Without collegiate and professional sports, Black people would be deprived of positive images in the United States of America. This statement is beyond contestation and yet, the very instrument that guaranteed integration has the possibility of providing enough evidence to bring the whole idea of Black Run America (BRA) to its knees.
Think back to the movie The Longest Yard (both of them). White males portray the racist prison guards who enjoy beating up the helpless Black inmates. A football game is then organized between the two sides (a white quarterback captains the convict team in both films) and the superior athleticism of the convicts side helps defeat the all-white (thus, inherently evil) guards team.
In the 2005 remake, an immortal line is uttered by Stone Cold Steve Austin’s character (playing a white running back, which not allowed in the NFL or NCAA level) after he rampages for a big gain. After bowling over a Black defensive back, Austin’s character looks down with a dismissive scowl on his face and utters:
“That’s how a white man runs the football”
Rarely has a more revolutionary phrase been stated in a film, for it is a well-known fact that white people must be subservient to Black people in both film and real-life. Also, any form of racial conscious (or even racial acknowledgment) is a sign of mental illness.
But the real crime of this scene and this declaration is that hundreds, thousands, potentially millions of white males might hear this line and fail to laugh. Understanding that college football teams rarely recruit white players for the positions of wide receiver, corner back or the much-heralded position of running back/ tail back, white people might start to ask themselves why that is?
The preponderance of Black males at these positions on the collegiate level and the virtual non-existence of white corners and running backs can mean one of two things: Black people are better athletes when it comes to sports that require fast-twitch movements and quick reaction time or that there is a concerted effort to actively discriminate against capable white players at various positions.
We already know, thanks to the work Richard Lapchick, that the goal of all NFL Franchises is to have every position, coach, towel boy and executive filled by a Black person. Only then will franchises atone for the past inequities against Black people (God-forbid Rush Limbaugh from owning a franchise!).
Though the continued disintegration of the Black family jeopardizes the dominance Black players have in college football, the NFL’s upcoming lockout will have a profound impact on how the casual fan views the league.
College football is quickly becoming whiter (like college basketball) and this is attributable to the horrific lack of academic qualifications of Black high school player s and worse, the high incarceration rates that befall their community.
Those who watched the 2010 Outback Bow l enjoyed a matchup between Northwestern and Auburn University that destroyed the myth of Black supremacy on the football field, as a nearly all-white Wildcat team pushed an athletically-gifted Tiger team (virtually all-Black) to overtime.
This was a far cry from the results of 1970 game between an integrated Southern California and an all-white Alabama team that resulted in the death of Jim Crow in South. This one game helped stop all grievances toward integration and the Southern states capitulated to the demands of Disingenuous White Liberals (DWL) around the country.
Sports, you see, represent the only positive examples from the Black community. Without Black heroes to cheer for such as Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson, Cassius Clay, etc., white people would never, ever have softened their views on race. These men and many others paved the road toward an amicable scenario where white people would inevitably cheer for rosters of nearly all-Black (no Rooney Rule exists for white players).
This façade couldn’t last forever, as cracks begin to show that continue to grow larger with time. Black athletes found themselves running into trouble on campuses and performing woefully in the classroom. Once the same players reached the NFL, trouble seemed to only follow ultimately ensnaring Michael Vick in a scandal he is still trying to recover from. A real-life Willie Beaman, Vick was expected to be the final piece of the puzzle to finish off the slow-footed white quarterbacks and signal the total take-over of the NFL by the Black athlete:
The Vick description occurs because despite time served for whatever crime he committed in a dogfighting scandal, despite community service, and despite a thousand repentances, he never will receive forgiveness by PETA-peddlers (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) nor the millions of Americans who place poodles before humans, especially black homo sapiens.
America, land of the free and home to Native American genocide, slavery, gender persecution, segregation, and a litany of other indiscretions that affected millions, appears hell-bent on repeatedly lynching Vick, retelling his dogfighting connection until he screams Uncle Tom.
All this talk about America turning some invisible corner because 53 percent of Americans elected our first black president is just that — talk.
Race still matters, will always serve as the No. 1 issue in America, because we can’t live without that single controversy that erupts torrents of anger and hate.
Of course race still matters, as Toby Gerhart and Tim Tebow found out in the 2010 NFL Draft. Consult the Doak Walker Award for more evidence that supports that hypothesis. Gerhart, a white running back from Stanford, was the victim of discrimination by NFL scouts who questioned why a white guy would want to run the football at the professional level:
For those who do reach the NFL, the path doesn’t get any easier. In 2003 Brock ForseyForsey went back to the bench, getting only three carries. He never started another NFL game. “It’s hard to tell exactly what happened,” says Forsey, who starred at Boise State and is now an executive at a title and escrow company in Nampa, Idaho. “No one ever said anything about race. But there may be some preconceived notions out there. A white guy from Idaho isn’t what you have in mind when you envision an NFL running back.”
The fact that Black people represent 69 percent of NFL rosters would support the idea that Black people are better athletes, though stories like the one Gerhart faced provide evidence that white players are actively discriminated against.
Perhaps the performance of the Indianapolis Colts offense (nearly all-white and one of the top units in the NFL) vs. the performance of their defense (nearly all-Black and one of the statistical worse in the NFL) provides more evidence of the latter view:
With receiver Pierre Garcon sidelined with an injury, the Colts started and played nine white guys on offense pretty much all day. NFL rosters are nearly 70 percent comprised of African-Americans. What the Colts did was significant.
For a day, the best offense in football was 82 percent white. Austin Collie, Garcon’s replacement, put a clown suit on the Denver secondary with precise route running and nifty moves after the catch. Some practice-squad kid, Blair White, performed a Collie impersonation when Collie was tired.
Peyton Manning is the Larry Bird of this era. I mean that as high, high praise. I’m not accusing Manning or the Colts of any kind of racism. Bill Polian, Jim Caldwell (and Tony Dungy) have surrounded Manning with players who mirror his approach to the game. Race is not the determining factor.
Maybe the play of journeyman white running back Danny Woodhead (two touchdowns for the Patriots in two games) will help provide further evidence to support the discrimination theory:
Although he finished his high school career as the all-time leading rusher in Nebraska Class A history, racking up 4,891 yards over four years at North Platte High, he couldn’t convince any of the big-time programs he could play college football.
He was, after all, a small guy.
Big mistake on their part.
Instead of playing for the Big Red in Lincoln, Woodhead went to Chadron State, where he was wasn’t just the proverbial big fish in a small pond, but a veritable whale — an absolute leviathan, albeit on a Lilliputian scale.
He was virtually unstoppable, putting up numbers that border on the unbelievable.
As a freshman, he rushed for 1,840 yards and 25 touchdowns. He ran for 21 TDs as a sophomore, when he gained 1,769 yards. He racked up — ready for this? — 2,756 rushing yards in 13 games his junior year, when he scored 38 TDs, 34 of them rushing and 4 receiving, as he also caught 45 passes for 403 yards. With defenses stacked to stop him as a senior, he still managed to run for 1,597 yards and 21 TDs on 250 carries — a 6.4-yard average.
Twice, he was voted the winner of the Harlon Hill Trophy, named after the great end for the Bears in the 1950s, who arrived in Chicago via Florence, Ala., Teachers College. What the Heisman Trophy is to Division I, the Hill Trophy is to Division II.
Those numbers did not, however, impress NFL scouts, who tend to regard stats such as height and weight as more important than rushing yards and touchdowns.
So Woodhead went undrafted.
The Jets signed him as a free agent, and he wound up spending his first professional season on the injured reserve list. He got into 10 games last year, plus two playoff games, rushing 15 times, for 64 yards, and catching 8 passes, for 87 yards.
He began this season in New York, appearing in the Jets’ season-opening loss to the Ravens, after which he was waived.
The Patriots promptly picked him up and, although he wasn’t ready to play against his former team in Week Two, his new team needed him after veteran Kevin Faulk, for years a reliable receiver out of the backfield, tore up a knee against the Jets and was lost for the season.
Woodhead was able to learn the offensive playbook in three weeks and execute with tenacity and precision for the Patriots. Jason Campbell, a Black quarterback, has failed to learn playbooks in his six years in the NFL though his failures are constantly excused by commentators for having multiple offensive coordinators.
Attributing his poor play to learning new schemes is not an excuse when a running back must learn multiple blitz pickups, routes and assignments (Woodhead did this in one week, Campbell hasn’t done this in his entire career).
This brings us to an individual who has taken the line from The Longest Yard and made it his mantra, completely blowing apart the idea that Black athletes are more physically gifted in the process: Peyton Hillis. A fullback from Arkansas (playing in the same backfield as two future NFL Top 10 draft picks), Hillis shined in his limited carries and catches out of the backfield. Picked by the Denver Broncos he quickly became a sensation in 2008, compiling the most rushing yards for the team in limited action. In 2009, though a fan favorite, he saw limited carries.
Flash forward to 2010. LeBron James, one of the faces of Black Run America (BRA) leaves Cleveland – a town in economic ruin and abandoned by white flight – departs for Miami and more money, in the process claiming the backlash to his departure was based upon race:
LeBron James blames race for some of the negative backlash to The Decision , the ESPN special where the free agent NBA superstar announced on national TV he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat.
During an interview on CNN Wednesday night, James and adviser Maverick Carter were asked by correspondent Soledad O’Brien if they think race played a role in negative coverage of the show and James’ decision to leave his home state for South Florida. Within a few months of the July 8 special, James’ image was transformed from that of one of the country’s most liked sports figures to the sixth-most disliked, according to a recent study by the Q Scores Company.
“I think so at times. It’s always, you know, a race factor,” said James, according to a CNN transcript (at bottom of link).
Carter said he thought race “definitely played a role in some of the stuff coming out of the media, things that were written for sure.”
Peyton Hillis is traded to Cleveland and quietly competes for the starting running back position, while a Black player for the Washington Redskins complains of being a slave to a contract of $100 million:
Albert Haynesworth said Saturday his $100 million contract doesn’t make him a slave to the Washington Redskins.
In an interview with 106.7 The Fan, the two-time All-Pro defensive tackle said the big paychecks don’t mean he can’t push back when the team asks him to play a different position…
Haynesworth protested by staying away from the team’s offseason conditioning program and practices. He also skipped a mandatory minicamp and was unable to pass the team’s conditioning test until the 10th day of training camp – all despite receiving a $21 million bonus on April 1.
“I guess in this world we don’t have a lot of people with, like, backbones,” Haynesworth said. “Just because somebody pay you money don’t mean they’ll make you do whatever they want or whatever. I mean, does that mean everything is for sale?
Injuries to the Browns backfield give Hillis an opportunity to become the fulltime starter, where he posts back-to-back 100-yard rushing games. Rushing for big numbers by bulldozing over the opposition, many of whom had never even heard of Hillis before he leveled them in route to 144-yards of rushing. Compared to Earl Campbell, Jim Brown and the obligatory evaluations to other white running backs, Hillis kicks down the door denied to white players with each tackle he sheds:
Browns running back Peyton Hillis is drawing some pretty lofty comparisons following his 144-yard outburst against the Ravens last week .
Ravens nose guard Kelly Gregg compared him to Tampa Bay mauler Mike Alstott, a six-time Pro Bowler. NFL Network’s Steve Mariucci likened him to five-time Pro Bowl bruiser Larry Csonka. Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan thought of Csonka and “Earl Campbell, when he was running with those tear-away jerseys.” Others have said Hall of Famer and Super Bowl MVP John Riggins.
“It’s a complete honor to be mentioned in the same breath as those guys,” said Hillis, who has rushed for a TD in each of his first three games. “I’ve always watched stuff from Larry Csonka and John Riggins back in the day, and I watched Mike Alstott growing up. I don’t know if I’m as good as those guys, but I do think the sky’s the limit for me.”
Hillis’ ability can no longer be denied. He runs with the same fire that was evident in the film The Longest Yard , when Stone Cold Steve Austin’s character looks with disdain at a would-be tackler and states definitely:
That’s how a white man runs the football.
For too long, a white guy running with the football has been noticeably absent in the NFL. Allowed to pass the ball and kick the ball (they do block for the ball carriers in higher numbers, as Wonderlic scores point out).
The sight of Hillis running through tackles and de-cleating defensive backs is too much for many people, including a sports writer from Cleveland who labeled him a “knuckle-dragger”:
The modern form is Peyton Manning — yes, the other Peyton — standing erect in the pocket looking downfield to launch a surgical strike.
Hillis? He’s a knuckle dragger from the left side of the chart.
Don’t believe in evolution?
OK, in medical terms, Hillis is a home remedy for what ails the Browns on that side of the ball. What they need to finally join the league’s hale and hearty is a cure.
Look at the names introduced into the conversation after his 144 yards rushing against Baltimore. Mike Alstott. Larry Csonka. John Riggins.
Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan even mentioned Earl Campbell “when he was running with those tear-away jerseys.”
(Earl Campbell? Bartender, since I’m not driving, I’ll have whatever Mr. Ryan is drinking.)
That’s high praise. Those were punishing backs, feared by opponents for good reason.
They also share something else that’s hard to ignore: Yesteryear.
So much of the NFL in 2010 is about air force. Hillis has good hands, just not the speed and moves to make people miss.
Question: would this same sports writer ever call the off-field actions of NFL stars as those performed by troglodytes or “knuckle-draggers“?
If one game (the 1970 Alabama-USC contest) can have such a profound impact on the culture of the United States – converting the South into a inhabitable region in the process – then one player can forceful remove the stereotypes that permeate throughout the playing fields and scouting notebooks: white guys can run the football; white guys can catch passes; white guys are obviously discriminated in the NFL.
Jon Entine once wrote a book called Taboo, which discussed reasons why Black athletes excel in many sports (though swimming was conspicuously absent).The real taboo subject is Black Run America (BRA) and the power it wields in keeping talented white players off of collegiate and professional football fields.
Peyton Hillis’ (and a player like Danny Woodhead) career in the NFL has been a testament to the discrimination leveled at white players. To him, The Longest Yard is not a movie. The longest yard is what he always must strive to attain, playing with a distinct disadvantage: every time he runs the ball, he does so as a white man.
A caste system does exist in sports, starting on the high school level and acting as a glass ceiling on the collegiate fields to what positions white players are allowed to play. In 2010, Peyton Hillis (Woodhead included) have shattered that ceiling and shown to all paying attention that Black Run America’s most preeminent legend is but a myth.
The Longest Yard… has been gained. The systematic discrimination against white athletes in the NFL is so glaringly obvious now, with Hillis and Woodhead dismantling years of stereotypes in 2010 despite the hurdles and impediments placed in their way.