What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
I’ll be honest. I started writing this piece on Sunday with an entirely different beginning. After the Willis McGahee fumble, I really thought this was going to be a post-mortem piece for the Tebow phenomenon. But we all saw what happened in the waning moments in that game in Denver yesterday. Instead of a look back at why this guy is such a story, now I get another chapter.
Frankly, I’ve grown a bit weary of the the “he sucks/he doesn’t suck” debate. But what I do find curious are the lengths people will go to detract from what this guy has accomplished. There’s a lot of theories as to why so many people have such a hatred of Tebow, but there’s two which really stand out in my mind.
The first is to me the most credible. Tim Tebow offends the “fantasy football” crowd’s mentality; the one that says a quarterback has to be a guy who throws for three hundred yards and 3 touchdowns every game. There’s really no question that Tebow doesn’t look like a “conventional” NFL quarterback, and he sure as hell doesn’t play like one. But there’s also no questioning he puts up a stat which fantasy geeks don’t count: wins.
I don’t understand this mind-set, but at least it doesn’t offend me like the second one does. If it wasn’t bad enough that the race-baiting clowns at ESPN have to ascribe the Tebow phenomenon to racism, they are giving creedence to other black misanthropes who make me ashamed I share the same race with them.
The worst I’ve seen so far is by a guy who calls himself Chauncey DeVega. Honestly, I can’t tell if this guy is just a bad satiricist, or a genuine race-baiter like Stephen A. Smith; you know the type, the guy who thinks every bad thing that’s ever happened to a black person anywhere at anytime is always an example of racism.
Chauncey, or whoever you are, if you are aiming for satire, you missed. You simply aren’t funny; in fact it is your incessant playing to stereotypes (including your profile pic of Fred G. Sanford holding a can of malt liquor) that reeks of an unimaginative mind. Even your own self-description smack of part irrelevant college student meets the Black Panthers.
Chauncey DeVega is a race man in progress and occasional polemicist. He is also a resplendent purveyor of negro wisdom and collector of Black wit. Holder of the sacred chalice of the Ghetto Nerds. A believer in Black Pragmatism and the glories of the Black Freedom Struggle.
I had never read such utter rubbish; that is until I read the meat of his article on Tebow.
I am a Patriots fan. I loved watching Tebow get owned by Tom Brady. I also believe that Tebow is grossly overrated, and his popularity is a function of Christian Dominionist born again shtick and the “novelty” of a white quarterback with a “black” style of play. In many ways, Tebow is the Eminem of the NFL, with the latter being imminently more talented. Alternatively, we can suggest that Tebow is to black quarterbacks who play at HBCU’s as white girls who are “thick” are to black women with the same physiques. One is “exotic”; the other is “ordinary” and “typical.”
This is really why I lean toward Chauncey being a race-baiter. In one paragraph, he’s managed to both piss on the graves of those who died in the name of the Civil Rights movement while turning a discussion about a football player into on of divisive racial stereotypes. Chauncey, I’m not sure which professor at whichever community college you attend filled your head with crap like “Christian Dominionist,” but suffice it to say that tack misses a couple of major points which you ignore at your own peril.
By offering the supposition that somehow Christians are anti-black not only ignores the reality that many of the leaders of the Civil Rights movement were (and in many cases still are) in fact Christian clergy. But worse than that, it does so with the same sort of generalist thinking that leaders like Rev. Martin Luther King were rallying against in the first place. King’s vision of a world in which people are judged on the content of their character, not the color of their skin would also be a world in which you would not be able to take the intellectually lazy way out of this discussion by simply playing to stereotypes and blaming everything on race.
Not to mention, if you haven’t noticed, Christianity fell out of social acceptance in this country about 20 years ago. The broom of “political correctness” swept all things Christian from the public eye; turning America into country where people lose their jobs for saying horribly offensive things like “Merry Christmas.”
So, not only is the stereotyping of Christians wrong, it doesn’t make any sense. If you doubt that’s what you are doing, Chauncey, consider this. Nothing makes the stereotyping of a group of people more effective than salting that accusation with some loaded “code” words.
In all, the ESPN round table hits on a number of issues, and while they over read “racism” and “racial resentment” into the Tebow debate, the panelists are spot on in that a black quarterback who played like him would not get any of his shine.
I’ll give you credit here; you don’t just hide behind some vagueries, you come right out with it. Your assertion is that Tebow is only getting “shine” because he is white; but take the inverse argument: Would a black quarterback get as much criticism? The answer is no, and there’s a specific reason. Nobody else wants to get “Limbaughed.”
Remember the short-lived tenure of Rush Limbaugh as an ESPN football analyst? Regardless of your opinion of Limbaugh, anyone who has ever listened to him would agree that he is controversial. This, of course, is exactly why ESPN hired him. Of course, the minute he says something controversial, ESPN sprints into hand-wringing mode and essentially forces him to resign for doing exactly that for which he was hired. Not to mention that the comments he made about Donovan McNabb and the NFL are as true today as they were when Limbaugh said them in 2003.
“I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well,” Limbaugh said. “There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve. The defense carried this team.”
There is only one racial code word in that quote. What is there is honest criticism of a black football player. I’m a black man, and a life-long Eagles fan, and every word Limbaugh said was true. McNabb did get a lot of credit for the performance of the Eagles that he didn’t deserve. Despite that, Limbaugh got fired for being a “racist.”
But wait…there’s more from Chauncey; it’s the final nail in the coffin that says he is every bit the racist blowhard he accuses others of being.
Is Tebow the great white hope? And what does this tell us about race and sports–what should be the greatest of all meritocracies where none of these questions of identity ought to matter–but where the real world offers no such comforts?
Did you catch the code word in there? It a subtle one, yet it is powerful and Chauncey used it in a way designed to conjure images of real racism from the past. It was part of Obama’s campaign sloganeering as he ran one of the most racially-charged campaigns in presidential history. It’s the one code word Limbaugh used it to describe the attitude of a media who wanted a black quarterback to do well. And Chauncey used it in the most vile and self-serving way to hark back to a day when black athletes were geniunely mistreated.
That word is “hope.”
It reminds me of the time LeBron James tried to blame racism as the reason for the backlash against him following the infamous “decision.” James hoped the world would throw a ticker-tape parade for him taking his talents to South Beach. Instead, when he got criticized, he pouted and cried racism.
“I think so at times. It’s always, you know, a race factor,” said James, according to a CNN transcript. James personal adviser Maverick Carter said he thought race “definitely played a role in some of the stuff coming out of the media, things that were written for sure.”
Why does this matter? Because for one, Chauncey and LeBron have something in common. They either don’t know or don’t care that being a middle-class adult black male in America today still isn’t an easy thing. Its bad enough that I have to deal with a country full of liberal white do-gooders who by definition devalue everything I do through their inverted racism known as “Affirmative Action.” Its bad enough that I have to watch black people who should know better continue to deflect responsibility for their own actions on a daily basis. But the worst part is when I watch guys like Chauncey and LeBron stoke both those fires by selfishly and needlessly injecting race into a situation where it was not part of the original problem.
The fundamental problem here is that even as misguided as most of the things white liberals “have done for blacks” are, it still makes them believe that they have carried a lot of water to douse the flames of past injustices. So, when guys like LeBron and Chauncey or that charlatan Jesse Jackson start painting everything with the racist brush just because they didn’t get your way over something, it lessens the meaning of the word “racism.” If guys like this continue to do this, soon the word will be meaningless; white people are already starting to tune out to it. In other words, white people are getting tired of reaching out to the “black community” and getting called names for the effort.
LeBron, America hates you because you acted like a douchebag, not because you are black. Chauncey, Tim Tebow gets as much flack as he does “shine;” the “shine” comes from the fact that he a “circus freak,” there’s never been a guy this fundamentally bad who wins, not because he is white. But the bottom line is this. Save the racism charges for when they are relevant, and when you make them, make sure they make sense. Otherwise, you’re doing more harm than good.