Thursday, August 23, 2007

Can't find my way home....

It appears, in the last couple of years, that the NAACP has lost its way.

I know that football is an emotional game, and it is difficult as a fan not to get emotionally invested, but for the second time in three years, the head of a major chapter of the NAACP has made a truly bone-headed statement to the press in regards to a professional football player. With the presidents of two major chapters in the last three years taking some idiotic stances, I think the organization has lost the right to have their membership showing blind faith in its leadership (this doesn't even include issues like the embezzlement of the organization's funds by its leaders in 2002 in the smaller chapter in Frederick, MD).

The first time was in December of 2005 when J. Whyatt Mondesire, head of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP essentially called Donovan McNabb an Uncle Tom because McNabb no longer scrambled like he did early in his career. Of course one of the major facts that Mondesire ignored in his argument that McNabb was better before he became a pocket passer, is that until McNabb stayed in the pocket, the team didn't even make it to the NFC Championship game, let alone the Super Bowl.

The same man compared McNabb to Doug Williams, calling him, "no Doug Williams," for his failure to perform in the Super Bowl. For that, Philadelphia fans should be thankful. Williams was at best a mediocre quarterback who had one great game and a couple of good ones on his way to his Super Bowl win with the Redskins. Williams was in and out of the league, playing 1978-1982 for Tampa before toiling in the USFL until 1986 when he joined Washington. He was gone before the 1990 season, playing in only 21 games during his four seasons in Washington.

Head to head, McNabb was and is the far better quarterback =

Williams - 8 Seasons, 88 games

Att 1240  Comp 2507  Percentage 49.5 Yards 16998   Yd/att 6.8 TD 100 INT 93
McNabb - 8 Seasons, 104 games

Att 1898  comp 3259  percentage 58.2 yards 22080   yd/att 6.8 TD 152 INT 72 

Statistical comparisons aside, this attack confounded the NAACP brain-trust who openly wondered if Mondesire shouldn't have more pressing civil-rights concerns.

One has to wonder the same about R.L. White, president of the NAACP's Atlanta chapter who yesterday said, "As a society, we should aid in his rehabilitation and welcome a new Michael Vick back into the community without a permanent loss of his career in football. We further ask the NFL, Falcons, and the sponsors not to permanently ban Mr. Vick from his ability to bring hours of enjoyment to fans all over this country."

That's an easy request for a man to make that is not reliant on the general public to pay his salary. The NAACP does not get its revenues from a consumer base - many of whom are dog owners.

White compared dog-fighting to hunting. Not necessarily a stretch, but also the wrong group to attack as they are often dog owners.

He mentions that others were saying things to save their own hides. Probably true - but that doesn't necessarily mean that what they were saying were lies either - particularly in light of the video evidence that the Feds supposedly had...not to mention the fact that is seems the money trail kept leading back to Vick.

Like Mondesire, White ignored a number of facts in this case. If Vick receives a lifetime ban from the league, it won't be for dog-fighting. It will be for gambling. If sponsors do not return to Vick, it will not be because he failed to rehabilitate himself, it will be because they believe that he is no longer a viable marketing commodity and would more than likely cause sales to drop rather than increase.

Finally, being in Atlanta, home of the Genarlow Wilson debacle - like Mondesire, doesn't White have some real civil rights issues he needs to be working on?

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