The ‘Cornball’ curveball

No Rob Parker today on ESPN’s First Take. No surprise. Not after he questioned what sort of black man Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is and was then suspended on Friday by ESPN, which also promises a full review of the matter. I am reasonably worldly and have heard a lot of insults (not all of them directed at me, smarty) but “cornball brother” took me to a different place. ESPN’s First Take has been, for way too long, the Tim Tebow Fan Club and (non-alcoholic) Grill, though even ESPN acknowledged the need to pull back on (pardon the expression) the endless godding up of the New York Jets’ reserve quarterback. I do not recall over way too much time any discussion on First Take of whether Tebow was too white, though ESPN talked about him so much that remembering any single comment would be akin to telling one porcupine from the next. All pretty much the same, unless you are a porcupine. And I well remember Rush Limbaugh’s lame lament that white media wanted Donovan McNabb to do well because white media needed to root for a black quarterback. That put Limbaugh out of the football commentary business, though he says essentially the same things now about white media rooting for a black president because, well, never mind. … The things Parker said were incredible and I won’t reprise all of them here. I don’t need to be offended on RG III’s behalf but I don’t like it when people in my profession drag it through the swamp. Everyone gets dragooned into the ‘news alert’ army, either covering the story (and making it bigger) or opining away (hey, that’s me), and then, for second- and third-day angles, asking black quarterbacks what it means to be a black quarterback. Somewhere, I can see Doug Williams turning off his cell phone. … I did get one laugh out of the thing — Parker hinted that Griffin might be a Republican, intimating that this political effrontery should then thoroughly disqualify Griffin from The Black Man Club. I’d bet Parker regrets his comments, and not only for the obvious reasons. At times our mouths get a step ahead of our true thoughts and that leads to a sort of verbal pass interference and a big penalty. …

Random thoughts: The Los Angeles Lakers lost again, now 9-14. Look out below … I do not favor the NFL expanding the playoff field. I am not all that interested in seeing 8-8 teams (or worse) in the playoffs. The telescope of my mind, peering into infinity, sees an 18-game regular season and 14 teams in the playoffs in the NFL’s playbook and the NFL hates to audible. … Doesn’t bother me seeing the Nets in Brooklyn after their endless travels. I actually saw them play in the old ABA as the New Jersey Americans in the Teaneck Armory. Used to be people moved from Brooklyn to New Jersey.

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