And basically what I said was, as a fan, that the Eagles are here in trouble, that they’re 0-2 to start the season and they had not done well, had not shown much potential in either of the two losses – and we were discussing McNabb, and I was as a fan offered the opinion that I, as a fan, don’t think he’s as good as others have made him out to be. Not that he’s a bad quarterback, not that he shouldn’t be there, but that he’s just not as good as everybody says. And I think his reputation – really I was comparing his reputation on the field to his reputation in the media. The media has portrayed Donovan McNabb as a great quarterback, and they have given him, have credited him almost exclusively with the Eagles’ success, and I’ve always thought that there were more components to the Eagles’ success than just the quarterback.
I’ve always thought that teams that have a quarterback that accumulates more rushing yards than the running backs are actually not going to win championships; this is the NFL, not the NCAA. The Eagles had a previous quarterback like this. Randall Cunningham was a great quarterback, but he was a rushing quarterback as well, and he oftentimes didn’t lead the team in rushing, but he was close. And Cunningham got the same kind of treatment that Donovan McNabb gets by the Philadelphia media and actually the national sports media. So as a fan I simply made the statement that I think his reputation on the field does not match his reputation in the media.
And then I went further and said that I think that the sports media has a desire that black quarterbacks – remember, now, we’re going through phases in the NFL just like we go through in our society. We go through society, “We need affirmative action because there aren’t enough blacks in leadership jobs, or in jobs, period.” Well, it’s reached the NFL. There aren’t enough black head coaches, which I also spoke about in an essay three weeks ago. At one point we didn’t have enough black quarterbacks. Well, now, there are quite a number of black quarterbacks and it’s my opinion that the sports media, being liberals, just like liberal media is elsewhere, they have a desire that black quarterbacks excel and do very well so that their claims that blacks are being denied opportunity can be validated.
They’ve got a vested (interest), they’ve pushed the idea all these years, they have accelerated the notion that it’s unfair that blacks haven’t been quarterbacks – and I agree with that – and so they’ve got a vested interest when the quarterback position opens up to blacks that they do well. And I have simply said that their desire for McNabb to do well has caused them to rate him a little higher than perhaps he actually is. That’s what I said. I find it interesting that in the immediate hours and days after this program, nobody said a word. There was no – at least nobody told me at ESPN that they were inundated with response.
This thing is alive and kicking today because the Philadelphia sports media, the newspapers, decided to kick it up. There was no immediate reaction among fans or viewers that I heard of. We had no phone calls here about it. Only yesterday when, I think, no less than four writers, columnists in Philadelphia newspapers started raising hell about this did it become a big issue. And then it’s been picked up by local sports talk show hosts and media, many of them who do not have a history of listening to this program, do not have a history of listening to me, nor desire to do that, nor do they have an understanding of my overall positions on our culture, politics.
They think they do based on what critics of this program have said and written, but when you get down to it they probably have not listened. So it was real simple. I simply said, “It’s totally understandable that the sports media, having made the case that it’s unfair blacks had been denied the quarterback position all these years have a vested interest in their doing well, and so maybe they hype them a little bit more than they actually deserve based on field performance, pure and simple.” And, remember, now: it was a discussion on what’s wrong with the Eagles and what’s wrong with McNabb and is there anything wrong. And from that, why, you would think that I have, you know, gone back and wished for the South to have been successful and everything that goes along with that. I mean, it’s literally incredible.
I think the fact is that I must have hit a nerve with this, because the reaction certainly does not – I think there’s a sense of proportion missing here. The reaction to this certainly does not at all equal the so-called controversy of the comment. The comment actually was a comment aimed at the media, not even at McNabb – other than to say I don’t think he’s as good as his reputation is. It’s not by any stretch of the imagination a put-down, doesn’t say McNabb’s bad. I guess if the sports media in Philadelphia and elsewhere are going to react this way, would it be fair to say that maybe they’re not interested in black quarterbacks doing well? Or doing better?
I mean, if they’re going to get upset with me for saying that their desire for black quarterbacks to do well might influence their opinion and coverage of him, I’ll take it back and say, “Okay, you’re not interested in black quarterbacks doing well.” If that would make you happy. You know, this is such a mountain out of a molehill. There’s no racism here. There’s no racist intent, comment whatsoever. It was simply my attempt to explain why McNabb’s reputation in the media – in my opinion as a fan, which now is apparently disqualified. You know, this leads into a number of other questions or discussions that we could have. According to the sports media I have no business being on ESPN. Why? Because I have no background in sports.
Well, I do, but not enough to satisfy them. So I guess if you listen to the elitist liberal sports media, I nor anybody else who hasn’t been somehow close to the game or played it or whatever shouldn’t be on a program where these items are discussed. And by the same token, I guess if you haven’t served in the military you can’t talk about war, and I guess if you haven’t gone to the moon, you can’t talk about space shuttle accidents or if you haven’t been in the shuttle… I mean where does this stuff end? Who makes these requirements? Who are these elitists that sit on high with their condescending attitude toward everybody else? Where does this come from, and who anoints them as the arbiters and the judges of who is qualified and who isn’t qualified to be a fan of a particular sport – which is all I am; no pretensions have been made otherwise, no assertions, and no attempt to cast me in any other light have been made on this program.
Fans are often wrong. Everybody disagrees with everybody when it comes to opinions expressed about practically everything, including sports. But there’s some reason that this one has caused a volcanic eruption, and I can only assume that it may have hit too close to home, otherwise this would roll off people’s backs and it would be laughed at more than anything else. But I mean, you should see some of the stuff that was in the Philadelphia media, folks. You Dittoheads are just a bunch of mind-numbed robots. I have a twisted view of America. My attitude is old-fashioned and whatever. I mean, the comments that were made about me in the Philadelphia media were totally oriented toward my political perspective, my cultural perspective and how it’s wrong and embarrassing and antiquated and whatever judgments they made about it. And if anybody is entering politics into this, it’s them, not me. I have studiously avoided it. Because I know people are laying in wait for it.
So I think that the critics here have a little bit to explain themselves. I think they have some questions to answer. Well, then who is entitled to speak about these things on the media or privately, publicly? Who decides that? What is the criteria for determining somebody’s value or worth in this regard? ESPN’s not exactly suffering because of the format and the casting of their new show. It’s quite the opposite. So just who are they to sit in judgment of who is qualified and not and who’s allowed and not to discuss sports, and then who are they to decide what is permissible to be said? You know, this is exactly, precisely it.
These are the people who claim to be the most tolerant among us. These are the compassionate left who claim to have the biggest hearts and the biggest degree of understanding, but they’re the ones who are the least tolerant. It’s in sports just as it is throughout the rest of our culture. The whole term “political correctness” stems from college campuses and liberals who are uncomfortable with hearing things that don’t fit their world view, and who decided to take issue with those things they don’t like and somehow they have succeeded in punishing people who say things they don’t agree with. We’ve got hate crimes now in this country. You know what a hate crime is? You go out and beat somebody up, that’s one thing.
If you beat somebody up and their skin color is different from yours, that’s then a hate crime, which means they’re going to punish you because of the way you’re thinking, and they’re going to assume the way you’re thinking simply by way of the social construct that they have established. So all of these things are entirely political; they’re totally established by the left. I’ve discussed this on this program for 15 years and I don’t intend to stop. These are not the most tolerant people among us. They are not the most understanding. They are not the most compassionate – and in fact I would dare say that they are ignorant. As I mentioned in the last hour, two weeks ago I did an essay – maybe three, weeks run together – but I did an essay on the new NFL – it’s called the Rooney rule, which has to do with the league’s new policy on hiring black coaches. Because they don’t think there are enough head coaches that are black.
There are 32 teams in the league, and only three black head coaches, and it’s been determined that that’s not right. It’s unfair. The league has been threatened with lawsuits by Johnnie Cochran if something isn’t done about this. So they created a rule. The rule is that teams when they have head coaching vacancies must now interview black candidates, interview black candidates. They can’t say, “You have to hire them,” because that’s illegal. You can’t demand that somebody be hired. I know the policy is well intentioned. The purpose of the policy, the intention is that owners in the interview process will discover that many of these black assistant coaches are very qualified, and that they’ll end up hiring them, and go outside the old boys network of white head coaches that have been recycled from team to team to team.
Well, that’s all well and good but I expressed a fear that this new rule could actually lead to black head coaches used as pawns. Two examples. Matt Millen, Detroit Lions, wanted to hire Steve Mariucci when the 49ers fired him last January. Millen publicly said, “Mooch is my guy,” went after him. Uh-oh, there’s the Rooney rules. Millen called five black coaches and said, “Would you come in and interview?” and they said, “No, you’ve made it plain you’re going to hire Mariucci. It would be a waste of time.” Okay, fine, but he had tried to interview them he tried to follow the policy but because he had been public about his desire to hire Mariucci, none of the black head coaches he asked to interview would come in, and he got fined $200,000.
If he had not said a word about wanting to hire Mariucci and had just brought these five head coaches in for interviews and then hired Mariucci, no fine. But he didn’t do it that way. So the 49ers were next up. They had to replace Mariucci. They very publicly interviewed Ted Cottrell of the Jets and Greg Blache of the Bears. Very publicly flew them into San Francisco a couple of times each, very public about it, and then out of the blue, out of nowhere they hired Dennis Erickson from Oregon State – a white coach whose name had not been mentioned publicly at all. Now, I’m not accusing the 49ers of anything. But similar questionable things happened with Bill Parcells at Dallas, Jack Del Rio at Jacksonville, the Jaguars. My point was that it would be a shame if these black assistants ended up being used as pawns simply to keep the league out of court. I was very sympathetic to the black head coach premise and black assistant coaches in the league. Nobody commented about that. Nobody reacted to it at all, and nobody puts it in context with this McNabb business.