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dmoney27
01-22-2007, 08:32 AM
CHICAGO (Jan. 21, 2007) -- It took 41 years for a black head coach to make it all the way to the Super Bowl.



Lovie Smith did it Jan. 21 on a snowy afternoon in Chicago. Four hours later, his good pal and mentor Tony Dungy joined him. Not one, but two black coaches meeting in the nation's biggest sporting spectacle.

It's historic. And it's about time.

Change has come appallingly slow. But now two of the most decent, deserving men have pushed the NFL forward.

And that is a very good thing.

"It means a lot," Dungy said after his Indianapolis Colts beat New England 38-34 in the AFC title game. "I'm very proud of being an African-American. I'm very proud of Lovie."

And Smith equally so of Dungy.

"We have to play someone and, in my perfect world, I would like to see the Colts be that team," Smith said after his Chicago Bears pummeled the New Orleans Saints 39-14.

"Tony Dungy has done an awful lot for our game," Smith said. "He hasn't had a chance to coach in the Super Bowl. I would love to see it."

Now he will.

It wasn't all that long ago that the NFL's best jobs were off-limits to blacks. Never mind that three-quarters of the league's rosters were filled with black players. Or that there were qualified black assistants. When the time came to hire a new coach, they were passed over, time and again.

Meanwhile, white coaches who had done little to distinguish themselves in their previous jobs got additional chances. It was the old boys' network at its worst.

There's been some progress over the last two decades. It's been far slower than it should have been, and it took an active hand by former commissioner Paul Tagliabue to pull it along.

Art Shell and Dennis Green paved the way in the modern era, and Dungy took it a step further. Low key and humble, he would never be the type to grandstand and bluster about injustice. But he was honest about the league's inequalities, and knew that his success would go a long way in opening doors for others.

One of those would be Smith, Dungy's protege in Tampa Bay. He, too, led by example.

When the Bears and Colts take the field in Miami on Feb. 4, men of color who dream of being in the center on the grandest stages will see that the door has been blown wide open. Men of color who have been held back, told in words or deeds that they weren't good enough, will have not one, but two role models as they fight for equal footing.

"Being the first black coach to lead this team, of course our players knew about it and they wanted to help us make history," Smith said. "So I feel blessed to be in that position.

"I'll feel even better to be the first black coach to hold up the world championship trophy."

If he doesn't, at least he'll have the consolation of knowing Dungy will.

Whether he wanted to be or not, Dungy has long been the standard bearer for minority coaches. He was just 25 when he became the NFL's youngest assistant, taking a job on Chuck Noll's Pittsburgh staff. Three years later, he was the defensive coordinator and the odds-on favorite to advance.

Oh, he got plenty of interviews. But somebody else -- somebody white -- always got the job.

Smith's odyssey was equally bumpy: Tulsa, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Tampa Bay, St. Louis. Those were only a few of the stops he made in his 20-year journey to become a head coach.

Did both deserve shots before they were hired, Dungy by Tampa Bay in 1996 and Smith by Chicago in January 2004? Certainly. But instead of whining about life being unfair, they have done their part to make sure those who come after them will have an easier path.

"When you have an opportunity like this, of course you want to take advantage of it," Bears running back Thomas Jones said. "Any time you're the first person to do anything, regardless of your race or anything like that, it's special."

Smith and Dungy know the responsibility they carry. Unlike baseball or basketball, it is still news when a team hires a black coach in the NFL. Even bigger news when a black man is hired to run the front office.

With every big victory, they remove another thorn of prejudice.

"I'm happy for both coaches," Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney said. "I hope we get to the point we don't have to hear about it."

The day when a coach's skin is no longer an issue isn't here yet. But by making history together, Smith and Dungy have brought it a little closer.

DawgFanatic
01-22-2007, 08:36 AM
Pretty sad that this has to come up, hopefully in the near future it will go away.

BIG HOUSE
01-22-2007, 08:41 AM
who cares if theres 2 black, white, chinese, arab or whatever coaches in the superbowl. fact is that dungy and smith are great COACHES, has nothing to do with race and it shouldnt even be an issue

cutlerfan
01-22-2007, 08:50 AM
who cares if theres 2 black, white, chinese, arab or whatever coaches in the superbowl. fact is that dungy and smith are great COACHES, has nothing to do with race and it shouldnt even be an issue

I agree! It should be based on who can do the job.

RBDynasty
01-22-2007, 08:55 AM
Why is this even a big deal? Seriously who the hell cares? I don't care what color they are or anyone is for that matter.

It's topics like this that get brought up that keeps the race wars going. Because all I see are two talented coaches taking their teams to the Superbowl.

Nick
01-22-2007, 09:06 AM
Pretty sad that this has to come up, hopefully in the near future it will go away.

That was exactly what I was going to say :coffee:

BroncsSB#3
01-22-2007, 09:44 AM
Its kind of weird that such a big deal is made about this. Its sort of saying "Wow...even though they're black, they actually made it to the Superbowl." This shouldn't be a surprise considering there are plenty of good black coaches in sports today.

I can see why a big deal was made about the first black head coaches, because that had more to do with black people being allowed to be a head coach, but this is more just celebrating that 2 black head coaches were actually good enough to reach the Super Bowl.

BroncoManiac_69
01-22-2007, 10:14 AM
I agree. I never really thought about it before but the media just a big deal about it yesterday.

I see great coaches, not skin color. :ugh:

DancingHorsey
01-22-2007, 10:17 AM
I agree. I never really thought about it before but the media just a big deal about it yesterday.

I see great coaches, not skin color. :ugh:

Yet more proof of how out of touch the media is. I honestly wouldn't have even thought about it if they hadn't started talking about it every two minutes. :coffee:

TheWookieeBronco
01-22-2007, 11:02 AM
Why is this even a big deal? Seriously who the hell cares? I don't care what color they are or anyone is for that matter.

It's topics like this that get brought up that keeps the race wars going. Because all I see are two talented coaches taking their teams to the Superbowl.

Exactly...

SPLITTINGBUNS
01-22-2007, 04:37 PM
Who the hell cares black white right handed left handed. This isnt the 60's and this is a stupid topic

Charlie Brown
01-22-2007, 04:40 PM
*Sigh*

Why do they have to make race an issue? Why?!

Two coaches took their teams to the Super Bowl. Enjoy the Super Bowl and hope whatever team you are rooting for wins! Enough with this darn race junk.

Emancipator
01-22-2007, 04:43 PM
If you are a good coach and your team plays well for you, it should never matter what color the skin of the coach is.

Congrats to both coaches and their team for reaching the Super Bowl.

DevilSpawn
01-22-2007, 05:59 PM
I agree with everyone. This should not be a big deal. But it is, which is exactly the point.

This is huge in the African American community. It was a long, difficult and often painful process just to get a black man to be named a starting quarterback, much less being offered a head coaching position and GM. That's why Doug Williams' name is always brought up whenever a black QB starts in a superbowl.

Blacks still feel unfair in some circles when it comes to opportunity to lead in the NFL. If not, then teams wouldn't have to induct the Rooney Rule and interview at least 1 minority candidate. It would be automatic. So this is a big deal to those who struggled before Dungy & Smith, just as it was for those who came before Doug Williams.

It doesn't go unnoticed. I noticed it as soon as Lovie received his Gatorade shower. And even though I wanted the Saints to win, I felt happy for Lovie because I know how he feels, as a leader of a team and a role model for those in the leauge who still feel that the deck is stacked against them.

To give you an example, if Minnesota has made the Superbowl instead of Atlanta, Elway and crew would've been virtually non-existant prior to the game because a black head coach and black QB would've been in the Superbowl. Big strides. Big news. Some of you say big deal, and indeed it would've been. If and when a black QB & coach go together in the Superbowl, the same attention will be given as it is being given now to Lovie & Dungy and was given to Williams & McNabb.

Will all the attention to color go away? Probably not anytime soon. So when will the media not say "a black coach does such and such." Probably as soon as black coaches are no longer few and far between. And this Superbowl will remind people of how wrong all owners & GMs before the current class were when they saw color, and not human. In the annals of time, it will be in the first paragraph, perhaps the first sentence before the plays are described. It shouldn't be, but it is. And that's probably the point, not to make it a point.

Now with that said, let's go Colts! :rockon:

MarvinWillis
01-22-2007, 06:01 PM
I hate how, Media likes to throw out stuff like first two Black Coaches to make it to a Superbowl, First Black QB, First black this and that. It is kinda Degrading. I dont care waht color oyu are, it doesnt mean anything if your black,white,red, and etc. We are all people and we need to judge each other by character.

BroncoSexyDaddy
01-26-2007, 04:43 PM
I hate when they use the word"Black Coaches" because it takes away from what they have down.It makes African Americans look like they are not smart.

DenBronx
01-26-2007, 05:55 PM
I hate when they use the word"Black Coaches" because it takes away from what they have down.It makes African Americans look like they are not smart.


well, let me put it this way. are the gonna reconize the first white basketball player that breaks 70 points in an NBA game?

answer is no

im tired of special treatment for races. indians get government funded casinos, latinos and asians get jobs over blacks or white with college degrees and on and on...

im not really mad about it either but as a nation we need to really evaluate the treatment we are portraying as a society. everyone should be equal and have equal opportunities no matter what color or race you are. period.

Buff_bronc_fan
01-26-2007, 06:23 PM
well, let me put it this way. are the gonna reconize the first white basketball player that breaks 70 points in an NBA game?

answer is no

im tired of special treatment for races. indians get government funded casinos, latinos and asians get jobs over blacks or white with college degrees and on and on...

im not really mad about it either but as a nation we need to really evaluate the treatment we are portraying as a society. everyone should be equal and have equal opportunities no matter what color or race you are. period.

I see your point, and I agree with you to a certain extent- but the fact of the matter is that historically the United States (White people) have basically s*** all over Native Americans, Blacks and Asians.

Native Americans get government funded casinos because it's basically the least we can do after killing off their people and making them live in government specified areas. I don't know what you're talking about with Asians getting jobs over blacks and whites, but as far as affirmative action goes, we need to remember that the civil rights movement happened mere decades ago... The older generations still harbor ill-will towards opposite races because of how everyone was treated. The only thing that can close this racial divide is time and education.

The point is we are still trying to level the playing field for everyone. Eventually, a few generations down the road, hopefully racial issues will no longer exist and these exceptions will not be necessary- but we have not yet reached that goal- and that's why you see affirmative action, the rooney rule, government funded casinos etc.

DenBronx
01-26-2007, 08:24 PM
..... period.

Broncosfreak_56
01-26-2007, 08:52 PM
Uhh...maybe im dumb...but whats the big deal about it?

Snk16
01-26-2007, 08:57 PM
who cares if theres 2 black, white, chinese, arab or whatever coaches in the superbowl. fact is that dungy and smith are great COACHES, has nothing to do with race and it shouldnt even be an issue


I concur 100%. :beer:

DenBronx
01-26-2007, 09:01 PM
I concur 100%. :beer:


i concur your concur :beer:

LoyalSoldier
01-26-2007, 10:24 PM
If we are trying to make this a color blind country then no one should get treated better based off of their skin.

BroncoSexyDaddy
01-26-2007, 11:59 PM
well, let me put it this way. are the gonna reconize the first white basketball player that breaks 70 points in an NBA game?

answer is no

im tired of special treatment for races. indians get government funded casinos, latinos and asians get jobs over blacks or white with college degrees and on and on...

im not really mad about it either but as a nation we need to really evaluate the treatment we are portraying as a society. everyone should be equal and have equal opportunities no matter what color or race you are. period. I agree DenBronx :salute:

str8jacket
01-27-2007, 10:37 AM
Uhh...maybe im dumb...but whats the big deal about it?
People tend to over-ype things

the writers have to think of something to write about during this long span of time between games

DevilSpawn
01-27-2007, 07:35 PM
well, let me put it this way. are the gonna reconize the first white basketball player that breaks 70 points in an NBA game?

answer is no
You know why? Because the NBA was all white way back when. Why do you think they made a movie about an all-black starting five basketball team? Because that was historic, since back then having ONE black player on a roster broke news. I don't think whites have been discriminated against in sports as much as blacks and if so, they are the minority. Plus, you have had tons of great white basketball players who have won championships. What barriers did they have to cross? What hurdles did they have to overcome? That's why this is a big deal to some in the NFL, because black coaches have come a long way just to get the head coaching position because white GMs/owners were prejudice. Now that one will win a superbowl, this spits in the face of the racist bigots who held the predecessors back.


im tired of special treatment for races. indians get government funded casinos, latinos and asians get jobs over blacks or white with college degrees and on and on...

im not really mad about it either but as a nation we need to really evaluate the treatment we are portraying as a society. everyone should be equal and have equal opportunities no matter what color or race you are. period.
I agree somewhat, it is a double standard. They want fair treatment, yet in some cases to fill the quota, a minority gets the job over a caucasian (if they still do that) But that will probably never happen. Humans as a whole pick out something different about those across from them and they either fight about it for superiority or they make jokes. Look up all the wars, from the very beginning and you'll find bigotry/racism/differences as one of if not the main source.

But I'll be damned if we can find an article dating back to 400 BC about comedian caveman Chris Bedrock who just wanted all of us to get along.

tommy1986
01-27-2007, 07:37 PM
You know why? Because the NBA was all white way back when. Why do you think they made a movie about an all-black starting five basketball team? Because that was historic, since back then having ONE black player on a roster broke news. I don't think whites have been discriminated against in sports as much as blacks and if so, they are the minority. Plus, you have had tons of great white basketball players who have won championships. What barriers did they have to cross? What hurdles did they have to overcome? That's why this is a big deal to some in the NFL, because black coaches have come a long way just to get the head coaching position because white GMs/owners were prejudice. Now that one will win a superbowl, this spits in the face of the racist bigots who held the predecessors back.


I agree somewhat, it is a double standard. They want fair treatment, yet in some cases to fill the quota, a minority gets the job over a caucasian (if they still do that) But that will probably never happen. Humans as a whole pick out something different about those across from them and they either fight about it for superiority or they make jokes. Look up all the wars, from the very beginning and you'll find that as one of if not the main source. But I'll be damned if we can find an article dating back to 400 BC about comedian Chris Bedrock who just wanted all of us to get along.


Hey, I didn't say you could post my girlfriend's pic in your sig!

BRONCOS_OWN_U16
01-27-2007, 11:44 PM
well i guess this pretty much garuntees that a first black coach will win the superbowl

i wonder how many articles on about that are being prepared right now

stupid if you ask me

BroncoSexyDaddy
01-28-2007, 02:03 AM
well i guess this pretty much garuntees that a first black coach will win the superbowl

i wonder how many articles on about that are being prepared right now

stupid if you ask meI am happy they made it,but it takes away from the team for all the hard work they done.The team deserves credit as well,and not so much hype on the black coaches.Im curious about the ratings and viewers on this Superbowl