McNabb Coverage

There’s a ton of ground to cover, and I won’t be able to range over nearly all of it, but I thought it worthwhile to sift through some of the more interesting/instructive/infuriating reactions to McNabb’s comments on HBO this past Tuesday night. I may do another post on this, because late last week, some folks started suggesting that McNabb’s comments were essentially the same as Limbaugh’s comments about McNabb a few years ago, and that would require a separate treatment, since this is long already. In any case…

Of course, the comments became a story even before the taped segment aired Tuesday, as portions of the interview were circulated earlier that day. And I don’t have HBO, so I have not seen the conversation between McNabb and James Brown in its entirety. But, among the first segments reported on Tuesday quoted McNabb as saying:

There’s not that many African American quarterbacks, so we have do a little bit extra…Because the perception of us playing this position, which people didn’t want us to play this position, is low so we do a little extra…

Some of the initial reaction I heard, both from Stephen A. and Jim Rome, was quite sympathetic. Appearing on ESPN on Tuesday, Stephen A. said that what was surprising about McNabb’s comments was not the content of what he said but that he made them at all:

There’s hundreds of African American athletes that have articulated that position to me over the years. When you look at Donovan McNabb, you have to understand that he is a Black man, and a proud Black man, not just an NFL quarterback, and who knows what kind of experiences would accentuate and punctuate the positions he has.

On ESPN’s website Friday, Jeffrey Chadiha said much the same thing:

Not only has the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback been one of the most criticized Pro Bowl-level signal-callers in history, he’s also been the one least willing to speak up for himself. He’s turned the other cheek when attacked. He’s remained quiet in the face of controversy. But now, for some strange reason, he’s opting for a different approach to his public relations….McNabb obviously isn’t going to let his silence define him any longer. You could see that in his interview with James Brown of “Real Sports.” Though much already has been made about his racially charged comments — that black quarterbacks have to do more to succeed than white quarterbacks and that black signal-callers also face more criticism than their white counterparts — the more important issue is that McNabb felt comfortable saying those things. In years past, he wouldn’t have come close to airing such provocative thoughts. Now it’s apparent he likes the idea of stirring the pot. A lot.

Rome began his Tuesday Rome is Burning show by repeating McNabb’s remarks about Carson Palmer and Peyton Manning:

Let me start by saying that I love those guys. But, they don’t get criticized as much as we do. They don’t.

Rome started his take by pointing out that Manning took a lot of heat, over many years, “rapped his entire career as a guy who just could not win the big one.” And, Rome said, part of the reason why Palmer may not get the same heat as McNabb “may be the color of his skin and part of that may be that ‘Nati is not nearly as tough a town as Philly is.”

But, Rome continued:

All that said, Mac is right – African American quarterbacks probably do have to deal with certain things that their white counterparts do not have to do deal with. Why would playing QB in the NFL be any different than society as a whole. Look, we’ve come a long way, but the media and fans are not color-blind to the guys who play the position, just as we’re not color blind as a society overall. We’re just not.

And, apparently anticipating some of the cruder distortions of McNabb’s comments still to come, Rome pointed out that:

…nobody’s saying that he gets heat just because he’s African American. But, if what he’s saying is, he just gets a little extra because of the color of his skin, I have no doubt that he does.

And, in the Wednesday press conference at which McNabb was peppered to clarify his remarks, the Eagles’ signal caller made exactly that point – that, yes, of course, all QBs, Black and White get heat. It’s just a little different for Blacks.

One of Rome’s guests on last Tuesday’s show, ESPN the Magazine’s Tom Friend was among those who strongly disagreed with McNabb:

All quarterbacks are held to a high standard. I don’t think this is the right time for him to say this kind of stuff, because really I think this is the time that he’s going to be out of Philly real soon….He’s let Philadelphia down in my mind. He did not have a good Super Bowl.

Notably, in response to Friend, Rome took pains to re-emphasize what he believed was the proper nuance for understanding McNabb’s comments. After noting that he’d like to see the “whole interview in its context,” Rome reiterated that “I don’t think he’s saying that he gets criticized exclusively based on the color of his skin, I think what he’s saying is that ‘when I get that criticism, I get a little extra.” And, Friend’s comments might be a good example of that, which we’ll come back to.

That evening on ESPNews and ESPN’s NFL live (or NFL now, or whatever it is), former Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ QB Shawn King was asked the question. King said, first, that McNabb had earned a lot of respect around the league because of his accomplishments, including his several trips to the pro bowl (he’s had five), his four NFC title game appearances and his Super Bowl apperance and pointed out that “he’s a guy who, after all those accomplishments, still isn’t listed among the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and he should be.”

It’s worth mentioning here that one of the common rejoinders to McNabb this past week has been not only the comment that all quarterbacks get criticized, as Friend said above, but that particular quarterbacks have gotten at least as much criticism as McNabb. The two most common examples I’ve heard, including from Colin Cowherd, in this line of thinking have been Joey Harrington and, especially, Rex Grossman. But using those two as arguments against Mcbabb’s remarks are really making his case for him. Including the first two games of this season, McNabb’s career passer rating has been about 85 and, in addition, he’s been an excellent runner. He’s had two seasons over 95, a mark of an outstanding season, including his terrific 2004 campaign, when he threw 31 touchdowns against 8 interceptions, completed 64% of his passes and averaged over eight yards an attempt, for a QB rating of 104.7. For his career, McNabb has thrown more than two touchdowns for every interception. Grossman and Harrington have been in the league for much briefer periods, but how have they done so far? Grossman has played in 26 games so far, with a career passer rating of 71.1. He’s completed 54% of his passes and thrown one more interception than touchdown.

Of course he’s still young and might still develop – but doesn’t this prove King and McNabb’s point – that critics of McNabb’s comments think that he’s wrong because, after all, Rex Grossman’s endured a lot of criticism, too, notwithstanding the fact that McNabb has played at a very high level throughout his NFL career, with an already impressive body of work, and Rex Grossman has been, so far, an undeniably below average player?

And, lumping Harrington in this discussion is, frankly, even more insulting. In 71 career games, Harrington’s rating is below 70, he’s thrown more touchdowns than interceptions and has averaged fewer than six yards per attempt, a pathetic total.

Being criticized for sucking is to be expected in sports. Being criticized for not being good enough, or for being disappointed, even when one is already very good is not the exclusive province of black athletes of course. But, as I mentioned last week in connection with Darryl Strawberry, this sort of complaint seems especially to trail African American players. One of McNabb’s points was precisely this – that even if he has a big game, people say he could have done more than he did. McNabb’s statements are hard to quantify, and maybe he’s wrong. But, he’s was fairly specific and quite careful about what he said, and many of the responses to him failed to confront the things he actually said, opting instead for gross oversimplifications of his remarks and responding in ways that clearly missed his main points.

Returning to King for a moment, he made another observation that very closely paralleled remarks that I quoted Jimmy Rollins on in the same post in which I mentioned Strawberry. King said that black quarterbacks had made great strides in the NFL thanks to pioneers like Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham and Doug Williams, which has made it “alot easier for African Americans players to play this position.”

However, King continued:

If he’s the right height, the right arm strength and the right mental make-up he gets the opportunity. But, I think when you move beyond the starting quarterback position and you look at the second and third string jobs in the National Football League, there’s still a huge disparity as far as African Americans holding those positions.

Later that night, with Trey Wingo and Mark Schlereth, King put the point a little more forcefully:

Are we (black quarterbacks) viewed in a different light? I think our whole body of work is viewed in a different light. If you’re an African American quarterback and you’ve got perfect height, perfect size, perfect arm strength, unbelievable athletic ability, you’re given an opportunity…but, there’s not a lot of African American quarterbacks who are allowed to wait and develop and become the players they could become if given time.

King’s partners Wingo and Schlereth seemed uninterested in responding directly to King’s comments. Wingo said the interesting thing about McNabb was that he always seemed to be around controversy, recounting the Rush Limbaugh episode and the business with T.O. and now this, implying that McNabb’s statements are suspect because he’s been such a controversial guy. As an aside, Dwil’s remarks Friday about McNabb are well born out here – McNabb’s been very careful to say the right thing and project the right image throughout his career (until now), and it appears to have bought him little to no latitude or credibility with the mainstream media.

Like Wingo, Schlereth pointed out that even Peyton Manning was criticized for not being able to win the big one until this past season, despite an incredible “body of work”, and I’d say there’s little denying that. Manning has already put together a history making career and, nevertheless, had a cloud hanging over all of his accomplishments until February. But, both Schlereth and Wingo concluded the segment without directly addressing King’s comments, instead opting for the banal observation that the quarterback position is a high profile one that comes with a lot of praise and a lot of criticism.

One of the striking aspects of the discussion that has followed McNabb’s remarks is that they generated as much commentary as they did. Anytime race is raised in sports media, it tends to be an issue, so it shouldn’t be surprising that McNabb’s comments prompted plenty of commentary. But, the remarks themselves, as well as McNabb’s subsequent clarifications are not exactly the stuff of social revolution, as Dwil pointed out last week. Obviously not everyone agrees with him, but it seems to me that the responses to McNabb, including many heated and angry ones (a couple of which I’ll get to in a minute) demonstrate what a tight rope African Americans walk when they actually say what many of them clearly experience every day of their lives – that they’re “playing the race card” anytime they suggest that race might be a factor in any but the most obvious and overtly racist incidents.

In the Philadelphia Inquirer last week, David Aldridge (himself not typically a firebrand) spoke to this issue:

Donovan McNabb is not the one obsessed with race.

You are.

Your reaction to two minutes of an interview he gave to HBO on Aug. 31 – and which aired Tuesday – proves his point.

Most black folks, save the careerists who make a living fanning racial flames, don’t spend their days and nights thinking about their color and how their lives are different because of it. It’s a fact of life, like “the sun rises in the east” or “the Phillies have no bullpen.”

But if they’re asked about it, they don’t lie, either. Then they move on.

You don’t.

For some reason, you are compelled to call the radio station, e-mail the newspaper and vote in the online poll, expressing your outrage that someone, as you so often put it, played the race card.

Like Rome, King Kaufman at sees McNabb’s comments in the light of broader biases, and offers a little cross-border perspective to make the point:

If it sounds like McNabb is crying just because things haven’t been going well lately, listen to Damon Allen, Marcus’ brother, who’s been playing quarterback in the CFL since 1985 for Edmonton, Ottawa, Hamilton, Memphis — don’t ask — British Columbia and, most recently, the Toronto Argonauts. He’s the CFL’s all-time leading passer and its third-leading rusher. Before the 1993 Grey Cup game, he made comments similar to McNabb’s about how black quarterbacks were judged by a harsher standard.

In Wednesday’s Toronto Sun, Adam Rita, the Argos’ general manager, laid into the team following a 40-7 loss to the B.C. Lions in Vancouver, and he said that Allen might not return when he becomes eligible to play in the last two weeks of the year.

“The jury is still out,” Rita said. “We have to move on. We as an organization have been stunted because of him being our No. 1 quarterback (for so long).”

In other words, even though Allen’s been injured, it’s his fault that the Argos are struggling because he’s been too good to replace for too long, and that’s somehow kept the team from moving forward. Or something.

Nah, black quarterbacks don’t come in for any extra criticism.

Play the way McNabb’s played so far this year, and you’re going to get hammered, and rightly so. Ask any number of white quarterbacks over the years who have gotten an earhole full. But that doesn’t mean that assessment of NFL quarterbacks is the one corner of American life where society is colorblind. It isn’t.

As noted, Kaufman wrote this before McNabb’s huge game yesterday, but he’s got this about right in my estimation.

One other guy I wanted to cover was Colin Cowherd. On Friday morning, Cowherd attacked McNabb’s comments, claiming that McNabb had built up years of credibility but thrown it all away by making the remarks he did last week. This is an extraordinary statement – that for eight years, in Cowherd’s view, McNabb’s been an exemplary, don’t-stir-the-pot guy, and he makes one set of remarks about race (and, as I’ve been discussing throughout this post, quite careful ones at that), and he’s blown ALL of his credibility. Are there white athletes who walk that kind of tight rope?

Cowherd was especially intent on debunking statements McNabb made about Black quarterbacks getting certain kinds of reputations , particularly as running QBs. In this connection, at the Wednesday press conference, McNabb mentioned Steve Young and Jake Plummer. Cowherd slammed McNabb by comparing Young to Michael Vick in order to prove the point that McNabb was wrong to characterize Young as a running quarterback.

Cowhered’s key evidence – that in the prime of Young’s career (not defined) – Young averaged 3500 yards a year passing and 320 yards rushing. By contrast, Vick has averaged 2300 yards passing and 850 rushing. This proved, Cowherd argued, that Young was a passer and Vick was a runner and that Vick did not show the judgment that Young did as a field general.

What’s wrong with this argument as a rejoinder to McNabb? Let me count the ways:

1) no one on the planet would deny that Vick was a running QB. He’s historic in that regard. Saying Young is not a runner because he runs less than Vick is roughly akin to saying that if you’re not as much of a home run hitter as Babe Ruth, you’re not a homerun hitter.

2) Cowherd’s use of data is deeply flawed. If the heart of evaluating a running QB is his decision-making process, the real question is – how often does a QB pass, compared to how often he runs? We know Young was a great passer and that Vick is not. We also know, though Cowherd completely ignores this point, that in Young’s prime, he was throwing to the greatest receiver of all-time. Is there any doubt that Vick’s stats, and propensity to throw, would be different if he were throwing to the likes of Rice, rather than the likes of Peerless Price? But, more to the point, what do the data tell us about the decision of the two men to pass or run?

I looked at Young’s first six years since that’s how many years Vick spent in the league. It’s true that Young was only a part-time player in those years, the first two of which were with Tampa Bay. But, if part of the point Cowherd was making was decision-making, I think we can assume that quarterbacks will change how often they run over the course of their careers, become more pass-oriented and less run-oriented as they grow older. Comparing a 12th year Steve Young to a fifth year Michael Vick misses this important point. Furthermore, McNabb’s point was not to say that it’s wrong to call blacks running QBs. Rather it was to note that white QBs are less likely to get that label even when they are runners.

In Young’s first six seasons, he threw 825 passes and ran 220 times, meaning he ran once for about every 3.7 times he threw. Cowherd argued that Young passed 10 times as much as he ran, but this is bullshit, because he used yardage rather than attempts, and the latter is the obvious measure of judgment and propensity. In Vick’s six seasons in the NFL, he threw 1730 passes and ran 527 times. So, for every rushing attempt by Vick, he threw about 3.3 times.

In other words, in their first six seasons, Steve Young and Michael Vick were almost identical in their inclination to put the ball down and run with it, notwithstanding the fact that Young, once he arrived in Frisco, was throwing to some of the great weapons of all time.

Again, there is no denying what a prolific and run-inclined QB Vick has been. But, given that Vick was not a great passer, and had crappy receivers, and has been a historically good runner (and has averaged well over seven yards an attempt, good for a passer, let alone a runner), this does not obviously qualify as bad or impulsive decision-making. But, more significantly, Young was almost as inclined as Vick to run at a similar point in his career. If Cowherd was trying to prove that McNabb’s was right, he couldn’t have done a better job than to have made the comparison he did – his attempt to fudge the numbers notwithstanding.

Cowherd closed that segment with a classic, arguing that “every NFL quarterback has exactly the reputation he deserves.”

You know, like arguing that Steve Young was not a running quarterback.


66 Responses to “McNabb Coverage”

  1. This is a great article which outlines exactly what I tried to explain to someone. The heartbreaking irony of 24hr “news” and “sports” is that even though there are hours of airtime to fill, there is less and less content. It took an article of this length to get the nuance out, yet because it’s not media friendly, all you saw on TV was: “McNabb loses two games, then whines that people are picking on him only because he is black”. Talking heads yell about it for 30 secs, loop 10 more times.

    I wish I could spam paste this link 1,000 times into every single retarded redneck blog post and reply. Alas, their minds are already made up anyways. Hilarious that the reaction to DMac proved his point. But of course, they are too wrapped up in the hypocrisy to notice.

  2. Great piece J,
    I too noticed that the comparisons of criticism of McNabb vs Grossman and Harrison completely proved his point.

  3. J-Dubb

    Another outstanding piece. I absolutely love how you debunk that idiot Cowherd. He’s about as ignorant, bufoonish and boorish as they come. I’d love to see the blowhard actually have someone on his show who points out to the whiny piece of trash what you did here. As a matter of fact, I think I’ll just email the prick the pertinant parts of your excellent article.

  4. The fact that the Starting Five are not on primetime TV tonight making millions is proof in itself of racism. This is the best sports coverage on any medium by a mile, and I mean a mile.

  5. JG #4

    And it’s not just the primaries. And believe me, these guys are amazing. It’s also the posters. the collective knowledge, wisdom, intelligence and soul here is amazing. I’m tellin’ you folks, enjoy this while it lasts. It’s not likely to be this good again.

  6. Fellas thanks for your contribution to what is real. Trust we will do everything in our power to keep it hot.

    J good work as usual. I’m a Philly fan so I haven’t said much on DNabb to remain objective.

    I wonder if people start calling for the head (pun of course) of Drew Brees if they happen to lose tonight.

    Vince Young is the truth. His presence is something to behold.

  7. Yeah, VC is the LeBron James of the NFL. The most potential in a football player I’ve ever seen. Looks like the young man wants to fufill every bit of it.

  8. This is real, great article…. I can’t stress that enough.

    Sorry to get off topic, but to follow the last two posers, Vince Young is definitely the truth, he reminds me of Michael Vick could have been like if several factors would have worked in his favor (solid coaching, not having a new offensive scheme every year, etc).

  9. Great job… and great coverage at this site all week long.

  10. Excellent run down, JW.

    Can someone, anyone, explain why Colin Cowherd is forced upon us? He’s not insightful, he’s not even funny. He’s the stereotypical, bloviating sports talk show host.

  11. j:

    nice stuff. just a couple of things.

    re: McNabb’s comments, you wrote: “McNabb’s statements are hard to quantify, and maybe he’s wrong.” In actuality, his statements are not hard to quantify and he’s not wrong (as you demonstrated in your article). In fact, the quantification of McNabb’s comments (and more broadly, the quantification of Media in Service to White Supremacy) is an excellent project for middle school and high school age students interested in statistics, journalism, sports, law, debating, and a host of other topics.

    Also, with respect to the question of Black QBs with reserve roles in the league, we had the exact same discussion here a few months ago. There was a disgusting level of animus from many of the various uninformed white posters – and Friedman pulled a Cowherd by falsifying information about the productivity of Kordell Stewart. It’s all the same. All that changes are the names. Shaun King was right. McNabb was right…and it’s still beside the point because like DA said, “the sun rises in the East” – and white supremacy is a beast that must feed.

    Love the piece on Young/Vick. One of the fables of the NFL is that running/mobile QBs have not been successful at the highest levels. It’s time to tear that down – but that’s for another time.

  12. T3

    Fair enough on quantifying the phenomenon. I guess I was thinking that McNabb didn’t put it in “hard” terms, which made his comments somewhat of a moving target for folks who wanted to respond with non-sequiturs.

    On successful running QBs, I agree, and it’s no insult to Steve Young to say that he was a running quarterback. It’s just a statement of fact especially the first half of his career.

  13. Sorry to hijack again. But well, you know and all……..

    I’m callin’ it here first. ABSOLUTELY NO WAY will there be a verdict for the plaintiff in this trial. There are far too many holes in their story and even with a lower level of proof required compared to a criminal trial, the defense is killin’ them.

  14. JDub,

    Whoa, you killed the piece with surgical precision. As Jay Goob said, the fact that you dudes don’t have a mass public forum (TV or radio) is a sin… I am sooo glad I found this place.

  15. What a difference a week makes, huh? Now that McNabb and the Eagles ran the Detroit Lions off the field on Sunday all that he talked about was just hot air that detracted from what he and his team needed to do on the field, right? Yeah, right. I wasn’t blown away but I was still disappointed in guys like Terry Bradshaw and Mike Ditka saying bluntly that McNabb should just have kept his mouth shut whenever the subject of race comes up. I would love to hear what they would say if I brought up Joe Gilliam and John Mackey then and why those two guys are not as well known as their two peers. It wasn’t because of talent because from all accounts Gilliam and Mackey outstripped their paler peers for days. No, it was because these men were Black where one, Gilliam, was ahead of his time in playing a position the sports society wasn’t ready to see him in and another actually stood up for all of his colleagues no matter his race, Mackey, and was blackballed for it even though he could have easily said it was not his fight (had to take the VY shot). As Dr. West would say, “Race matters” and you’re either a venal hypocrite or foolish Pollyana to to believe differently.

    To the critics who say that all QB’s face intense scrutiny, I would respond then name me a QB past or present who’s accomplished as much as McNabb who has been raked over the coals so consistently who’s not Black? Bradshaw? Kelly? Yeah, I thought so. Like Aldridge wrote, it does a disservice to McNabb to compare him to the likes of Grossman and Harrington because they haven’t acheived a third of what he has in this league. Compare apples to apples with some level of honesty.

    As much as I love the Eagles on the field and McNabb believe me it would not break me up too much to see him playing some where else next season. He’s never going to get the respect due to him in a city that lauds a fictional character than a living, breathing treasure.

  16. Speaking of Black QB’s and criticism… did anyone read this article about OK State QB Bobby Reid?

    And then see the press conference thatCoach Mike Gundy had???

    My guess is probably not? I only saw it mentioned on Good Morning America this morning. Why didnt the WWL re-air the press conference and speak to the piece written by Ms. Carlson which totally trashes a college student? And why are womens groups and writers attacking the coach for standing up for his player?

    But McNabb didn’t have a point at all, he just made it all up in his head.

  17. Aone-
    Saw it and read and saved to “Favorites” the Carlson column…. and yeah, ESPN talked about it yesterday afternoon and again last night…

    It’s not the first time a college coach has said this about a reporter or columnist, which is probably why women’s groups aren’t getting involved. And writers? Those who never, ever attacked a college player in any form or fashion can say something. And I wonder how many writers can say that (real question, because some writers say they do not and will not go after college athletes, but I’ve never kept track of them)?

    And McNabb-Reid and other black QBs?…. Ms. Carlson has some ‘splainin’ to do.

  18. Great post Jeweiler.

    Especially this comment

    “McNabb’s been very careful to say the right thing and project the right image throughout his career (until now), and it appears to have bought him little to no latitude or credibility with the mainstream media”

    “Obviously not everyone agrees with him, but it seems to me that the responses to McNabb, including many heated and angry ones (a couple of which I’ll get to in a minute) demonstrate what a tight rope African Americans walk when they actually say what many of them clearly experience every day of their lives – that they’re “playing the race card” anytime they suggest that race might be a factor in any but the most obvious and overtly racist incidents.”

    You put it down man.

  19. Yeah I saw that aone……….glad that coach got in that writers @ss.

    Wish more coaches had the guts to stick up to the media punk butts.

    Anyway do you think USC’s coach will stick up for Mayo when the machine comes for him this year???

  20. Dwil,

    The Association for Women in Sports Media had condemmed Gundy’s reaction

    Then there’s this article in the Chicago Suntimes by Carol Slesak (weren’t they the monsters that chased Chukka on the Land of the Lost?) calling Gundy out of bounds for defending Reid.,CST-SPT-carol25.article

    According to Slesak, the fact that you recieve as athletic college scholarship makes your character fair game in the media.

  21. KevDog:

    If this is Decker, Steph was sckr8 slummmin’.
    I ain’t even gon say nuthin’ else.


    I was asleep on the couch – waiting for the late night feeding – and I heard Gundy going OFF. He was so fired up, it woke me up. I listened to the entire thing. Now that I’ve read the article, I see where he was coming from. This reporter clearly has inside sources and with respect to the “facts” there will be no concessions made by the paper or the reporter. The press conference was re-aired. I saw it twice. It will probably be looped all day on the various stations. This morning, they also added an extended quote from the reporter.

    As for personal immersion in a classic white supremacist diatribe – what else is new? White supremacy is a powerful insidious value system which is thoroughly dehumanizing to those under its spell. When the Honorable Elijah Muhammad talked about devils, his extended metaphor captured the “soul” of the soulless. Gundy’s ire was appropriate – and when I heard it, I had a question.

    Before I knew he was directing his rage at a female reporter, I felt something was different – and I immediately wondered to whom he was speaking. I missed the very beginning of the conference – so he was raging by the time I caught it. Football coaches are pretty at giving folks the wrath – but I wonder if he uses the same fire if the object of his rage was male – or even an older male with deeper community roots.

    With that said, I give two shits about Gundy, the reporter or OSU. My primary concern would be for the student, his family and the circle of associates that will shape his future in the short and long term.

    All that need be done now is to add young Jenni Carlson to Loki’s List of White Supremacist Journalists Serving the Norse God by Denigrating Nigras and Non-Whites the World Over. The list is long, but there’s a bit of room for Jenni – at the bottom.

    J Weil:

    Your research on Steve Young inspired me to look at about 30 QBs and to calculate the PASS:RUN ratios. Some interesting stuff. I may post it later over at my site. I need to do a bit more digging – but I’m coming up with a new theory on the position. Thanks for the inspiration. Good shit, sun!!

  22. This has been an ongoing conversation here it seems.

    Read two other things on it today, one was Peter King:

    ‘One point, and one point only: Enough. If McNabb thinks he’s helping himself by blogging and talking about this again, he’s mistaken.’

    Sounds like a ‘shut up, bitch’ to me.

    And another was Vince Young’s interview after the game where he doesn’t want to be known as a mobile quarterback, and the he wants to be known as just a QB. Sounds like even though he didn’t stand up and support Donovan that he still feels the same way.

  23. Yeah GMP he tells Mcnabb to shut up. Yet the MSWM is teh one that keeps bringing it up. King is a prick along with the rest of the fools.

  24. GMP

    VY’s comments after the game caught my attention, too. I had the distinct impression he was very much speaking to the point McNabb had raised, though he didn’t say so.

  25. Jweiler

    You consistently write informative and entertaining articles that I can use to debunk racist people who engage in discussions with me about sports. Thank you.

    The column about the kid in OK is bad mainly because the reporter makes guesses about the kid’s character based mainly on shady inside sources and without any type of firsthand information. She then spouts that nonsense about “character” to the public. This is despite the fact that the kid has done nothing wrong. No problems with the law, no mouthing off to the coaches, nothing. To me, that’s irresponsible regardless of who you are talking about.

    And I’m still trying to figure out how his mother feeding him chicken related to his benching.

  26. Just read Peter King’s column. He took some questions from his mailbag about his McNabb comments. He treated them like they were nothing and said there is no proof that McNabb has been treated differently.

    I’m going to need somebody from TSF to forward him one of your illuminating posts outlining exactly how different McNabb has been treated compared to say, Dree Brees this year and Carson Palmer the year after his knee injury. Thank you.

  27. He11 Allen king is a fat liar and he knows it. You see how they were making every excuse for Brees crappy play this year. Even when he had protection last night he was throwing crappy passes. This dude has a top 5 offense before McCalister went down last night. No excuse for his play period. Yet all you hear is they won’t blcok for him….they won’t run. The WR won’t catch. Yet Mcnabb black @ss gets…..N@#$a you suck bring in Kolb.

    Bulls@#$ plan and simple.

    And people have the nerve to even consider Brees a better QB then Mcnabb. He11 Brees really didn’t do crap until last year. And even then he had the best RB in the league and the 2nd best TE.

    400 years of double standards and counting.

  28. Yeah Temple I should have put arguably the best TE. But I was thinking some folks still consider Tony G in KC to be the best.

  29. A very well written piece. It’s a shame it’s so hard to find quality writing like this on sensitive issues. Most of the media would rather brush it off and turn it into a joke, because it’s easier than actually thinking about it.

    To add to your fine analysis, I (and thousands of other Philadelphians) could list countless anecdotes about people either criticizing McNabb’s race in well-established racial code (ie – “A guy like Garcia or Feeley, he’s just more cerebral and more driven, the kind of guy you like to root for, but McNabb’s just a natural athlete who doesn’t take the game seriously”) or blatantly, openly attacking him with racial slurs. The upper levels at the Linc (and, previously, the Vet) were filled with morons who would yell any offensive racial slur they could think at McNabb.

  30. colin cowherd once said nba players are lazy, that new orleans should not be rebuilt..

  31. anyone that has ever watched the O’Reilly Show or seen the comments he made recently know that racism is alive and well in this nation

  32. True chris and I wonder did O’Reilly get any food stains on his White Sheet when he ate at sylvia’s.

  33. Well said. I think the other key to McNabb’s answer is how he answered the question – mainly, he never came out and cried racism concerning the discussion of African-American quarterbacks, he simply answered that he believes that they’re held to a different set of standards. In McNabb’s case, he’s seen critics, white and black alike, play the race card in their critiques of his play. Limbaugh is the commonly cited precedent, but many leave out the controversial comments made by Philly NCAAP head Mondesire.

    Anyway, I delve into THAT little tidbit here (though not in the same level of detail as you):

  34. If only more people (if any) in the mainstream media argued their points with the same level of proof as seen here let alone the understanding of the nuances of McNabb’s comments.

  35. Origin-

    Brees had his first ‘good’ year in 04, which was Gates second year, and his ‘breakout’ year. ’05 Brees also had a good year until the last game of the season when he hurt his shoulder. Chargers took the chance to drop him and go into ’06 with Rivers as undisputed starter (3rd year, his arrival coincided with Brees becoming effective). Now last year Brees had an even better year than he did with the Chargers as he had better deep threats and was finally throwing the ball downfield (something the Chargers just can’t/won’t do).

    Just wanted to clarify some things on Brees. That boy has been through some stuff in his career as well. Definitely not a silver spoon in his mouth.

  36. Tell Drew Go Blue! 😉

    Like I mentioned earlier, the media better come down hard on Brees.

    No excuses.

  37. Dree Brees struggled early in his career, just like he struggled at times at Purdue.

    His lack of height makes him much more dependent on line protection because he needs better protection to find his sight lanes and make his throws. His arm strength is good, but not great, however he is very accurate if not bothered by pressure.

    However, last year he was the Lord God incarnate for turning around New Orleans. This year he already has more picks than Rex Grossman. Carson Palmer and Dree Brees have struggled in back to back years with little howling from the mainstream media. This is what McNabb is talking about. Instead of commentators saying “Get it together” they’re asking “What might be wrong.”

  38. Exactly Allen. We’ll see how Drew responds to the firestorm that may or may not be shouted his way.

  39. I agree that the media is harsh on McNabb, and I’ve made various posts agreeing with that. Just feel it is bad that in order for it to be ‘equal’, a witch hunt on another guy needs to go down. Would be nice if in order for it to be equal, they’d both be given the freedom to work their way out of the funk without a media witch hunt.

    Brees whole time in SD was pretty contentious. He’d get a game or a quarter then get yanked for Flutie. His line sucked, I mean, they really sucked, trust me. Then before he had a real shot to prove himself Rivers gets drafted and then the whole city is waiting for him to fail to see what Rivers can do. The whole fan base during the Brees years was divided on Brees v. Flutie, then Brees v. Rivers.

    I’m no hardcore Brees fan, just pointing out this guy has had plenty of doubt thrown at him his whole career. Was hoping he’d gotten beyond that at this point.

  40. GMP, I agree.

    Brees struggled with a lot of factors, although his situation was no more tough than McNabb’s. They both had adversity, one has handled it better throughout his career and gotten kicked for it.

    If people are kicking I want everybody kicked.

  41. GMP I know the kids story and know about 04, 05 and 06.

    I was stating his success in terms of playoffs. The one year he did make the playoffs with SD he was one and done.

    He was never successful until last year.

    Yeah he has been through some stuff. But he hasn’t even accomplished half the stuff mcnabb has.

  42. I love how the season is 3 weeks old and the murdering of Drew Brees and Carson Palmer has begun because of comments that put the attention of some simple minded few on QBs that don’t have the “resume” that Donovan McNabb has. McNabb has 1 good game out of 3, and Brees is 0 for 3 and all of the sudden it’s the media’s fault for not calling Brees to the carpet instead of McNabb? HA!

    Cite a source clamoring for Kevin Kolb to start in Philly, and I’ll believe half the drivel some of you are spewing regarding the kid (oops! or white?) gloves that the media are using when describing the play of Drew Brees and Carson Palmer.

  43. Boney your comments are confusing in the least and laughable at best.

  44. Boney

    You have to be bullshitting.

    Last year Carson Palmer struggled the entire season on his surgically repaired knee and didn’t get half the criticism and hatred that McNabb got before he even made his comments about black QBs. If you didn’t see that, than eff you.

    And if you haven’t noticed that nobody is questioning whether Dree Brees still “has it” or is reaming him for failing to live up to expectations, than eff you again.

    Cause it’s BS. If you watch ESPN, read ESPN, read SI and you haven’t noticed the difference in how the struggles of individual players are chronicled, then you don’t want to see it. If you can’t see how Favre has been fawned over for the past four years, despite only truly playing well this year, well then you don’t want to see it.

    Come on, Randall Cunnigham had boatloads more skill than Rich Gannon and couldn’t get half the shots Gannon got to hang around the league. Has Kelly Holcomb really proven to be that much better of a quarterback than Shaun King?

    But, if you think we’re whining and carping over nothing that’s because you want to think that. Everytime somebody brings up a legitimate problem on this site your response is “Why do you care so much, it’s only sports?”
    Well why do you keep responding to our stupid comments if you find them so idiotic?

  45. It’s good to see the Psychopathic Racial Personality continuing unabated. Go Boney, it’s your birthday.

  46. Wow! A lot was written about the McNabb comment. Why would he make such a statement in the first place? He wasn’t judged by his color when he was awarded that $85M contract and made the franchise player of the Eagles. It only matters what the fans in Philly think. They could care less if you are white, black or green. As long as you perform, thats all that matters. True, his expectations are high, he needs to perform in the playoffs. He needs to stay healthy and he needs to put the Eagles into and win the superbowl. Other than that, he is no different than anyone else. As a Philly fan for the last 60 years, God himself would be critically judged when the big one eludes such a good solid team for the last 5 years.

  47. Bryd…sigh…do you honestly believe that the Eagles have had the best team in the NFL over the last five years?

  48. First time I’ve ever been to the site, but the article was brilliant, and I felt compelled to reinforce that. As a Philly fan, I find it ridiculous that every time the Eagles lose consecutive games, for whatever reason, AJ Feeley becomes the preferable option. Did I say ridiculous? I meant naseous.

  49. You have to be bullshitting. Last year Carson Palmer struggled the entire season on his surgically repaired knee

    Irony, thy name is Allen. Who’s bullshitting now? Palmer, he of the 4,000 yards, 28 TD, 62% completion rate year? Right.

    Can any of you at least cite one shred of evidence, one fact to back up your “racism” claims that McNabb has been treated unfairly?

    I do find it hilarious how in your attempts to “level” the playing field, you find it in your best interest to demean white players: Drew Brees sucks! Kelly Holcombe doesn’t deserve a job! Does this not make you just as worse as the people you’re criticizing?

    Shit flows both ways: Imus uttered two naught words and I thought the apocalypse was upon us, given the reaction from ESPN and this site as well. Isiah Thomas make a remark re: calling women bitches (it’s okay for black people to say!), and not a peep.

  50. “He wasn’t judged by his color when he was awarded that $85M contract and made the franchise player of the Eagles.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t this article about the MEDIA’s treatment of McNabb, not Phile management. And for those who keep claiming that his criticism is simply a product of playing in Phile, how exactly would that explain the NATIONAL media coverage that has nothing to do with Phile.

    J, this article was excellent and went to great lengths to dissect through all of the various BS. The only shame of your article is that I am convinced that it went unread by the critic commenters on this board, who undoubtedly went straight to the comments section to boldly state their comfortably uninformed opinion.

    Cowherd’s last line that “every quarterback has exactly the reputation he deserves” is so incredibly ignorant that he should be fired from his job. What a great idea, let’s eliminate all discussions of bias off the batwith retarded blanket statements about the world being a just one.

  51. Friedman you say “Imus uttered two naughty words…”… here are a few “shreds of evidence” that you are completely full of shit. Let the Imus laundry list begin.

    — On CBS News’ 60 Minutes he admitted, that he’d once told a colleague he hired producer Bernard McGuirk to tell “nigger” jokes. (“That was an off-the-record conversation,” Imus protested to Mike Wallace.)

    — “Boner-nosed … beanie-wearing Jewboy.” (Description of Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post, a frequent guest.)

    — “Knuckle-dragging moron.” (Description of basketball player Patrick Ewing.)

    — “Chest-thumping pimps.” (Description of the New York Knicks.)

    — “A quota hire” (Description of sports columnist William C. Rhoden)

    — “William Cohen, the Mandingo deal.” (Former Defense Secretary Cohen’s wife is African-American.)

    — “Wasn’t in a woodpile, was he?” (Responding to news that former black militant H. Rap Brown, subsequently known as Abdullah Al-Amin, was found hiding in a shed in Alabama after exchanging gunfire with police. Imus is here alluding to the expression “nigger in the woodpile.”)

    — “A cleaning lady.” (Reference to journalist Gwen Ifill, possibly out of pique that she wouldn’t appear on his show. “I certainly don’t know any black journalists who will,” she wrote in the April 10 New York Times. The Chicago Tribune’s Clarence Page used to appear, but after he made Imus pledge not to make offensive comments in the future, he was never asked back.)

    — “I remember when I first had [the Blind Boys of Alabama] on a few years ago, how the Jewish management at whatever, whoever we work for, CBS, or whatever it is, were bitching at me about it. […] I tried to put it in terms that these money-grubbing bastards could understand.”

    — “The guy from F-Troop, Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell.” (Reference to the zany Indian characters on the 1960s TV sitcom F-Troop.)

    — Imus sports sidekick Sid Rosenberg: “One time, a friend, he says to me, ‘Listen, one of these days you’re gonna see Venus and Serena Williams in Playboy.’ I said, ‘You’ve got a better shot at National Geographic.'” Rosenberg also referred to Venus Williams as an “animal.”

    Just getting warmed up Friedman, but here is some more eduaction on Imus: The 9 Lives of Don Imus

  52. MODI, way to conflate two separate things I said: job well done.

    I was referring to Imus’ remarks on the Rutgers team (obviously) that created this firestorm. He is an idiot. But it was his Rutgers comments that started all this, not the other stuff you cite . . . right?

    And the shred of evidence comment was regarding McNabb, not Imus. Did you read my post? Please try again.

    Boy, can liberals ever answer direct questions or must they always dance around the issue, a la one of their heroes, the “president” or Iran yesterday at Columbia?

  53. Yo, who on here gave up their political leanings?? Defined of course by, a narrow, unrealistic, simple and confining either/or paradigm. Just wondering…

  54. Cut the shit Friedman. you were making a comparison from Imus to Isiah. even side-by-side in isolation the comparison is ludicrous. I would expound. but I am 100% (not 99%) sure that you would not try to understand.

    Yes, I understood the “shred of evidence with regard to McNabb” post in was applying the verbiage in a different context because you seem to be a guy who like requesting hard concrete facts. On mcnabb, I thought that Jweiler gave more than a few shreds for you to chew on, so I didn’t want to be duplicative. But those inflicted with “anything-but-bigotry” disease will never see it. You have probably set the standard of proof so high in your mind that nothing short of ESPN staffers burning crosses and Mcnabb jerseys at a local klan rally will satisfy you.

    Finally, one cannot separate Imus’s April comments from the context of his past history any more than a judge can separate his sentencing if a guy has 14 other crimes on his rap sheet. Just about every black journalist was boycotting Imus’s show LONG BEFORE APRIL 2007. The so called “firestorm”, shock, and awe only came from the white journalist elite and presidential hopefuls that frequented his show. I think that you know this. Imus comments created a “firestorm” for some, and merely additional predictable confirmation for others.

  55. Sportdiva, the whole liberal – conservative paradigm is truly the dumbest arbitrary creation ever invented. The notion that half the population thinks one way and the other half think another is retarded.

    I find that people who use these words excessively must do so because they are unable to process the complexities that each individual might bring to a discussion. I’m not saying we are not all guilty of doing it at times for verbal convenience purposes, only that it is pathological with some people (Friedman) because the only way that they could possibly understand the world that we live in is to simplify it to its most cartoonish level.

  56. MODI,
    “Imus comments created a “firestorm” for some, and merely additional predictable confirmation for others” Abso-freakin-lutely!! And I was among the latter.

    I always find it interesting which stories hypnotize the MSM and allow them to supposedly talk race without ‘playing the race card’. (A ridiculous construct in and of itself) There are nuances, context, vicious cycles, unique circumstances with each, but it fascinates me.

    R. Kelly not so much.
    Vick all day.
    Ray Lewis eh, a bit.
    Pacman all day. Make it rain unbalanced coverage!!!
    David Justices outright assertions about the Braves…nothing to see here move along. Sheff and Bonds all day.
    I know, I know you can rationalize each situation with exceptions. But the elephant doesn’t disappear, he’s either ignored or moved out of the spotlight so it can shine on others.

    McNabb puts the shine on and yet the elephant won’t move far enough out of the light. How inconvenient! LOL

  57. diva, I think that i missed David Justice’s assertions about the Braves, please do elaborate…

  58. Ooops, some off-record stuff seeped into that analogy. LOL

    Put it this way (and I thought this had hit MSM, but it may have not gone beyond the Stews interview)
    …he said the organization, in his opinion, didn’t like ‘outspoken players’.

  59. a guy just like friedman ruined a forum i used to read.

  60. Friedman is funny.

    I actually asked for shit to flow both ways. Check my posts about everybody getting kicked.

    And, if you dont’ think Carson Palmer struggled last year, and struggled horribly out the gate, than you are a liar and don’t know jack about football.

  61. And I went ahead and pulled Palmer’s stats from 2006.

    yeah, he didn’t struggle at all. Bullshit.

  62. […] Young and Michael Vick (specifically during the first 6 years of their careers was eye-opening. His piece illustrated the extent to which MSM (mainstream media) will go to blur lines, to misinterpret statistics, and […]

  63. Actually, I understand why most of you cannot withstand White women. Why drink Ripple when you can have Dom P???

  64. Jonathan Richardson Says:

    Donovan McNabb recently made the comment that black quarterbacks face greater scrutiny than their white counterparts. Many whites wrote comments denying any racial prejudice, preference or partiality concerning the treatment of quarterbacks whether they are Black or White. Surely the “There he goes playing the Race Card” retort will be used in numerous media outlets in response to McNabb’s comments. Of course, the “he’s playing the race card” does not give definitive proof that his accusations are not true. Let’s look closer at this topic.
    Donovan McNabb could have been alluding to the fact that (historically) N.F.L. teams have not been quick to draft and install African-Americans as quarterbacks. Many times, African-Americans who played quarterback in High School, were “encouraged” to switch positions if they wished to keep playing at the college level. Those who played College football as a quarterback, would oftentimes be drafted as an “athlete” and switched to another position at the professional level. Their “athletic” abilities afforded them the opportunity to play professional football, just not (Pro teams seemed to be saying) at the position of quarterback.
    When describing the Black Athlete, words like “athletic”, “quick”, “naturally gifted”, “strong” and “fast” seem to be used quite often. The White Athlete on the other hand is usually labeled as “smart”, “heady”, “decisive” and “getting the most out of his limited natural abilities”. When teams have looked for that “Leader on the field”, they have tended to believe that the white quarterback had the attributes they desired to “Lead” their teams. The fact that the Black quarterback may have “Athletic” prowess, does not preclude him from also having the other qualities commonly associated with the White athlete. I believe this is were much of the problem lies.
    America is comfortable and accepting of the “Athletic” Black athlete and the “Smart” (though less athletic) White athlete. The athletic prowess of the Black athlete has had him excelling at almost every position on the football field. The quarter-backing abilities of the African-American at the College level has demanded that he be looked at by the Pros in this capacity. We find journalist and sports commentators exclaiming that color is not an issue when discussing the quarterback position. It is interesting however, when listening to sports commentators on television or radio, to hear how often they describe the professional quarterback who is Black as “athletic” and the White quarterback as “smart”.
    The “Smart” guy “Reads” the defenses and makes the “Correct” throws. He leads his team as a ”Field General” down the field. “Utilizing” all of the weapons at his disposal”. The “Athletic” quarterback is fast and elusive, “but he does not seem to have the same command of the offense as”… “He needs to become a better passer if he wants to become great”… “He needs to stay in the pocket more so he can”… “He led his team to the playoffs, but if he wants to get to the next level he has to”…
    Some people believe that the simple fact that Blacks are drafted and implemented as the team’s starting quarterback is proof positive that there is no racial bias. So, does the fact that a family can afford to move into a neighborhood because of their income, be under the protection of laws that make it illegal to harass them, while living in a country of Constitutional guarantees, mean that it is impossible for them to endure bigotry, bias and slander from those living around them? Likewise, simply being able to play quarterback in the N.F.L. does not mean that African-Americans who play the position are not subjugated to biased and tougher scrutiny than their White counterparts.
    Donovan McNabb entered the N.F.L. in 1999. He has led his team (The Philadelphia Eagles) to 4 straight Conference championship games within his first 7 years in the league. Leading his team all the way to the Super Bowl after the 2004 season. In 2004, McNabb accomplished something that no one else in the history of the N.F.L. had done. He became the first person to throw for over 30 touchdowns (31) and have less than double digit interceptions (9) in the same year. He has been to multiple Pro Bowls (5) in his first eight seasons. For all of these accomplishments, Donovan McNabb has been the subject of discussions as to whether or not he should be in the future plans of the Eagles as their starting quarterback.
    While age and the acquisition of a quarterback in waiting who is of a Pro Bowl caliber is and has been legitimate reasoning for choosing to let go of a great quarterback, neither his age (30) nor his backup are such. We find other quarterbacks (who are white) of his football playing stature under no such scrutiny or debate. What he has accomplished on the field (oftentimes carrying the team on his back) should allow him to “write his own ticket” in Philadelphia.
    Michael Vick has been the quintessential “Athletic” quarterback. He led his College team (Virginia Tech) all the way to the National Championship game in his sophomore season. Vick was selected #1 overall by the Atlanta Falcons in 2001. After the 2002 regular season, Michael Vick led his team in accomplishing a feat that had never occurred before. The Green Bay Packers had never lost a home playoff game in their storied history. Vick led the upstart Falcons to a 27 to 7 victory. Two years later (2004) Vick guided his team all the way to the NFC Championship game. Within the first 5 years of his arrival, the Falcons had made it to within one game of the Super Bowl. Yet sports commentators say that if Vick does not do better in his passing, they (the Falcons) may want to move on without Michael Vick. Again, what other quarterback who is less than 3 years removed from an NFC title game (except for age or a top flight quarterback waiting in the wings) is talked about in this manner?
    Vince Young performed the “Greatest” individual football feat in the history of football (College, Pro, or any other level). He led the “underdog” Texas Longhorns into the “backyard” of one of the “Best” teams in the History of College football (U.S.C. Trojans- 34 Game winning streak / 2-time defending champion / Reggie Bush & Matt Leinard). Vince Young threw for almost 300 yards (267) and rushed for another 200 yards. After winning this game, Vince declared himself eligible for the N.F.L. draft. Sports pundits declared that he was not ready for the N.F.L. yet. They talked “throwing motion” and about the fact that he ran so much. After taking the Wonderlic test, it was revealed that Vince did not score very high and the critics really piled on. It has been said that Dan Marino did not score very high on the wonderlic; was there a “pile on” there? What Vince Young did “on the field” was extraordinary It is hard to believe that if someone of a lighter hue would have done “on th field”, those things that Vince did against U.S.C. in the Rose Bowl, that there would even be a discussion about them declaring early for the N.F.L. draft. By the way, Vince Young, the young man that some football “experts” said wouldn’t be ready to play in the N.F.L. for at least 2 years won offensive rookie of the year honors in 2006.
    It is true that there are White quarterbacks who get criticized. The criticism seems to be different however than that directed towards the Black quarterback. Peyton Manning may have been criticized for not being able to win the “Big Game”by some (before Indianapolis won the Super Bowl after the 2006 season), but it was never suggested that he should be let go or sat down. When White quarterbacks are spoken of in terms of “the team needs to look in another direction” or they need to switch to a backup, the White quarterback has usually been playing badly for an extended period of time. You would be hard pressed to find a White quarterback who has accomplished “on the field” what these 3 young men of African descent have accomplished in the same time frame and be talked about as disparagingly as they have.

    Jonathan Richardson

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