I am a HUGE sports fan so this weekend and truthfully this entire week has been a true joy for me. Let’s start with the easy ones and then move on to the significant ones, which involve not only sports, but also the symbolism as well as the messages that these symbols send and mean to us as a people and as a community.
This weekend was the Bayou Classic. This is the annual African American College battle between Grambling University and Southern University. The game was great, the battle of the bands was better and while I was rooting for Southern I want to say congratulations to the Grambling Tigers (you Won Uncle Snow!) who outlasted Southern and represented this immortal battle for one more year. But Grambling you did lose the battle of the bands! And we all know at a Black College the band battle is often bigger than the game. This game was a joyful symbol of African American pride and joy. Fans and representatives from both colleges demonstrated the best of what our community can do and is all about. We laughed, we celebrated we even mourned the lost but in the end we were all a family and that is the real meaning of the game.
I can’t tell you all how happy I am that Charlie Weiss got fired from Notre Dame! Not that I think Charlie Weiss was a bad guy (he was a bad coach, but I think he is a good guy), but his hiring and the firing of Tyrone Willingham has left a bad taste in my mouth and the mouths of many African Americans since he arrived 5 years ago. The funny thing about all of this is nobody is mentioning that in Charlie Weiss’s five years at Notre Dame he only had two winning seasons. His first two winning seasons, were seasons when he won with Coach Willingham’s players. Everybody is talking about what a great recruiter he was. Well his great recruits have not performed anywhere near the level that Coach Willingham’s players did. And that is what we as African Americans know has always been the benefit of the doubt we never got/get. To pull the plug on us quick when we have a plan–no matter how good the plan may be–in order to switch to someone who they believe ice is colder, that is the tragedy of our society.
Then there is the fine for Serena Williams–$87,000 for yelling at a judge? Didn’t John McEnroe and Andre Agassi make a career and get tons of national commercials for their outbursts at line judges? Now, I have heard people say Serena is rich and 87K is nothing for her, and that may be true. But, the real travesty is the threat of suspension if she has another outburst. This is sports, competitive sports at its highest level. It is by its very nature emotional. To cause her to cap her emotions is certainly a way to suppress her greatness, to cause her to lose her edge, and control her from ultimately becoming the greatest female tennis player of all time. Remember, greatest is defined by wins in majors. She is approaching the pinnacle and now they are going to restrain her emotions…… hmmmmm, something about that just appears a little strange.
Tiger, Tiger, Tiger! Now I don’t know what happened and I don’t want to speculate on any of it. What I do find interesting is the level of time and effort the media and the Florida Highway Patrol is putting into investigating a single car accident on personal property where the only person injured was the driver of his own car in the driveway of his own home. I have seen major accidents on Crenshaw that have not garnered half the attention that this thing has gotten. It appears to me that Eldrick “Tiger” Woods is not being treated like a “cablanasian” but on this date on this case he is being treated like the rest of US!
And lastly, WHO DAT, WHO DAT SAY GONE BEAT THEM SAINTS! Based on the way they whipped New England I would say Nobody!
So, whether you agree or disagree, now more than ever I really need your input. I need to hear from you. I need to know what is going on in our community. I also need to know what other stories we need to tell, and what is on your mind. I really do want to hear from you, I want you to “Talk to Danny.”
Danny J. Bakewell, Jr.
President & Executive Editor