Thursday, September 20, 2007

Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb made headlines recently by saying that black quarterbacks come under heavier scrutiny than their white counterparts. This comes after two lackluster performances by McNabb and an 0-2 start by the Eagles.

For the record, McNabb is correct. When it comes to his position there is still a considerable amount of racism in the NFL. Whether they are conscious of it or not, the brains behind many NFL teams clearly consider race as a factor when choosing a quarterback. It was this kind of thinking that sent Warren Moon to the Edmonton Eskimos in 1978.

Flash forward to 2006. Vince Young of the Texas Longhorns single handedly powers his team to the national championship and in the process turns in one of the greatest performances in team sports history in the Rose Bowl. He is arguably the best player available in the NFL draft and he plays the most important position on the field, quarterback.

He was not taken first in the draft despite his size, speed, throwing accuracy, arm strength, and proven ability to come through in a close game. Instead he was taken 3rd.

The reason Vince Young was taken 3rd and not first? He did not score well on the Wonderlic test, an intelligence test used by the NFL to determine if a player (particularly a quarterback) is smart enough to handle the complicated offenses and defenses of professional football.

The two players taken ahead of him, Mario Williams and Reggie Bush are both playing well for their respective teams but neither has had any where near the impact of Vince Young. He won rookie of the year and became the first rookie QB to play in the pro-bowl, clearly proving he is intelligent enough to handle the intricacies of an NFL offense.

So while I do think the NFL and the media surrounding it have come a long way since the days when it was accepted that blacks couldn't play quarterback, I do think that on some level this fallacy still persists in the minds of many.

Donovan McNabb on the other hand is completely washed up and currently holds the title of the most overrated player in the NFL. Last year after going 5-4 he got hurt then back up Jeff Garcia came in, went 5-2 and led the Eagles to the playoffs after everybody thought the season was over. This year he plain old stinks, but that doesn't make his statement any less true.


j. leo said...

I can't really make any argument here. You nailed it.

I think the one thing that shows a bit of prejudice is that experts, during each draft, tagged McNabb and Vince as guys who got by in college by running, and didn't think their passing would be enough in the pros. This relates to the myth that black players can only run fast and not handle a whole team. These guys made it happen.

Yeah, he's falling apart, and it doesn't help him that Westbrook is hurt, and that Reid play-calling has gone off the deep end. It's too bad that HBO aired that after they were 0-2 and he struggled; it was bad timing.


By the way, I just watched the last out of the Phils' season. So much for our dream Phil-Cub NLCS.... and who the fuck is going to watch Colorado vs. Arizona?

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