Monday, August 31, 2009
I was recently touched by a radio commentator bragging about the number of pro football players coming out of Miami Dade county: I ponder, on the other hand, why he failed to mention a more telling statistic: the amount of young African American males from Miami Dade county going to prison: about one out of three. The sum just doesn't add up. For every black male making it to the National Football League, there are hundreds more being shackled. On the flip side,there are no men in the NFL from New York's heavily Jewish Westchester county, yet they have plenty of guys in law school, Med School, and Ivy League graduate schools. So you tell me, what's wrong with this picture? Perhaps one explanation comes from the U.S. Census Department showing 40% of African American males are unemployed; well I can see why when the leading employer is the NFL and NBA; sure, they're just begging for job applicants. The trouble is some black fathers excoriate their sons when they fumble a football or miss a layup, but they could care less when the kid doesn't turn in his homework, or cusses out his teacher. At least these dads, nevertheless, are showing up for something beyond a prison work detail. Still, this disparity may explain why New York's graduation rate for blacks is a paltry 26%. You know what else is the pits; according to a recent study, the financial plight of African Americans is nothing short of abysmal; consider this: 1/200,000 have a chance of playing in the NBA. 1/3,000 will earn a Ph.D 1/400 will become a doctor, while 1/20 will be incarcerated. So what is the NFL doing to turn these numbers around, absolutely nothing. Oh occassionaly, a player may visit an inner city school while reading to a few kids during a swank photo shoot, but that's extent of it. While we look on with pride at all the players from football producing states like Florida, California, also Texas, Rome is burning, and one day, we may all end up choking on the smoke.
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Before the NFL draft, ESPN analyst and former Raven, Trent Dilfer, was touting USC signal caller, Mark Sanchez, as the second coming of Joe Namath; according to Dilfer, Sanchez was the only can't miss hope in the draft. All these revelations from a former player who couldn't throw a pea into the ocean...much less a football. If this is all true, nevertheless, why is Sanchez struggling to beat out unheralded, Kellen Clemons? Following reports out of Jets training camp, Sanchez struggles with reads while throwing untimely interceptions; hardly sounds like John Unitas to me. Making matters worse though, even if Clemons out performs Sanchez in preseason, the Jets are obligated to start him since he inked a five year sixty million dollar deal; but this kind of quandary just highlights why the NFL needs to institute a rookie salary cap during the next collective bargaining session. Sanchez's stock rose during involuntary workouts at USC where he wasn't facing the likes of Jared Allen, Joey Porter, or Demarcus Ware. Now, Its becoming very clear many agents are colluding with these so called forecasters to drive up the price of untested prospects. Consider this, of the 28 players who made the NFL All Rookie team, 12 were drafted in the first round. The remaining athletes were taken in the later rounds including the Chiefs, Brandon Carr: the 140th pick. Fullback, Payton Hillis was 227th overall selection while Defensive end, Jason Jones was 54th, and Desean Jackson 49th. Drafting, therefore, is an inexact science; clearly, the best gems are discovered in the later rounds. Of course, this isn't to say Mark Sanchez will not develop into an outstanding professional football player; however committing 60-million dollars to an athlete who struggled to beat out several also rans at USC begs the question: are the blind leading the blind.