Dexter Rogers

Dexter Rogers

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Allstate Sugar Bowl 2011: Buckeyes Should Boycott; It's Time To Pay Players

Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor and four teammates have been suspended by the NCAA for the first five games of next season for selling items that belonged to them.

Pryor and his four teammates admitted to selling their Big Ten championship rings, trophies and other items for cash to help their families.

You and I can take our personal items and list them on eBay or Craigslist.  If someone pays the price, the transaction is orchestrated and it’s a done deal.

When did selling your own personal items become against the law?

What should be against the law is how the NCAA treats the athletes.  It is very interesting why the crooks at the NCAA didn’t suspend the Ohio St. players from the Sugar Bowl.  I guess they have to make sure sponsors get what they paid for and the fans see a good game.

The NCAA can exercise their power indiscriminately to make whatever decisions they want.
Isn’t that priceless?

Collegiate athletes lay it on the line for the name on the front of the jersey rather than the one on the back.  Perhaps the time has come for the athletes to worry more about themselves.

Pryor and his teammates sold items they owned yet the big, bad NCAA made a legal activity in society illegal under their regime.

ESPN analyst and former Ohio St. quarterback Kirk Herbstreit stated the following, “This is a selfish act by Pryor and the other players.”

That is utter garbage.

I have long been an advocate of paying collegiate athletes.  In my opinion there is no logical reason why the most important part of the athletic experience cannot enjoy some of the fruits of their labor.

The coaches invade the homes of prospective athletes to replace those who are departing.  The technical term for the latter is recruiting but to me it is a high-tech form of bondage.

What the athletes receive in scholarship money does not equate to what they earn the university and other entities.  I am not suggesting athletes should be paid tons of money like professional athletes; I am suggesting athletes should receive a portion of what they create.

Many college coaches sell the dream of athletics, but they fail to mention the amount of money their talents will earn the university.  The coaches fail to mention how much money they’ll earn from coaching, endorsements and their radio shows.

Sounds like the athletes are being duped.

Has the time come for collegiate athletes to band together to get some of what they rightfully deserve?
Does a collegiate athlete have to pull a Curt Flood and file a claim against an unjust NCAA?

After the 1969 Major League Baseball season Flood was traded from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Philadelphia Phillies.  The infamous reserve clause permitted players from seeking employment from the organization of their choice.  In essence, the reserve clause equated to a sophisticated form of bondage, which jammed players' rights.

In short, the system was unjust and needed to be changed.

Flood filed a $1 million claim against Major League Baseball in 1970.  Flood’s case made it to the Supreme Court.  Even though he lost, it opened the door for what we commonly refer to today as free agency.
Flood stood up in the name of justice.  Will a collegiate athlete have the guts to do the same?

The NCAA severely punishes athletes on scholarship yet they take it easy on those in authoritative positions.  How can Bruce Pearl—the head basketball coach at Tennessee—lie to the NCAA and his employer yet be allowed to keep his job and earn millions?

How can the NCAA justify suspending wide receiver A.J. Green from the University of Georgia four games for selling a jersey he legally owned?

How can the NCAA allow universities to pay coaches like the Texas Longhorns' Mack Brown $5 million per season yet suspend former Oklahoma State wide receiver—and current Dallas Cowboy—Dez Bryant last season for lying about having a meal with Deion Sanders?

When the Reggie Bush fiasco broke out months ago the media had a field day.  Personally I had no problem with Bush being on the take at USC.  I don’t blame him for trying to get every penny he could.  Everyone around Bush was making money off of his talents.
Why shouldn’t he?

If collegiate athletes were shown some level of respect by receiving a reasonable stipend over the table it would eliminate some of the need for athletes to take money under the table.

As history shows, Bush was being bashed for being on the take and told to stay away from USC yet the media gave Pete Carroll a pass for slithering his way to the NFL out of harm's way.

Should the media drop the hammer on the big, bad NCAA like it does the athletes?

Should the media force the sports to seriously consider the notion of paying athletes?

To suggest there isn’t enough money to pay the athletes is totally ignorant.  I am sick of the notion that athletes get a free education and that is enough.

Let’s be real.  After the cheering stops, many of the athletes leave campus without a degree or a bright future.  Far fewer ever sign a contract to play sports professionally.  But everyone has gotten paid over the course of four years except the most important part of the equation—the athlete.

The university, networks, the NCAA and coaches are guaranteed money yet the athletes don’t have guarantees—they just have access to an education.

The networks, the university presidents and the coaches are not on the field taking hits.  Fans don’t attend games to watch coaches roam the sidelines.  The athletes put butts in the seats.

How do you pay collegiate athletes?

First, the NCAA needs to willingly change their legislation or be forced to do so by a governing body.  As it stands the NCAA has too much indiscriminate power.

Furthermore, they should allocate money in the form of a monthly stipend over and above student-athletes' scholarships.

Secondly, networks should allocate 20 percent annually on the deals they make to televise collegiate sports to the athletes.  That means the 14-year, $10.8 billion TV deal the NCAA recently inked with CBS and TNT for March Madness means $2 billion for the pay-for-play fund.

Sean McManus is the president of CBS News and Sports.  McManus suggested the deal “has the result in more eyeballs, more gross rating points and more ratings points and more coverage of the tournament, thereby, I would say, creating more value.”

Some of that “value” McManus refers to needs to go the athletes.

Also, many who are against the notion of paying athletes suggest they are amateurs. They say if athletes want to get paid simply turn pro.

Fine, if collegiate athletes are amateurs then head coaches should earn a salary that better reflects the athletes’ status.

According to Bob LaMonte, founder of Professional Sports Representation, the average salary of an NFL coach is $3.25 annually.  New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick earns the most at $7.5 million per season.

At the collegiate level athletes are not paid yet some coaches ink deals that are sometimes larger than what NFL coaches make.

I say place a salary cap on collegiate coaches.

Let’s take Mack Brown’s $5 million contract and Alabama head coach Nick Saban's $4 million per season deal—they make more than the average annual salary for NFL coaches.  Saban and Brown earn a combined $9 million annually for coaching amateurs.  Cap both coaches at a maximum $2 million per season and the excess ($5 million) goes to the athletes' pay-for-play fund.

Between the network contributions, capping the coaches' salaries and adding a mandatory stipend to athletes' scholarships, there will be more than enough to get the ball rolling.

There will be enough money to pay male and female scholarship athletes something. 

Also, a governing body needs to be instituted to regulate the NCAA.  They have too much power to indiscriminately render decisions without oversight.

Can anyone say, "Congressional hearing?"

If wealthy baseball players can go before Congress to see if they took steroids, they can listen to a viable case of whether collegiate athletes should be paid and whether the NCAA should be monitored.

If Congress does not want to the listen, perhaps the Supreme Court might.  A group should be formed comprised of current and former collegiate athletes along with social activists to create an atmosphere where they can be heard in the media.

The key will be the athletes. They can draw the most attention because they have an ear of the media.
What if the entire Ohio St. football team decided not to play in the Sugar Bowl in protest of the recent suspension of Pryor and his teammates?

You think that would get the attention of the media, fans, networks and the NCAA?

Athletes must be willing to take a stand against something that is inherently wrong.  Many of these college athletes lay it on the line for their institution yet in many instances they are being taken advantage of.
Has the time come for collegiate athletes to step up for their own self-interest and claim some of what is rightfully theirs?

I say yes.

Email Dexter directly.  Follow him on Twitter.  Read about Sports & More from Dexter. For Media Requests please contact Public Relations.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

NFL, Media and Race: Are Brett Favre and Ben Roethlisberger Protected?

Brett Favre’s consecutive games streak is over, now all we need is a resolution to the Jenn Sterger situation. 

In 2008, Favre allegedly sent inappropriate texts to Sterger while Favre played for the New York Jets and Sterger was an employee with the team.

An investigation was completed by NFL league investigators last week.  The results were promptly given to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Goodell stated he received the results of the investigation and indicated a decision is forthcoming.  Goodell stated, "I got a report last week. I expect sometime in the near future to be making a decision."

This matter has been ongoing for two months now.  Why has it taken so long to make a decision?

Either Favre sent the texts and harassed Sterger or he did not. It should not take this long to determine what did or did not happen.

This Favre-Sterger situation has been meticulously buried by the media.  Don’t you think a married star quarterback being accused of making unwanted advances and sending texts of his private parts to a female employee is a big deal?

Is Favre getting a pass?

Quite simply, Favre is a made man. This entitles him to a level of protection from the media and NFL hierarchy few others receive.  Furthermore, his complexion and celebrity grants him additional perks which equates to an even higher level of protection.

Here’s my two cents.

Both the NFL and the media hierarchy are dominated by whites. Over 94 percent of the editors at mainstream newspapers are white.  Furthermore, 75 percent of the NFL league office is white.

The latest statistics from The Institute of Diversity and Ethics show African-Americans account for just six percent of all positions at mainstream newspapers.  Furthermore, African-Americans account for just 8.6 percent of the positions at the NFL league office.

Facts indicate decision-making positions in both the media and NFL are controlled by whites.  Therefore, the stories are being written and edited by whites and the decisions are being made by a vastly white office.
Favre is being granted a pass because of the John Wayne legend created by the media and Goodell’s reluctance to make a swift decision.  

Percentages indicate African-Americans have few connections in the media and the league office that enables them to be granted a pass like Favre.

Based on the outlined facts, I’m of the opinion had an African-American quarterback been accused of the items Favre has, the investigation would have been completed sooner and a resolution already made.
Look no farther than Ben Roethlisberger for an example.  Roethlisberger has been accused of sexual assault twice in the last two years.  The second of Roethlisberger’s alleged assaults came from a 20-year old college coed in Milledgeville, Georgia last March.

The mainstream media was given the nod to keep Roethlisberger’s situation quiet.  ESPN did not cover the story with the level of persistence as it had incidents involving African-American athletes like Plaxico Burress, Michael Vick and Tiger Woods.

Even to this day, Roethlisberger’s erratic behavior has become a total non-issue.

Dating back to 2006 when he crashed his motorcycle; to being accused of sexual assault in 2008; to adding another alleged assault this past March Roethlisberger has enjoyed the perks of being a young white quarterback in the NFL.

Roethlisberger has slithered his way back into his comfort zone with gracious aid from the media and the NFL.  Instead of the media addressing Roethlisberger’s past, he's asked about his broken noise or his injured ankle.  Rarely is there mention of the reckless behavior he’s engaged in.

Let’s face it, what Michael Vick did to those dogs was disgusting, but at least he paid his debt to society.  He has also faced the media piper by not shying away from his past.

Vick has openly talked about the mistakes he’s made and has vowed to be a better person.  Up to this point, he has held true to his word.

Despite his stellar play, he is still scrutinized by a segment of the media.  The media is asking whether Vick deserves be applauded by fans despite his past.  The media is asking whether Vick deserves to be a pitchman for products.  The media is asking whether it is good for the league if he’s named MVP of the NFL.

I have no issue with the latter line of questions so long as there is a level of consistency.  If the media continues to question Vick as he tries to move on with his life, should the media request the same from Roethlisberger?
The media wants to talk about his Favre’s consecutive game streak ending and whether he’ll play again this season.  Those are legitimate topics, but it is also important for the media to cover whether Favre potentially sexually harassed Sterger.

Favre is clearly getting a pass from the NFL hierarchy by delaying a decision and the media for not pressing the issue that is partly predicated on celebrity and race.

To me, there is a clear double standard between how African-American athletes are treated compared to white athletes: different strokes for different folks.

 Again, that’s my two cents.

Email Dexter directly.  Follow him on Twitter.  Read about Sports & More from Dexter. For Media Requests please contact Public Relations.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Miami Hurricanes Hire Al Golden To Resurrect the Days of Old: Is He a Good Fit?

The Miami Hurricanes made a big splash by filling their head coaching position.  In arguably the best hire in school history, the administration went out and got a perennial winner in Al Golden from Temple University to replace the fired Randy Shannon.

The Hurricanes faithful should be happy now.  They have landed a coach who was a certain upgrade and can bring back the days of old.


Al Golden?

Are you kidding me?

This is one of the most bizarre hires by a so-called premier institution in recent memory.  For a university that boasts a proud tradition of winning and excitement, in my opinion, the Hurricanes football program has taken two steps back.

What happened to Jon Gruden, Bo Pelini and Mike Leach?

What happened to getting that coach who can bring back the fire?

Al Golden?

Golden posted a losing record at Temple University.  He has a 26-32 record as he takes over for Shannon.
This hire makes no sense to me.  I wrote a commentary when Shannon was fired where I suggested race played a factor in his firing.  I still firmly stand behind by that claim.

Now that Golden has been hired, how can race not be a factor?

Let’s examine.

Typically, when an organization makes a change, they attempt to upgrade from what they released.
Shannon sported a 26-22 record.  Ultimately, his performance was not deemed acceptable, thus he was shown the door.

Weeks later, the university went to the MAC Conference and hired a coach with a 26-32 losing record to replace a coach who had a winning record.

How can a coach few have heard of with a losing record be considered an upgrade over a home-grown coach with a winning record?

How can Golden be an upgrade over a coach who played at the university, cleaned the program up and made it respectable?

If the university formerly known as “The U” landed Gruden, the hire would have been easier to digest: Then it could be suggested the administration is serious about restoring their winning ways by winning now.

But, no, you go out and hire Al Golden.

There is no way on God’s green earth loyal fans of Miami can suggest they are happy with this hire.  There is no level of logic I can embrace that justifies hiring a coach with the same number of victories as but more losses than the guy the university fired.

These recent circumstances surrounding the hiring of Golden and the firing of Shannon are quite bizarre.
It seems the administration wanted Shannon gone for a multitude of reasons.  One of them, I feel, was race.
Perhaps the university doesn’t mind having a team filled with African-Americans so long as the head coach can be white.

Complexion helps to sell tickets and foster relationships at the upper rungs of collegiate athletics.  According to The Institute of Diversity and Ethics in Sports and the NCAA, 100 percent of conference commissioners, 93 percent of university presidents and 90 percent of athletic directors are white.

The latter make up the brain trust. As facts indicate, it is largely a lily-white world.  Therefore, it can be asserted that perhaps Shannon could not make a strong enough and enduring connection because of his complexion.

Meanwhile, Golden was a perfect fit.  He looks and speaks the part like those in the majority in collegiate sports, right?

Therefore, Golden was not only the right man for the job—he was the white man for the job.
As I have stated before and I will state again: In my opinion, I believe race played a factor in why Shannon was fired.

No, not the only factor, but race played a role.

Fans of Miami will say Shannon didn’t coach to the level of his recruits.  The administration will say Shannon should have won more games and the boosters perhaps did not like him.

That’s fine.  What are those same boosters and fans saying about a coach with a losing record?
If it is about winning games, why hire a coach with a losing record?

Miami fans are stuck in the past.  The days of old are not coming back under Golden.  Just like the Notre Dame team you will be playing in the Sun Bowl, the glory days are a distant memory.

In closing, the Golden hire is an utter disgrace.  It disrespects the job Shannon did in cleaning up the program by doing it the right way.

Email Dexter directly.  Follow him on Twitter.  Read about Sports & More from Dexter. For Media Requests please contact Public Relations.

Cincinnati Bengals: Carson Palmer Gives Pittsburgh Steelers an Early X-Mas Gift

The Cincinnati Bengals have lost 10 straight games. The primary reason why the Bengals are struggling lies directly on the shoulders of quarterback Carson Palmer.

The Bengals, particularly Palmer, seemed to be in a festive mood on Sunday as they managed to hand the Pittsburgh Steelers a 23-7 victory by consistently turning the ball over by courtesy of Palmer’s less-than-stellar play.

Let’s be real, Palmer has stunk this year. He is throwing costly interceptions like it is going out of style. On Sunday Palmer completed 20-of-32 passes for 178 yards for one touchdown and three interceptions. Two of his interceptions were returned for touchdowns.

Typically when things go south with an organization, we have been conditioned to first look at the coach. The coach is responsible for putting players on the field who give them the best chance to win.

There are rumblings Marvin Lewis may be on his last legs in Cincinnati. When a team sports 2-10 record, it is logical to consider a coaching change.

Personally I have no issues with Lewis and his coaching: The Bengals stink this year because of Carson Palmer’s quarterbacking.

On a team that features flamboyant players like Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens, it is very interesting the media has yet to indict them. Usually when there is turmoil on a team Owens plays for, he becomes an easy target for ridicule.

Not this time.

Owens has had a nice statistical year. He has caught 72 passes for 983 yards and nine touchdowns. Not bad for a player nobody really wanted going into this season, huh?

Ochocinco has posted rather pedestrian numbers. He has amassed 67 receptions for 795 yards and four touchdowns.

More importantly than statistics, he has not been a detriment to the team in any fashion. He just wants more balls thrown his way.

If you look closely at Palmer’s career, he has not lived up to the billing of being a franchise quarterback.

Has the time come for the Bengals to get rid of the pick-six machine and go another direction?

Last season, the Bengals were 6-0 within the division. The defense played solid, and Cedric Benson had a career year rushing the football.

With emergence of Jermaine Grisham at tight end, drafting Jordan Shipley and signing Owens, fans expected to pick up where they left off from last year.

Not so fast, my friend.

This year's team has gone south, and Palmer is the main reason why.

Sports Illustrated columnist Peter King has suggested Palmer would be better off in a San Francisco 49ers uniform.

I don’t know exactly what team Palmer would be a good fit for, but in my opinion, he has worn out his welcome in Cincinnati with his erratic play.

I have long been an advocate of placing the blame squarely where it belongs. If a player is not performing, cut the player. If the coach loses the team, get rid of the coach. It’s that simple.

Despite the Palmer’s horrific play this season, I get the feeling the blame will be misplaced. Once the chants for change grow louder from Bengals fans, by way of the media, they will clamor for Lewis to be fired instead of Palmer to be traded.

I look at other quarterbacks and how they get treated around the league, and yet Palmer has escaped scrutiny.

A perennial Pro-Bowl quarterback in Donovan McNabb gets benched in favor of Rex Grossman earlier this year. Head coach Mike Shanahan suggested McNabb cannot run the two-minute offense and does not have the cardiovascular endurance to complete it.

Then there is Oakland Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell. The Raiders traded for Campbell to be their franchise quarterback—and instead he is being treated like an Arena League scrub. Head coach Tom Cable has twice benched Campbell in favor of journeyman Bruce Gratkowski.

Brett Favre perhaps is the worse quarterback in the NFL this year. For as great as he played last year as a 40-year-old quarterback, he has been substantially worse as a 41-year-old.

Despite Favre’s horrific play, he continues to get the benefit of the doubt because he is "the Old Gunslinger." Favre gets a pass from the media on Jenn Sterger and his terrible play because he is a made man in the media.

In the Bengals case, it has become crystal clear Palmer is neither the quarterback of the future nor a franchise quarterback. His play indicates he is allergic to throwing touchdowns.

Like Favre, Palmer’s play has cost the Bengal’s very winnable games. Sunday’s contest was a strong indicator of my assertion. Why has it taken the media one game to finally see what has been apparent for 10?

Why hasn’t the media consistently questioned Palmer’s play the way it has pressured McNabb’s?

Different strokes for different folks perhaps.

When the season is over and the Bengals organization seeks to make changes, don’t blame T.O., Ochocinco or the head coach: Put the blame squarely on the shoulders where it belongs.

That’s quarterback Carson Palmer.

Email Dexter directly. Follow him on Twitter. Read about Sports & More from Dexter. For Media Requests please contact Public Relations.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Does quarterback Ben Roethlisberger get a pass because he’s white?

Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been accused of sexual assault.

For the second time mind you. Roethlisberger has been accused of assaulting a 20-year old student in Georgia.

Where is the media coverage?

Why is Roethisberger seemingly getting a pass on the level of media coverage as compared to the likes of Michael Vick, Plaxico Burress and others?

Allow me to get to the point. In my opinion Roethlisberger is getting a pass because he’s a white quarterback in the NFL coupled with lack of diversity in mainstream media.

Roethlisberger plays the glory position in football so he’ll be protected by that along with his complexion. If Donavan McNabb or Jason Campbell would’ve had two cases involving women hanging over their head you think the media would cover them more or less than Roethlisberger?

According to the The Institute of Diversity and Ethics in Sports at the University at Central Florida percentages indicate 89.7 percent of Sports Columnists in this country are white. The NFL has approximately 72 percent of its players being African-American. Obviously there’s a gap in terms of the racial parity between those playing the game compared to those covering it.

Why does this matter?

Roethlisberger gets a pass because the vast majority of those covering him get him can make the connection because of their shared complexion.

Yours truly appeared on CNN as a guest on the Rick Sanchez Show where I essentially expressed the following.

Largely many white writers don’t understand the African-American athlete. They often rely on stereotypes, assumptions, and ignorance in characterizing the African-American athlete in sports. Thus their depiction often becomes the universal gospel of truth without substantiating their commentary with concrete objective criteria.

For instance, when I covered the US Open in Flushing Meadows, New York in 2008 there were over 1000 credentialed writers from all over the world. But there were less than 10 who had a complexion that resembled mine. There’s something wrong with that.

Whites generally identify with one another just like African-Americans generally gravitate towards each other. As history suggests whites have dominated this country from its inception therefore African-Americans and other ethnic groups have had to adapt to find their place.

But the key ingredient is the misrepresentation and inaccurate coverage of the African-American athlete from a white vantage point. When you have 89.7 of the Sports Columnists being white, over 90 of the owners and Editors of newspapers being white you are dealing with a perception that ultimately reflects in the coverage of the African-American athlete.

What’s the remedy?

More parity is needed. Diversifying at the top of the media ranks will ultimately filter down to the masses. This takes those in decision-making capacities to open their collective minds to constructively attack their ignorance to solicit varied opportunities for all.

It is vital African-American journalists and athletes with a conscious to utilize their platform to alert the public of their feelings irrespective of the potential backlash.

Isn’t that what pioneers back in the day did?

In 1967 Muhammad Ali was vilified for refusing induction in the military citing his religious beliefs. He was hated initially but later embraced because of his conviction. Just so happened Ali turned out to be right in his stance with the passage of time.

In short, what seems controversial today is typically embraced and understood tomorrow.

So is Big Ben getting a pass solely because of his complexion?


He’s getting a pass because it’s not enough people who look like me in mainstream willing to alert the people of how the media really works instead of relying on the robotic dissemination of information that’s designed to keep us mentally docile.

Whatever type of coverage you desire is your decision: But if you want the real deal then you I think you have come to the right place.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Indianapolis Colts: Who dat say they gonna beat them Saints?

The New Orleans Saints claimed Super Bowl glory by defeating Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in South Florida yesterday. It marked the first time in franchise history the Saints have won the Super Bowl.

Drew Brees completed 32-39 passes for 288 yards and 2 touchdowns while was Manning 31-45 for 333 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 costly interception.

It appeared destiny sided with the Saints. The Super Bowl represented more than a game to the Saints: It marked an opportunity to show the world what a persistent unified effort can do for a state, city, and a franchise.

Four years ago New Orleans was in dire straights because of hurricane Katrina. The city was ravaged. Rebuilding continues even to this day.

The Superdome was severely damaged as well. It served a hotel/restaurant/hospital/home for hurricane victims who had no where to go. Even dead bodies were stored there.

Then the team whose fans once wore bags over their heads signed free agent Drew Brees. Brees was injured during the final game of the 2005 season with San Diego. The Chargers opted to let Brees walk.

The Miami Dolphins and the New Orleans Saints wanted Brees. Brees chose the Saints because he wanted to help rebuild the city and the franchise that was in ruins.

In his first season he led the Saints to the NFC Championship game where they lost to the Chicago Bears. The last two seasons the Saints were up and down. They were essentially a .500 team that just couldn’t get over the hump. This year they did.

Many tried to make this Peyton Manning’s Super Bowl. The experts wanted to anoint Manning as the greatest of all time if he won this game. This game proved Manning isn’t the greatest of all time and it wasn’t going to be his day. Matter of fact it can be asserted Manning is slightly overrated.

Let’s examine.

Manning has rarely come up big when it’s been needed in the big games in playoff/championship games in college and the pros.

How did he do at Tennessee? Did Manning win the Heisman? No, Charles Woodson did. I guess Woodson was better on defense than Manning was on offense.

Did Manning win a National Championship? No, but Tee Martin did in 1999 after Manning departed to the NFL.

Hold your horses. I know the Colts won the Super Bowl three seasons ago but it wasn’t because of Manning. The Colts beat the Bears because of the running of Dominic Rhodes. Manning was average at best even though he was named MVP of the game.

Yesterday when Manning was needed most he pulls a Brett Favre and throws an interception while driving late in the fourth quarter.

You think Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw, Troy Aikman, or Tom Brady would make such a mistake down the stretch?

We can now put this “greatest of all time” talk to rest until Manning consistently shows up in the playoffs.

Furthermore, I put some of the blame on Bill Polian and head coach Jim Caldwell. First of all, they should’ve tried for the perfect season. Resting players didn’t prove to work out after all huh?

Did the Colts rest players when they won the Super Bowl in 2006?


Now they go home with nothing.

Bottom line: the Saints were destined to win this game. They were playing for something bigger than merely hoisting a trophy in the air. The Colts were seemingly playing to cement Manning’s legacy while the Saints were playing for the resilient state of Louisiana who endured so much.

Then there’s Drew Brees. I saw how special he was three seasons ago. I’ve since said emphatically he’s been the best quarterback in football the last three seasons. Now he’s starting to get the credit he deserves.

I know there are a lot of disappointed Colts fans this morning, but all the credit must go to the better team.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Why is ESPN turning the other cheek on Mike Greenberg’s ‘Martin Luther Coon’ slur?

I expected ESPN radio personality Mike Greenberg to at least address his “Martin Luther Coon” reference on air. That’s the least he could do since he made the comment on the morning of Martin Luther King Day.

I guess expectations are overrated huh?

I’m also quite perplexed that I’ve received feedback from some African-American readers suggesting Greenberg should get a pass. It’s being suggested Greenberg merely made a mistake and it was a “slip of the tongue.”


Wake up and smell the coffee. Stop trying to accommodate and fit in.

You African-Americans who think Greenberg’s “coon” comment was a mistake should brush up on the historical development of this country. I know some of you are so elated there’s an African-American in the White House you think racism is gone. You think racial slurs shouldn’t be addressed now since we’ve come so far right?

Anyway, let me break it down.

Mistake or not the word came out of Greenberg’s mouth. Millions of listeners heard it.
For Greenberg to have said “coon” it was on his mind. He said it clearly, kept on with his opening, and didn’t miss a beat.

Perhaps it was something Greenberg was thinking or discussing with his side-kick Mike Golic before they went on air. Perhaps he was reminiscing on what he and his buddies use to say back in the day when MLK day came around.

I’m left to assume here because there’s not been any on-air clarification whatsoever. But one thing I don’t have to assume is Greenberg clearly said “coon.”

ESPN has said nothing. I took the liberty of contacting ESPN. I wrote an email to Don Ohlmeyer. I certainly won’t hold my breath on getting a response.

Bottom line: ESPN and Greenberg not addressing this situation suggests its fine to call MLK a “coon.” It’s fine to make such a reference about a man who gave up his life for his calling.

It’s not fine on my watch.

Besides, if it were truly a mistake why didn’t Greenberg address the matter on his radio show? Since he made his “coon” comment on the air he should’ve clarified his stance on the air.

Greenberg was wrong for not clarifying his stance and ESPN is complicit by adopting such a cavalier attitude about this matter.

Many are too willing to give Greenberg a pass. For those of you merely think it was a verbal slip and shouldn’t be addressed that’s your opinion.

I think you know my stance.

ESPN refuses to acknowledge Greenberg's 'coon' blunder

Since ESPN nor Mike Greenberg took the liberty of acknowledging the "Martin Luther Coon" slur I took the liberty of contacting ESPN directly.
I sent the below email to Don Ohlmeyer. He is the ombudsman for ESPN:

Mr. Ohlmeyer,

Good afternoon. I'm seeking you out because of comments I heard from Mike Greenberg on his morning radio show on Jan. 18. Mr. Greenberg referred to MLK as "Martin Luther Coon King Jr." Video is provided in the below commentary so you can hear Mr. Greenberg's words for yourself.

Please read my perspective here:

I believe this is a situation that should be dealt with accordingly or minimum, acknowledged by your network. This can be a real "teachable moment" one way or the other.

I would like to set up an interview with you to discuss this situation. I think this matter should be discussed. The people should know what was said so positive dialogue can be initiated.

In closing I would like to hear from you regarding this matter. Whether it's a mistake on Mr. Greenberg's part or not this is a matter worthy of acknowledgement.

It would be greatly appreciated if I were dignified with a response.

Best wishes.

Dexter Rogers Email

Needless to say I've yet to hear anything from Ohlmeyer or anyone at ESPN.

I wonder why.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

ESPNs' Mike Greenberg refers to MLK as 'Martin Luther Coon.'

The host of ESPN’s morning radio show Mike and Mike in the Morning Mike Greenberg opened his show yesterday morning by referring the Civil Rights Activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as ‘Martin Luther Coon King.’

I think ESPN, Greenberg’s African-American co-workers and athletes should speak out and let the chips fall. Call for Greenberg’s job now!

Greenberg issued the following apology late yesterday evening: “I just came home from the Knicks game and found out about the mess that was created by my garbling a sentence on our show this morning; I apologize for not addressing it sooner."And I'm sorry that my talking too fast - and slurring my words - might have given people who don't know our show the wrong impression about us, and about me."

Greenberg continues, "I feel horrible about that, because nothing could be further away from who I am and what our show is about. I would never say anything like that, not in public, or in private, or in the silence of my own mind, and neither would anyone associated with our show, and I'm very sorry that my stumble this morning gave so many people the opposite impression.”

Sorry, Charlie. This isn’t about Greenberg “slurring” his words. It’s about him using a racial “slur” in referring to one of the great leaders of the last century as a “coon.”

There’s no way he should continue to work at an entity where he obviously lacks sensitivity and has racist tendencies.There’s no amount of damage control ESPN can put on Greenberg’s blunder.

For him to refer to MLK as a “coon” didn’t just evolve yesterday. For Greenberg to utter such a word it may be one he's likely used before. Also, if Greenberg would say such a thing on the air what other slurs has he uttered off air?

Remember when the Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman suggested Tiger Woods should be taken in a “back alley and lynched” two years ago? Tilghman issued a weak apology, and was suspended for a brief stint. Tiger didn’t speak up and the Golf Channel didn’t fire her.

Remember when Don Imus referred to members of the Rutgers womens basketball team as “nappy-headed ho’s?” Imus was suspended but months later he was back in the booth.

Who should step up and address the Greenberg situation? When will the line be drawn?

First off, ESPN should fire Greenberg. Issue a statement that insensitive remarks won’t be tolerated about a man who contributed so much to this country. It’s one thing to refer to MLK as a “coon” before millions of listeners: It’s another thing to do it on the day the country celebrates his legacy.

Secondly, those African-Americans who work for ESPN should make their feelings known. Stewart Scott, Mike Wilbon, Jalen Rose, Mike Tirico, J.A. Adonde and others should voice their opposition. If you face ridicule so what. If it weren’t for the likes of MLK you think you’d be where you are now?

Speak out and demand that some sort of action be taken now. If Greenberg refers to MLK as a “coon” what do you think he may feel about his African-American co-workers?

Lastly, African-American athletes should speak out. They should refuse to appear on his show until ESPN takes some sort of action against Greenberg. African-American athletes are the marquee draws in sport. Denouncing such comments would send a strong message.

ESPN and Greenberg are in likely damage control. They are finding a way to spin this situation in their favor and let it blow over. I don’t think so. African-American journalists and athletes with platforms should speak out and induce ESPN to do the right thing.

If MLK were alive I’m quite sure he wouldn’t let this blow over. Hence, why should those who who believe in King’s dream allow Greenberg to disrespect him on the day we celebrate his legacy?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Does the African-American athlete care about the legacy Martin Luther King?

As we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. many things come to mind. I think of the sacrifices he made. I think of his dream of having everyone being judged on the “content of their character” rather than the color of their skin.

Though strides have been made we still have a lot of work to do. How far have we really come as nation along racial lines?

Does the African-American athlete even care about the Kings’ legacy?

The short answer is no.

A year ago the first African-American President of the United States was sworn in. It took a united effort for “the dream” of Barack Obama to manifest. In society African-Americans are experiencing more opportunities than ever before. In professional sports African-Americans are enjoying noted success on and off the field of play.

Just because the latter is true doesn’t mean we are where we should be as a nation.

I have a great amount of respect for MLK. He put his life on the line for something he believed in. He also lost his life because of his “dream” of having a society built on harmony instead of one being ruled by racism.

While King’s dream was noble the time has come to modify his dreams by converting them into goals. Once a goal is established you must construct a comprehensive plan of action.

The plan should be to totally reeducate America based on truth. The plan should be to teach the true development of this country so everyone can be on the same page. The latter would induce us to engage in open honest dialogue to foster potential harmony.

Also, African-Americans have to collectively unite and embrace one another. Those who have platforms like educators, professional athletes, entertainers and our president should lead the way.

With respect to the African-American athlete many are lost. They care little about the sacrifices leaders like King made. LeBron James said of Martin Luther King, “When you look up leader in the Webster’s Dictionary a picture of Martin Luther King should be there.”

What James suggests is true. But largely the African-American athlete remains silent on controversial issues and acknowledging those in society and sports who paved the way for their success. This complicit behavior stems from a lethal combination of ignorance and fear.

If it wasn’t for the likes of King a Tiger Woods wouldn’t be in the position of being the greatest golfer of all-time. If King didn’t “have a dream” it’s likely a LeBron James wouldn’t be embraced as the face of the NBA. Had King not put sacrificed his life African-American businessmen like Robert Johnson wouldn’t have the chance to own a team.

While I don’t totally embrace King’s philosophy on how to achieve harmony and equal rights I respect him to the hilt. He had a cause and stuck to it. He sacrificed his life because he dared to make his dream a reality.

The time has come to stop regurgitating quotes from King. It’s time to make his dream into a plan of action. The time has come to establish a comprehensive blue-print to truly make this country reach it’s potential.

In short, celebrate the man but modify and continue his plan.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gilbert Arenas indicted on weapons charge: Will he serve time in prison?

Suspended Washington Wizard guard Gilbert Arenas isn’t cracking too many jokes these days. Arenas has been charged with a felony weapons charge. Arenas could face up to 5-years in prison but reportedly he’s negotiated a plea agreement.

What Arenas characterized as a joke hasn’t turned out to be so funny. Since the alleged gun incident with teammate Javaris Crittenton Arenas thought little about his fate. Now he’ll have plenty of time to contemplate his behavior since he’s no longer playing and may serve time behind bars.

Authorities received a warrant to search Crittenton’s apartment. The search didn’t yield a firearm. From the looks of things Crittenton hasn’t been hit with a suspension or charged like Arenas. Perhaps he’ll get off without much of a scratch. Until the investigation concludes we won’t know to what extent Crittenton was involved. But at least he kept himself out of the limelight unlike Arenas.

Arenas made himself a marked man. When he did his pistol skit prior the Wizards game against the Philadelphia 76’ers Arenas’ fate was sealed. Stern wanted the big fish and he got him. Arenas created the atmosphere necessary for Stern to contemplate suspending him because of his nonchalant behavior.

Even though I don’t agree with suspending Arenas indefinitely before the legal process ran its course I do believe he brought this situation on himself. Plaxico Burress is the poster-boy of what happens to professional athletes who fool around with guns. For Burresses’ stupidity in carrying an unregistered pistol in a night-club which discharged into his thigh, he was rewarded a 2-year prison bid for violating New York’s strict gun laws. Burress won’t be around for his family. He’s lost his team, money and his freedom.

Arenas has lost a lot in a short period of time as well. Whether he’ll be placed behind bars like Burress remains to be seen.Even though all of the facts have yet to be revealed it’s likely Arenas will not be playing basketball anytime soon. I wonder who will be back playing their sport first, Tiger Woods or Arenas?

Once the dust settles on this situation perhaps Arenas can stop acting like “goofy” child: Instead he can act like a professional family-man who happens to be a gifted athlete.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mark McGwire admits steroid use, back in baseball: What about Barry Bonds?

Mark McGwire confirmed what most already knew. He was juicing for a better part of a decade.After listening to his interviews with MLB Networks Bob Costas and ESPN I felt McGwire wasn’t totally honest. He suggested he used steroids to get healthy and deal with injuries.

Yeah right.

He took the juice to give himself a competitive edge over the other athletes who played by the rules.Period.McGwire came forward because he wanted back in baseball. This whole scene was planned and scripted by Tony LaRussa and Bud Selig. They agreed to put the cart before horse by getting McGwire a job, having him lie low, and have him come forward later. McGwire was five years too late. Matter of fact he should’ve come clean even before his blunder before Congress. Fans would’ve forgiven him and moved on by now.

Is this just a ploy to get McGwire back in baseball and eventually to the Hall of Fame?Yes.I don’t think McGwire should be a lock with or without steroids for the HOF. He was an average hitter. His career batting average of .262 doesn’t just jump off the charts. He played average at first base. He’s a power-hitter. He’s beefed up Dave Kingman. That’s it.

My take is McGwire will get into the Hall of Fame at some point. Why?Cut the cards as you wish, but standard testing wasn’t implemented until 2005. It’s not fair to go back into history and try to nullify and alter statistics. It is what it is. People will know McGwire cheated. He’ll have to live with the shame.

Now there’s Barry Bonds. Interesting how Bonds, at age 45, can still play yet no team has expressed interest in his services the last two seasons. Did Bonds take steroids? I can’t say for sure. All of the facts aren’t in and Bonds has yet to speak. Selig and Major League owners have already made their minds up on Bonds. Major League Baseball and the owners have turned their collective backs on Bonds.

But McGwire has received different treatment. He’s back baseball BEFORE he admitted to taking steroids.Selig even endorsed McGwire taking steps to get back into baseball. Selig, LaRussa and McGwire can make such connections because of their shared complexions. Bonds cannot.

Bonds is one of the greatest players of all-time while McGwire was a mere slugger. It’s not even close between the two. Selig doesn’t like the fact Bonds broke his friend Hank Aarons’ career homerun record and he didn’t like him breaking McGwires’ single-season record.

Will Bonds ever be embraced back into baseball?I say no. He won’t get back on the field or coach because of his arrogance, race and Major League Baseballs’ colluded effort to keep Bonds out of baseball.

Bottom line: McGwire is back drawing a paycheck from the game he cheated. Meanwhile Bonds didn’t get to retire-Selig and Major League Baseball owners did that for him.