The lull is over and the NFL is back at full speed ahead as we now have just less than a week till Super Bowl XLI. The teams have arrived, and today is the all important media day that will have goofs from MTV and Comedy Central asking questions along with real beat writers from NFL teams across the country. Never have I seen anything like Media Day for the Super Bowl, its truly a sight to behold.
There is also quite a few things happening off the field, some good, and some not so good. One thing that is going to be focused in on this week, and I think its so overblown that I am already tired of hearing about it – is the fact that this is the first Super Bowl with an African American coach, and not only that, but this game will have two African American coaches. First of all, I realize that its a barrier that we have crossed, but truthfully, does it change the game and how its played at all? These two coaches, Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith, are two of the best coaches in the game, no matter what the color of their skin is, and the fact that their race is going to get so much hype this week really is just another example of how this country needs to move on and get over race as a whole.
I think its a tremendous feat for both these God fearing men, but knowing how they live their lives and how they have conducted themselves as men of character, I am sure that by the end of the day they are also going to be sick of hearing about being the first two African American head coaches to be in a Super Bowl. Let it go, move on, and let these two men get their teams set for what should be a classic battle on Sunday for a world championship.
Speaking on the whole black coach thing, I was sickened last week with an article that was written in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette on Tuesday by columnist Ron Cook. The article, which I have included the link to here: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07023/756022-87.stm, is entitled – Were others ‘ruled’ out by Rooney. It goes on to speculate that the reason the Steelers hired Mike Tomlin, their first black head coach in team history, was because their owner basically started a rule that made teams interview a minority when they had a head coaching position open. The article reads – “What if he (Tomlin) got the job because Steelers owner Dan Rooney cares just a little more about his NFL legacy than about his franchise? What if Tomlin got the job, at least in part, because of the Rooney Rule? Would that be disturbing?”
What is disturbing is thinking that the Steelers, one of the leagues most valued franchises, would have hired someone based on color and not on coaching ability. Dan Rooney is not going to undermine his organization simply to hire a black coach because he came up with the rule to interview a minority when a head coaching position was open. Its just another sad example of a columnist trying to sell newspapers and stir the pot simply because he likely thought that Russ Grimm should have gotten the call as the next Steelers head coach. I will admit that I thought Grimm should have gotten the job, but that’s based on what I had read and heard, not because he is white and Tomlin is black. Just bad journalism on Cook’s part.
So now the Bowl is nearing, and there is going to be plenty of sidebars and stories as there always is on the game, the players, and the things that go along with making the Super Bowl just that – the Super Bowl. I just hope that after today we no longer have to read about skin color, and just about what is going to take place on the field in Miami this weekend.