Thursday, December 15, 2005

And Yet Another Attack on One of the Best

Will somebody explain the reasoning behind this? J. Whyatt Mondesire, the Philadelphia president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) shot off his mouth in the Philadelphia Sun, a newspaper for blacks. Mondesire’s target, who else?Everybody seems to take shots at this man. Donovan McNabb, the All-Pro quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Only two years after Donovan had to respond to then ESPN analyst Rush Limbaugh's claims that he received his praise because he is African American he’s got to defend himself again…this time from a black leader. McNabb took what Limbaugh said and turned it away like a would-be tackler. Donovan is now trying to elude these accusations from what this so-called leader of the NAACP said about him.

Mondesire wrote in his opinion piece on November 27th that McNabb is a “mediocre talent” and that he failed as a team leader during the Terrell Owens mess earlier this year. He continued saying that McNabb used the ''race card'' as an excuse for his poor play. Mondesire also said that McNabb's ability to run the ball much more early in his career "not only confused defenses, it also thrilled Eagles fans.” He said in his column that abandoning that element of his game "by claiming that 'everybody expects black quarterbacks to scramble' not only amounts to a breach of faith but also belittles the real struggles of black athletes who've had to overcome real racial stereotypcasting in addition to downright segregation." This idiot concluded that McNabb is “not that good.”

C’mon buddy, are you lost or just plain stupid? How can you as a black man not root for this great athlete? Donovan McNabb is a five time Pro-Bowl quarterback whose play is not even as great as his character. As a white man who has many friends that are African-American I find this more than ridiculous. It’s one thing to have an opinion about something, which I agree that we all should, but to be in such a high position where thousands and thousands of people wait for your column each week…you Mr. Mondesire are nothing more than ignorant.

The entire piece is something that turns my stomach, but there are several things in it that also are wrong. If Mr. NAACP had spent five minutes to look up Donovan’s career statistics, he might have realized (I’m not sure though) that McNabb's rushing totals have gone down each year since 2000, the year he became the starting quarterback of the Eagles. My point is simple, it hasn’t been a drastic revolution in Donovan’s play. In fact, in his All-Pro season last year of 2004, McNabb ran less than in any other season. Somebody should point out to old Mr. Mondesire that the Eagles came three points away from winning the Super Bowl. And by the way, Donovan runs the ball just as much as another elite black quarterback, Daunte Culpepper.

Passing is a very big part of the quarterback position unless you’re team runs the ball much more than you throw…and in the last twenty years you’d be hard-pressed to find a winning team that doesn’t throw the ball about half the time. McNabb has been one of the top passing quarterbacks in the NFL over the last 5 ½ years. In every full season he’s played he’s thrown for more than 3,200 yards and has thrown 134 career touchdowns to just 66 interceptions. That’s 2-to-1 Mr. Mondesire, which is very good in the NFL – better than most white quarterbacks.

This so-called leader of the black race also tried to compare Donovan critically with former Super Bowl MVP Redskins quarterback Doug Williams. Mondesire said that Doug led the Redskins to "35 points in the fourth quarter alone" during its 1988 Super Bowl win against the Denver Broncos. Since I’m the sports nut and he’s the idiot, I would like to point out that Doug Williams and the Redskins scored there Super Bowl record 35 points in a quarter in the second quarter, not the fourth quarter. My point is not to take anything away from the most remarkable single game performance that I’ve ever watched…It’s to again say to this Mondesire fool – take the time to get your facts straight.

Donovan McNabb's 2005 season ended last month when he had surgery for the sports hernia that had slowed him tremendously since Week 1. In all honesty, it was the first time in McNabb’s career that he had a season to forget.

I implore Mr. J. Whyatt Mondesire to apologize to Donovan McNabb. Although, I’m not sure it would do much good. McNabb probably will still find little respect in his classy body for this guy. I would also suggest to Mondesire to stick to the issues that really matter, education, poverty and the betterment of the entire black community. We’ve got a positive black role model and this is what he’s wasting his rhetoric on.

I’m still in disbelief that more members of the NAACP aren’t calling for his resignation. He went against what the great National Association for the Advancement of Colored People says it will do…Ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Back in the Action Again

Pat Riley sat in his office as the president of the Miami Heat. He made great money and pulled the strings on player moves and personnel changes. But it wasn’t enough. Not even close to being enough. Riley had that burning desire to be the man in charge again. Being the Heat’s team president must have been really nice, but it's nothing compared to the action every night on the court. Riles is a guy who needs to be in the center of the action - right there yelling at the top of his lungs at his players, and the officials while stomping his feet.

We’ve seen this story so many times before. MJ couldn’t stand not being part of the game, so he came back for a few seasons with the Wizards. Muhammad Ali needed to fight a few too many last fights to prove to the world that he was still “The Greatest.” Jerry Rice hung on too long also. But it’s not just the athlete that has trouble walking away and retiring. Coaches and managers do it all the time. And Pat Riley is surely not the last to add to the list of leaders like Joe Gibbs, Scotty Bowman and Jack McKeon.

He’s 60 years old and he’s been to the pinnacle of success as a college player, NBA player and NBA coach…but everyone knew from the start that Riley left the door so far wide open for his return that he actually probably took it off the hinges and removed the entire door. Stan Van Gundy was burned out and wanted to spend the holidays with his family? C’mon, it sounds nice – but let’s be real.

This is a man who won four NBA championships with the great Lakers in 80s, and took the New York Knicks to Game 7 of the NBA Finals in ’94. He’s a coach that holds the NBA record for most playoff wins with 155, and is third in all-time wins with 1,110. Riley has more playoff wins than Stan Van Gundy had regular season wins.

His team will get better quickly…they’re a good team. Shaq is healing and will start playing again. D-Wade is playing great and the rest of the guys will all fall in place. Guys like Alonzo Mourning love Riley and want to win a title really bad and will do whatever they can to get it.

Riles will bring such intensity he might have thought the team lacked under Van Gundy. The Heat will now be a more aggressive team, ala the real nice Heat teams of the late 90s. That new intensity and play begins tonight for the Heat. For the first time in more than two years, he'll be back in control of the Miami Heat calling the shots. And even though Pat Riley might not recognize all of the plays in the Heat’s playbook he knows the guys on the team, he knows the game that they’re playing and he knows how to win.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Stan Van Gundy Resigns

Miami's coach Stan Van Gundy resigned this morning because of family reasons. Team officials are saying that the announcement will come later today at an 11am news conference.

Stan led the Heat to the best record in the Eastern Conference last season, but rumors have swirled for almost a year that he might step aside to let his mentor, Pat Riley return to the bench. Riley chose Van Gundy as his successor a little more than two years ago.