By Pat Imig
Cold, Hard Football Facts equal opportunity critic of clowns
Ladies and gentlemen, writer Jemele Hill has a question for all of you:
"Has anyone else noticed all the drama surrounding black quarterbacks during this NFL season?"
"Jason Campbell, who has been fighting for his job all season in Oakland, was benched for the second time this year against Pittsburgh on Sunday."
This was the game the Steelers routed Oakland 35-3. Campbell was 7 of 19 for 70 yards with an interception when he got pulled in favor of Bruce Gradkowski with a little over four minutes remaining in the third quarter. The Raiders trailed 21-3. Campbell also had another interception nullified by a personal foul penalty on James Harrison.
"Six-time Pro Bowler Donovan McNabb was replaced by Rex Grossman during the final 1:50 of a close game against the Detroit Lions earlier this month because Redskins coach Mike Shanahan claimed Grossman was better suited to run the team's two-minute offense. Shanahan questioned McNabb's 'cardiovascular endurance.'"
Terrell Owens also once criticized McNabb's conditioning following the Super Bowl. This wasn't deemed racist at the time by the racism police.
"And on Sunday, Titans coach Jeff Fisher demoted Vince Young to benchwarmer after Young threw a tantrum following Tennessee's 19-16 loss to Washington. Although thumb surgery is the official reason Young's season is over, Fisher made it clear before he knew the severity of Young's injury that his 27-year-old quarterback was being removed as the starter."
Young once disappeared in 2008 and was so mentally unstable that his head coach called the Nashville police. Young's mother confirmed that he was depressed and upset after fans booed him. This past July, Young was issued a citation for assault for an early-morning strip club brawl. Then last week, Young responded to his head coach via text message as opposed to meeting with him one-on-one.
So, uh, yes, we guess it's true: several quarterbacks who happen to be black were involved in "controversy" this year, the very subject that is talked and toiled about by the pundits year round. It's the very subject that exists primarily because of the pundits.
Rather than continue our commentary, we defer to Hill and allow her to dig the hole:
"I'm not calling anyone out for being racist, and I realize this might seem like an odd conversation to have considering that Michael Vick is on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated and his comeback is one of the best sports stories of the year."
ONE – The fact that Vick is on the cover is impressive, but not because he's a "black quarterback." Rather, it's impressive because he spent real time in jail for funding a vile dog-fighting ring. And now, he's more efficient as a quarterback than any time in his career. Talk about getting your second chance and the pubic accepting it. Give society some credit, here.
TWO – Although you don't specifically identify one person, Jemele, you are calling someone racist. You suggest in your column that race still has influence in sports. You suggest that the treatment of the three quarterbacks in question is a byproduct of that influence. This leads to the deduction that someone (or many someones) is/are responsible for the benching because they're racist people.
"The impatience the Raiders have shown with Campbell is stunning. They gave up a fourth-round pick to get him, and were convinced he was the answer after things went south with draft bust JaMarcus Russell, another black quarterback."
In her quest to prove the race issues in Oakland, Jemele mentions that the Raiders previously employed JaMarcus Russell. Not only did they employ Russell, they made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft and paid him boatloads of money before he ever threw a single pass in the NFL. If the Raiders higher-ups allow race to blur their vision of quarterbacks, why draft Russell? Why acquire Campbell – "another black quarterback" – at the expense of a fourth-round draft pick?
"And considering that there are only six black starting quarterbacks in the NFL, there isn't a lot of room for error."
Hey Jemele: there is only one Native American starting quarterback in the NFL, and his name is Sam Bradford.
"I don't know of any quarterback who would be happy about being replaced by a third-stringer. Young wanted to play despite a busted thumb. If Brett Favre had done that, we'd say he was being fiercely competitive."
That's because the media fellates BrettFavre any chance it can. That's your problem; not ours. Those of us living in reality realize BrettFavre is a washed up, penis-slinging ego-maniac.
"I'm not saying black quarterbacks are above criticism or that race plays a role every time one of them loses his job. White quarterbacks are benched and second-guessed, too, same as black ones. It comes with the position, regardless of race."
Yes you are, Jemele. Your column and mere questions are already stirring the conversation because you haven't clearly identified the racist culprits. Instead, it comes off as a sweeping generalization.
"Let's not forget that while Vick was imprisoned for dogfighting, more than a few analysts suggested he should change his position when he returned to the field. That's what NFL scouts once told Warren Moon he had to do if he wanted to be drafted at all."
Scouts and analysts are wrong about a lot of things. So are coaches. One time Mike Martz and the Rams thought a white quarterback from Ohio State, Steve Bellisari, would be better suited as a safety.
The same group of white-hating coaches for the Rams thought a white quarterback from the University of Nebraska (and Heisman winner no less), Eric Crouch, was better suited as a wide receiver than a quarterback.
Through Jemele Hill's lens of race, the cases of Bellisari and Crouch would be a result of race issues if Steve and Eric were the color black. And when confronted with this notion, Jemele would say "I'm not saying the Rams are racist nor am I calling out anyone for being racist", and then she'd hop like a bunny rabbit on to the next topic.
"After McNabb made his comments to HBO (about black quarterbacks being scrutinized harder than white quarterbacks), Campbell and Young were quick to say they didn't feel like race was a factor in how they were perceived.
"I wonder if they feel that way now."
Yo, Jemele, you work for the WWL, the World Wide Leader in Sports. Use your resources and contacts and ask Campbell and Young what they think. But maybe that would put a pin in the crux of your column that leads to nowhere.
Maybe they would say, "Jemele, a guy named Max Hall started in place of Derek Anderson at one point this season" or maybe, "Chad Henne was replaced by Chad Pennington until Pennington got hurt again" or maybe they'd say, "the 49ers replaced a white Smith with a black Smith and the team has gone 3-1 since and the team is one game out of first in their division".
Hell they could even say, "The Bills released Trent Edwards and named Ryan Fitzpatrick the starting quarterback. Since that move from white quarterback to white quarterback, the Bills are a highly competitive team".
And then maybe Jemele can ask another question: have you noticed all the drama surrounding white quarterbacks this year?
The fooball headlines you missed because, as Leslie Nielsen said, surely you can't be serious:
Muslim leaders call for Steve Johnson to place some blame on Allah
Source: Josh McDaniels provided top secret football intelligence to Wikileaks founder
Bronze statue of Sam Bradford already mounted outside Rams' dome in St. Louis
Trent Dilfer caught arguing with himself in the bathroom mirror in Bristol
Confirmed: White running back Peyton Hillis held to different standard than black running back Arian Foster
Panthers start actual panther at quarterback to generate fan excitement