FanDuel - WFBC

January 21, 2007

Lovie Smith becomes the first black head coach ......: to make it to the title game in its 41 years. One of the most maligned 13-3 teams ever romps past the Saints 39-14 in the NFC championship game.

posted by skydivedad to football at 06:08 PM - 88 comments

Congratulations to Coach Smith and his Chicago Bears Squad. One of the class acts in the NFL Coaching Ranks and last years "Coach of The Year" sure proved to all the pundits Nationwide that his trust in Rex Grossman and the Dynamic Defense that "Bears" his stamp (Pun Intended) are more than worthy of a Birth in this years Superbowl. I'm extremely proud of your accomplishment Coach Smith!

posted by skydivedad at 06:30 PM on January 21

His trust in Rex is better than a Super Bowl Birth? I like the Bears, but I don't like Rex. That might as well have been Kyle Orton out on the field today. The defense and the running game, those were what put the Bears in the Super Bowl (I am pulling for them though, regardless who wins the AFC Championship.) Should be a good game in Miami, though.

posted by forrestv at 06:36 PM on January 21

You must have misunderstood my comment, certainly the SuperBowl Birth is much more important than his trust in Rex but Lovie stood by his choice at QB despite incredible pressure to do otherwise. The running game was great today and your spot-on, the Defense dominate the squad from New Orleans.

posted by skydivedad at 06:40 PM on January 21

Gotta love Da Bears! And its shaping up to be a great Superbowl! At this point,probably Pats and Bears.

posted by sickleguy at 07:16 PM on January 21

Sorry skydivedad, probably did misread it. Still, not that it matters because they won, but Grossman had little to do with the win. I think Orton or Griese could have done the same (my family are Bears fans and even they don't think Grossman will win a game for them, but lose a game.)

posted by forrestv at 07:27 PM on January 21

homer ;)

posted by scully at 07:31 PM on January 21

Lovie Smith!The first black head coach to make it to the title game. Well, NFL title game at least. Pinball Clemons won the Grey Cup (CFL) back in 2004, and Darren Arbet won ArenaBowl XVI in 2002. Nevertheless, I'm glad someone finally popped that balloon and took a bullet point out of the "Blacks Can't Succeed" speech that racists like to use every so often.

posted by grum@work at 07:32 PM on January 21

Ditka.........Bears......Sausage........Bears..........Sausage..........Ditka........God rest chris farley's soul but let's go Bears and sign Lovie up with a new contract willya Bears all the way

posted by luther70 at 07:50 PM on January 21

whoops! sickleguy 21-21! go colts! even though my 49ers are long out of it:P

posted by bavarianmotorworker at 08:00 PM on January 21

Ditka.........Bears......Sausage........Bears..........Sausage..........Ditka........God Holy crap! Luther found the period key! Now to figure out where they belong...

posted by hawkguy at 08:04 PM on January 21

In a perfect world, the "First African American head coach . . . " would not be an issue. Lovie and his staff did a great job and are one game short of reaching their goal. Success should be success, regardless of race. I think people understand that. But the fact is the people who play the "race card" in sports and in all facets, are the media. Stop saying he is "special" because he is the "first AA to take his team to the Super Bowl" Racism has not been eliminated in this world or even in this country. But Lovie never faced the fight for equality that Jackie Robinson or even Willie Mays faced. He lives a very comfortable life and stays in the same hotels, eats in the same restaurants as his white players. He is a good head coach, and now a championship coach. The only time I consider him a good "African American coach" is when it is shoved down my throat by the media. Their point is to try to hammer home "how far we have come." If we really truly embraced and believed there was equality, we wouldn't have to use the adjectives. All in all a great win by the Bears and Coach Smith. Good luck in the Super Bowl I will be cheering you on from Ron (Puerto Rican) Rivera to Lovie (African American) Smith to Hunter (Caucasian) Hillenmeyer. But I will be cheering you on as simply "THE BEARSSSSS"

posted by Tokens0605 at 08:13 PM on January 21

A Super Bowl birth would get good ratings, but the Bears have earned a Super Bowl berth.

posted by BlueCarp at 08:17 PM on January 21

One other thing . . . Will there be an uproar from the words "First BLACK head coach . . . " Instead of "First AFRICAN AMERICAN coach . . . "? That line written by the media, alone. shows where the race card is being played.

posted by Tokens0605 at 08:20 PM on January 21

Lovie Smith!The first black head coach to make it to the title game. At some point, I think this sort of thing has got to stop being a big deal.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:34 PM on January 21

All the worries about how genuine the Bears' outstanding season was disappeared thanks to running back Thomas Jones, All-Pro kicker Robbie Gould and a defense that, while not dominant, made enough decisive plays. The article affirms that Rex Grossman wasn't really a deciding factor in that game. Like forrestv said, it might as well have been Orton out there. There have been teams who have won the Super Bowl without much talent at quarterback (Trent Dilfer comes to mind) but I still see Grossman hurting the Bears when it really counts.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:35 PM on January 21

I think Grossman played great on the drive that really ended up being the deciding drive (in my mind) -- the one where Berrian caught the TD to put the Bears up 25-14. Other than that, he didn't have a particularly great game, but you don't have to have your A game as a QB when your team is able to put up nearly 200 yards rushing against your opponent. Hats off to the Bears, great team victory. Congrats to the Saints as well. If the Saints can draft well and hit the free agent waters wisely in search of some defensive help (run stoppers and secondary -- get in line, I suppose), they should be right back in the mix in the NFC next year.

posted by holden at 08:43 PM on January 21

Best wife ever.

posted by Joey Michaels at 09:22 PM on January 21

I'm with Tokens and Weedy but especially with BlueCarp.

posted by geekyguy at 09:29 PM on January 21

Hey you know guys I'm sick of the BS around here. To bad we don't live in a perfect World get over it. It is a big deal to have the first Black or African American as a Head Coach going to the Super Bowl and now with Indy winning we have 2. I think it's fantastic and have no problem saying so or rejoycing in that fact. If you have a problem with me posting this go .... yourself. I'd do it again. If you don't think we have a problem providing deserving Black Coaches opportunities in this country I suggest you take a look at the recent history of the NFL as well as the current state of affairs in Div 1 NCAA College Football. It's a great accomplishment for Coach Smith and Coach Dungy.

posted by skydivedad at 09:29 PM on January 21

Making this a race issue just creates racism. People are people and if YOU create differences then YOU are the racist. WAKE UP! Congrats to all.

posted by ggermanctl at 09:44 PM on January 21

SDD, I agree that it is a great thing. I don't think anyone was attacking you or your opinion.

posted by hawkguy at 09:49 PM on January 21

People are people and if YOU create differences then YOU are the racist. So you're suggesting that we live in a world of perfect racial equality and anybody who points out otherwise is a racist? Seriously?

posted by Venicemenace at 09:49 PM on January 21

People are people and if YOU create differences then YOU are the racist. WAKE UP! On preview, SDD. Maybe I was wrong.

posted by hawkguy at 09:50 PM on January 21

Noting the achievement of an underrepresented group doesn't create racism -- it repudiates it. Dungy and Smith are breaking down a stereotype that's still strong enough that the NFL must force owners to interview minority candidates. When Doug Williams became the first black QB to start in a Super Bowl, it wasn't racism to honor him -- it was a chance to help the next generation of black QBs like McNabb, Vick and Leftwich.

posted by rcade at 09:50 PM on January 21

Well said, rcade.

posted by hawkguy at 09:53 PM on January 21

Jeebus, did somebody hack skydivedad's account? What happened to his usually acceptable grammar and punctuation?

posted by geekyguy at 10:08 PM on January 21

My peeps already have Tom Flores, so I guess I can't argue.

posted by forrestv at 10:09 PM on January 21

At some point, I think this sort of thing has got to stop being a big deal. It will. In 2 weeks when the first African American head coach wins the Superbowl. Until then, Live with it. Will there be an uproar from the words "First BLACK head coach . . . " Instead of "First AFRICAN AMERICAN coach . . . "? That line written by the media, alone. shows where the race card is being played Lets say this was the first time a female head coach (in the NFL) went to the Superbowl, and it was being pointed out by the media, would you be responding the same way? Just say "nice job" and move on. Think about it, the only reason you are pointing it out is because you don't like the fact that it's mentioned. So what. Some people (possibly African Americans) might celebrate it. Nice post SDD. Congrats to the Bears, Colts, Smith and Dungy, and also to Manning. Nice to see him get over the hump.

posted by Bishop at 10:12 PM on January 21

Making this a race issue just creates racism. People are people and if YOU create differences then YOU are the racist. WAKE UP! So essentially you're saying we should all be color blind and not recognize and respect people of different cultures and nationalities? We should turn our backs on the fact that minorities are at a disadvantage in this country while assuming they have every right and opportunity as whites? Maybe we should also believe we're a country of equal pay for equal work, that race is irrelevant when it comes to the size of our paycheks. If that's the case, how do you reconcile Lovie Smith being the lowest paid coach in the NFL the year after being named Coach of the Year? I'd have a good look in the mirror before you start slandering the perspectives of others. sdd, I think the other folks were saying that it's a shame that we're still in a world where the first _______ anything is a headline. I don't believe they were criticizing your FPP at all. A point should be made that we're about to witness the first two black head coaches in the Super Bowl, but at the same time it's an embarrassment that it's taken until 2007 for it to happen. Congratulations Bears and Colts. This could be one helluva Super Bowl.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 10:16 PM on January 21

Jeebus, did somebody hack skydivedad's account? What happened to his usually acceptable grammar and punctuation? I had that same thought, in addition to the spelling (rejoycing?) But then I chalked it up to typing while angry.

posted by hawkguy at 10:25 PM on January 21

Congratulations to Da Bears as a team and Coach Lovie Smith in particular for bein' one helluva coach and showing support for all of his players. Sounds like the kind of person I'd like to be. I think Grossman played great on the drive.... Holden, I totally agree with you. I think that gave the whole Bears team a confidence boost and got old mo' dead on thier side of the field. Should be a great Super Bowl...Two Great Teams. Two Great Coaches. May the better prepared be the winner!!

posted by brbcca at 10:40 PM on January 21

So essentially you're saying we should all be color blind and not recognize and respect people of different cultures and nationalities? First, I have no problem with all the different cultures of our country. It's part of what makes living in the U. S. so interesting and great. Second, if you are born in the U. S. or have obtained U. S. citizenship, then you are an American, not a -American. Why, oh why, does everyone always have to point out the color of someone's skin. That this is news further demonstrates how little our country has advanced. It sickens me that in today's world people are still obsessed with this. It's too bad that we have to make a big deal out of things such as: "Doug Williams is the first black QB to win the Super Bowl," so other QBs of color a shot at playing. It's sad to think that the only way black coaches can get some R E S P E C T, is to get to a Championship game. Btw, "Black" or "African-American" are the same thing to me. One distinguishes by color and one distinguishes by ancestry. The key word here being "distinguishes." You know this word, right? Distinguishes - sets apart as being different. How do we move forward if we are always trying to point out that we are different?

posted by hellamarine at 11:26 PM on January 21

Texan, that was very well put. Hellamarine, sometimes non-minorities have trouble looking past the fact that some African Americans may consider this an achievement, and may want to celebrate it as such. Do you know how much media attention black athletes get when they get caught with a nickel bag of weed, or how much media attention they get when they do anything wrong? Quick example; Carmelo Anthony punches a guy, gets a 15 game suspension and blasted on every sports show nation wide for almost a week (The situation also gets 2 threads here at Spofi. Both over 50 posts long). The very next day a White Pro athlete sucker punches someone in the NHL, he gets a 9 game suspension, however, it's discussed once on espn and it gets zero threads here (keep in mind he sucker punched the guy from behind). I'm sure some will offer that it's different, the NBA is more "exposed" and "closer to the fans" and that behavior is more tolerated in the NHL, but that is see through bullshit. I know there are always exceptions (Pete Rose), but my point is, if the crime is the same, Black athletes gets twice the media coverage and 3 times the discussion on message boards such as this one. If Lovie Smith was arrested for J walking with "bling" on, there would be a 60 post thread about it. It makes me sick when people are quick to chime in on negative press threads about minorities (he's dead because he was "riding in the hood with gang colors and bling on), then turn around and don't want race discussed when it's something positive. You're entitled to your opinion, but the fact is, it is an achievement and it should be celebrated. You don't have to like it, you just have to live with it.

posted by Bishop at 12:18 AM on January 22

Bishop, It's an awesome achievement for sure, but is it less of an achievement for a non-minority coach? As for the NHL vs. NBA, would you agree that the NHL is is a little more obscure than the NBA? I mean you didn't even name the NHL player (Scott Nichol) in your post. Did you know his name, or for whom he played (Predators)? Now let's look at the Carmelo incident, if that had been say, Steve Nash, do you really think the press would've just let it go by the wayside? Nay, say I! The reason Carmelo was in the news more than the NHLer, is because Carmelo is a huge star. Are you saying you believe the press are sitting around going, "OK, which black athlete can we crucify today?" C'mon, man. Next, if you want to celebrate Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy for being the first black coaches to make the Super Bowl, more power to you. Myself, I'll just celebrate the fact that they are both great coaches and deserving of where they'll be come 2/4. I will not argue over whether or not racism still exists, because unfortunately, it does. I'm glad that Dungy and Smith both made the big game. That said, are they better coaches today than yesterday just because they made it? I don't buy that. Are they any less of a coach because of the color of their skin? I don't buy that, either, and I can't say that I've ever listened to or read a statement to that effect. So then, please answer me this, why does it have to be about them being black? Why can't it just be about them being great coaches?

posted by hellamarine at 01:35 AM on January 22

Will there be an uproar from the words "First BLACK head coach . . . " Instead of "First AFRICAN AMERICAN coach . . . "? Well, on one hand, "first black" would seem a bit more impressive since it includes the pool of African-Canadians, African-Mexicans, and even unhyphenated Africans. On the other hand, "first African-American" would make it clear that kicker Gary Anderson has not a coached a team into the big game. You know, his being South African and all. The term African-American has valid utility, but in this particular instance I think the use of it by the media would be a bit disingenuous. The designation is being assigned based on the color of Smith's skin, not his nationality or ethnogeographic origin.

posted by BullpenPro at 04:34 AM on January 22

Well, thanks to SDD's rampant homerism and Bishop's seeing racism behind every post, this really turned out to be some celebration of the Bears' success, didn't it? Nice job Bears, whether you're white, black, green, yellow, red, or plaid. And SDD, telling everybody on the site to "go .... yourself" if we don't like what you're posting is asinine, juvenile, and belongs in a Yahoo! chatroom. Ease up, man.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:13 AM on January 22

this really turned out to be some celebration of the Bears' success It wasn't billed as a celebration of the Bears success, TBH. The FPP was billed as a celebration of the first black coach to take his team to the Super Bowl. The merits of that celebration are being challenged, and I think pretty much everyone, including Bishop, is keeping it above board and on topic. As for SDD, I'm not going to attack or defend his homerism, but I will say that it has got to be disappointing when your team gets cast as the villian for no reason other than that the team on the other side is the prohibitive sentimental favorite.

posted by BullpenPro at 05:42 AM on January 22

As long as some ignorant ass is willing to say a black man can't do this or a black man can't do that, then it's going to be a headline. Guys like Dungy and Smith are proving the ignorance is just that, and therefore, they're a story. Bishop, I'm on board with you to a point. But a fight in hockey isn't much of a story, even if it was a sucker punch, because there are fights in hockey every night. A fight in the NBA is a story because they're rare. The old journalism standard: "Dog Bites Man" isn't a story, "Man Bites Dog" is. That said, I do see your point. I can appreciate how frustrating it must be when a guy gets shot and people say that he had it coming because he was black and had money. I would hope that's a vocal minority, especially on this site. Not that that makes it any more bearable. Do we get cigars for the birth of a Super Bowl?

posted by SummersEve at 06:32 AM on January 22

Can we talk about the game a bit? First, what is with all this disrespect talk by the Bears? So annoying. Nothing they have done in the last few games would have led anyone but the biggest homer to believe that their defense would dominate this game so thoroughly. They did, and instead of saying, yeah, we pulled it all together and played great, they want to complain because everyone didn't see it coming. Second, what is all this nonsense about Bush pointing while running into the endzone? Talking heads keep making a big deal about this. I definitely don't get it. The Bears defense needed motivation to play hard in the conference championship? Seriously?

posted by bperk at 07:14 AM on January 22

Bush's finger point and flip was a cheesy way to finish one of the most incredible plays of the season, but it didn't decide the game. I think Grossman and Thomas Jones did that by making big plays and causing the Saints to take more chances on offense. After Bush caught that pass he hit an extra gear -- reminded me of Bo Jackson in his prime.

posted by rcade at 07:37 AM on January 22

Second, what is all this nonsense about Bush pointing while running into the endzone? Talking heads keep making a big deal about this. I think it is simply a matter of taste. If you like to see pros taunting and trash talking each other, then you would believe the act to be no big deal. However, if you believe the game should be played with class, then it becomes a big deal. I was at the game yesterday. I was very near to that corner of the field where the finger pointing occurred. Bush' actions seemed to rile up the defense and they played with more intensity after that moment. Thank you Bush. I don't get the point of taunting when you are losing the game. I found that amusing. As to my taste, I think what Bush did was bush league. He did apologize for his actions after the game. Fine by me. Time to move on. More on the game.... The ensuing drive and touchdown immediately following the safety was the final nail in the coffin for the game. It completely gave back all the momentum of the game to the Bears. It was the pin in the Saints Super Bowl Balloon. For anyone to say that Rex Grossman didn't contribute much in the game must not have seen that drive.

posted by danjel at 07:44 AM on January 22

If you like to see pros taunting and trash talking each other, then you would believe the act to be no big deal. However, if you believe the game should be played with class, then it becomes a big deal. Do you really think those are the only two choices?

posted by bperk at 07:49 AM on January 22

Well, thanks to SDD's rampant homerism and Bishop's seeing racism behind every post, this really turned out to be some celebration of the Bears' success, didn't it TBH I usually take your pointless jabs in stride, but this time I have to address your accusation. 1. Did you even bother to read the link title or the article. IT'S IN PART ABOUT RACE. 2. If this was Rcade or Gary posting a Dallas story about an asst coach getting food poisoning, you would probably keep your "homerism" comments to yourself. You seem to let fly at anyone that doesn't hold your account standing in their hands. This thread concerns race as well, and couldn't get 5 posts in without racism rearing its head. The one time the actual thread topic is about race, 5 people before me are discussing it and you call me out. Save that shit man. If you don't appreciate what I have to say, move the hell on, or at least add something of substance as hellamarine did with his opinion. Hell, his disagreement is more genuine than yours and he just got here. AGAIN you are guilty of doing what Admin has asked not be done, making a thread about a participant in the thread without adding anything what so ever. You seem to want to point out every example of what you think trolling is, without taking the time to diagnose your own intentions. SDD responded to what he felt like was an attack on his thoughts and opinions, so he had a moment and his feelings got the best of him. However, if his statement was asinine, your entire post was (with the exception of "nice job Bears").

posted by Bishop at 08:00 AM on January 22

This is getting too personal. Talk more about the subject, less about each other, unless you want to compliment the admins who hold your account in their hands.

posted by rcade at 08:08 AM on January 22

Bush's run was nuts. I go bonkers when I see a runner break free, then try to juke because they always get caught from behind. So as he's making that juke, I'm thinking, "C'mon dude, just run." Then he's back to full speed in one step and is gone. The other thing about that play, was that Urlacher that spotted Bush a 20-yard heaad start but then looked like he was closing? His speed is just amazing for a guy his size.

posted by SummersEve at 08:20 AM on January 22

rcade is the best! justgary for coolest guy ever!

posted by rocketman at 09:42 AM on January 22

Watching Grossman is pretty nerve-wracking. I think he completed 5 out of his first 25 passes, then went 6-for-6 on the drive after the safety that put the Bears in command. Sometimes he looks like he's surprised to be throwing the football, and sometimes he makes beautiful throws downfield that hit the receiver perfectly in stride.. The announcers and refs didn't notice this, but on the Bears TD where the guy made a great diving catch at the two and did a backwards somersault, he scored the TD right away because the ball broke the plane of the goal. They didn't call the TD until he ran into the end zone.

posted by kirkaracha at 09:51 AM on January 22

Crap, I make 3 comments into the game thread and the topic turns to race, diffrernce between African American and black. Anyone have the profe "lovie" has African decndents? Geez people!!! SDD dude the topice is just fine. Not having been to sleep since since Friday morning i'm tired and ill so congrats to the big furry guys and may the saints make another run next year, it was a lot of fun guys.

posted by Folkways at 10:02 AM on January 22

The other thing about that play, was that Urlacher that spotted Bush a 20-yard heaad start but then looked like he was closing? His speed is just amazing for a guy his size. A cynic would say it's almost "unnatural".

posted by grum@work at 11:22 AM on January 22

Do you really think those are the only two choices? I gave two choices but never mentioned they are the only two choices available. Are you looking for something that isn't there?

posted by danjel at 11:30 AM on January 22

Yes, good on the Bears - It was a close game that turned into a rout, and they're deserving champions. Now - back to the race thing: I stand by my original statement. It shouldn't be a big deal. At some point, if we're constantly celebrating events that we (society) should expect than we are not repudiating racism but reminding everyone that race is a big deal. Would you not expect a black head coach to get to the Super Bowl? Is racism standing in their way? No. There are enough black coaches in the NFL that it should be expected as an eventuality. I think Tony Dungy becoming the 2nd in less than 8 hours shows this. Making the Super Bowl as a black head coach just isn't a situation where racial injustice was preventing it. Now, being hired as the first black head coach most certainly is. But this isn't the same thing. Additionally, if Lovie Smith making to the Super Bowl is such an accomplishment not as a coach but as a black man, aren't you suggesting that it's because as a black man it's amazing that he made it? Why? He was hired as the coach - he's supposed to make it. Yes, it's a personal professional accomplishment. Yes, it's good for him, the organization, etc. But I can't see why it's anything else. Celebrating it like Jackie Robinson isn't encouraging to me. In fact, it some ways it shows how far we still have to come. Ah, I'm not explaining this well. Fine - go ahead, celebrate it as an American accomplishment. I hope there are more.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:41 AM on January 22

Weedy, or any other Canadien SpoFi member, are there African-Canadien labels in Canada? I am just curious, I am not trying to make any statements here.

posted by danjel at 12:05 PM on January 22

Watching Grossman is pretty nerve-wracking. I could see where Grossman's play could get a little aggravating for Bears fans, but remember, this was Grossman's first full year as a starter. Why is everyone ragging him so hard? I realize he had some really bad games, but who hasn't? Maybe he had more than his fair share this year, but he also had some really good games as well. Maybe this is due to his lack of playing time more than his talent. Give him 'til next season, and if he's still making those kind of plays after about a 1/2 season, then maybe you should be concerned. However, he apparently didn't play so bad that he kept the Bears out of the Super Bowl. As long as some ignorant ass is willing to say a black man can't do this or a black man can't do that, then it's going to be a headline. Good point, SummersEve. I wish it wasn't true, but it is. I still feel, however, that the more we point out differences, the harder it is to get past them. I hate that we can't all just be considered human beings and leave it at that. A cynic would say it's almost "unnatural". Oh boy, here we go again! Thank you MLB. Congratulations to the Saints and their fans for a helluva season. I hope you have more just like it or better.

posted by hellamarine at 12:32 PM on January 22

Congrats to Coach Dungy & Coach Smith! Two classy men who deserve to be in the Super Bowl!

posted by steelerchooks at 12:42 PM on January 22

I dont see what the big deal about them being black is. I cant speak for this, but do african-americans feel so opressed that it is a big deal that there are black coaches succeeding? One thing I hate is the fact that people call it stereotyping saying black coaches dont do as well. Figures dont lie and until yesterday, black coaches historically have not done very well.

posted by the don at 12:45 PM on January 22

If you like to see pros taunting and trash talking each other, then you would believe the act to be no big deal. However, if you believe the game should be played with class, then it becomes a big deal. Do you really think those are the only two choices? I gave two choices but never mentioned they are the only two choices available. Are you looking for something that isn't there? Oh, come on, Danjel. I know what "if . . . then" means. If it isn't a big deal, then you cannot believe the game should be played with class. Maybe that isn't what you meant, but I'm certainly not making shit up.

posted by bperk at 01:01 PM on January 22

Weedy, or any other Canadien SpoFi member, are there African-Canadien labels in Canada? I am just curious, I am not trying to make any statements here. Not really. I don't believe there is a group designation at all. Some are Jamaican-Canadian, some are Haitian-Canadian, or whatever. Most people in Canada who call themselves something else besides just "Canadian" are usually from another country, or their family is. We have a lot of Italian-Canadians, Indo- Canadians and whathaveyou. Maybe some people call themselves African-Canadian but it's not a widely used term that I can recall.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:05 PM on January 22

Would you not expect a black head coach to get to the Super Bowl? Is racism standing in their way? No. There are enough black coaches in the NFL that it should be expected as an eventuality. I think Tony Dungy becoming the 2nd in less than 8 hours shows this. Making the Super Bowl as a black head coach just isn't a situation where racial injustice was preventing it. I would expect a black head coach to get to the Super Bowl absent racism. However, given the demographics of the league (black players make up 70% of the league), the fact there are finally a handful of black coaches, with most of them getting their chance when Tony Dungy was head coach of Tampa, I feel pretty confident saying that something besides bad luck has prevented the success of black coaches. You can contrast the NFL with the NBA where a black coach getting to the championship isn't even mentioned since that first happened back in the 60s.

posted by bperk at 01:10 PM on January 22

Oh, come on, Danjel. I know what "if . . . then" means. If it isn't a big deal, then you cannot believe the game should be played with class. Maybe that isn't what you meant, but I'm certainly not making shit up. I stand by my earlier statement. Maybe your not making shit up but it certainly seems like your trying to stir some shit up. Why? I have no idea, perhaps your just in a bad mood today.

posted by danjel at 01:22 PM on January 22

"Why is everyone ragging him so hard?" Because he is bad. By QB rating, 24th of 32 qualified QBs this season, behind rookie Matt Leinart; behind quasi-rookie Tony Romo; etc. Threw more interceptions as a percentage of completions than all but three other QBs (two of those three both being in only their second year in the League); more interceptions than all but two other QBs. Fifth worst pass completion percentage in the league. (See also what the Wages of Wins says. Nutshell: bad.) If you don't like stats, take a look at the Arizona, Miami, and Minnesota games- those weren't just bad, those were games that fans will discuss for years as models of how bad a QB can play. And he had not just one of those but three of them this year. If he has one of those against the Colts, it'll give 'Skins-Broncos a run for most dull Super Bowl ever. The real question this week is not whether or not Rex Grossman is a bad QB (he is); the real question is whether or not he's the worst Super Bowl starting QB of all time. (on preview: bperk, thanks for dealing with the race issue more reasonably and less angrily than I would have. :)

posted by tieguy at 01:22 PM on January 22

I feel pretty confident saying that something besides bad luck has prevented the success of black coaches. No - something besides bad luck has prevented the HIRING of black coaches. The success of black coaches is more a question of numbers, talent and team strength... As well as good coaching.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:30 PM on January 22

Who had the most +100 QB rated games this year in the NFL this year?

posted by icemanmurph at 01:54 PM on January 22

Maybe your not making shit up but it certainly seems like your trying to stir some shit up. Why? I have no idea, perhaps your just in a bad mood today. No, I was just hoping that pointing out your statement would perhaps make you realize that you created a false dichotomy and lead to a discussion. Nevermind.

posted by bperk at 02:02 PM on January 22

Hey tieguy, go look at Marino's TD to INT ratio from his 6th and 7th seasons. Not great, but you would never catch anyone saying he was a bad QB. I mean there's no debating whether or not Marino was great. He was. I'm just using that to point out that even great QBs have not so great years. Is Grossman great? Not right now. Can he be? Who really knows? My point is this, even though Grossman is in his 4th year, he's only in his first as a starter. Hell, I guess Lovie Smith must be a crappy coach. Doesn't he realize that his starting QB is so bad? He's stuck with Grossman all year, despite the cry for Griese. Wow, if Grossman is that bad, what's that say about his backup?

posted by hellamarine at 02:03 PM on January 22

The real question this week is not whether or not Rex Grossman is a bad QB (he is); the real question is whether or not he's the worst Super Bowl starting QB of all time. The most interesting question to me is whether he will ever be a good QB. Based on his relative lack of experience, you could view Grossman as a rookie or a second-year starter. What's the gap between what he is now and what he could be? Who had the most +100 QB rated games this year in the NFL this year? Who had the most sub-40 QB rating games in the NFL this year? Whose seven 100+ QB rating games were all against teams with losing records?

posted by holden at 02:22 PM on January 22

During one of Grossman's meltdown games, I was wondering what his ceiling is. Sure, he is relatively inexperienced now, so what does he have the potential to be? A HOFer? A solid QB? Scouts, Inc. says that: "if he stays healthy and progresses he can be an effective--but not great--NFL starter." How many bad games do you deal with for a guy who someday will hopefully be an effective starter?

posted by bperk at 02:36 PM on January 22

black, white, who cares? not me....let's just all get along and play ball

posted by bavarianmotorworker at 02:40 PM on January 22

I can never understand the term African-American anyway. What if Lovie's ancestors are from the Caribbean? Or Asia even? I can't figure out how darker skin necessarily implies African heritage.

posted by Ricardo at 03:31 PM on January 22

What if Lovie's ancestors are from the Caribbean? Uhm . . . well, here's the thing. Assuming you don't mean the aboriginal peoples there, I'm guessing they would be of African extraction too.

posted by yerfatma at 04:09 PM on January 22

No, I was just hoping that pointing out your statement would perhaps make you realize that you created a false dichotomy and lead to a discussion. Nevermind. I am very amused by your smug attitude bperk. You attempt to call me out by posting a question yet you don't offer any more insight as to why you would ask that question. I guess I was looking for something more from you to back up your comment. Nevermind.

posted by danjel at 04:18 PM on January 22

Ah, I'm not explaining this well. Fine - go ahead, celebrate it as an American accomplishment. I hope there are more. No, weedy, you're wrong. I think you explained it very well.

posted by Tokens0605 at 04:54 PM on January 22

The success of black coaches is more a question of numbers, talent and team strength... As well as good coaching. Yes numbers are a big part of it. But as bperk points out 70% of the players are black. How many of them actually are interested in coaching after their careers? And it is not just black players. Jim McMahon, Dan Hampton and Steve McMichael had NO interest in coaching after their careers, and to be honest, none of them would have the capability to be successful coaches, let alone head coaches to get to a super bowl, because it was not a passion or even an interest. Think of the Rooney Rule, the mandate that minorities get an interview for any head coaching position. The fact that this even exists is an example of tokenism. Many well qualified and driven black coaches don't even want to be interviewed because they feel that they are just getting the interview from a team to avoid that team being fined. And, unfortunately, they are correct in many cases. The point I was trying to make is, that Smith and Dungy have done a great job. They are excellent coaches at the highest level of their profession. There are only 32 jobs in the world at this level and they have not only been hired for one of them, they have excelled, by bringing their teams to the pinnacle of the championship. My angst or problem with it is that we have the adjectives, "Black" or "African American" slapped onto their accomplishment. Believe me, it was no less nor greater accomplishment than when Mike Holmgren or Bill Cowher got to the super bowl. I cannot really "relate" to the minority populace that does feel a sense of redemption and accomplishment that their brethren have done a fine job. But obviously, (if you couldn't tell) I am white and have not felt racial slights or oppression of any kind. I just think that if we REALLY want to be considered a nation of equality and forward thinking, dissolve the adjectives and celebrate the accomplishments of the individual regardless of race, creed,. color etc.

posted by Tokens0605 at 05:30 PM on January 22

Noting the achievement of an underrepresented group doesn't create racism -- it repudiates it. Dungy and Smith are breaking down a stereotype that's still strong enough that the NFL must force owners to interview minority candidates. This point, by rcade above, bears repeating, as it seems to me to get right to the heart of why making the racial distinction is valid. Whether or not we think it's worthwhile or necessary to distinguish achievements based on race, it's not going to change the fact that the NFL has a rule that is separating minorities from the the pack. The success of minority hires, I would think, indicates another baby step toward eliminating the need for this rule. I would hope that this Super Bowl will push the issue forward, forcing owners to explore minority hiring in the best interest of their teams' success rather than forcing them to explore it to accomodate a league requirement. That alone makes the distinction significant -- if you want the public to stop isolating them as "black" coaches, you need to get the league to stop doing it first. Anyone who is celebrating this as a great American accomplishment may be missing the point.

posted by BullpenPro at 05:42 PM on January 22

My angst or problem with it is that we have the adjectives, "Black" or "African American" slapped onto their accomplishment. I dont see what the big deal about them being black is. So are you both saying that if Barack Obama is chosen to lead this country, nothing should be made of his being the first black president of the U.S.?

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 05:44 PM on January 22

Anyone who is celebrating this as a great American accomplishment may be missing the point. That is to say, while this is certainly a very good step in the right direction, it is hardly a destination.

posted by BullpenPro at 05:51 PM on January 22

Go get you that ring PEYTON.................

posted by nafsfeihc at 06:21 PM on January 22

Think of the Rooney Rule, the mandate that minorities get an interview for any head coaching position. The fact that this even exists is an example of tokenism. I believe tokenism requires that the owners interview black candidates only to fulfill the requirements, but do not seriously consider the candidates. There has been an increase in the hiring of black coaches since it became a mandate. I don't know if any of the hires are a result of the rule, but the league seems to be heading in the right direction. I just think that if we REALLY want to be considered a nation of equality and forward thinking, dissolve the adjectives and celebrate the accomplishments of the individual regardless of race, creed,. color etc. Sometimes it is harder to do certain things based on your situation in life. It is harder to get into college if your family is poor and no one in your family has ever gone. You flat out have to work harder to get to the same place if you are poor. Why should we pretend like there is a level playing field when there isn't?

posted by bperk at 06:26 PM on January 22

Well, I have to say that after reading through all of the opinions here, I think there are valid points on both sides of this issue. I guess it's not as clear cut as I had previously thought. I think I may have to meditate on this a little to decide where I stand on it. I really do hope, however, that some day the color of someone's skin becomes a moot point. Oh, for that day!

posted by hellamarine at 06:41 PM on January 22

I got a question for ya - who's the first black baseball coach to go to the World Series? Now, if you don't really know it outright (and my guess is most don't) - then I think that speaks relative volumes about this event.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:28 PM on January 22

One other thing . . . Will there be an uproar from the words "First BLACK head coach . . . " Instead of "First AFRICAN AMERICAN coach . . . "? That line written by the media, alone. shows where the race card is being played. Yeah, they (the media) seem to make a big deal about it. I suppose if they didn't, they wouldn't have much else to talk about (other than the game). I don't think there should be an uproar. If you heard Lovie Smith after the game, he mentioned himself as the first 'black' coach. Tony Dungy called himself 'African-American'. I think the bottom line is, you have two very good coaches, regardless of skin color, going to their first Super Bowl. Let's leave it at that.

posted by t money at 08:38 PM on January 22

One other thing . . . Will there be an uproar from the words "First BLACK head coach . . . " Instead of "First AFRICAN AMERICAN coach . . . "? That line written by the media, alone. shows where the race card is being played. Yeah, they (the media) seem to make a big deal about it. I suppose if they didn't, they wouldn't have much else to talk about (other than the game). I don't think there should be an uproar. If you heard Lovie Smith after the game, he mentioned himself as the first 'black' coach. Tony Dungy called himself 'African-American'. I think the bottom line is, you have two very good coaches, regardless of skin color, going to their first Super Bowl. Let's leave it at that.

posted by t money at 08:38 PM on January 22

I got a question for ya - who's the first black baseball coach to go to the World Series? Let's see, Frank Robinson was the first black manager, Cito Gaston was the first to win a World Series (and repeat), which I knew. Without looking it up, I'd have to say Gaston was also the first black manager. I can't think of anyone else between 1975 and 1992 it could be.

posted by t money at 08:54 PM on January 22

'Buck O'Neil was the first black coach in major league baseball. I haven't been able to find who was first to go to, or win the World Series yet.

posted by tommytrump at 10:06 PM on January 22

TT: I wondered the same thing. Best I could come up with before I gave up was Jim Gilliam. Gilliam retired, was hired by the Dodgers as a coach, but then came out of retirement when the team took on some injuries. I haven't found a source that makes it clear whether he was a player/coach or if he dropped the coach title altogether when he returned to the field. It was a pretty cursory search -- I'm sure spending just a bit of time on it would bring better evidence, but I'll go with Gilliam.

posted by BullpenPro at 10:35 PM on January 22

I cannot really "relate" to the minority populace that does feel a sense of redemption and accomplishment that their brethren have done a fine job. But obviously, (if you couldn't tell) I am white and have not felt racial slights or oppression of any kind. I just think that if we REALLY want to be considered a nation of equality and forward thinking, dissolve the adjectives and celebrate the accomplishments of the individual regardless of race, creed,. color etc. If you want a similar but non-racial comparison, you only have to look back in the last 10 years to see how the Canadian media have handled the following events: - Larry Walker wins MLB MVP award - Mike Weir wins The Masters - Steve Nash wins the NBA MVP (twice) In every case, it was all about the "first Canadian to win..." In North American sports (except hockey), Canadians are in the minority when it comes to the top professional ranks. It's purely a numbers game (1/10 the population and talent pool). So when a Canuck achieves a goal that had previously been unattainable (or, in the case of Nash, almost unthinkable), there is/was a sense of Canadian pride that it finally happened. So is it unusual for a "minority" to get excited about one of their own finally reaching a previous unattainable level of success? I don't think so.

posted by grum@work at 11:21 PM on January 22

I agree to a point, grum, but you are talking about a something a little different. Canada is celebrating a Canadian doing well in another country. If they had been black, would that have been part of the headline? Not being Canadian, I am just wondering. It's not quite the same thing, but I understand what you are saying. I also understand why the celebration is happening, I just don't like "the one of their own" statement as it as it insinuates that Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy are not one of my own. Am I not an American? Did I not root for both of them too? After much thought, I am still leaning toward my previous stance: As long as we keep setting people apart by their color, achievement or not, we it never see past it (color). I do understand the celebration of these men being the "first", but when will we have moved forward enough that it is no longer an issue? Will we ever? That I even ask such a thing saddens me beyond belief.

posted by hellamarine at 08:33 AM on January 23

Before I forget ... why the fuck did the Saints suddenly switch up and run the ball only 12 times? Did that make any sense?

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:53 PM on January 23

Fraze, I was wondering the same thing. The only thing I could think ofi s that they were playing from behind the whole game, granted not by much, and felt they had to throw the ball to climb back into it. And that was exactly what they did from two minutes left in the first half and well into the third quarter. I thought for sure once they pulled within two, the Bears were going to get a steady dose of McAllister and Bush. Guess not. (Thank god)

posted by willthrill72 at 08:39 AM on January 24

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