Friday, September 18, 2009

Can Brett Favre Save the NFL?


The Wall Street Journal disclosed that Brett Favre's Jersey is the best seller in 19 states, Favre being one of just eight players whose jersey is a top seller in more than one state, far out ranking that of the other seven players. This is a problem for the NFL, because their business is in a potential crisis: they don't have (many) popular players, and many of their best known players are thugs who alienate the mostly White, middle aged fans. This is particularly dicey for the NFL given that it's four largest TV deals expire in 2014 and TV networks are under huge earnings pressure. The NFL is caught between a mostly Black, thuggish player corps threatening to alienate the mostly White and Middle class fans, and the demands of PC and Multiculturalism. Perhaps only Brett Favre can "save them" by buying space and time while the NFL figures out what to do and develops more popular players.


The NFL will have its deals with NBC (after a deal in August to extend "Sunday Night Football in America" to two more years, through the 2013 season), CBS, FOX, and ESPN expire at the same time. The league nets about $3.1 billion per year from those deals, and about $1 billion a year from the DirectTV Sunday Ticket deal, which expires year later, at the conclusion of the 2014 season. The NFL Network deal is about $400 million a year for the league, although that is mere book-keeping given that the NFL owns NFL Network. Altogether the NFL nets somewhere north of $4.1 billion a year from TV revenue, given that it likely makes a small profit on the NFL Network via advertising and cable/satellite fees in addition to the main TV deals. This is serious money, that is shared relatively equally among the league, forming the core revenue of many smaller teams (Buffalo, Detroit, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Seattle come to mind). The the failure to develop new appealing stars, and a serious problem with thuggery by a significant number of its players, threatens this extraordinary revenue stream, the best in professional sports.

Michael Vick is the best example of polarizing figures, and an ominous one for the NFL. A recent poll noted the huge racial disparity — Blacks support Vick returning to the NFL by 82%, while Whites oppose it by 46%. Meanwhile a survey of NFL fans finds that53% don't want Vick on their team. Vick, it must be noted, engaged in a long-term gambling ring (dog-fighting), threw family pets into dogfights to be torn apart (and laughed at it), and personally hung, electrocuted, beat to death, and drowned dogs that would not fight or failed to fight well. According to sworn testimony, he found killing the dogs "funny" and amusing. Indicating a strong streak of sadism that characterizes the progression of serial killers. All this while Vick had a multi-year deal worth $130 million.

According to Alan Barra at the Wall Street Journal, 67% of the 1,696 players on the NFL's per-team 53 man active player roster are Black. About 31% are White, with a small sampling of other ethnicities. Using the US Census Factfinder this compares to a population that is 74% White and 12% Black (based on the 2005-2007) survey. With the 2008 estimated data, the Census Bureau reports 80% White to 13% Black. Even by the most conservative estimates, America remains a very White nation, and with the Black Middle class being only 40% of Blacks, or about 5% of the total population. The most "Black" of the sports leagues, the NBA, is believed to be getting $930 million a year from all its broadcasting partners. Estimates vary for the percentage of White players in the NBA, from 9% to 20%, complicated by a good percentage of White players being foreign born (example: LA Lakers player Pau Gasol, is from Spain).

Clearly, while the mostly White sports fans can and will readily accept a large percentage of teams comprised of Black players, television revenues decline as team rosters become uniformly Black, and particularly when few "stars" who are both amiable sports figures and achievers in the game, are White. No one can force the mostly White, middle class, and middle aged sports fans to watch games, either on TV or in person. Sports fans not watching, means lucrative Television deals are renewed at far lower rates. League licensed apparel sits in warehouses or must be sold at discount rates. Corporate sponsorships are dropped or are renewed at far lower rates. This is not surprising. People like to watch people who resemble (idealized) versions of themselves.

Cleveland Wide Receiver Donte Stallworth, convicted of a DUI manslaughter, remains under house arrest but is on the Cleveland Browns roster, though currently suspended by the NFL. The murder charge against Raven's Linebacker Ray Lewis, the Las Vegas shooting that paralyzed a security guard in a strip club by the entourage of Pac Man Jones, Jones later fighting with the Dallas Cowboys bodyguard-minder, involvement in gambling, the murder conviction of Carolina Panthers Wide Receiver Rae Carruth, are all problematic for the NFL. Michael Vick's actions did not bolt out of the blue, rather he was merely the latest in a long trend that dates back to the 1990's.

It is perhaps inevitable in that with 1,696 active players, many of them raised by single mothers in Black ghettos, finally getting enormous amounts of money, fame, praise, and attention, and being able to slide by most of society's rules by athletic achievement since early adolescence, that year in and year out, there will be shocking, and often vile behavior by a few of them. In 1963, both "Golden Boy" Green Bay Quarterback Paul Hornung and Detroit Lions All-Pro Defensive Tackle Alex Karras were suspended for one year for gambling. Showing that even White, middle class players are susceptible to bad behavior.

John Madden has noted that the overwhelming majority of NFL players are good people, who anonymously work for numerous charities, giving of their time and money (from players whose average career lasts only 5 years). Warrick Dunn, for example, was the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2005, and has established a charity to purchase homes for single parents in memory of his mother, who was murdered working a shift as a security guard. Dunn is hardly alone, NFL players like the Manning brothers, Peyton and Eli, chartered trucks with food and water to Katrina victims in New Orleans, in the aftermath of that hurricane.

But the overall decent nature of NFL players is not enough. The NFL has a star problem. Few of their stars are White, and even fewer of them are the sort of "funny" and self-deprecating characters that generate ratings, ticket sales, and fanatical fans generating over $4 billion a year in Television revenues.

The League tried to "sell" variously Tom Brady, Ladainian Tomlinson, Donovan McNabb, Phillip Rivers, and Brady Quinn, among others, and found few takers. Despite being featured in DirectTV "Sunday Ticket" commercials, and a few others, Rivers and Tomlinson lacked the sort of charisma needed to connect with fans. Brady and McNabb, meanwhile, came off as arrogant, with a side order of whining (about how hard it was to be a Black Quarterback) from McNabb. This in the year that Eli Manning and Rex Grossman were roasted on sports talk radio. Brady Quinn, while personable, has yet to accomplish anything interesting on the field.

Meanwhile the NFL's most popular star remains: Brett Favre. It's no secret, Favre has charisma, the older White male NFL fans identify with the man who will be 40 in October. This is why his jersey sold so much, setting the single day record for the NFL's online shops when he signed with the Vikings this Summer. After Favre, the 33 year old Peyton Manning, the 38 year old Arizona Cardinals QB Kurt Warner, the 27 year old Ben Roethlisberger, and the 30 year old Drew Brees are popular, amiable, and visible Quarterbacks (the marquee position of the game). The 29 year old Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo has yet to accomplish anything in the post-season, limiting his popularity.

NFL fans like particularly QBs who have won in the post-season, particularly Superbowl champs, and who are amiable with a sense of humor about themselves. Arrogance finds few admirers, while humor finds many. Tom Brady has played in four Superbowls, winning three of them, and being the MVP of two. Yet he remains, unpopular, compared to Peyton Manning or Brett Favre, who have won only one Superbowl a piece. Clearly, persona counts, and Brady, despite his accomplishments on the field, has been unable to connect to fans. Clearly humor (both Favre and Manning are funnier than Brady) counts for a lot. Above all, the games are entertainment.

The problem for the NFL is that Favre and Warner have only a few more years left, if that. Peyton Manning is 33, Eli Manning is 28, and Drew Brees is 30. These are players who are all getting older, and of them, only Peyton has connected with the public in a wide fashion. Roethlisberger is an up and coming player, with two Superbowl victories, a general amiable on-screen presence, but despite his size has a history of injuries, a potential scandal (a rape charge that appears a bogus extortion attempt, but still exists) and a team that does not feature much passing by the QB. Roethlisberger, however, is the one potential younger star in the NFL that could possibly replace Brett Favre.

It is true that players, particularly quarterbacks who maintain rigorous off-season conditioning programs and do not run much, can play much longer than in previous years. But even so, the current crop of NFL QBs beyond the ones listed above have yet to connect with the wider NFL audience and fan base. Brett Favre, assuming he can play a full season, and take the Vikings into the post-season, might just buy the NFL another year to help develop Roethlisberger, Brees, and perhaps Brady Quinn into more appealing stars that generate interest in the mostly White fan-base.

So far, the ESPN Monday Night Football double header did very well. The come from behind victory by the Patriots over the (hapless) Buffalo Bills averaged 14 million viewers, beating the number for the most viewers by cable set last Summer by TLC's "John and Kate Plus 8" (10.6 million viewers). The week before Christmas in 2008, the CBS NFL game pulled in 20 million viewers. This compares with the 16.9 million season average for the CBS new show (that season) "the Mentalist." With, it must be noted, hard to attract male viewers making up most of the 20 million viewers, compared to a likely female-majority audience for "the Mentalist."

Clearly, the NFL is popular. Football is an amazing game, like chess where the pieces collide into each other at high speed and with great force. At its best, the game can be complex, fast paced, exciting, and with huge momentum changes from play to play. Featuring grace and power together, along with team-work and huge amounts of cooperation under a paternal, older male authority figure. But the game itself, though a large part of the NFL's appeal, is not enough to sustain the more than $4 billion a year revenue from television contracts, particularly with all deals expiring in four years.

The college game offers the same thrills, and it is no accident that ESPN promotes both clean-cut (and White) QBs such as Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow, as well as "conference buster" teams such as Boise State, BYU, and Utah, that offer a larger proportion of White players, and a more accessible image.Football fans who find mostly unattractive "stars" such as Donovan McNabb, or Michael Vick, or Tom Brady, can simply substitute the College games. It is as easy as flipping the channel.

What Bret Favre allows the NFL is time. Time to promote more clean-cut, amiable stars. The happy focus on a feel-good story of an aging QB trying to help a team loaded with talent get into the playoffs, instead of a nascent serial killer as the NFL's most-publicized QB. Favre, at least while he plays, can starve the Michael Vick story of oxygen. Which clearly the NFL needs.

It was rumored that Jessie Jackson (with the help of former Colts head coach Tony Dungy) threatened a public protest if Vick was not re-instated by the NFL, and predictably, the NFL caved. That caving however, has a huge risk. Fans could simply turn away in enough numbers that the NFL resembles the NBA in fan base (and revenues) instead of what it is now. If Michael Vick is the face of the NFL, with the current Black player roster percentage (67%), those astonishing viewer levels for games will likely be cut in half.

Perhaps the man who ultimately replaced Michael Vick in Atlanta, Matt Ryan, can become a fan favorite nationwide, or hapless Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford revive the moribund franchise the way Peyton Manning did the Colts. The NFL had better use the extra year Favre gave them to find something. Fans have to want to see players win, if not, significant numbers of them will simply not watch.

35 comments:

ganttsquarry said...

Kyle Orton is behind Brett Farve in Colorado? Clearly these local yokels need to jump on the Orton Express before it leaves for the Super Bowl without them.
/

I wrote recently, although not nearly as in depth, about the strengths of the NFL.

I think fans identify more with the name on the front of the jersey as opposed to the back.

I agree with you about many of the stars being bland, or even downright unlikable. Especially Vick. He is a disgrace.

I think fans will overlook bland, the sport doesn't require charismatic stars as much as the NBA does, for example.

Crime is a bit different, but I don't see the levels of it increasing much.

The major scandals like Vick, Plaxico and Stallworth are more of a concern though I agree.

Vick is clearly the toughest to handle. I agree, that the NFL was glad Farve could overshadow the Vick story.

I think a high percentage of men in this country need their sports fix in one form or another. I don't think they will give up sports altogether. So where would disgruntled fans of the NFL go? I doubt anywhere. Maybe a bit more focus on the college game but thats about it.

The NBA is worse than the NFL. Baseball is too boring. Ditto golf. Nascar, uh no. Hockey, yeah right.

The NFL, is in a pretty good place I think. It's product is so good that it be quite difficult for poor behavior to overshadow it.

One more thing. players in the NFL don't have as much leverage. The NFL is a meat market where only the creme of the crop isn't replaceable. If and when guys like Plax and Stallworth come back, it will most likely be in a more limited role, and with plenty of contrition.

In baseball and basketball, even marginal players that get in to trouble come back time and time again. Think Steve Howe or Ruben Patterson.

Don't underestimate the power of fans relating to the old grizzled veteran that, only a few years before, they didn't like much. I could see Brady or even Rivers in 10 years, falling into that role, although not to the level of Farve.



Good point about Matt Ryan. I think his future is bright. Same with Matt Sanchez. Possibly Stafford. A great thing that could happen to the NFL is for Tebows game to somehow translate to the Pro level. He brings the religion of Tony Dungy without the racial solidarity.

Glad you included the fact that alot of players are good guys. It's good to put in perspective.

ganttsquarry said...

Mark Sanchez also has a bright future...heh

OneSTDV said...

Since the whole "will he or won't he" saga last year, there's been a huge Farve backlash on talk sports radio. I'm shocked so many people actually still like him.

I've always hated him b/c he's so completely overrated. He had a bunch of good years in the mid 90's and has done nothing since. He's the career leader in INT's and that's a result of his horrible decision making. He's the only QB in league history to through 2 playoff OT INT, both of which resulted in in the winning score for the other team.

ironrailsironweights said...

Simply put, the NFL is a team-driven league, while the NBA is a superstar-driven league. MLB is roughly in the middle. NFL players are to some extent fungible, in part because their helmets and facemasks make them less immediately identifiable on and off the field.

Peter

Carl said...

The NFL does not rely on individual stars to maintain interest; it is much more important to have exciting, competitive games. The exception to this is in the media coverage of the sport (which is all feminine-inspired celebrity obsessed BS anyway). Men watch the games because football is one of the last refuges where men can be men. It is an organized competition with clear rules and a clear winner. It also taps into the human tendency for tribalism, with each geographic area rooting for their respective team. There is a desire for heroic narratives with heroic individuals, but winning is much more dependent on collective rather than individual proficiency.

Anonymous said...

I don't follow pro football closely, and the WSJ blurb doesn't give any analysis of the graph, so there's something here that I find very confusing. Favre is popular everywhere, and the rest of the QBs are popular regionally (Brady in New England, Tatupu in the Pacific Northwest) -- but why is Troy Polamalu popular in such a strange assortment of states (Mississippi *and* Oregon?) that are far away from both each other and from Pittsburgh?

ironrailsironweights said...

why is Troy Polamalu popular in such a strange assortment of states (Mississippi *and* Oregon?) that are far away from both each other and from Pittsburgh?

All I can think of is the fact that none of the four states (Alabama, Alaska, New Mexico and Oregon) have teams of their own. What's more, Alabama and New Mexico aren't clearly within the orbits of any teams in neighboring states; Alabama's divided among the Titans, Falcons and Saints, while New Mexico is split among the Cardinals, Broncos and maybe the Cowboys. Come to think of it, Oregon may not be totally within Seahawks territory. What this means is that the states are more or less open territory and Polamalu can grab them by default.

Peter

sestamibi said...

You really like that word "amiable", no?

Matra said...

So Brett Favre outsells Peyton Manning in Indiana!!

Favre showed himself to be a major league a-hole with a sense of entitlement last year when he threw that temper tantrum and put the Packers and Aaron Rodgers in such an awkward position.

For someone like myself who is not from the US it's interesting to observe how white Americans worship black athletes. Virtually every American I've talked sports with is convinced that black athletes are superior* and that if America took up sports like soccer and rugby they would dominate because of all those blacks. Yet most American sports are stop-start requiring short bursts of speed but little endurance. (NFL players actually need oxygen after a short play!) People of West African origins dominate the 100m dash and a few other sprints in track but they are nowhere to be seen in medium and long distance events. So it's unlikely that black Americans could ever dominate any non-American sports.

* So ingrained is this mindest that Joe Queenan has claimed in recent years that it's been a long time since a white boxer could beat a black boxer. He obviously hasn't followed the sport in this decade!

Anonymous said...

I'll bet my next paycheck that almost none of the people polled who said the do not support Michael Vick coming back to the NFL feel strongly enough to not watch games Vick participates in. Quite the opposite: everyone is eager to see how he will perform after his absence.

I wouldn't worry too much about the NFL. Like others have already said, its more about marketing teams than players.

Whiskey said...

The problem for the NFL is that the college game competes directly with them, and if it gets "too Black" and "too criminal" the fans can just click to ESPN College Gameday on Saturday instead of the Fox NFL Pregame show on Sunday. Watch Saturday College games with clean cut, higher percentage White players than the NFL.

"It's no accident" as the Marxists say that ESPN has been featuring teams like Utah and Brigham Young quite a bit, to compete with the NFL. Given that watching football on Saturday means chores/shopping on Sunday, and vice versa.

Favre's appeal is likely due to his age making him an underdog, along with a sense of self-deprecating humor (his Sears commercials). FWIW, Favre's camp claims he was pushed out for the new guy Rodgers, akin to the treatment of Joe Montana in SF. Other players rate Favre now as about in the top 50% of QBs, or the top 16, somewhere, and that may be enough to get the Vikes with their talent into the playoffs, deep.

The NFL is not going out of business, but could probably lose a couple of billion a year if the league gets too "Black" in relation to the fan base, and too "criminal." This is particularly true as hard times press on, and fans have far less disposable income for things like NFL Sunday Ticket. The Mannings and Charlie Sheen (Truther moron) are being used to sell NFL Sunday Ticket. Not say, Ladainian Tomlinson or Adrian Peterson despite their on-field accomplishments. The NFL could risk as much as $2 billion per year long-term in TV/DirectTV Sunday Ticket sales, combined, if fans turn off enough.

It's clear that a number of Black players in legal/suspension trouble played the race card, and the NFL predictably caved. But caving has it's own costs. Fans like to see White players, particularly good natured QBs, and White authority figure coaches.

Can anyone imagine say, Mike Tomlinson doing the commercial that Texas head coach Mack Brown has this week on ESPN for College Gameday (rebuking Kirk Herbstreit for "freestyling" the Texas fight song?)

It is true most of the players are good guys -- many of them will visit Children's hospitals without any press and spend considerable time there. But the bad ones stand out, the press attention never goes away, and can and will with the competition of College Football, draw away significant amounts of money from the NFL if things get out of hand.

One more evidence that PC/Multiculturalism costs, and people like to see people who resemble idealized versions of themselves on screen.

Anonymous said...

Matra, you are so correct. It’s inconceivable that, in such football hotspots such as Southern California, Texas/Oklahoma, Florida, the Southeast, Pennsylvania/Ohio/Michigan to name a few, where tens of thousands of boys play high school football, there aren’t a great number of white kids who aren’t talented enough to play Division 1A college football. In state after state, year after year, white running backs break state high school rushing records and are among the best, if not the best in their states. Whenever all-white high school teams play against all-black teams, the all-white teams win 90% of the time, with white running backs, wide receivers and cornerbacks outperforming their black opponents. Yet when the big time college programs come to recruit, these white kids are ignored in favor of the black kids. Oh sure, they’re okay for quarterbacks, and for the offensive line, but that’s often about it.

This reality continues and intensifies in the transition from college to the NFL. The few white skill position players invited to the NFL Combines often equal or surpass their black competitors in the 40 yard, in vertical leap, in agility, etc. Yet, relatively few ever get drafted, again, especially the skill positions – running back, wide receiver, cornerback. Look up Mike Haas, Danny Woodhead, Nate Kmic, Matt Jones. Even good, fast, white running backs like Peyton Hillis and Jacob Hester who make it to the NFL are described as “Overachievers”, who “lack athletic ability”. They’re herded into fullbacks, told to gain weight, and become blocking backs for often lesser skilled black halfbacks.

See castefootball.us for more support.

Is this due to a lack of skill, or is there another reason? I submit that it’s because these white players just happen to have the wrong skin color. The NFL has become reflective of society at large, in which black culture has become the ascendant culture, in which political correctness and multiculturalism now strangles achievement, in which whites are being bullied into accepting their dispossession in their own country, and where they have facilitated this by bending over backwards to insure that blacks are successful in some venue, at the cost of fairness. It’s affirmative action on steroids.

emarel

Anonymous said...

Is this last post serious? Hahaha. Yes there are endless white athletes that are stronger and faster than black athletes. The great conspiracy is the NFL just wants black people at the skill positions. All the teams are in on the nefarious scheme to have slower and weaker black players play for them, bc who wants better players? Don't tell anybody but all of the fastest sprinters in the world are also white, they just are banned from the Olympics too.

Rose said...

Where are the Reggie Whites of yesteryear?

Whiskey said...

Black players at WR are probably faster, the sprints in the world championships and Olympics are dominated by Blacks, and there has been no White 100 Meter sprint champion in IIRC, thirty years or more, in the Olympics.

But speed is not everything, or the only thing, in football, and at WR. Arguably the greatest WR in the game, Jerry Rice, was drafted low, out of a college without much reputation, and was facing the end of his career, he was ... TOO SLOW. His insight was superior conditioning that made him no faster, but with greater endurance, losing less speed as the game went on. Along with endless drills (akin to Larry Fitzgerald, whose father is an Optometrist, and developed hand-eye coordination drills for him) to enable him to reliably catch the ball and keep the ball.

Steve Largent, the great Seattle WR, was pretty slow and mediocre as an athlete, but an outstanding (Hall of Fame) WR. Because he was a football player not an athlete.

There is IIRC, only one White WR, Chris Welkie of the Patriots. Only a few linebackers (a position that was half-White in the 1980's, recall Mark Gastineau?), NO White Corners, Safeties, and only a few Defensive Linemen. I think the Saints have a White RB.

Do, very competitive coaches overlook talented White football players and thus cost themselves a potential winning edge?

Yes. They do so because they believe that Black players are superior athletes, and overestimate their ability to coach football knowledge. They know "too many" White players will lead to Black dissention in the locker room, charges of racial bias, boycotts, and upset owners firing them. The believe in a Black genetic ability to be superior athletes, and that athleticism is more important than being a football player.

IMHO, particularly with an extended 18 game season coming in the next few years, we will see marginally more White players, as rosters expand a bit and a premium is put on multi-role players who can fill in credibly for injured stars. A few teams with horrible losing seasons (the Lions come to mind) might play more White players who are cheaper, don't need as much coaching, even if they do give up metrics on speed, leaping ability, etc.

Like everything else in the NFL, it's about marginal not revolutionary advantage. You will see more middle Class Black guys like Marion Barber and Larry Fitzgerald, disciplined, well coached, who don't need lots of remedial work by overtaxed coaching staffs. You'll probably see more White players on the margins because better coached players make sense for younger coaches eager to win now, rather than spend time teaching (older Coaches seem to enjoy teaching fundamentals more and have more patience). You'll see it particularly in franchises desperate for wins, the Lions, the Chiefs, the Bills, etc. being best long-term prospects.

BCS Bowl-busters like Boise State also show that the model of selecting best "athletes" by metrics including race can be beat by superior football players (of any race) enabling programs with less resources to make coaches famous.

But like everything else in America, this takes its time.

Jack said...

As one already said, Mark Sanchez will probably be a big part of the NFL's future. Personable, smart, skilled, and Hispanic (but white-looking). Plus, he plays in New York. I think Roethlisberger is an entertaining character but because he plays in defense-oriented Pittsburgh he doesn't get the pub of Brady, Mannings and Favre. I have a feeling the rape thing is bullshit by the way, and he's definitely part of the future of the league. One thing the NFL has going for it is the most high-profile position is mostly middle class, good looking white guys, QB. Brady, the Mannings, Roethlisberger, maybe Rodgers, Stafford and Sanchez can help carry the league for years to come.

I actually think the "thug" thing is overblown in the NFL. Except for a few REALLY bad apples (Vick, Ray Lewis) NFL'ers seem to be good guys, including the blacks. Stallworth made a terrible mistake, but unfortunately, it's not one unique to blacks or ghetto people. Burress was a moron but the gun was for protection. With 53 guys on each team, you're gonna get some bad apples.

You do have a point in that even the all powerful NFL is looking for future stars all the time, and will use Favre to tide them over for now.

ganttsquarry said...

Wes Welker of the Patriots and Denver has Brandon Stokley...and lets see...umm...Oh Jacksonville has that cokehead dude...Jones I think his name is....can't think of any other current white receivers though.

A few tight ends are being used, basically as wide receivers, in certain formations...that would add a few to the list....sort of.

Anonymous said...

Jim Leonhard is a white starting safety and return man for the Jets, FYI. Jordy Nelson is a white receiver who also returns kicks. I'm surprised people forgot Kevin Curtis among white receivers. There are more white players around than you would think, if you keep an eye out for them.

One of the challenges posed by the "blackout" at certain positions is that it becomes difficult to insert a white guy into those positions. Put in a white cornerback, and there's going to be a shitstorm every time he gets burned. Peyton Hillis averaged 5 yards per carry and was otherwise productive in his starts last year, but it was still generally assumed that he wasn't a long-term solution (he's back to third-string now) and it would have been controversial to go into the season with him as the starter.

Anonymous said...

As for conscious or unconscious discrimination, I do think there is a bit of it. A little bit of discrimination at each level can add up. Not only discrimination that blacks are better than whites, but also discrimination that whites should play certain positions.

As an anecdote, I know a white guy who rushed for nearly 2000 yards his senior year in college (not a big program, but D1). He got a few NFL tryouts, and one message was very clear: he'd have to convert to fullback or tight end.

I knew a similar build black guy who played fullback (more of a rushing fullback) for a middling D1 program, and never accomplished much (500 total yards, never the starter). He got drafted in the 7th round and has been in the NFL (as a running back) for a few years as a backup.

These guys were physically very similar. The white guy had a better 40 time by a tenth of a tick. I'm not sure what happened, exactly, but it's probably not as simple as conscious or unconscious anti-white bias.

Anonymous said...

In case it wasn't clear, the white guy in my story didn't get drafted and never made got a job in the NFL.

Anonymous said...

To be honest, though, you could probably fill a book with the reasons why there aren't more whites in the NFL and anti-white bias wouldn't even be in the top 10.

Whiskey said...

As a Giants fan I appreciate Plax's contributions to the championship season. He only hurt himself AFAIK. Personally I'd have given him a suspended sentence. I don't think because of his age and wounds he will play again in the NFL. Sad. Man was outstanding as a WR.

I do think that with complexity of offenses and defenses, coaches are going to be looking to more middle class guys, that they don't have to teach as much, because they had extra coaching. Look at kicking, which is mostly uniformly White. Kickers who are serious go to kicking school (really) in HS, and continue the private coaching in College. It's very expensive. There are almost no real efforts to teach it in College and the Pros. As a result it filters on class/income -- those with the family bucks to pay for coaching succeed (as in Swimming) and those without it don't.

Larry Fitzgerald of the Cards is probably a harbinger of that. He's got a lifetime of private drills and coaching from his father and receivers coaches in CATCHING THE BALL. Which is why that guy can make catches that take your breath away. Being middle class he's a good guy and not a thug on the field.

But a lot D1 colleges (there about 120 or so of them) cannot get a Larry Fitzgerald. They can get a White guy who is almost as fast and can catch the ball as reliably. They can win with those guys, particularly with a good defense and strong O-Line. Which seems now to move away from the "Sumo" style guys because even in College (let alone the pros) the schedule leaves them just banged up with bum ankles and knees carrying all that weight.

I'd look for more White players to start (particularly at "Blackout" positions like WR, Corner, Safety) at places like Toledo, or New Mexico State, or Wyoming, that want to make a play for prominence and has a coach looking to make a name for himself. I saw the Saints Heath Ledger used as a RB last Sunday, Reggie Bush is not really that good.

Matra said...

Kickers who are serious go to kicking school (really) in HS, and continue the private coaching in College.

They should just get rugby kickers. They kick a similar ball through narrower posts at all angles. They'd just have to get used to the guy holding the ball for them and they'd be all set. Because in rugby you need many skills including the ability to tackle (hardly anyone in the NFL can tackle properly) a lot of good kickers end up not getting a professional rugby career because they're only good at one thing. They'd be ideal for the NFL and they'd earn more than playing rugby in South Africa or France.

Anonymous said...

"I saw the Saints Heath Ledger"

Wow, dude... did you just... I mean... Heath Ledger?

Seriously, though, the guy you're referring to (Heath Evans) is a pretty solid vet. He fit the mold of the Belicheck versatile "football player"/H-back. Still, I'm looking at my stat sheet and seeing zero carries in week one. I wouldn't call that being "used as a RB". New England at least gave him a few goal line tries. In terms of exposure, he's on the level of the long snapper or the punt-return "gunners". Whites in the NFL do a disproportionate amount of the "garbageman" work, and to some extent that's because putting a Heath L.. Evans in a featured role would draw unwanted scrutiny. One of the unfortunate consequences of Madden's torch-passing is that we no longer have someone in the booth who will give underappreciated white blockers their due. One of the main reasons, by the way, why I love Daryl Johnston's Cowboys commentary so much.

Learner said...

My family is in Pgh so I am there fairly often and I have yet to run across anyone who thinks the Roethlisberger accusation is anything but false, so I don't think it will hurt him much.

BTW Larry Fitz's dad is a sports reporter.

Cannon's Canon said...

This post was a bit ridiculous. The WSJ article showed jersey sales since the offseason, a six month period. Favre joined a new team, so his fans are updating their wardrobes with new colors. Cutler, Vick, and Cassel made the list with their new teams as well.

Brady is a mainstay, and his jersey sales have a year-long glut to make up for in the wake of his knee injury. Tatupu, Johnson, and Polamalu are young Pro Bowlers with long contracts. Nothing on that chart is surprising or worrisome; the Mannings would have sold more jerseys if they had switched teams, too. In other words, Manning fans already own those jerseys.

As the season progresses, these sales numbers will plateau. I think you are greatly overestimating the negative impact of black thuggery in the No Fun League. After all, Shawne Merriman was voted Defensive Player of the Year in 2006 despite being suspended a quarter of the year for steroids.

Whiskey said...

Anon -- You are right, bad typo. Meant Heath Evans. Saw him make some big plays against the Lions (Detroit, I know, but still). Some key first down runs and receptions. Seems to have caught a few passes against Philly (did not catch the game).

Cannon's Cannon -- It's true that Favre switched teams and got Favre fans to buy new jerseys. But ... Favre fans bought new jerseys. In a time of recession. Far outranking other players, which shows the level of enthusiasm, as opposed to simply not buying a new Jersey at all. If they were happy with a team jersey, why bother buying a purple jersey with 4 on it? Those fans could have not purchased Favre jerseys at all.

The NFL is gambling it can make more money by playing the networks off each other in four years. For that to pay off, the NFL MUST show consistent growth in audiences and intensity.

There is a risk -- fans getting turned off by Merriman, by Vick, by the lack of accessible White players and by too many Black players, particularly with the cultural polarization by Obama and his backers. Bill Cosby says you are racist if you don't like Obama. Not just in numbers of viewers declining but in intensity of following. One of the problems the NFL has had is that team turmoil and so on leads to fans of stars, not teams. It's great, in that stars bring out real intense followings. But its two-edged -- less team loyalty means more ability to turn off when stars are not replaced by new ones.

Brady lost to the JETS. No touchdowns. The Pats and Belechick will have to seriously regroup. I'd look for some trades, pick-ups, and releases soon.

Anonymous said...

Not to beat a dead horse, Whiskey, but your above posts, along with those of another poster, which noted - 1) the skill set that makes a good football player is different and more complex than simple 100 meter times; 2) the importance of having players requiring minimal coaching; and 3) the effects of potential dissention in the locker room among black players if their monopoly of the skill positions is threatened by whites - were well made, and stated with more subtlety than my earlier post. As also noted above, any white player who plays a “blacked out” position comes under intense criticism, by coaches, sports writers and fans, and if he's burned as a safety or cornerback, if he drops a couple passes as a wide receiver, or has a bad game as a running back, the calls are quick for getting rid of him. There’s little patience for his development.

Another point related to thuggery in football, usually not discussed, came to me as I watched some the game between Utah and Oregon (if I remember) last weekend. Utah is like what, 99% white? Yet, the team seemed mostly black. Where are these players coming from, Ogden? Logan? Salt Lake City? I’d bet no. They’re recruited from elsewhere. What are the effects on a smaller Midwestern city with a college, or a University in a predominantly white state like Wyoming, Idaho, or Utah when it decides that it has to recruit blacks for its football or basketball program in order to be “competitive”? What happens to the crime rate? What sorts of attendant problems arise, in the form of friends, associates and various other shiftless, tangential hangers-on who appear along with the blacks recruited? It would make for an interesting study.

emarel

Anonymous said...

Peyton Manning is ugly; Brett Favre is good-looking; that's why Favre's jersey sells better.

Kevin said...

Whiskey,

Your theory that the rise in ghetto thuggery in the NFL will result in revenue drops on TV contracts suffers from two serious gaps. First, black ghetto culture has been on the rise in the NFL for the past twenty years? Has there been any effect on TV ratings? No. That's because you are forgetting the other important point. The media (Hollywood Jews for the most part) have been incessantly pushing black ghetto culture on White America for the past twenty years. So while it may be true that the thuggery level will rise in the NFL into 2014; the culture of Christian whites will decline to a similar degree due to the duplicity of our non-Christian friends in Hollywood pushing this ghetto trash on television. These two effects will tend towards equilibrium therefore Whites will identify with the ghetto thuggery enough to raise the value of the TV contracts for the NFL. In fact I wouldn't doubt if the next big White football star actually becomes celebrated for displaying ghetto thug-like tendencies.

Decline will be the rule in America until the day there is a major cultural realignment with the Christian majority exerting control of the media.

Anonymous said...

Only whites are asked to leave or give up what they deserve on account of their race. That goes for football as any other category of human endeavor. The NFL sipped the "diversity" kook-aid and it will hurt them dearly.

rakeback said...

Brett Favre is pure legend. He owns every major record including Touchdowns, Passing Yards, Completions, Victories, Starts, and is tied for MVP's. Anyone who was surprised at what he did on Sunday hasnt been paying attention. He was the face of the league for 15 years, and no one has ever played with more passion than him.

Anonymous said...

All I see here is reverse racism. I usually respect the pov of this blog- but this is ridiculous! Maybe its because I'm under thirty that the color of the athletes on the field, really doesn't mean anything to me. AP and Manning are my favorite players, one's black, the other's white- and I'm black- so what? Who gives a f? Move on, and stop sounding like the NPD

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