CAN’T BE BLACK HEROES ON THE FIELD
Gary Norris Gray-BASN-Newsroom-Staff Reporter
OAKLAND, CA.-The leader on the football field stands behind center. The field general; the director of his eleven man offensive army. Most teams work with the assistance of a franchise quarterback building a team around their leader.
Starting Black quarterbacks are not afforded this luxury, asking them to change their game by staying in the pocket. By taking a five step drop back from center instead of a seven step drop. This takes away a valuable skill set – mobility and escapibility; this is the new National Football League – and fans are not happy.
The question should be asked why? Past quarterbacks like Roger Staubach, Fran Tarkenton, Steve Young, and current 49ers starter Jimmy Garoppolo can run all over the field and that’s o.k.
Quarterbacks like Ben Roethlisberger-Pittsburgh Steelers, Eli Manning-New York Football Giants, Aaron Rodgers-Green Bay Packers, Drew Brees-New Orleans Saints, and cheater, oh I mean, Tom Brady-New England Patriots are All Pro Quarterbacks. It also seems like the league does not want another Black running quarterback like Randall Cunningham or Michael Vick operating any NFL offense. This is killing the game and driving away Black football fans. Many thought best man plays the position.
Black College quarterbacks are asked repeatedly to change their position in the NFL. Question when was the last time a Caucasian quarterback was asked to change position. Answer, very rarely. In fact at least two former college Caucasian quarterbacks in recent years stated they would not play at all if they did not get this position, while some Black quarterbacks just moved on north to the Canadian Football League (CFL) to have the opportunity to play the position.
The Oakland Raiders started this mess with Eldridge Reno Dickey from Tennessee State University. Dickey was the first Black quarterback drafted in the first round. The Raiders and owner Al Davis moved him to wide receiver even thou he was the best quarterback the Silver and Black had in preseason camp at the time-1968. Ken “the Snake” Stabler went on to be the star quarterback for the Raiders.
This trend continued in the 1970’s with Black quarterbacks Joe Gilliam-Pittsburgh Steelers and Marlin Briscoe- Denver Broncos. They both had to stand down from their great college position that they loved, quarterback. This devastated Gilliam whose life spiraled out of controlled. Briscoe went on to Buffalo to prefect his catching skills before moving again to Miami and a Super Bowl ring, this was years before Denver played in any Super Bowl. Briscoe reminded everybody in Denver every chance he could.
The National Football League and its media supporters continue to undermine African American quarterbacks in 2017. Can’t have Black independent, political, social sports heroes. Close your mouth and just play the game.
Colin Kaepernick can write chapter and verse on this after the Green Bay Packers playoff game where he ran for over 180 yards and defeated the Pack.
Jeff Fisher and the rules committee made sure that would not happen again with their new pocket passing rule restricting QB’s to stay in the pocket or became another runner, i.e. not protected. I thought the NFL wanted to protect all the players, guess it does not include Black running quarterbacks.
THE 2017-18 BLACK STARTING QUARTERBACKS LIST
Russell Wilson-Seattle Seahawks
Jameis Winston-Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cam Newton- Carolina Panthers
Tyrod Taylor-Buffalo Bills
Dak Prescott-Dallas Cowboys
There was a new Black shining new star in Houston, Texas. Deshaun Watson set the Texan sky ablaze starting and playing for Houston like he had been there before. Watson’s season ended early with torn ACL and it ended the Texans playoff hope. The fans in Houston thought they had their man behind center.
THE COLIN KAEPERNICK EFFECT
The Texans’ offensive system was a perfect fit for Colin Kaepernick, but it did not happen. Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers went down with a shoulder injury again no Colin Kaepernick. This was another offensive system that worked for number seven in 2017.
Last and the most glaring statement on the NFL and running quarterbacks happens to be in Miami where the Dolphins pick up retired Chicago Bear quarterback Jay (Mr. Fumble) Cutler at the beginning of this season instead of Colin Kaepernick. Miami did not make the playoffs, and Mr. Smilie Face walked off with a multi-million dollar contract, enough said. Now think if Colin Kaepernick had done that, we would still be hearing broadcasters screaming he took the money, he took the money.
Four NFL teams would rather lose then play Kaepernick. How messed up is that? but that’s the NFL.
After this year’s playoffs start all five Black quarterbacks will have played at least one playoff game. Two have knocked on the Super Bowl door and one received a championship ring. It is still not enough.
The League continues to push mediocre Caucasian quarterbacks. This year it’s Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles. The Jaguars are in the playoffs for the first time in ten years, it was also the last time that Jacksonville won a playoff game.
The sports media is throwing a party for the southern cats and Bortles. Question, when was the last time Mr. Bortles had a winning season in Jacksonville?
Last year the white knight in shining armor was Atlanta Falcon Matt Ryan who lost a 20 point lead in the Super Bowl against Captain America-Brady and the New England Patriots.
Just cannot have Black leadership anywhere just ask former President of the United States, Barack H. Obama.
The Sports media and the league informed everyone that Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson was too short and he could not see over his linebackers. Wilson took the Seattle Seahawks to back to back Super Bowls. Wilson won more games than any other quarterback in four years, and this year is the first year that Wilson and the Hawks did not make the playoffs.
The National Football League had no problem with Buffalo Bill Doug Flutie who was smaller than Wilson, just saying.
The Sports media and the league informed everyone that Jameis Winston was too big for the position. What are we in Grimms Fairy Tales? Winston had to deal with an alleged fraternity prank at Florida State University his senior year before entering the NFL and many sports writers held it against this young man.
Winston became the youngest player to ever win the Heisman Trophy. Still not enough
That sports media tried to kill the career of Cam Newton over non-football issues before he even entered the NFL. A well known writer (Noland Nawrocki) now employed by the NFL wrote an article about Mr. Newton on all of those non football issues at Auburn University. Nawrocki thought Cam was not NFL worthy and told the world not to draft him. Newton not only won the National College Title but guided the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl.
When the Black Cats lost the Super Bowl Newton showed raw emotion after the loss and the media called him a sore loser. So what is Payton Manning when he walked off the field not shaking any players hand after the Denver Broncos were defeated in the Super Bowl…Nobody said a word.
Dak Prescott went to Jerry’s world in Big D and sat the pre season bench waiting for his chance to guide the Dallas Cowboys in his rookie year. That chance came when starter Tony Romo went down with another back injury. Prescott broke many rookie quarterback records and was name to the Pro Bowl, it was not enough. Dallas owner Jerry Jones never intended to have an African American starting quarterback; the preseason Romo injury changed all of that and it was out of Jerry Jones’s hand. Prescott started winning and everybody was overjoyed in Big D.
Tyrod Taylor must feel like a yoyo in the cold northwest New York state. Coming from the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens where he backup Joe Flacco. The Buffalo Bills needed a starting quarterback, The Bills had African American E.J. Manuel but the management wanted something different so they traded for Taylor now they had three Black quarterbacks… this flies in the face of the hidden NFL agenda. Manuel and Taylor would fight for the starting position in spring training as the Bills would signed rookie Nathan Peterson
The Buffalo Bills went through a two game losing streak in the middle of the season and the Bills management wanted the rookie Peterman to start. Sound familiar Pittsburgh (Gilliam-Bradshaw), Peterman came in and threw five interceptions the first half one more then Taylor had the entire year, forcing Buffalo to return to number 5.
Herm Edwards stated many years ago “You play to win the game,” I question some of the teams in the NFL.
The National Football League continues to drive away fans by not starting the best man at the quarterback position. It drives away fans by not addressing the issues that number seven, Colin Kaepernick has put forth. And last it drives away fans by not following its own rules, i.e. the Oakland Raiders hiring Jon Gruden bypassing the Rooney Rule AGAIN.
But that’s the new NFL or the football version of the WWF
Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian, Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston, Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email:- firstname.lastname@example.org
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