What Would Buddy Do?
Dunavin isn’t wrong (he’s just a sensitive little emotional flower and he should please stop talking right now)
Posted on September 21st, 2007 at 8:37 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

needs and feelings, puppy dogs and ice creamAw jeez, Dunavin. Was this really such an awesome idea? Really? We know that you can’t control the timing of the broadcast of the HBO interview, but you had to know that people were going to freak out the moment you started talking about race (more on that in a moment). And despite the fact that every other blogger stole my thunder on this one, let me also say: the timing on this could not have been worse (unless you stink it up on Sunday and they were to broadcast during the 0-3 week instead of the 0-2 week).

Assuming that this whole thing is a terrible PR mess and Dunavin did himself no favors with his comments (this is a statement of FACT, not OPINION), a few things are worth noting:

1. Dunavin is right: in a league that’s 70 percent black, there are six (6) black starting quarterbacks. You don’t get that sort of result unless there is an inherent, institutionalized bias against black guys getting to be the quarterback. And black guys do have to deal with stuff that the white guys don’t. And as Dunavin spelled out on his bloggy-blog, white quarterbacks tend not to get asked asked about how much they’re scrambling, or what it’s like to be a white quarterback. This guy did deal with the Rush Limbaugh thing and the NAACP thing. These are not fictions. These things happened. Certainly ALL NFL quarterbacks do suffer a fair degree of criticism (which I would argue is a function of media market size and location more than anything else at the NFL level), but let’s not pretend that black kids who want to play QB don’t have to jump through more hoops than white kids (at every level). Again, I don’t think this is ambiguous point. Also, I would recommend reading his blog response if you haven’t checked it out. It’s worth it.

2. McNabb’s biggest mistake was talking about race: while he claims that he didn’t bring up race in the HBO interview, he also didn’t back away from it. Oops. He should have backed away from it. Dunavin, people HATE talking about race in America, especially race in re: black people. White people get immediately defensive when a black person talks about race, no matter how calm and non-accusatory that black person might be. While I admire your guts in actually speaking your mind (and again, I think you are CORRECT in your assertions), from a PR perspective, you had to know this would be a nightmare. You’re in the entertainment business, remember that. You want people to like you so that they’ll buy more Chunky Soup and Vitamin Water (or at least not boo you quite as lustily this Sunday). Making white people insecure about racism that is very very real (in America and in Philly) is not going to win you any friends — in the media, in the fanbase, even among other players. As soon as you mention that there might be some racism floating about, people immediately leap up to explain that THEY aren’t racist and how dare YOU accuse them of it. They even get on their high horse about how it’s racist and prejduiced to even dare to bring racism up (and they might dare to quote Martin Luther King, Jr. in the process — Mike Florio, we’re looking in your direction). The Birds could have won their first two game 56-0 and this still would have freaked everyone out.

3. I didn’t believe the clubhouse money argument until now: after hearing what both GCobb and Jason Whitlock (both of whom I respect very much on football matters) had to say about the impact of 5’s giganto contract in the locker room, I guess I will finally come around to the fact that (a) two years ago, most people probably did have TO’s back and (b) the other guys on the team probably don’t like 5 very much. Whether they resent him for his money or the fact that he’s the alleged teacher’s pet (in GCobb’s words), it all adds up to the fact that he’s just not very popular with “the guys.” And, to be honest, that probably doesn’t bode well for his long-term status in the Illadelph. I finally believe. Sigh.

Comments so far:

Link Here | September 21, 2007,

My comment shall take the form of an open note to #5:

Donovan, you’re right and wrong. You’re right on about the meat of your sentiment, but wrong on the context.

Yes - the NFL is not a perfect meritocracy, and perceptions are tainted by human weaknesses… and yes, I guess that coming out and talking about it head on is probably the brave thing to do (while acknowledging but being quiet is cowardly)…

But Jeez Donovan, you are already a lighting rod of controvery, approaching if not surpassing the maelstrom that seemed to follow our beloved #12–although you are much more coherent. Right or wrong, you have been viewed a soft, fragile (physically and emotionally), and thin-skinned. Your rumored “getting sick in the huddle” at the Super Bowl is big news, as ever utterance of your mother and father. And your reaction to the drafting of your potential successor wasn’t too gentle either.

So, given all of the controvery you have generated over the last few years and the fact that you are coming back valiantly from a horrible injury — can you please save the social commentary for a.) the offseason or b:) your SUper Bowl parade.

Joe Zalewski

Comment by Joe Zalewski

Link Here | September 21, 2007,

It’s nice to see that you’ve finally come around. Now you won’t be quite so incredulous when I mention that the Jeff Garcia booting might have been a goofy decision.

Comment by cpaul

Link Here | September 21, 2007,

Dude, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Dunavin is the most talented QB on the roster, and keeping Garcia wasn’t really an option (he wanted starter money, and he wasn’t going to get that here, and he’s not better than 5). The Eagles still have their best chance of winning in 2007 with 5.

Let us all make our peace with the beginning of the Kevin Kolb era.

The problem isn’t Dunavin’s play (he’s been average, not terrible). The problem with Dunavin is that HE’S CRAZY.

Comment by Cheesesteak Hoagie |

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