It’s just Week 4 and I’m already in midseason NFL Truths form. Buckle up and open your minds for the Truth:
10. From the we’re-not-supposed-to-mention-this file: It was fascinating watching Peyton Manning and his BYU offense destroy the Denver Broncos.
The unwritten rule in sports writing/journalism is we’re only supposed to mention racial progress when it involves dark-skin minorities. Obviously, I don’t care about rules.
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.
A willingness to prepare and shared values, I believe, are the determining factors.
I’m not going to get back into it today, but I’ve been writing for three years that baby-mama culture (no father in a child’s life) is going to cost African-Americans jobs in professional team sports. This summer, Ron English, the black head coach at Eastern Michigan, came under fire for admitting he’d prefer to recruit players who have fathers in their lives.
If Michael Vick had a stable/traditional upbringing, he might be on pace to be the greatest quarterback in the history of the league.