovan McNabb. This is an incredibly stupid argument, which I dealt with earlier, when the white quarterbacks in question were Joey Harrington and Ryan Leaf. But comparing McNabb to subpar white quarterbacks who haven't won the big game, Doyel is engaging in a bit of racism himself. Look at McNabb's numbers compared to other great quarterbacks (white or black) who haven't won the Super Bowl, not to commonly regarded drags on their team like Grossman, or perennial losers like Pennington, or youngsters like Manning. It's a bullshit comparison, and if Doyel doesn't know it, he should.
McNabb? He's old and fading, and judging from his HBO appearance, he's not taking it very well. In his own city, columnist John Smallwood called out McNabb in the Philadelphia Daily News on Tuesday. McNabb, Smallwood wrote, "is like a batter with warning-track power." The old McNabb "is gone." This McNabb "looks bad."
Doyel, if he were an honest writer, could point out that McNabb is less than 12 months removed from major knee surgery. As I pointed out previously, Carson Palmer came back in similar fashion, and his numbers were less than stellar his first four games back. The difference was Rudi Johnson, Chad Johnson, and TJ Houshmanzedah. Oh, and apparently Doyel thinks that getting criticized by your home paper is some how more damning than getting criticized elsewhere. Even though he said earlier that McNabb plays, "in a vicious sports city." And by earlier, I mean earlier in the same column! (Go ahead, and scroll back up--I quoted it before).
Doyel's final explanation as to why everything is OK?
How far has the NFL come? The three cities with the largest redneck population -- I'm from Mississippi; I'm allowed -- employ black quarterbacks: In Jacksonville, the Jaguars had three black quarterbacks until releasing Byron Leftwich a few weeks ago. In Nashville, Vince Young is the franchise. And in Atlanta, the Falcons gave Michael Vick the biggest contract in NFL history and stood by him through several embarrassing off-field mistakes until he was charged with felony dogfighting. Joey Harrington replaced Vick, but on Tuesday the Falcons brought in Leftwich to compete for the starting job.
Good lord, let's unpack this a bit. It's OK to use southern white stereotypes because Doyel is from there. Racism is over because Black Quarterbacks are allowed to ply their trade in the south; Jacksonville had multiple Black QB's, therefore, McNabb's arguments are shit. I live in Minnesota, and I've seen one "athletic" Black QB after another come here and fail for one game, and watched the multitudes and intelligensia start crying for the "steady" White QB to lead them to Salvation.
But not recently, no. No, that never happens anymore. Unless you consider both papers in the Twin Cities arguing that Kelly Holcomb can lead the woeful Vikings offense to the playoffs. Kelly fucking Holcomb! Or that the exact same columnists argued for Brad Johnson or Gus Frerotte over Daunte Culpepper. Or that the exact same columnists expressed distrust over Randall Cunningham running the offense.
But, yeah, Doyel is totally right. Black QB's, if anything, are treated too kindly, and need to be slapped down when they get all uppity, like McNabb has. Thanks Gregg! Way to disprove the racism, by slapping down that uppity Black.