Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Best Super Bowl Ever!

Congrats to Tony Dungy and the Indianapolis Colts! Perhaps I was just overly giddy to be witnessing history in the making, but I thought Super Bowl XLI was the best Super Bowl EVER! I was rooting for Dungy and Manning to finally pull it off, but for the first time in years, I would have been just as happy if the other team (Lovie Smith and The Bears) won.

AND Prince performed at half time?! With FAMU, no less! It was well worth waking up at 8am to watch!

Despite the fact that 67% of NFL players are African American, only six of the NFL's 32 head coaches are Black. And of those six, two of them ended up going head to head in the Super Bowl. You gotta love it!

But you gotta hate how brothers have been getting dissed for so long. Perhaps things will finally change. Maybe Dungy's success will have us seeing more African American head coaches next year.

In 2002 a group headed by high-powered civil rights attorneys Johnnie Cochran and Cyrus Mehri released a report titled, "Black Coaches in the NFL: Superior Performance, Inferior Opportunities," which uses statistical data to argue that the league has regressed in efforts to hire more black head coaches — while those hired perform better than white counterparts and are dismissed faster.

From a January 2006 MSNBC report:
It’s been nearly 3½ years since Mehri and the late Johnnie Cochran released a landmark report that criticized NFL hiring practices and prompted the league to create the “Rooney Rule,” which requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate when searching for a new head coach.

Since then, the number of black head coaches has increased from two to six in the 32-team league, and more blacks are working in NFL front offices. Still, much more progress was expected this year because of the unusually high number of vacancies.

“If you look at the list (of the 9 white coaches hired) and compare it to (the list of African Americans who were interviewed but not hired), you’ll see that the black coaching candidates were at least as strong, if not stronger, than those who were selected,” Mehri said.

“Each team could say what their justifications were, but if you look at it collectively, it still shows that there’s an uphill battle for African-American coaches.”


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