Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Total Lack of Respect

Oakland Raiders LogoImage via Wikipedia
So I watched the Indianapolis Colts beat the New England Patriots last night. It would have mattered more to me, but I had just watched the New Mexico State Aggie men's basketball team beat #13 ranked Nevada the night before. It was great, all the yelling and white (we were supposed to "Whiteout" the Pan Am, nobody ran with my idea to advertise it as "White Power"). The Nevada players looked really shaken up and disoriented most of the game.

That's all well and good, but I actually have something important to say (unlike my last, whiny, stupid post). There are two major stories about this years Super Bowl:

1) Peyton Manning finally beat the Patriots and Tom "see I told you he couldn't win a big game if they had to score more than three points and the kicker couldn't save him, most overrated quarterback since Eli Manning, will never be Joe Montana, EVER, and Gisele is still ugly as hell I don't care what anyone says, she just is" Brady.

2) There are two black coaches in the Super Bowl. Previous to this year, a black head coach had never won a Super Bowl or even made it to the Super Bowl.

What I wanted to comment on was number two. It pisses me off that it is such a big deal that a black coach win a Super Bowl when a Hispanic coach (Tom Flores) has won two and nobody even mentions it, even when they talk about his Super Bowl teamS.

How is that fair? It is only a big deal when a black person does something, but completly ignored when a hispanic person does? And this was over twenty years ago...with a hispanic quarterback (Jim Plunkett, who also won Super Bowl MVP and during his college career at Stanford, the Heisman Trophy). And Plunkett isn't even recognized for being a Hispanic quarterback winning a Super Bowl when Doug Williams is (because it's a big deal that a black quarterback wins the Super Bowl), only seven years later.

I'm not saying Doug Williams winning a Super Bowl or that having either Lovie (still a stupid name no matter what your race is...unless you're stranded on a desert island under the impression you were to only be on a three hour tour) Smith or Tony Dungy coaching and winning a Super Bowl is not a big deal and important, but why does the media or the sporting world not care about any other races' achievements?

For example, everyone knows about Jesse Owens winning in the Berlin Olympics (1936), a big deal because he's black, and some people know Jim Thorpe won in the Stockholm games in 1912. But it is rarely mentioned that Thorpe went to the Carlisle Indian School. And you know why? Because he is a Native American. Something else interesting about Thorpe, he played in what would become the NFL, becoming one of it's first stars. Something even more impressive, he was the first commisioner of the league. Still, there aren't really too many stories about the man. That at least deserves a mention on NFL films or something.

Here's another one, despite what I think is an idea held by at least some white people (probably older ones) Hispanics are actually big enough to play football. According to a professor I had last semester (who is also my advisor), Hispanics are better suited to play baseball and lightweight boxing. He also said people will not go to NMSU football games until we start a Hispanic quarterback "even if he doesn't do that well." This idea is at the most racist and at the least ignorant. People will go to NMSU football games more often when the team wins. Just like in basketball, where nobody goes when the team doesn't win, people go to see a winning product. At the Nevada game there was not a single empty seat. Funny, because there is not one Hispanic player on the team.

Also, Hispanics have been playing football for quite a while. Lou Molinet (real name Ignacio Saturnino Molinet) played halfback in 1927. As I said before, Jim Plunkett won two Super Bowls and Tom Flores was the first quarterback for the Oakland Raiders. Anthony Muñoz played offensive tackle in the 1980's when the players started getting really big. Now he's in the Hall of Fame. Also, watch a football game and you'll run across Tony Gonzalez and a number of Hispanic players, many the biggest ones on the field.

And here's my final example, Tom Flores is the only coach to win two Super Bowls and not be in the Hall of Fame.

So that's my rant on race and sports. It seems to me that although African-Americans have been thought of throughout the history of this great country of ours to be second class citizens to whites, all other races are second class to blacks, as far as minorities go. Not to blame them or anything. It's just that some recogniztion would be nice.
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