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Friday, October 16, 2015

When Discipline is Bad


When Discipline is Bad
Catch it? Oh yes he did!
Caution: The following post may be considered racist and politically incorrect.  It is not my intent, and I apologize for offending anyone’s sensibilities.
I was watching a college football game today and saw a receiver make an incredible one-handed catch of an overthrown ball that could only have been made one-handed.  A few years ago you would never see such a catch.  As a matter of fact that kind of catch would have been discouraged.  Coaches used to yell at receivers who attempted that kind of catch.
“Two-hands! Two-hands God-Dammit, cut out that hotdog crap.”
Then a player made a one-handed impossible catch to win a game and coaches started yelling,
“Way to go…nice catch…you’re beautiful.”
Ok, here is where I get racist.  Who started making these one-handed catches?  Black athletes made them.  Black athletes sometimes are undisciplined.  Well that is how their performances were often described until they started winning games for white coaches.
New York Giant receiver Odell Beckham practices the one-handed grab.  He uses two hands when he can of course, but when that pass comes along that can only be made one-handed he makes it because he has practiced making it.  

Somewhere along his football career Odell was probably hollered at by a coach for his lack of discipline.  I’m sure he was told to not even practice the one-handed catch.  “You’re going to get into a bad habit if you keep doing that”…until his ability won a game.  Then they started receiver drills in practice where all the receivers had to only use one hand.
Football has always been a game of discipline. 
Years ago when a running play was called, the ball carrier was expected to run the ball to a specific spot.  Blocking assignments were drawn up to open a hole in that specific spot.  If that spot was blocked by opposing players, the runner was expected to put his head down and drive.
The undisciplined black running backs often did not put their head down and drive, they often lifted their head and looked for another place to run.  They were yelled at for this, especially when they did not find extra running room.
“Dammit Jackson, that play was for the number four hole, if it isn’t there, you’ve gotta put your head down and drive!”
The black athletes did not listen to the coach and where the disciplined white runners put their head down and drove for an extra yard, the black runner often jumped outside, or sometimes completely reversed direction and turned a two yard gain into a long touchdown. 
It was not uncommon when a running back changed direction and risked a big loss, to hear the coach screaming,
“NO! NO! Dammit, you can’t do…GO! Go! Yes, yes…WAY TO GO, nice run!!”
Today running plays don’t have a specific area to run, the line now “zone blocks” and the runner looks for an opening.  The undisciplined black athlete changed the philosophy of the game.
Why were the black football players less disciplined than the white players?  Possibly just a culture of not blindly listening to the “White Man’s” rules, especially when the rules didn’t make sense and the athlete knew they had the ability to make great things happen out of nothing.
In sports, as in many other facets of life, strict discipline, listening to the experts, doing things the accepted way isn’t always right.  Sometimes you need to stand up to those in charge and challenge the accepted way of doing things in order to achieve greatness.
Just to make this post a little less racist, sometimes it has been the white athlete who shuns the direction of a coach and changes a sport.  I’m sure a certain white high jumper  was instructed many times to stop clearing the bar with his ridiculous ass-backwards jumping style.
“God-Dammit Fosbury, that is not the way to jump, you’re going to break your neck.”
For the last thirty-five years there has not been a single Olympic high jumper that did not clear the bar using the patented backwards jumping technique known as the “Fosbury Flop.”


I have re-read this post several times and I honestly do not find it to be racist.  If I am wrong, once again, I apologize.  Some of my best friends were once undisciplined running backs.

16 comments:

  1. People often confuse racism with stereotyping.

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  2. i don't know football techniques, but i can see anyone who takes risks w/ unconventional plays or methods who shows it can be done can push the line into what is acceptable form or plays.

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  3. I don't follow football and bow to your expertise, but I don't consider this racist if it's what you personally observed.

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  4. I watch athletic events to be entertained, not to see how well disciplined the participants are.
    Unless, of course, you're talking about crew.

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  5. After watching the Falcons bumble and fumble the ball all over the field in last night's game, I wouldn't have minded seeing them make a couple of those game-changing "undisciplined" plays. Besides, those I-can't-believe-he-did-that plays make a game all that much more exciting to watch. (For clarity; when MY teams makes 'em, that is... when the Saints blocked a punt and ran it in for a touchdown, not so much...)

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  6. Ack-cherly, I took it as more critical of the hard-assed white coaches than the 'undisciplined' black players. But then, I think you knew that. . .

    ;)

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  7. I know nothing about sports, but if this is your observations then it can't be racist. It's your observations.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  8. I wonder if it's a issue of 'greatness' instead of something involving race. The truly great, talented athletes often listen to their own drummer (as do the gifted in other endeavors). I think of Steve Prefontaine, who ignored his coach's advise to pace himself in his races. Pre was simply balls-out from the starting gun to the finish line. And Foz, yes, another Oregon standout.

    Bill Russell's coaches wanted him to concentrate more on offense, Wilt's wanted him to pass more, etc.

    Personally, I've never seen anything in any of your writings I would consider racist. (I'm excepting liberals, 'cause they can be any color, the sneaky bastids).

    Cheers,
    Mike

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  9. I dunno nuthin about football, but I don't think there's a single racist word in this post. It's a compliment to black players (or the "undisciplined" in any race) that they acted upon their instincts and achieved good results!

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  10. The Stanford WR who made the impossible catch this week behind his defenders back --not even being able to see the ball set the bar high for innovation and strengthens your point. Pretty sure that move will probably show up in practices across college football next week.

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  11. I think of "undisciplined" being more of a refusal to show up for practice on time, or give maximum effort. Using different techniques against the coach's wishes is a matter of improvising.

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  12. Not racist. Just an observation. And a complement, in my opinion. To ALL athletes who aren't always "disciplined" --

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  13. Black folks brought new dimensions to almost ever sport they compete in. I don't think anyone could argue with that,
    R

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