Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The dismantling of Vince Young

It seemed that the confetti hadn't even been cleaned up from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and they were already at his throat. There were whispers about his throwing motion, his awkward stance, he wasn't 'traditional' enough.

I think he first ticked people off when he didn't stand right away at the Heisman presentation when Reggie Bush won.

Whatever the case, the days, weeks and months since the Rose Bowl, the national media has had a field day with tearing down Vince Young. And no one worth their salt, no one worth anything, has stood up to defend him. It's almost as if an edict rained down from above to give this man undue stress and pressure before even taking one NFL snap.

First, he didn't have a big name agent. Well, his family felt that they should trust their family lawyer with the procedings. What a big time agent has to do with his ability on the field is beyond me.

Second, he didn't do well at a skills competition. I watched the skills competition, and he did very well. He didn't win every individual challenge, but he did just fine. Furthermore, the skills competition in no way relates to his ability to play the game.

Third, he had a horrible combine. I watched him run and throw, as he normally does. I watched him receive instruction, and use the instruction to his advantage. So, what's the big deal?

Fourth, the Wunderlic. Regardless of what he made on the test, I made a 46 by the way, this in no way has anything to do with what type of player he will be, or has been.

Fifth, commentator after commentator has made disparaging remarks about his total game. Peter King of Sports Illustrated is the only one who has really stood up and said that the kid's got it. I'm sure Wilbon said the same, but the vast majority of talk show hosts and supposed pundits have already declared him mince meat and not worth drafting on the first day.

It's easy to claim racism. Racism is essentially the act of believing that one is inferior due to the fact that they are a different race, be they in the minority or the majority. Vince Young has proved that he can play quarterback. He has proved that he can win at playing quarterback. He has beaten the other supposedly 'best' quarterbacks in the leagues that he has played on. He didn't get the benefit of going to quarterbacking camps like Leinart and Cutler and a host of others did, because his mother couldn't afford it. He learned how to throw the ball in the sandlots of Houston, Texas. And it seems that those same sandlots did him just fine, since he recently won the Maxwell Award, given annually to the best college quarterback. What else can you point to if a reason is needed for the way that Vince Young has been derided for his game? Is he not nice? Is he trucculent with the media? Is he standoffish? No. He's Black. He's bold. And he's damn good. And I guess that's enough for the dismantling of Vince Young.

But why dismantle this kid? He's got such a great story of perseverance of overcoming the odds and of never giving up. Because in addition to being Black, bold and good, he knows it, and isn't afraid to remind you of it. He did personally beat the golden boy quarterback Matt Leinart who was supposedly unbeatable. And not one word has been written (in any periodical of note) about how Leinart has been such a spoiled brat and never conceded defeat. He never once conceded what we all saw; that Vince is simply better.

I too will watch on saturday, rapt with attention to see where Vince goes. Wherever he does go, he will show off his skills, his flash, his personality, his bravado, and his mystique will be on display on the biggest stage in the world. He will show why THEY wanted to dismantle him, and to their credit, couldn't. Black don't crack baby.

I'm Joe and that's how I see it.


(Picture courtesy of

Avery Johnson was awarded the NBA Coach of the Year Award with 63 first place votes, and more importantly a 60-22 record this season as head coach of my beloved Dallas Mavericks.

Other African Americans to win the award are:
Glenn 'Doc' Rivers 1999-00 - Orlando Magic
Lenny Wilkens - 1993-94 - Atlanta Hawks
Don Chaney - 1990-91 - Houston Rockets (Antoy, you were right)

I'm Joe and that's how I see it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Bon Anniversaire mon soeurs!

To the lovely ladies that comprise one of the greatest collections of African American intelligencia anywhere on the planet, I must bid you a very Happy 125th birthday.

On April 11, 1881, Spelman College was founded in Atlanta at Friendship Baptist Church. Since that time it has become one of the world's most easily recognizable centers of education, specifically for that of African American women.

I am sure debate will ensue, but let's put it plainly, there is only one school that has done so very much to educate African American women who have gone on to become the leaders of this country and this world in their respective fields. That school is Spelman. There is a reason that the gates and walls are so high, because there is something so special and unique worth preserving inside the cozy comfines and hallowed halls that comprise 350 Spelman Lane.

If you've never been there on a Friday, and let the sun caress your face while smelling the oils and incense from Market Friday, nodding your head to the music booming from the speakers spun by DJ PNut or DJ Design, while catching up with your friends and seeing what's going on that particular weekend, while watching ladies in greek line jackets move and talk to other girls in greek line jackets while younger girls ogle them and try not to catch their eyes, then you don't know what it's like to appreciate Spelman.

If you've never been to a program at night in Cosby or Sisters Chapel filled to the rafters with Spelmanites listening intently to anyone from Nikki Giovanni to Afeni Shakur to Al Sharpton, then you don't know what it's like to appreciate Spelman.

If you've never been on campus while the ladies are wearing their white dresses, then you don't know what it's like to appreciate Spelman.

And if you've never been to Morehouse Coronation, knowing fully well that 98% of the ladies on the courts represented are from one institution, then you don't know what it's like to appreciate Spelman.

Happy Birthday Spelman, and I sincerely hope that you are around for at least another 125 years. From Abby to HH to Morehouse-James to Packard to Giles...Happy Birthday.

I'm Joe and that's how I see it.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Happy Birthday

My main man Christian C. Nwachukwu, Jr. sent me an email today that brought something to my attention. On this day, 81 years ago, my favorite book in the world, 'The Great Gatsby', was published.

When Googling the title looking for the cover art, situated above, I found a link to an article stating that Gatsby was in fact a Black man. Please check this out, and come up with your own way of looking at the story. I don't necessarily agree or disagree, but if you want to study something, you can make it look like anything you want to, with the righ amount of scrutiny. Black or not, I love this book and adore the characters in it. I would very much like to remake it...right now as a period piece.

I'm Joe and that's how I see it.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


It's not the greatest picture in the world, and it didn't change my life, but it's pretty hard to beat right now. It perfectly captures a place in time while that place is in its prime. Krush Groove, Breakin', Boyz N The Hood, Menace II Society, and now...ATL.

I'm Joe and that's how I see it.