Friday, January 30, 2009

Is It Wrong To Root For "The Black Guy"?!?

The SuperBowl is this weekend, and since I'm not having a party at the crib, nor going to one, I honestly couldn't care less.[1] Besides, if that Peta commercial, and this Miller High Life ad[2] are the best things going, I won't be missing much anyway.

I'm the rare hardcore sports fan that doesn't really care about football unless we're talking about the fantasy variety. Don't get me wrong, I follow it, but I don't obsess about football like I do basketball. The fact that I don't "have a team" only further adds to this nonchalance. Sure, I jump on and off the Redskins bandwagon when convenient, but that's about it.

I don't really have a favorite in this Sunday's game. The Steelers are favored (by's Poll Position and Vegas), and since they're geographically closer, more folks around here seem to want them to win. But you can't overlook the underdog status of the Cardinals, who have ascended from Clipper-esque mediocrity to the precipice of the greatest title in all sports. I got used to listening to Larry Fitzgerald's Dad on the radio every morning in Minneapolis, so I'm pulling for him. Kurt Warner's odd looking wife will be there. Edge is finally out of the scrip clubs, and on the biggest stage. The whole "team of destiny" thing has a nice ring to it.

But ultimately I'm going to pull for the Steelers, and the tiebreaker is obvious: Coach Mike Tomlin. I don't even need to lie to ya'll, I'm cheering for the Steelers because they have a black coach and I want to see history (Dungy, 2006) repeat itself this year. I have no greater explanation, and part of me wonders if there's anything wrong with this.

Racial pride is something that's generally frowned upon by the mainstream media, especially when the subject of said pride is black or brown. Tomes were written about whether or not blacks were voting for Obama "just cause he' black" last year, which was the dumbest of angles to me. So freakin' what? White folks vote white all the time. Women vote for women. Jews support Jews. Asians have their own self-sustaining economies. It's human nature on some level to support and be proud of your own, but that don't necessarily make it wrong.

So, I'll be pulling for Coach Omar Epps Tomlin, who is hands down The Coolest Negro In All Of Sports, this Sunday without any regrets. Am I wrong for this?

Question: Is it wrong to root for someone to succeed "just cause they black"? If not, why is it sometimes considered racist to support someone just "cause they are white"? Could our new President take some "Cool Pointers" from Coach Tomlin?

[1] The operative phrase is indeed "COULDN'T care less", as Chris N. infamously corrected me here awhile back. I just didn't know better, but I can't go a single day without hearing "COULD care less" about a dozen times. Let's fix this, people. Good job, Chris N.

[2] This guy irks me for some odd reason. Can't pinpoint why, but he does.

20 AverageComments™:

StillaPanther2 said...

Brother Average... I am pulling for Brother Tomlin because he is from one of my city's high school (Denbigh High,Newport News,VA) and William And Mary University. Most of my Black male friends are in their 40s and they "say" they know him as well as played against him in high school. You know how we do. :). Now as far as race, I am rooting for him along those lines and the whites that know me (neighbors, co-workers) will not feel bad or see me as tinged with racism. They know my Black status. Back to Brother Tomlin; he went to Denbigh HS when it was the "main" white school and Bro.Tomlin as well as Blacks in the area of the city called Denbigh was seen as docile and "non-threatning". For lack of a better term. The southern part of the city, as well as connecting city Hampton had many racial clashes during those days. I give Bro. Tomlin kudos because during his hs/college years he placed atheletics secondary, he was a good/honor roll student. These "not-Black" traits could be the reason he appears aloof at times. I hope the Black youths of my city see in him someone to pattern their lives. Please dont trip over the word docile....25 years ago were turbulent times in the race power struggle and some Brothers and Sisters stayed out of the clashing part and some demostrated that we could be just like them and beat them on their terms. I am happy to say we needed both. Go Black Brother Tomlin and the Steelers. Brother Average....not tell the truth, Dont the Steelers seems to be run by their w--th QB. The same with the other Black coach. It seems that Manning audible on every how much input did his coach had.

ebonygentleman said...

I want the Steelers to win, but something seems fishy about this whole thing. I've been listening to the sports heads all week, and no one seems to be giving AZ a chance.

The Cardinals are an anomaly. They are not a sexy team, except in Phoenix. They really are an aesthetic letdown from what Philadelphia would have been in this game.

As of right now the Steelers are favored by 7 points. I have to wonder how heavy the betting is on Pittsburgh.

This has to be a sucker's bet.

I think Pittsburgh will win, but not cover, or they will lose the game.


Marbles said...

"Racial pride is something that's generally frowned upon by the mainstream media, especially when the subject of said pride is black or brown."

I would counter that there is more media tolerance for "black or brown" solidarity than there is for solidarity self-identified as "white." Much as I've come to believe that ALL tribalism is by defintion pure poison, I should think the reasons for that situation are obvious, and the reactionaries who hiss and spit about this "double standard" are probably not easily reasoned with.

(Yes, there was the "they're just voting for him 'cause he's black" theme, but I think that was more about rank stupidity than an attempt to squash racial solidarity. Apparently it escaped these melonheads that Democrats usually get 90+ percent of the black vote anyway.)

MissJay said...


I was inclined to root for his team before I knew he went to Denbigh High. My mother and 3 uncles graduated from that school as well and I grew up in that area. I was actually zoned for DHS but went to the new high school out by Ft. Eustis. So now I have 3 reasons why I want Coach Tomlin to get a ring.

i.l.l. said...

@ Chris N.
Good lookin' out man! I HATE when people botch up "couldn't care less" but I'm usually not gangsta enough to correct them.

These melonheads knew damn well that blacks vote overwhelmingly Democrat on most days. It's just more fun to push the "black people are the most racist people in America" angle.

Ain't nothing wrong with rooting for the black guy. You're right. TONS of other groups do it. It just bothers me that some folk don't seem to get the difference between rooting for your guy because faaaaaaar more often the not, your guy is at a disadvantage and the regular ol' boys club.

SoulOnIce said...

It's funny, because the same thing is going through my head. I don't care for either one of these teams at all. Pittsburgh has the most loyal fans in football, and Arizona is one of the best stories I've heard in a while (the true definition of ashy-to-classy). The tie-breaker is Tomlin, though. He seems like a good dude, and he's demands his player's respect. On top of that, he's live, so I want the Steelers to prevail.

Ed The Sports Fan said...

First off, it is totally okay to root for Tomlin only and thus for the Steelers as a whole. I support that wholeheartedly. Even though I'm going for the Cardinals, I feel like I still win in the end if Tomlin wins.

Besides, when the Colts and Bears played, with 2 black coaches, I went with Tony Dungy because his WIFE was black and Lovie had a white woman.

Oh, and the High Life commercial dude is hella cool, I met him up in Cleveland last year. Yet, he might only be cool to me because I met him.


the uppity negro said...

I'm with you on AB...NFL is not a passion of mine.

But most of y'all know sports isn't ranked high period--but I will go to a baseball game if I get tickets, go figure. The O's game last summer was nice.


I mean, rootin' for the black guy is in our nature. Its something that has been passed down from father to son and mother to daughter. I mean, me and my dad used to fall out as I got in high school because I questioned why he always rooted for the black person on Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune.


It's the same heartstring pull when you hear the news being read at 11pm: praying silently that the victim isn't black or that the perpetrator isn't black either.

Or the same way many of us hoped OJ Simpson was acquitted of his murder charges back in 1995.

I think the cases of black coaches in professional sports is slightly different because of the historical ramifications. Seriously, there are still people out there who really don't believe blacks are fully qualified for certain positions and these are the people that have the tendency to assume this KKK mentality that blacks and other non-whites are taking all the good and decent jobs from good, hard working white men....

...or as Sarah Palin said "Joe Six Pack" or as Hillary Clinton said "hard-working Americans"

"lunch pail workers...Wal-mart moms..." pick your poison.


I think in an altruistic society this idea of tribalism, or I'd prefer nationalism, would not be optimal, but in a society when one nationality gets preferential treatment over that of another, and the playing field has yet to be level, is it any shock why [black] pride is such a big deal?

deedee said...

my grandmother, who still follows sports at age 84, specifically roots for nfl teams that have black coaches and or QB's. i see nothing wrong with it. we should outwardly celebrate our pride for those among us who have risen to ranks previously unreached.

i agree with eg- it is pretty natural. and the same way we root for the black person, on a game show, to use eg's example, we also cower or say a collective "oh man" when they screw up! another prime example- debi thomas in the 1988 winter olympics- all of black america was rooting for her to bring home the gold and all of black america shouted "d@mn, debi! not AGAIN!" when her behind kept f-ing up the triple axle/lutz/sowcow!! but homegirl had one H@ll of a back-up plan- she's now a practicing orthopedic surgeon! h@ell- SHE could have been a great surgeon general nominee!!

for those of you who may have had milk on your breath in '88, here's a youtube clip. it's not the olypics but it will do. FF to :30 and prepare for the "oh d@mn" @ :37.

deedee said...

correction- it's uppity i was agreeing with...

Yellow Fellow said...

"Even though I'm going for the Cardinals, I feel like I still win in the end if Tomlin wins."


I actually live in Phoenix and you wouldn't believe how hyped the city is about going to the Super Bowl. I do want Tomlin to win on the strength of hime being a young black dude, but I gotta root for my city as well(even though I'm not from here, but who here is!?). Like AB I don't really have a team, but unlike AB and Mr. Uppity I LOVE FOOTBALL! I watch it just because I love the game. Basketball is like baseball to me. I don't like to watch but playing is fun. said...

@ Panther

I had no idea dude was from the Tidewater area.

@ EG

I wouldn't be surprised (or disappointed) if the Cards won either.

@ Marbles

I would counter that there is more media tolerance for "black or brown" solidarity than there is for solidarity self-identified as "white."

Respectfully disagree.

@ SoulOnIce

Good to have you on the boards. Look fwd to more comments.

@ Ed

I did the same thing. Plus, Lovie seems like a douche and Dungy is the ultimate character guy. This was part of it.

I guess this raises a question: Are black folks LESS enthused when the successful person is married to a white chick? Negroes didn't care for Cuba Gooding when he won his Oscar. Maybe it was his role (Rod Tidwell), but I think his wife had something to do with it.

Future post idea.

@ Uppity

Funny you mention Jeopardy. I had a blk dude from my hometown (Natalie will recall this also) who went on that show and BOMBED. He scored like zero points and came in 2nd only cause the two top scorers both bid the farm to beat each other.

@ Yellow

Go over to In & Out on Mill Ave and grab me one of them steak wraps. Dang, that was the best wrap and smoothie I EVAR had. I remember that 3 years later.

Ciara said...

I'm going for the Steelers for one reason and one reason only: Arizona messed up my chances of having perfection: An Obama victory and an Eagles Super Bowl. I'm still not over that game and probably never will be. The Eagles break my heart every damn year and I can't take it anymore. I want heads on a stick starting with Marty Morningwheg. Dude was the coach of Detroit. Common sense will tell you that his offensive play calling would be super-duper WACK. And on top of that, I got ONE good quarter out of that game. ONE? Where the hell was my D? I see why New England got rid of Asante Samuel because dude can't cover ish. Get it together, Eagles Green . Get. It. Together.

(sorry, had to vent)

Anyway, there is nothing wrong for going for someone because he or she is black. Like you said, other cultures do it all the time.

spool32 said...

Speaking of rooting for the black guy... Michael Steele is the new RNC chairman.

How wrong is it now? ;)

vanilla latte said...

Wait, is the Super Bowl this weekend? Excellent! That means no traffic while I'm out running errands!! :-)

And the cry-baby Redskins have to sit at home and watch after another year down the shitter.
Way to go Snyder, you douche bag.

vanilla latte said...

@ Spool
"Speaking of rooting for the black guy... Michael Steele is the new RNC chairman."

Can't wait to discuss this with you Spool (on another post). said...

@ Spool/Latte

Request granted.

BTW, I was pulling for Steele. This should be interesting.

ebonygentleman said...

One more thing. I'm a Minnesota Vikings fan. If Mike Tomlin gets the brass ring on Sunday, part of that Lombardi Trophy should go to us.

He used to be the Vikes Defensive Coordinator.

We could have had him, but we're stuck with a sub-par coach...and we made the playoffs this year.


cinco said...

What's a Superbowl without the Patriots? Just another game with great commercials and an entertaining halftime.

That being said, I think that rooting for someone because they're one color or another will frequently happen. Is it right or wrong? Who knows? We all do it. Whether we admit it to others or not is the mystery.

I don't have a preference for a winner but I hope the game is intense, full of the excitment that football brings and that there won't be a blow out score.

Renata said...

I co sign with Uppity Negro. Love the name by the way. I don't feel guilty, I mean if we don't root for people who do the damn thing and do it well, who would? It is different for Whites they and everything thing that they do is considered the norm. When a Lovie or Dugan Condi Rice, Colin Powell or a Michael Steele do it it is the exception to the rule to mainstream. I root for them because they are the norm for us too. Yesterday I went to a friend's graduation I was soo proud of her, we went out and did it up for her. Why because we need to celebrate who we are and who we come from. She is the first to get a Masters Degree and in Science too. She is one of our best kept secret ingredients. She represents the best of us and all that can be. To me that is what we owe each other, that is one of the ways that we pay it forward to all the people who never got the chance period. It is not nor has it ever been about overnight celebrity it is about acknowledging the special ingredients that make us, us and honoring that.

Okay enough with my long posts. LOL

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