1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Rhoden - NFL News Media Shows Bias

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Boom_70, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    In N.F.L. Draft, This Competition Has No Winners

    Everything changed for JaMarcus Russell on Jan. 3. On the perfect stage, Russell, the Louisiana State quarterback, turned in the near-perfect performance.

    Facing Notre Dame and its highly regarded quarterback, Brady Quinn, and its highly regarded coach, Charlie Weis, in the Sugar Bowl, Russell turned in a performance that was the perfect storm.

    L.S.U. won, 41-14. Russell completed 21 of 34 passes for 332 yards and 2 touchdowns. His arm strength left fans and scouts gasping.

    More than a month later, the gasps have subsided. Quinn and Russell are back in competition, this time to be the first overall pick in the N.F.L. draft. Given that Oakland and Detroit, the league’s two most dismal franchises, have the top two picks, there really is no winner.

    In any event, now the tearing-down process begins. Yesterday, Russell and Quinn were the main news-media attractions at the cattle call known as the N.F.L. combine.

    The imposing Russell, 6 feet 6 inches and 260 pounds, was peppered with questions.

    How will you adjust to taking snaps from under center?

    What about your footwork?

    He was asked about everyone from Doug Williams and Vince Young to Daunte Culpepper. “I’m JaMarcus Russell,” he finally said. “That’s who I am. I’m my own person.”

    There was even a question about his commitment to football.

    The doubts persist. This time, the doubts are not coming from within the N.F.L. The doubts and biases are coming from the news media covering the league.

    In fact, the 2006 season, which culminated with two African-American coaches reaching the Super Bowl, may indeed be the season in which the N.F.L. surpassed the news media in the goal of achieving an African-American presence in positions of power and authority.

    James Harris, the vice president for player personnel of the Jacksonville Jaguars, said Thursday evening that the N.F.L. had turned a major corner, especially in regard to the issue of black quarterbacks.

    Within the N.F.L., increasing numbers of African-Americans sit behind closed doors in positions of authority.

    “What you have now in most meeting rooms in the N.F.L., you have blacks sitting in there, and their votes are not just weighed, they’re counted,” Harris said. “Really and truthfully, it’s gotten to a point where, within the team and the organization, having black quarterbacks is accepted and acknowledged. But I think with the media and the outside world, there is still nothing in sports as racially charged as this position — quarterback. As soon as a guy shows up, it starts.”


    Russell has been playing quarterback since he was 6 years old. He had the luxury of playing his best position without fear of being switched.

    “I heard about a few things like that,” he said. “The way I look at it, if you’ve been that position, why change? If you’ve been working hard to do what you do, at that position, why would anyone change you?”

    Why, indeed.

    Quinn said he was also familiar with the old stereotypes. “People still joke about it,” he said yesterday. “You see an African-American come in, and if he’s fast and he scrambles people are like, ‘Oh, he’s going to play wide receiver.’ ”

    “That’s funny,” he added. “Why can’t you make him a better passer? Why can’t you work on his accuracy, his fundamentals? Why can’t you convert a white quarterback to linebacker? I’m 230 pounds; I’m sure if I can put on a few more pounds I can play linebacker for someone. You’ve got to look at the flip side of it.”

    Quinn has not been unscathed, by the way. He has already experienced the sensation of watching the bandwagon empty before his eyes. Before the Sugar Bowl, everyone was raving about Quinn and no one knew Russell. Since then, all Quinn has heard is that his stock is plummeting.

    “Before that game, it was almost like you didn’t hear anything,” he said, referring to Russell. “It was like the whole L.S.U.-Notre Dame game kind of brought all this on. You never know what’s going to happen in the draft. You just have to keep your hopes up and keep staying positive.”


    There is still room for debate. On an NFL Network program that was first broadcast Thursday night, Steve Mariucci, former coach of the Detroit Lions, and Jamie Dukes, a former N.F.L. lineman, debated the relative merits of Quinn and Russell.

    Dukes was impressed by Russell’s ability to improvise and throw on the run, to “flick a pass” 50 yards; Mariucci spoke of how Quinn had been so well trained by Weis and how he was a “proven winner.”

    Dukes said, “Did you see the guy throwing the ball, flicking his wrist, for like 70 yards?”

    Mariucci responded: “You got to do more than just flick the ball. That’s only one area.”

    The arguments will continue until April — and beyond. Russell is an extraordinary talent and Quinn will have a long run in the league.

    I just hope, for both of their sakes, that these two young quarterbacks are the beneficiaries of divine intervention and that the Raiders and the Lions pass on making them the first or second picks of the N.F.L. draft.

    This may cost Quinn and Russell money in the short run, but it will salvage their football lives
  2. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Too bad readers couldn't benefit from some divine intervention, ie. Rhoden getting hit by lightning or falling into a mile-deep chasm created by an earthquake or being drowned by a tidal wave that swamps only his "workstation" and leaves the rest of the office untouched.
  3. indiansnetwork

    indiansnetwork Active Member

    Excellent article on Quinn and Russell. One can only hope they both can be successful in the N.F.L. But given that the Lions and Raiders have the picks and will most likely draft these two it is about 50/50 that they will be pro bowlers.
  4. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    Puke! That is all.
  5. RokSki

    RokSki New Member

    Thanks for posting this, Boom. Now I think I have to go hurl...

    Billy Rhoden - Pony. Trick. One.

    I mean, lord knows, Russell shouldn't be held personally accountable for coming into the combine looking like an a giant amoeba. Nope, no individual responsibility here. He's fat because of 'The Man.'

    Honestly, you just wonder if Rhoden believes his own stuff.

    I'm all for 'different perspectives,' but does 'farce' count as a perspective?

    Again, thanks Boom, for those of us who don't want to pay money to read crap like this or whatever MoDo's latest fluff column happens to be.
  6. boots

    boots New Member

    I may be missing something here but I didn't find anything really wrong with the article. In fact, Bill spoke some truths but nothing bad. Personally, I think this is an awful year for pro quarterback prospects. The kid from Ohio State is good but he choked when it was all on the line.
    I think this thread can die easily.
  7. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    I think Brady Quinn's logic is flawed. Just because their black doesn't mean a position switch will be thrown out there. What about Eric Crouch and Matt Jones? On the flip side, Donovan McNabb?

    It's another stereotype.

    As for the rest of the column, yawn. Between now and April 21, we'll hear reasons why every player in the draft can't cut it. Like Vince Young, Matt Leinart, even Reggie Bush last year. It's dumb, but this is what surfaces when ESPN spends twice as much time on the NFL than MLB, even in February and March.
  8. broadway joe

    broadway joe Guest

    I don't see what's so objectionable about that column. If Rhoden so much as uses the word "race" or "African-American" in a column, some people want to tear his head off.
  9. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    Rhoden's a race baiting fool. He says "The doubts and biases are coming from the news media covering the league." But he fails completely to back his declaritive statement up with facts or intelligent analysis. It's almost as if Bill beleives that his writing it, makes it so. What an arrogant asshole. But as they say in his 'hood, on the Upper West Side, same ole, same ole.
  10. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    if i was quinn or russell i'd be fighting to be anything other than the no. 1 pick. raiders: bad news. not that the lions are any better but you can't go wrong with avoiding al davis and matt millen, who is no more qualified to run an nfl team than my wife is qualified to pitch relief for the mets.
  11. somewriter

    somewriter Member

    It's not an inherently bad column, just an irrelevant one. Rhoden is the only one talking about Russell's race.
  12. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah, nobody in the media brings up the race of quarterbacks. ::) Footnotes wouldn't make for a very good column, methinks.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page