FanDuel - WFBC

August 21, 2012

Is there a racially motivated quarterback controversy brewing in Washington?: Skip Bayless thinks so. Bayless claims that it is human nature for white fans to cheer for white athletes; therefore, fellow rookie Kirk Cousins will be the fans' choice over #2 overall pick Robert Griffin for the starting job.

posted by tahoemoj to football at 04:02 PM - 36 comments

The majority of Washington D.C. residents are black, so there's that.

In other news, Skip Bayless is still an idiot.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:14 PM on August 21

Bayless is absolutely right. That's why the NBA languishes in the cellar, the NHL is America's biggest sports league, the America's Cup is the most exciting two days in all of sport, and ratings for golf went into the shitter while Tiger Woods was dominating.

Wait, I'm being handed a note.

I'm sorry, what I meant to say is that Skip Bayless desperately needs to shut the fuck up.

posted by Etrigan at 04:20 PM on August 21

I can barely hear over the din of Panthers fans begging for benching of Newton, so they may witness the return of Clausen.

posted by bperk at 04:32 PM on August 21

I was going to write something here, but then I decided that this isn't worth dignifying with a response.

posted by bender at 04:32 PM on August 21

Skip Bayless is an idiot. Who ever gets the starting job will have to earn it. I also think it is interesting that Skip Bayless mentions how Jason Campbell and Donovan McNabb did not work out in Washington, implying that the Washington fans prefer to root for a white QB and pressured or influenced their departure, without mentioning that the last time Washington won a Superbowl it was with Doug Williams.

I believed in this years draft the best QB available was Andrew Luck, not RG3, although I heard some people felt it was a color based decision that made him the number one pick. I think there is some bias in the NFL but I feel it is more about playing style than it is about race. Typically the league favors a pocket passer over a QB who will run. RG3 was not of interest to St. Louis because they had Sam Bradford a more traditional and very capable pocket passer. Indy took Andrew Luck as his play style is more like that of what they were accustomed to and what has been traditionally more successful in the NFL. Denver could not wait to get rid of Tebow in favor of Manning which I think clearly demonstrates the tendency to go with a QB who can be protected better from injury by not running down field. Color has very little to do with it. Playing style does. It seems like a cop out to accuse teams or fans of making their choices based on color if they are really just favoring a playing style.

I find the playing styles of guys like Cam Newton, Michael Vick, and Tim Tebow very exciting to watch, but I am not convinced with all that is riding on keeping a starting QB healthy for a season, I would want to bet on a QB that is so venerable to the dangers of that style of play. Although that Cam Newton is like a superman and may change my mind.

posted by Atheist at 05:06 PM on August 21

How does Skip Bayless keep his job?

We don't get to hear/see a whole lot of him in Canada (or at least I don't), but every time I read or hear about something he has said, he just makes himself look more and more stupid.

posted by tommytrump at 06:21 PM on August 21

When you're anxious to be the clubhouse leaser of this sort of flatulence, if you're Bayless, you're likely thinking to yourself: "I've got to file a piece on this before Whitlock does".

Or, Bayless may be trying to goad Rob Parker into forming a Brothers against Cousins advocacy group.

posted by beaverboard at 06:40 PM on August 21

No human being could possibly be as stupid as Skip Bayless comes across as.
His shtick has got to be all an act to garner attention and approved by his employer.

It's the only explanation. How else could anyone who comes across as knowing as little about what he is reporting continue to be employed.

posted by cixelsyd at 09:34 PM on August 21

No human being could possibly be as stupid as Skip Bayless comes across as. His shtick has got to be all an act to garner attention and approved by his employer.

Or maybe he's just a really bad, particularly limp RAHOWA poster boy?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:01 PM on August 21

He's inventing the stories he wants to talk about. There is no controversy. Stop paying attention to this bleating moron.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:06 PM on August 21

I used to think that Skip Bayless was still employed by TWL because his rantings at least got ratings, somewhere. Since he appears mostly in the daytime anyway, I've been forced to abandon this belief (as well as the fact that he can't be drawing anyone to watch him), and now can only credit his continued punishment of us on his possession of some very, very incriminating photos of ESPN executives.

Is there any logical reason he is still employed at ESPN that I'm not aware? Anything?

posted by Bonkers at 11:44 PM on August 21

I read someplace that the most important skill for an on air personality was to be able to keep talking, non stop until the next commercial. It's actually more important than being able to make sense or having a coherent thing to say, and you have to admit, Skip Bayless is very very good at being able to keep talking no matter what.

posted by oxocerite at 11:59 PM on August 21

Where's that Skip Bayless is a douchebag gif? That seems timely.

I think he makes ESPN a fortune as long as he stays on the inoffensive line of stupid and this is an example of him overstepping the line.

However, this is still Washington, so if they are in last place 6 games into the season, the QB could be so white he has an endorsement deal with Ghost Hunters and there would be a controversy.

posted by feloniousmonk at 12:00 AM on August 22

Skip Bayless still has a job at TWL so that there is at least one bigger douche bag on the air than Colin Cowherd. I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again, lock the two of them in a closet and let them troll each other to death.

posted by apoch at 01:22 AM on August 22

an endorsement deal with Ghost Hunters

Have to give the Redskins credit where credit is due. They've tried that option already. Grossman has a highly developed ability to throw airballs to teammates that only he can see.

posted by beaverboard at 09:02 AM on August 22

I read someplace that the most important skill for an on air personality was to be able to keep talking, non stop until the next commercial.

As I've mentioned before, you haven't seen this in full capacity until it's Stephen A. Smith vs Skip Bayless.

The meaningless verbal diarrhea threatens to flow like the Ganges river out of the TV and drown everything and everybody near by.

posted by grum@work at 10:02 AM on August 22

How does Skip Bayless keep his job?

By doing stuff like this. Don't think of his work as attempting to start interesting conversations on sport; think of his work as the TV attempt at pageviews. He's a walking Bleacher Report slideshow.

posted by yerfatma at 10:11 AM on August 22

Bayless and his ilk are the reason I no longer watch ESPN for anything other than live sporting events (and damned few of them, too). Watching the 6th or 7th replay of "Hitler's Astrological UFO Quest" on The Military Channel is much to be preferred to the so-called world-wide leader.

posted by Howard_T at 01:03 PM on August 22

Yup. Bayless, Cowherd, and Smith are the main reasons I no longer watch ESPN.

That and the ADD way they report the sports news.

posted by scully at 02:05 PM on August 22

First off, I had no idea when I posted that it would stir up so much Bayless hate. (Just kidding, that was the intent.)

Second, I think the statement is a fairly tragic one to make. I know Bayless, Smith, and the rest of their shitheel ilk are employed to stir up a certain amount of controversy and to keep the conversation focused on ESPN. They say 100 stupid things every morning in the time it takes me to shower and dress at the gym (which is why I am subjected to them). The problem with this is that it is a white guy standing up and proclaiming that white people are racist. I have no doubt that the vast majority of the black community is aware of the fact that Bayless is a moron, but so what? He has now planted in a few heads at least a seed of the idea that as a rule, white people enjoy seeing black players fail. Is the onus now on white people to disprove this assertion?

posted by tahoemoj at 02:21 PM on August 22

tahoemoj - I don't think that seed was planted by Bayless, although he may have reinforced it. I have noticed that in past discussions regarding the performance of quarterbacks, that it is hard to criticize the play of black quarterbacks without the insinuation by some that it is racially motivated criticism, even when it isn't.

Bayless is just another jerk who wants to make everything about something it is not. I firmly believe that the Redskin fans will embrace any QB who plays well and wins just as they did with Doug Williams. On the other hand, it isn't fair to the fans if they see another QB performing better, to imply they are racist.

I also don't believe that it makes someone a racist to want to see a person of their own ethnicity or of similar background and circumstances succeed. Is it racist for a young black woman to root for Gabby G, to win Olympic gold because she can identify with her ? For African Americans to vote for a black man to become president and feel proud about it? For Jews to have rooted for Sandy Koulfax? I ask the honest question, is it racist for 98% of black americans to vote for a candidate because of his color? Would it be acceptable if white voters did the same?

I don't think it is fair to blame or accuse people for their motivations. If a white football fan roots for Tim Tebow to beat out Mark Sanchez for the Jets job, is it because he hated USC and is a Florida alumni, or is it because he is white, or is it because he is a born again Christian and thinks Tebow is god's choice? The real problem is assigning a motive to people you know nothing about.

posted by Atheist at 02:59 PM on August 22

I also don't believe that it makes someone a racist to want to see a person of their own ethnicity or of similar background and circumstances succeed.

I think it kinda does. "Of similar background" is a qualifier with a broad range of meanings. Shared alma mater or hometown? Of course you're not racist. Because someone is white? Maybe. Do you want him to succeed at the expense of the black athlete who plays the same position? Who was a first round draft choice your team invested a ton of money in signing? You be the judge. I call that racist.

posted by tahoemoj at 03:18 PM on August 22

Is the onus now on white people to disprove this assertion?

If we brought Limbaugh into the discussion, then we'd need to clarify that it was the anus that was onus.

posted by beaverboard at 03:25 PM on August 22

I also don't believe that it makes someone a racist to want to see a person of their own ethnicity or of similar background and circumstances succeed.

I think it might be racist if you want to see a person not of their own ethnicity fail because they are of a different ethnicity.

White person: "I hope Cousins succeeds as the Washington QB."
Verdict: Probably not racist.

White person: "I hope that black QB fails so the white QB has a chance to succeed."
Verdict: Probably racist.

Person: "There's nothing wrong with cheering for a team called the Redskins, regardless of the quarterback's ethnicity."
Verdict: ...

posted by grum@work at 03:59 PM on August 22

grum I think in all your scenarios your are correct based on your wording. My gripe with Bayless and others is making the assumption that if you are not rooting for RG3 or if you think someone else is preferable, racism is the reason.

I am not a Michael Vick fan and I am a Peyton Manning fan. Since I am white guy some might assume that is a favoritism based on racism. It's not, and I hate if someone tries to make that implication.

I don't like Michael Vick, but love watching him play and admire his abilities. He is a convicted dog fighter and animal abuser which speaks directly to his character as a human being. I like Peyton Manning and love watching him play and admire his abilities. He acts like a professional on and off the field and I have never heard a negative thing about him as a person. I prefer a pocket passer and feel that is better for a team I care about than a QB who relies on scrambling, running and making something happen when plays break down. In lieu of an explanation why should someone assume my motivation.

As for RG3, personally I am waiting to see how he pans out as a QB in the pros for all the same reasons. It is possible to choose Andrew Luck in the draft over RG3 for reasons that have nothing to do with race, although it seems some just refuse to accept it. The why is everything, the choice itself tells us nothing. Why do people want so badly to make the wrong assumptions?

On the other hand I find myself rooting for Gabby Douglas or Wayne Simmonds simply because they are black and breaking down barriers in their respective sports. I suppose on some level that has an element of race bias but to me it is just a natural instinct to want to see someone succeed against the odds and help make a positive change.

posted by Atheist at 05:23 PM on August 22

Since I am white guy some might assume that is a favoritism based on racism.

Serious question: has this ever actually happened to you? I say this because it's completely ridiculous to think that your preference for Peyton Manning over Michael Vick has to do with race. One's a convicted felon, the other is not, and one has clearly been a better quarterback than the other. To look at your basic preference for a single athlete over another and assume that is complete lunacy. Even Bayless isn't that bad, as he tries to point to a silly trend he sees with other bad black QBs in Washington.

I read arguments like this all of the time where the argument is predicated on some hypothetical scenario that is based on a realm of what's possible and not what's plausible. It's not plausible to assume there are people out there who think white guys prefer Peyton Manning over Michael Vick as a quarterback solely because of their race, because there are other glaring factors at play. It's kind of bad faith to argue based on scenarios you've dreamt up.

posted by dfleming at 05:35 PM on August 22

My gripe with Bayless and others is making the assumption that if you are not rooting for RG3 or if you think someone else is preferable, racism is the reason.

Well, sure. I'm just not sure that that point came through very clearly in your post that many of us were questioning. I certainly read it differently, based on my response. You're more than welcome aboard the "Skip Bayless is a jackass and doesn't speak for me" bandwagon. It's filling up fast, though.

posted by tahoemoj at 06:05 PM on August 22

I will accept that my scenarios were flawed as there is a world of difference between Peyton Manning and Michael Vick. So what if I am talking about RG3 and Andrew Luck. Comparing number 1 and number 2 picks. What made one guy number one and the other number 2. I have heard people say it was a race issue when I believed it was a skill set preference issue.

Whether or not I was able to articulate my point about making assumptions as to the motivation for fan preferences, the fact remains that it isn't something that should be quick to be labeled as racism and Bayless was and ass for implying it.

posted by Atheist at 06:16 PM on August 22

Article about theoretical fans rooting for an inferior player on their team over another player on the team they like due to race. Scenarios presented in response:

• GMs drafting players who have different merits: "I believed in this years draft the best QB available was Andrew Luck, not RG3".
• Two white players with totally different styles: "Denver could not wait to get rid of Tebow in favor of Manning . . . "
• Successful black quarterback in the past, no second QB: "I firmly believe that the Redskin fans will embrace any QB who plays well and wins just as they did with Doug Williams."
• People rooting for athletes of the same race without any hint of competition from an athlete of another race: "Is it racist for a young black woman to root for Gabby G, to win Olympic gold because she can identify with her? . . . For Jews to have rooted for Sandy Koulfax?"
• Political comparison that magically does not ask the question of whether some white Democrats didn't vote for Obama: " For African Americans to vote for a black man to become president and feel proud about it?"
• Rooting for a very successful white athlete over a criminal on a different team: "I am not a Michael Vick fan and I am a Peyton Manning fan."

posted by yerfatma at 06:19 PM on August 22

What made one guy number one and the other number 2.

Off the top of my head, one was taller, with a football father and a legendary coach, great numbers in an almost pro system and won more games in college. He was groomed to be a Peyton Manning clone and was drafted by the team that drafted Manning.

It's not like they're the same guy with similar stats and we're just selecting the one we "like" more; RGIII has legitimate question marks: he's only 6'2, he played in a spread offence and the durability of run-heavy quarterbacks is always an issue. He may end up being a greater quarterback than Luck, but Luck was the safe bet based on a number of factors scouts have typically used to evaluate prospects.

I agree Bayless is an ass, but trying to make this about a broader assumption than his jackassery is, in my opinion, unnecessary.

posted by dfleming at 06:28 PM on August 22

Sports gobshitery on television and radio in the US is 95% trolling. Ignore it.

posted by etagloh at 08:08 PM on August 22

Pointing out that Mark Rypien won a Super Bowl after Doug Williams doesn't make me racist, right?

posted by TheRevUg at 11:32 AM on August 23

It's questionable. Did you ever have erotic feelings for Jay Schroeder?

posted by yerfatma at 01:14 PM on August 23

Did you ever have erotic feelings for Jay Schroeder?

GOD, WHO DOESN'T?!?

posted by dfleming at 02:17 PM on August 23

Pointing out that Mark Rypien won a Super Bowl after Doug Williams doesn't make me racist, right?

Nope. Just irrelevant.

posted by tahoemoj at 02:37 PM on August 23

Did you ever have erotic feelings for Jay Schroeder?

I thought this guy was the only quarterback you are allowed to have erotic feelings for.

posted by Bonkers at 10:44 PM on August 23

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