Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Black Coach Choke (aka BCC)

I coined the phrase Black Coach Choke (BCC) several years ago, and have explained many times but never posted on the blog. What is the Black Coach Choke? The simplest explanation: It is the moment when a team is heavily favored going into a championship or major prime time game and they lose and the team has a Black Head Coach. Obviously, losing as a favorite is something that happens to coaches of all races. What I have seen in Black Coaches is that failure is not a result of them not being a good coach. What I have witnessed is that the failure seems to come out of a sense of loyalty. They simply expect their superstars to do what they always do and that will be enough. Almost an arrogance, if we play our game we will win. Problem is oftentimes superstars don't do what they always do under pressure. At that point it is the coach who needs to force the issue, not trust that things will work out. To be fair, I do not attribute this to every Black Coach that loses one of these games. When Mike Tomlin's Steelers lost to the Packers in the Super Bowl. I attributed that to the Packers having the better team. Plus Tomlin has won in that situation before. I think this started for me with Dusty Baker, back when he managed the Chicago Cubs team with Wood & Prior as the #1 & #2 pitchers and loss the World Series. Baker basically asserted if I get my 2 "aces" to pitch 4 games we will win. Dusty believed his superstars would come through. Problem is they failed. They failed because to accomplish this, he had to change the regular rotation and make them pitch on less rest than they had normally. Seemed to make sense as they were young and un-hittable, but on short rest they became very hittable. This continued with coaches like Tony Dungy. One has to ask how is it the team he coached in Tampa Bay was excellent perennially, but failed to make a Super Bowl. Then after he left someone else coaches the team and wins the Super Bowl. Another coach won with the team that Dungy built. It was the Black Coach Choke in its purest form. Jon Gruden (who replaced Dungy) basically came in and said we are going to protect ourselves from our potential weaknesses and not try to overcome them. Tony Dungy went on to the Indianapolis Colts and with one of the NFL's best QB's he continued to fail at the highest level. Fortunately for Dungy he made it into a Super Bowl and played against another Black Coach Lovie Smith for the Chicago Bears. The trust that Lovie Smith showed for his QB Rex Grossman is about the purest match to my explanation of the Black Coach Choke there ever could be. The fact that he could lead a team to a Super Bowl with a QB playing as poorly as Rex Grossman (nicknamed Train Rex) is a testament of how great a coach he is. His failure is only explainable by the Black Coach Choke. A sense of trust or arrogance that believed they could overcome those shortcomings or an unrealistic expectation that Train Rex could never meet. I still believe Tony Dungy would have never won a Super Bowl if he had not benefited himself from the BCC. Someone had to win! There is no argument that Dungy is one of the NFL's greatest coaches. His accomplishments are plentiful, he has even birthed a number of successful coaches out of his coaching system. The only logical (or maybe we should call it illogical) explanation for his lack of even greater achievement is the BCC? Read more!


Interestingly, I wrote a blog post about the Zimmerman case and never mentioned race. The notion that this case is not about race is EXTREMELY disingenuous. For race not to be addressed as a contributing factor really makes the entire trial and the entire discussion dishonest. So essentially everybody is lying.

This case was completely about race. The problem in America is to admit that it was about race is to call someone a racist. When actually you should just call them an American. Our society has demonized the Black Male so badly they are viewed as criminals in the eyes of all Americans, not just by Whites.

A good illustration I see every day is riding the commuter rail to work. Our rail system requires you to purchase a pass before boarding. Then officials walk through the rail cars and ask riders to show their passes. Every day I witness someone explaining to the official why they do not have a pass. Without fail if the person is White they will generally not receive a citation, regardless of how poor of an explanation is stated. If the person is Black, particularly male, they most always receive a citation. This does not differ based on the race of the officer. Whether the officer is White, Black, or Brown consideration is made for the Whites and conviction is assessed to the Blacks.

Why so? Its our culture. We are trained to believe the White person is a hard-working and honest so his reasoning is valid. The Black person is a poor lying thug that shouldn’t even be on the commuter rail. So when we hear him speak our brain is processing anything he says as a lie. He is just a criminal, a bum that is up to no good.

I will be the first to argue that this notion is warranted, but it has been inflamed by the media. Local news, movies, national media coverage, conviction rates, and stereotypes all suggest that Blacks commit crimes at a rate disproportionate to our numbers in society. In reality, per FBI statistics annually almost 70% of arrests for crimes are committed by Whites. This does not even take into consideration that arrest rates for Blacks are higher than arrest rates for Whites even though both report similar rates of delinquency. That would require an entire separate post to discuss.

A simple argument would easily distill more crimes are committed by Whites because there are simply more White people. That argument is perfectly logical, what is not logical is the media coverage considering that fact. News broadcast show Blacks committing crimes in 90% of reports that are broadcast about crime although they make up 30% of crimes? The fact that crime consumes 7X more news time than any other news topic is an issue within itself considering how much information there is to be covered. That would require an entire separate post to discuss as well. I am not sure I am even ready to touch that one at all.

I say all this not to make a point that Blacks are misrepresented even if the facts support such. As my grandmother always said, “if those niggas were not out there doing it, they couldn’t put it on TV.”

My point was to say that this fear of the Black criminal is almost solely perpetuated by the media. Most people in the US have not been a victim of a crime, even less victims of a violent crime, even less had that crime committed to them by a Black male. So most people have not personally or even known anyone that has had a violent crime committed against them, but every time they see a Black person they suspect he will commit some criminal act? Which says to me if you have not experienced it personally then your viewpoint has been provided to you by an external source.
Read more!

Monday, July 15, 2013


As sad as this story is, there are really only 2 things that bother me about this event. Neither of the obvious reasons: 1) A person would want to murder an innocent person they see walking down the street because the color of their skin makes them suspicious; or 2) that you can do this and not go to jail.

I expected the acquittal the day Zimmerman was charged with 2nd degree murder versus manslaughter. The evidence was too circumstantial especially considering the defense team that Zimmerman had at his disposal. The fact that the prosecution tried to offer manslaughter just prior to jury instructions is almost grounds for malpractice. In this case the prosecution played right into the hands of the defense attorneys. Selecting an all female jury expecting maternal empathy. Failing to realize people don't see Black male teenagers as children or some one's son. They see them as "THUGS." In addition, they argued semantics of the exchange between the two men, which effectively put Trayvon Martin on trial when he had done nothing wrong.

All that being said, none of that really bothers me. As one person put best on twitter, the jury in the Zimmerman case reminded Black Men of what they already knew to be true.

So.....What really bothers me is that there was such a dissenting opinion about the outcome of the trial. For some reason when I first heard the story I thought the outrage was universal. My naivety would not let me accept that people feel they have the right to just walk up and kill someone they find suspicious. When I consider the course of events, I empathize with Zimmerman, if I saw a guy walking in my neighborhood at night that I did not recognize. I would be suspicious, but its quite a leap to go from being suspicious to killing the guy.

I would call the Police like anyone else. At the end of the day no crime was being committed, and the Police even told him to stand down. His comments and reaction clearly show the intent he had when approaching Trayvon was not just a concerned neighbor.

I know many are claiming he was in his right to defend himself. I am just having a hard time determining how they arrive at that conclusion, and bypass that the person he attacked is dead, innocent, unarmed and committed no crimes and that Zimmerman pursued the victim. Not sure what type of reaction Trayvon is supposed to have when an armed man attacks him at night in the middle of the street.

Secondly, I became bothered again as I am reminded by the protests that began as a result of the verdict that there never would have been a trial had it not been for pressure through national media, social media, protests, and the DOJ. The fact that a tragedy like this can happen is chilling, the fact that this can happen and is acceptable without having to stand trial is horrifying. I am all for Zimmerman claiming he did this in self-defense. I would say the same thing if I killed someone, but I would fully expect that I would have to prove that action in court, not that an investigator is going to take my word for it. I would expect that much if I shot someone in my own house, even more so if I chased some guy down the street and killed him.

When I took my Concealed Handgun License training, one of the lasting impressions the instructor made on me is that shooting someone should be the last resort. He was simply trying to reiterate that killing someone is a BIG DEAL and to carry a gun calls for great responsibility. I guess he forgot to mention unless you are shooting a Black person, then nobody really cares....
Read more!

America's Team

As a native of Dallas, TX I am a life long Dallas Cowboys fan. The moniker America's Team was given a couple years after I was born. So I have only known them as such. Interestingly, the name comes in part by the success on the field, but it was also as Bob Ryan (Vice President and editor-in-chief of NFL Films) coined the phrase, "I noticed then, and had noticed earlier, that wherever the Cowboys played, you saw people in the stands with Cowboys jerseys and hats and pennants. Plus, they were always the national game on television." I hear people call Dallas Cowboys fans bandwagon or fair-weather fans? Can that be true in 2013 when the team has won only 1 playoff game in 17 years? As Americans there is one simple fact that substantiates a teams true value and Forbes highlights that in there latest "The World's 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams" list. The top 3 are European Soccer Teams, and then the New York Yankees. This is not a blog post on the Yankees, but considering that MLB only has 3-4 teams on the Top 50 list compared to the NFL with 30 of 32 teams making the list the Yankees appearing so high on the list is very impressive. Or maybe the counter-argument is true? They make the list because they have little competition for revenue. The Dallas Cowboys have been NFL's most valuable team since this list began. Interestingly, this is accomplished without some of the marketing tweaks of other leagues and teams. MLB allows teams to set up their own TV Networks, like the YES Network for the Yankees. For NFL, all TV revenue is negotiated and shared by the league. European Soccer teams sell naming rights to corporations on their jerseys which is worth hundreds of millions. Most teams across all leagues sell naming rights to their stadiums which is also worth hundreds of millions. Dallas plays in a $1B stadium simply named "Cowboys Stadium." Passing up almost another possible $1B in revenue the team still finds itself valued at $2.1B. This all goes back to the fan base. People will argue the Steelers are worthy of such a title, their valuation isn't even close. They have dozens of teams to pass before making that argument. So Cowboys fans if you are talking to some one that is challenging your team as "America's Team." Find out which team they claim as a fan. If they are a Patriots or Redskins fan have a fun discussion. It it is some chump that is a Rams or Jaguars fans (the only 2 NFL teams not to make the Top 50) tell them their fan base (and subsequent value) is too minuscule to even begin the debate. Lastly, I will touch on one of the counter-arguments I hear most. Just because you produce the most revenue, have the most nationally televised games, play in the biggest stadium, and have fans all across the world doesn't mean you are the most popular team. Its about more than just money...I know, slap me if I ever make points this weak to support an argument. Its very simple, where do you think the valuation comes from? The valuation is a summation of all these things. The reason you generate the most revenue is because you are the best at doing it in every category...attendance...sales...marketing...etc. Read more!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Cuban Checked Out

Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban's financial flexibility mantra is a farce. He checked out once he accomplished his goal of winning a NBA Championship. After years of spending irresponsibly he decided it was time be more responsible. The lawsuit about his annual losses as owner probably helped lead in that direction as well. Not necessarily going to fault a guy for trying to make a profit after spending at all costs to win, but we must recognize that is the goal. It was not earnestly to sign a high-priced superstar. Oftentimes the Celtics are cited as an example of what the Mavs would like to avoid, which may seem logical in 2013, but this comparison to the Celtics is tiring. The so called Celtics demise keeping the old guys after winning a championship, is making it to the Finals the following year and 3 Conference Finals. After 5 years this year they lost in the 1st round. I think any Mavs fan would be happy with that outcome, when you look at what the Mavs will be the 5 years following their championship. Read more!