Pop Culture, Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

Panama and Champ Talk Racism, Sports, The South, and History

This was not the South in the 60s.Champ:  You know, the Iron Bowl—and the SEC (Southeastern Conference) by extension—capturing the country’s attention is put in a different perspective when talking to my dad and uncles, their friends, etc. because none of them f*ck with SEC schools. At least not rooting wise. They all still remember that those schools were the last to have black players.

PJ: Real talk…even my father hates Alabama b/c of that reason; which is why he pulls for Auburn.

Champ: Yeah.

PJ: But that’s kind of a bad argument. Shoot, we all root for former racist sports teamsand you’re mad because one of those professoinal teams was the last to integrate?

Champ:  For him, it’s weird to see black people rooting for teams like Alabama and the Red Sox.

PJ: If you’re going to hate something because of integration you kind of have to hate it all. Somebody has to be last.

Champ: Well,I think certain terms were specifically known for being racist, or lead by racists, rather.

PJ: That much is clear,but that also changed.

Champ: The Red Sox, Alabama football, Kentucky basketball, etc.

PJ: And those racists are no longer there. Sh*t, Indiana basketball may not be “known” for it as much, but they all had the same policy. All of them.

Champ: I can understand not letting it go, though.
PJ: Some were just more upfront about it.

Champ: Especially if you lived through it.

PJ: Southerners are just more honest about their racism. Yeah, I can understand that. I’m just saying that if you lived through that, then you lived thru a lot of racist sports. So if you root for anybody, you’re still rooting for a team that at some point practiced de facto racism. I suppose in some ways, i can understand why you’d root for the first teams to integrate. I’ll say this; if you root for all the first teams to integrate and hate all the last ones to integrate, it makes sense.

Champ: Yeah, but there’s a difference between someone who might have been racist and someone who happily defined themselves by it.

PJ: Because one person said it and another lived it? I don’t really think there’s much of a difference if you only changed because you couldn’t afford not to; which, lets be real, was the case with most sports franchises, college or pro. How does that make it any better? Saying “they weren’t defined by it…” doesn’t mean they were not racist. it just means they didnt go out of their way to state it. They still operated quite happily under those circumstances.  I’m not even sure why I’m arguing this; I get it. I can’t blame anybody for hating the Kentucky’s, Alabama’s, or especially Boston sports. But I do stand by the fact that most schools were happily racist for quite some time.

Champ: That’s true.

PJ: Pro teams as well.

Champ: But some were specifically known for being that way. It doesn’t make them the “most” racist. But it does make them the ones black people are least likely to f*ck with.

PJ: Old black people. But yeah, I feel that. Like I said, thats why my father hates Alabama. It helps that he grew up very close to Auburn, but the hate is palpable. Interestingly enough, I think that’s why I tend to have to toss a lot of that hatred to the side…for certain institutions. Remember, many stores didnt want us shopping there, period. Now we happily patronize those stores. Race creates complicated relationships.

Champ: It does.

PJ: You know whats most telling…Kentucky football was the first one to integrate in the SEC and Alabama wasn’t even last. LSU integrated after Alabama did. I’m looking at this chart and Alabama and Auburn integrated a year apart.

Champ: Alabama matters more, though, because Alabama was Alabama; Bear Bryant and sh*t. (Paul “Bear” Bryant actually claimed he couldn’t recruit Black players because he wasn’t allowed to. When he finally was able to, he opened the flood gates.)

PJ: And sh*t…the Redskins were the last pro team to integrate, but every n-wrod in America rooted for them because of Doug Williams.

Champ: From Grambling State University (HBCU in northern Louisiana)

PJ: Right. My point is…the Redskins were a notoriously racist team that refused to sign black players. Defiantly so. This probably explains why we have so many Cowboys fans in DC.

-PJ and Champ

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Damon Young

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future.

  • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

    TAR HEEEEEEEEEEEEELSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!

    • Mrs. Afro Jay

      what is tarheels? a football team?

      • h.h.h.

        “what is tarheels? a football team?”

        the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Campus (i believe that’s the main campus) is known as the Tar Heels, as the State itself is known as the TarHeel State (has something to do with a derogatory term with pine tar and making it into a positive).

        • Crop Tops aren’t for everybody

          thanks!

      • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

        Nickname for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They somehow beat #1 ranked Michigan tonight in basketball. They the squad.

        • Crop Tops aren’t for everybody

          no wonder you stay chosed!

    • Sigma_Since 93

      Suck this year. My Pirates pounded those chumps.

      • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

        No one cares about them though so…..yea.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          Don’t try to diminish the beat down you Tar Heels took.

          • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

            No one outside of Greenville even knows that school exists though. ECU who???

            • Sigma_Since 93

              Ya’ll know. NC State knows. We run Wake and Orange County!!!

              • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

                Ok grandpa lol Anyway, your Centennial is fast approaching! Will you be traveling to DC come January????

                • Sigma_Since 93

                  I’m trying to work something out. With the Mrs graduating next week, Christmas, and traveling to NC for the holidays, my wallet needs a cash infusions STAT!

  • Kamala Jones

    I’m a proud LSU alum and lover of SEC football. Yes, we still have remnants and memories of desegregation but we’re now integrated in many ways (not in all ways though). But, if we Blacks have issues with formerly segregated and/or racist institutions we would be mad at most every institution. Being upset at SEC schools and certain professional sports teams is an exercise in futility.

    Also, even in the south, this way of thinking by some Blacks regarding SEC schools is fast dying out and I’m happy about that. It’s common to go in any hood and see LSU flags attached to Cutlasses, Monte Carlos, and Regals. And, you know why? It’s because Black folks support the Black players and because Black folks like to see quality athletics like any other people.

    • Kamala Jones

      And, I can say LSU has more of a presence in many low income Black communities more so than Southern University nowadays. It’s common to see LSU student groups and athletes volunteering at schools and community centers in these Black communities. Some HBCUs need to increase their visibility and realize they have to recruit students like other schools. The days of desegregation are long over.

      • Huh Bruh

        The education system in Louisiana is absolutely horrible. Corruption runs rampant in the administrative offices and the political system. The little money that trickles down to the schools is immediately scavenged by the various waring camps and factions. The big schools, with their constant streams of revenue from tv contracts, endowments, and boosters, have a huge advantage. It’s hard for HBCU’s in LA to compete.

      • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

        The fact that LSU is bigger in the hood down in Louisiana than Southern is horrible. If we, as people, don’t support our own institutions, how can we expect anyone else to support them? *smh*

        • ForeverCC

          if schools want to serve a niche market (black people) then they have to market their product (HBCU education) as something that can’t be gotten at any of the mainstream schools, it seems to me that HBCUs have depended on students applying out of obligation for too long*.

          *this is a generalization…i do not believe that ALL HBCUs have done this

          • SuperStrings

            Let’s remember that ALL HBCU’s were started as “alternatives” because white schools would not admit black students. So, their very origins aren’t based on providing a competitive advantage, and often the academic programs still mirror this fact. It’s why most HBCU’s won’t survive.

            • ForeverCC

              you are absolutely correct. and i think that’s sad. but i think that the writing has been on the wall long enough that more HBCUs should/could have transitioned to a model where they could have been competitive. i *think* that’s ONE reason why some of the private HBCUs have done so well. financial resources is a whole ‘nother issue…

    • Kamala Jones

      Also, while in the past my older relatives couldn’t attend an institution like LSU because they’re Black their tax dollars still supported this school because it’s a public institution. Therefore, I have ownership in LSU and any other public institution in this country because my elders literally paid the costs along with everyone else. So, why not support what I and countless other Black people have helped to build?

      • Sigma_Since 93

        Wouldn’t your tax dollars, although Apu aka Bobby J skews the funding distribution of those tax dollars, also make you an owner of Grambling as well. If it weren’t for the opportunity to play “major” college football and potentially go pro, would these young men still choose LSU over GSU? If these young men then chose GSU over LSU, would you still see the flags attached to those Cutlasses, Monte Carlos, and Regals?

  • Secret Sauce

    People are under the impression that Bear Bryant didn’t recruit black players until after that famous game against Sam Cunningham and USC. According to William Rhoden in the book Forty Million Dollar Slaves, Bryant had a black player in the fold. In fact, said player was in the stands watching that USC game. Cunningham’s performance aided in Bryant being able to recruit more black players to Bama.

    • Secret Sauce

      Wilbur Jackson was signed by Bama in 1969 – a full year before the USC game.

    • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

      Ah, Sam Bam Cunningham…Randall’s old brother and the man who did more to integrate the South in 60 minutes than Martin Luther King did in 20 years. Granted, the story was an exaggeration, and there’s also the fact that Bear Bryant actually was quoted in Ebony in the late 60s as actively wanting Black players but being prevented from doing so from the state government. Still, the psychology behind that game must have been a wonder.

    • Freebird

      thats one of the most important books of my life. should be required reading for black athletes, especially black men.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      But it took that game for the base to say maybe we need some of them coloreds on our team.

  • JayIzUrGod

    Ehhh…I’m lost. Not being a sports fan is working against me right now..

    • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

      It’s about college football dude. Most NYers would be lost right about here, even if they are sports fans.

      • JayIzUrGod

        I get college sports require a very intricate love, far more than pro sports. Feels more natural

    • LMNOP

      I read this and was thinking “wow! a post about sports that I can actually understand and maybe even discuss!” But then I get to the comments and have no clue what any ones talking about. The extent of my sports discussion skills is “did you see the game last night?” and then I just smile and nod because I don’t even know (or care) exactly what sport we’re talking about.

      • JayIzUrGod

        Hehehe we are one in the same, because that’s me every time

  • h.h.h.

    funny, i was watching the end of the iron bowl in a barber shop, and one of the customers, an older guy, was telling me about growing up during those times, even tho i may know dudes who root for bama, no one rooted for bama back in the day, straight war eagle.

    i wonder if this played a part in Bo Jackson choosing Auburn…other than the fact Bear Bryant was thinking on putting him on Def

    • http://theblackbondblog.wordpress.com/ BlkBond

      They weren’t gonna start him. They had another running back and couldn’t guarantee he’d play. I can’t picture Bo in Bama Crimson and White anyway…

  • iamnotakata

    I wasn’t aware of this dislike for SEC teams due to historical issue with race..I just never liked Alabama because I believe them to be overrated and I just don’t F with any other conference but Big12 Hookem!! SEC is especially trash now that the likes of A&M have joined them…the conference just continues to go down hill…but it brought me joy to see Alabama lose to Auburn. Folks were on my timeline threatening folks to say something about it lol

    • http://theblackbondblog.wordpress.com/ BlkBond

      …you’re joking right? The SEC is the best conference in the country hands down. Seriously. The SEC west should be perpetually ranked in the top 10 each year. I’m glad we’re going to a playoff system so the rest of the country can see that.

      • iamnotakata

        Over freaking rated….the only teams in the SEC that are really relevant in NCAA football are Alabama and LSU and Florida & Auburn only when they decide they want to show up…see Iron Bowl for examples of Auburn…A&M is and will always be trash…they ran away from Big 12 because they couldn’t win…they came to SEC started winning…I wonder why…but they are a joke so it doesn’t matter. But I am glad for the playoff system coming into play…there will be a lot of frauds exposed in SEC…

        • http://theblackbondblog.wordpress.com/ BlkBond

          You….

          Are…

          CRAY-ZEE. I think you need medical attention. right. now. I encourage you to utilize your google or espn or a man you know and trust to correct this (laughs). Seriously, google to see what percentage of professionals in the NFL come from what conference. For almost the last decade the SEC has ran the table for national titles. USC was lucky that year they escaped Saban and LSU.

          Big 12??!?!??!! Are. You. SERIOUS?! THAT’S the conference you want talk about…

          (Loaded Lux voice) You’re cutting into your mutha$%()in’ time ninja…

          See: Google and other educational tools based in facts. Thanks in advance.

          • Epsilonicus

            To be honest, the SEC does dominate the top 25 (according to Top 25 list on NFL.com). However, the SEC only has 1 QB in the NFL top 25 (Peyton Manning). So the SEC produces good defenders and running backs but has poor QB development.

            • Sigma_Since 93

              That goes back to a discussion of is it a schools job to win or to cultivate your skills to make you NFL ready (see Tim Tebow). Another sly element that creeps in is does the spread being run because it makes use of athletic talent (blacks) or is it because they can’t comprehend and thrive in classic formations.

              • Epsilonicus

                I would say it would be in the schools interest to do both, right? I mean it would make recruitment easy if you can say not only do we win now, but our QBs go on to be successful in the NFL.

                • Sigma_Since 93

                  This is why USC stays winning in the QB debate. You see classic QB’s goto USC and athletic QB’s go elsewhere.

              • http://uphereoncloud9.com/ Wu Young

                If I’m a college coach I’m sticking to my job of winning games. I’m a de facto minor league manager. If a kid gets his degree proper development then great.

            • http://uphereoncloud9.com/ Wu Young

              A fews years ago Saban, Miles, and Spurrier were asked why was it so hard to get pro-style qbs. They all thought it was b/c that type of qb didn’t want to spend three years getting knocked around.

            • http://theblackbondblog.wordpress.com/ BlkBond

              Some of this has to do with the issue of race.

              Black quarterbacks are converted to wideouts and DBs at SEC schools or underdeveloped if they remain QBs.

              Many just want that opportunity to get to the league, so they go along to get along, without a true understanding of why it happens.

              Many of the fan bases from those schools still struggle with seeing and acknowledging a brother in a leadership role. For example, Kevin Sumlin (aggie coach). All praise goes to his quarterback (who is really undersized and can’t read a defense) but no one mentions how Sumlin came in and took secondary program (recruitment wise behind UT, Baylor) to the forefront of the best conference in the country.

              • Epsilonicus

                I think it iis a race issue for the Black QBs of the SEC. To add to that, the White QBs from the SEC don’t do well in the NFL.

        • Tentpole

          I do recall TAMU put a beat down on BAMA their firat year in the conference and came close to doing it in their second year. Yes, I am TAMU alumni. The playoff system will just change the way players are recruited.

    • Jay
    • 321mena123

      Look, I understand hating a conference. I get it. The SEC has dominated in the polls and the national championship for the past 7 years. But what you’re talking about isn’t even fact. I won’t have time to comment today but saying that the SEC is overrated if you just look at overall talent, toughness of schedule, and level of bowl games is ludicrous.

      • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

        Word. The Big 12 plays no kind of defense…NONE. Though I do resent that while the rest of America has schools that play college football, the SEC is practically the NFL Championship Division. (Shouts to those who get the mixed English Premier League/NFL reference). The SEC has the largest average stadium capacity of any sports league on Earth, high school dropouts repping colleges they couldn’t get into if their mama was Forrest Gump’s, and biggest payrolls than lots of AAA baseball teams.

        If the NFL would just expand into those SEC cities, the SEC would be toast, semi-pro football would be dead, and we wouldn’t have this constant conference scramble that effects everyone else.

        • kidvideo

          The NFL would have a difficult time setting up shop in Alabama…the boosters that rep Bama/Auburn would fight that battle to tha death.
          They are not gonna lose money/fans/privilege to a bunch of (non southern)outsiders…

          • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

            Until the Thunder made it work in Oklahoma, I would have agreed with you. I think the key is to make sure you only have one team, and have it in a city that isn’t tied to either Auburn or Alabama. Kevin Durant is now Switzerland for Oklahoma sports fans, and it’s been interesting to watch.

            • kidvideo

              Oklahoma aint Alabama.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            I read your response to Todd’s post and I still would disagree with you. The fan base would be cultivated so that it’s an Alabama (the state) fan base first. The owner, let’s hope he’s a Southerner, doesn’t necessarily need to have Alabama or Auburn boosters as owners. I would use the Carolina Panthers as my model. Although the team is in Charlotte, it’s still centrally located when you look at the construct of North and South Carolina.

            • kidvideo

              SMH…

              Alabama is not like The Carolinas, which has a more east coast feel to them…Alabama doesnt have a lottery even though its surrounded by states that do(With the expection of Mississippi).

              Alabama does not work in its own self interest…its a “suck up” state for the GOP.

              Alabama is Waylon Smithers…and the governor looks Mr. Burns.

              • Jay

                Alabama is not like The Carolinas, which has a more east coast feel to them…Alabama doesnt have a lottery even though its surrounded by states that do(With the expection of Mississippi).
                TRUE, TRUE, TRUE, TRUE. Alabama does not care to join the rest of America in the 21st century. It holds tight to its “old values”(we all know what that’s code for) and looks down it’s nose at the progression of culture, technology, and politics. Mississippi is the same… so is Georgia outside of Atlanta. The Carolinas are definitely more influenced by their northern neighbors than the southern ones, at least that’s been my experience.

                • Epsilonicus

                  “so is Georgia outside of Atlanta.”

                  Hence why I won’t move down there.

                • WIP

                  Can’t speak on the rest but I think Alabama/technology part is off…

            • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

              That is a lot of what I was thinking. You have to make it so it reps the state, but is somehow separate from the rest of the state as well. Kidvideo does have a point about Alabama and the Carolinas being somewhat different. Plus the Carolinas are wealthier than Alabama for a number of reasons. Still, I think it could work.

        • http://uphereoncloud9.com/ Wu Young

          How is the working for the Jags? The cocktail party is the only time that joint is filled.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        I said it before and I’ll say it again, the SEC is top heavy and the PAC 12 is the best conference top to bottom.

    • http://uphereoncloud9.com/ Wu Young

      Is that you, Bob Stoopes?

      Seven teams from the SEC are in the BCS top 25. How is that overrated?

      Texas and Oklahoma were asked to join the SEC before A&M and Mizzou were asked. They refused so this is the life they chose. Okay, you’re mad at A&M, I get it. They shed that yoke that UT placed on them, picked up a good coach, and have thrived. (In all of the Jonathan Football mania people forget Kevin Sumlin can coach.) They broke up with the Big 12 and started dating 10’s. Mizzou and A&M stepped up because the move to the SEC has allowed for them to get good recruits who weren’t there when they were in the BIG 12. #thesearefacts

      • 321mena123

        SEC = dime status?

        Nice.

      • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

        Word. Kevin Sumlin is the motherf*cking truth. Shouts to him for developing Johnny Football. Remember…dude wasn’t supposed to start as a freshman.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          I was happy to see Kevin leave Houston because his teams used to whip up on ECU every year.

          • http://uphereoncloud9.com/ Wu Young

            Real talk- Tiffin McNeill has done his think at ECU.

        • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com/ Tristan

          Im glad hes staying instead of chasing the legacy of a bigger school

        • DB

          He can coach offense. Defense, not so much. Which makes me wonder why he has never been able to find a defensive coordinator worth anything.

    • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

      I see the Aggie/Longhorn rivalry hasn’t died in your heart, even if it isn’t on the field. What? You’re hating on a Black man in the SEC? For shame!

  • Jay

    Here in Mobile, AL most people of EVERY race root for Bama. Roll Tide is seriously a universal greeting and rapport builder(no joke). Mostly because a lot of Bama’s recent standouts come from Mobile or Daphne, the city right across Mobile Bay. You see just as many Bama flags and bumper stickers in the hood as you see anywhere else, if not more. Every now and then I hear black people say that don’t like Nick Saban because he doesn’t recruit black quarterbacks… an argument that makes no sense because he PREFERS game managers… and McCarron is definitely a game manager… just a REALLY good one. I think its more about style of play than race. Saban wouldn’t touch Manziel with a ten foot pole.

    • Huh Bruh

      I agree. Saban is a control freak. He wouldn’t want to hand over the keys to the offense to someone like Johnny Football.

      • http://uphereoncloud9.com/ Wu Young

        Bama is my team but I’m not a Saban fan. His attitude is a construct of his age. It seems as if football is all he has. I contrast him with Spurrier, who is a little older but probably loves life slightly more than football but is still. Control freak. He’d never play a Manziel.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          It took Steve loosing a few seasons, by loosing I mean those 8-4 seasons, and the NFL for him to have that prospective.

          • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com/ Tristan

            The nfl humble that a** proper

            • Jay

              NBA too. Ask Pitino. Larry Brown is still the only coach to win at both levels. Calipari and Izzo may front but they don’t want it.

              • Joel

                Off topic: How do you think Coach K would do in the NBA?

                • Sigma_Since 93

                  Poorly. Most of the elite college coaches are kings of their castles; they have complete control over all aspects of the program. Many of those guys struggle with sharing power with GM’s and owners in addition to not really being able to control the talent they put on the court.

                  • Joel

                    I agree.

                • Jay

                  Not well, and I rep Blue Devils hard. Look at the resumes of Duke players in the league… Not counting Grant Hill and the “what if” factor. Coach K did do his thing with team USA though but really… I feel like I could get that stacked team AT LEAST to the championship game.

                  • Sigma_Since 93

                    Team USA has the dynamics of college basketball; players want to rep the USA but he gets to choose the team and cultivate them.

          • http://uphereoncloud9.com/ Wu Young

            His stint in D.C. made the H.B.C realize that he didn’t have enough of a type a personality for the pros.

    • kidvideo

      In Birmingham, you see more Bama flags than UAB flags(for obvious reasons)…My parents grew up in Selma during the Jim Crow era and always felt some type of way bout Bama,(The image of George Wallace standing at the door doesn’t help) and its probably why I never wore Bama or Auburn gear(I do have a UAB basketball jersey).

      • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

        Go Blazers!

        • kidvideo

          Off topic comment;
          This time last year, Rosario Dawson visited UAB to give a free lecture to the latino students, encouraging them to be more politically/socially active.
          She’s a great public speaker…discussed growing up in NYC of the 80’s…being discovered for her first film…even teared up talking about when she and her late grandmother would have their “girl talks”.
          Showed up as a fan…i left wanting to wife her up.

    • Keisha

      I’m in Huntsville and I agree. If I had a dime for everyone I heard say “Roll Tide” last weekend, before the end of the game, I’d be rich.
      As for racism, I’m sure the aresenal has changed the dynamics here so it’s not as prevalent….

  • http://theblackbondblog.wordpress.com/ BlkBond

    I think the fanbase/management/ownership/environment associated with each team contribute to these factors. There is a torrid history between many college programs and professional teams associated with race, but it’s not without warrant. Defiant examples like LSU & Washington DC’s team only show you why some people today still hold some organizations in little regard or high regard.

    For example, a lot of Black people are lifelong Dodger fans because of Jackie Robinson. Many Black people are Titans (nee Oilers) fans because of Warren Moon (look up his stats before he got to the NFL AND his NFL career).

    Universities can correct this by contributing more effectively to the same neighborhoods that they cherry pick from. Not everyone is going to the league, but the brothers that ARE going to the league will need accountants, lawyers, doctors, business development managers, etc. Don’t just come to these neighborhoods to show lil’ Ray Ray how to run a Wing-T or what block to pick up in 4-3, show him how to budget his finances, give him a Coltrane CD, introduce him to a Chester Hines book.

    Professional teams have it a little harder, because there is little to no accountability there. For example, DC’s challenge over the name. This only creates more animus towards the team now in lieu of the past (the previous owner made statements to the effect that he would never sign a Black player). I’m not sure it’ll be easy to rectify either unless the team’s star player(s) steps up, otherwise a lot of these feelings will only subside with time.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      “Don’t just come to these neighborhoods to show lil’ Ray Ray how to run a
      Wing-T or what block to pick up in 4-3, show him how to budget his
      finances, give him a Coltrane CD, introduce him to a Chester Hines book.”

      As much as I would love to see this it won’t happen at a school with continued aspirations of winning championships and the fact that scholarships are one year agreements that are renewable at the option of the coach. When you also throw the salary scale of basketball and football into the mix, most of these young bucks ain’t trying to hear that.

    • Jay

      Jamarcus Russell aka the biggest burnout, worst number one pick of all time is also from my hometown. He’s from what we call “down the bay”, one of THE worst parts of town. Almost every athlete that comes from here is troubled, see Demarcus Cousins… Graduated from the same high school I did. He seems to have gotten it together now but in the past few years there was talk of his attitude getting him a one way ticket out of the league.

      • Kozy

        I think Ryan Leaf is still the biggest #1 overall bust.

        • Joel

          Cryin’ Ryan was actually the 2nd pick of the 1998 draft, right after The Peyton Manning. lol

          • Kozy

            oh, yeah…. he was. nvm then

        • Epsilonicus

          Isn’t he in prison now?

          • Kozy

            7 years in Montana.

      • Timothy Hikiem

        I’m too from Mobile, Alabama and I’ll admit to my love/hate feelings for the University of Alabama. I love the football program buti hate the school as an institution. There was some controversy at U of A this year when a Black Female wanted to join a historically White Greek sorority.

        • Jay

          0_0 someone else from Mobile. Welcome.

        • dmcmillian72

          Heeeey! I love seeing hometown people on this site! :) Grand Bay, AL right here…went to school in Mobile at the same school as @mackaroto:disqus (below), although a few years earlier than him. How ya’ doin’, @timothyhikiemmoore:disqus? :)

          I’m not a sports fan at all. But I cheer for Alabama because my sister, cousin, and a slew of friends went there. Honestly, I don’t care about the school’s history for the EXACT reason PJ wrote about in his post. None of these schools wanted us! Not NAN! Alabama was just the dumb one that let George Wallace scream it from the roof top. Hell, I honestly think that if Black people had no athletic ability these schools still wouldn’t want us! It’s well past time to move on, IMO…

    • SuperStrings

      I eventually hated the Oilers because of their treatment of Warren Moon. Warren Moon is one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game, and he singlehandedly kept the Oilers in playoff contention for many years, yet they never built a team around him. His stats are staggering, despite the lack of talent on his team. Sometimes I wonder if the Titans did the same thing to Steve McNair.

      • http://theblackbondblog.wordpress.com/ BlkBond

        My father said the same of Moon, he also foretold of how history would brush him and his talent to the side.

        Real recognize real though.

        Bond.

        • SuperStrings

          Your father is right. Moon’s stats in the NFL are exceptional, and if you combine that with his stats in the CFL, then no quarterback in history even comes close…no quarterback. Yet, you rarely hear his name when the “greats” are mentioned.

    • Asiyah

      “I think the fanbase/management/ownership/environment associated with each team contribute to these factors”

      I agree with this, actually. As a Yankees fan, I automatically hate the Red Sox, but their fans don’t help whatsoever. And yes, a lot of Red Sox fans are pretty racist, even more than Yankees fans.

    • miss t-lee

      Look who’s back?! *cue the music*

      • http://theblackbondblog.wordpress.com/ BlkBond

        Aye! (Juiceman voice)

        I’m a guest this week, I got new rules ’bout these blogs like we spoke about.

        How you been? I see you commenting here and there, I’m not the only one ghost.

        I’ll be back blogging next year, now I’ll just pop in and out til then.

        Bond.

        • miss t-lee

          Doing well. Good to see you back on here,
          And yes, I still pop in from time to time. :)
          Look forward to your blog return.

          AYE!

  • jazzyLia

    “From Grambling State University (HBCU in northern Louisiana)”

    I chuckled seeing that PJ made it a point to note GSU is an HBCU, like folks wouldn’t know. Grambling stay scrambling, lol.

  • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

    Being a native NYer, I didn’t grow up checking for college football, but I repped basketball to the fullest. Unless it was bowl season or a game filled with NFL prospects, I didn’t watch until I got to college. Even still, I was just praying that my alma mater stopped embarassing themselves on national TV. Of course, Brian Leonard and Ray Rice showed up at my school, and all was well with the universe. :)

    Still, the whole impact of how college football impacted Black communities in the South was something I learned to pay attention to. I do remember my dad talking a lot about how Michigan State changed how college football operated, which is something because my dad a) isn’t a big college football fan and b) is a child of immigrant parents with zero ties to American history. I know how much Black college football is a major part of the American sports experience, and how its slow death means the death of something important in American sports and society. I can see why people would feel some kind of way about Alabama and Auburn. (If forced to pick a side, I’ll choose Bama because a couple of people I grew up with went there.) And I can see how the history of the SEC would cause some Black people to feel some kind of way about those schools.

    • h.h.h.

      it’s funny that as NYers, college sports doesn’t take on the prestige that it used to. but then again, we don’t support HS sports like other areas of the nation do, but thats probably due to the fact that we have such a glut of professional sports teams, that no other region has, we don’t have time for the local stuff. i actually got into college sports the same time i got into professional sports (thanks, WFAN…) so i grew up rooting for ‘Cuse (still do, go ACC, ACC > SEC oh…sorry…dont know where that came from)

      • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

        Prior to the 50s, college sports was a bigger deal in NY. For a number of reasons way too complicated for a comment, a lot of colleges in the area either deemphasized or flat out dropped sports programs, and the pros took major advantage in marketing themselves to the masses. The New York Giants were particularly masterful in leveraging the environment to suck up all those free college football fans.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          That’s also because NYC colleges could never compete with the Yankees, Giants, Dodgers, Knicks, Jets, Rangers and Islanders. Being established in NYC also stunts their ability to build massive on campus stadiums.

          The beauty of Syracuse is that there’s NOTHING around to compete with the loyalty; they got the fan base up well before SUNY Albany and SUNY Buffalo made the move to 1A sports.

        • Epsilonicus

          Well explain because I am curious.

          • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

            I’ll try to keep this brief, but there are a lot of moving parts to this. First, there was the effort by the Ivy League, led by Harvard, to deemphasize college sports in order to get the best students nationally. The Patriot League (in their old name as the Mid Atlantic Conference), the Ivy’s main out-of-conference competition, followed the Ivies in their deemphasis. Throw in the stadium revenue pressures that SS93 mentioned (people don’t realize that the Yankees low-key made a LOT of money off of college football through the 60s through stadium rentals) and the need to travel further for quality opponents, a lot of teams dropped down or flat out dropped football period. Only the old Eastern Independent circuit (think the original Big East football conference plus Penn State) had enough revenue coming in to keep at it, and even they were struggling compared to schools in other parts of the country.

            On top of that, the reason there is a Division I-A and Division I-AA was a plot by big-time schools in the SEC, ACC and old Southwest Conference to actively screw over whatever Northern schools dared to remain even in the same stratosphere as their elite programs. Donald Royal, the legendary Texas head coach, was even quoted as saying “we don’t want Hofstra telling us how to run our football team”. Considering that when the plan was adopted in the late 70s that big TV money was coming into college football, they didn’t want to share with the Northerners and thus tarnish their glory and revenge on them damn Yankees. Various schools responded differently, from the Ivies and Patriot League just taking the L, the military schools fighting tooth and nail to remain D-IA no matter how many games they lost and the Mid-American Conference jumping en masse after a few years and creating #MACtion in the process.

            The Giants and Jets both played a role in playing this situation to their advantage. The Giants used the college football situation to move their games into Yankee Stadium in the prime slots the college teams used and put an all-out marketing blitz for the team. Later on, the Jets, through their one-time GM, Sonny Werblin, bankrolled Rutgers to keep the football team in Division I-A and managed a sweetheart deal to let them play games at Giants Stadium that allowed them to keep their revenues.

            I may have missed a few things, but let me know if this makes sense.

            • Epsilonicus

              Complex but it definitely makes sense.

            • http://theblackbondblog.wordpress.com/ BlkBond

              Great insight. I appreciate the drop.

              Bond.