Wednesday, January 04, 2006
W.E.B. Dubois on the NFL
This year was a good year for football, especially the NFL, but maybe not so much of a good year for coaches. As of yesterday, there were at least 8 NFL coaches given their pink slips and I suspect that as many as 6 more may also get the boot. Why do I say this? Because it seems that the obvious – successful coaches in the NFL as of current times seem to be of the African American persuasion. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that if you are of the swarthy hued complexion, that it guarantees success. But it is strange, that maybe my dream of seeing two African America head coaches square off in the supper Bowl may be realized. First up to bat is Cincinnati under the leadership of the defensive minded Marvin Lewis, who while as the Baltimore Ravens Defensive Coordinator was passed up on seven coaching positions just two years ago. Now his team is 11 and 5 and has received a bye in the first round. Then there is the fresh changes that have been made by Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith who has his team at 11 wins and 5 loses and have earned the number two seed in the national league behind Seattle.
Lastly, there are the Indianapolis Colts' and Tony Dungy who had a chance for greatness until they lost their first game this season. At 14 and 2, they re the favorites. Not to mention that Coach Dungy has managed to show that character is more important than games played by men after the loss of his 18 year son James. Many speculate that Lewis and Dungy will face each other for the AFC title. Still others feel that Smith’s Chicago Bears has the defense to make it to the Super Bowl as the NFC representative. Which means there could be to African America coaches in the Super Bowl this year?
As of date, there are six African American head coaches in the National Football League's among 32. However, with all the success evinced by this cadre of coaches, I am sad to say I do not see any more being added to the NFL ranks, even with eight to thirteen vacancies available. Although I believe that Minnesota defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, Buffalo defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, San Francisco assistant head coach Mike Singletary and Jets defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson would be excellent head coaches. Especially given the observation of the available aforementioned defensive minds and their winning ways on and off the field. I mean, although Dennis Green, Romeo Crennel and Herman Edwards of the Jet’s are not in the play-offs, they have been to the play-offs and have been successful in the NFL when their teams were healthy.
I would hope that one of the three (Dungy, Smith and Lewis) would actually be considered for and win the prestigious Coach of the Year award. But I doubt it. It seems as W.E.B. Dubois was right, given that the problem of Football remains to be the one of the color line. I wonder if any of the four names I mentioned were white, would they be considered for these newly opened head coaching jobs.