October 19, 2009

Rush Limbaugh and black quarterbacks

In all the brouhaha over Rush Limbaugh being prevented from buying part of an NFL team, has anybody noticed that his endlessly denounced remark -- the one he actually said in 2003, not the libelous made-up ones we've been hearing lately -- about the media overrating black quarterbacks for political reasons has been largely vindicated?

Six years later, 2009 is turning out to be a bust for black quarterbacks in the NFL. Not a single one is having a good season.

Seven of the 36 most active quarterbacks are black. David Garrard is probably doing best so far: on Sunday, he got Jacksonville back to .500, but he's only #20 in passer rating.

On Sunday, Jason Campbell got benched at halftime by the Redskins. Former #1 draft pick JaMarcus Russell did win a game for Oakland, by beating Donovan McNabb 13-9. Seneca Wallace is back on the bench in Seattle. In Tampa Bay, Byron Leftwich has been replaced by young Josh Johnson, who is 32nd in passer rating.

With 140 yards rushing in six games, Garrard is the only black quarterback with at least 100 yards on the ground 30% of the way into the season.

Meanwhile, white quarterbacks are having a great year, with seven with passer ratings over 100, versus only one at the end of last year, although presumably top end ratings will come down as sample sizes increase and the weather worsens.

You could argue that black quarterbacks did better 20 years ago in 1989, when Warren Moon finished 4th in passer rating and Randall Cunningham 14th.

Overall, it looks like the first half of this decade, 2000-2004, was the peak for black quarterbacks in the NFL, while 2005-2009 has marked a surprising regression.

I have to admit that I wasn't expecting that. I thought they'd gradually get better. Back in 2003, during the first Limbaugh-NFL brouhaha, I wrote in VDARE.com about the emergence of black quarterbacks:

It's been a slow process, however, with frustration on all sides. Football teams are like armies—it takes them a lot of trial and error to figure out how to use a new kind of weapon effectively.

Perhaps surprisingly, Hollywood has already produced a good dramatization of the complicated opportunities and difficulties posed by black quarterbacks: Oliver Stone's 1999 football movie Any Given Sunday. It's not Stone at his best (or worst), but it's a perceptive and fair depiction of the black quarterback issue by a man who gave up all hope of being politically correct years ago.

Dennis Quaid plays the white drop-back quarterback who gets too banged up to play. In desperation, old-school coach Al Pacino replaces him with a young black QB (an undersized Jamie Foxx) who has a chip on his shoulder because, throughout his career, coaches have tried to convert him to other positions.

Foxx doesn't like studying the playbook. He just makes things up as he goes along, with often wonderful (but sometimes disastrous) results. This delights the sportswriters, who declare him "the future of football." It drives Pacino crazy.

Eventually, Pacino and Foxx begin to respect each other's strengths. They reach a compromise. Foxx finally bears down and learns the playbook. Pacino gives him more freedom on the field to make things happen. Together, they win The Big Game.

This Hollywood happy ending will probably eventually come true in NFL, too. Lots of talented men are working hard to make it a reality.

Meanwhile, expect no toleration for those so rude as to point out that the emperor has no cleats.

Well, six years later, my latter prediction is certainly valid, but not my former one.

What happened?

Well, I don't watch enough football to have much of an opinion, but here's a hypothesis. When my older kid played football in a league for 9 and 10 year olds, the coach came out into the huddle and called plays and the teams usually took about two minutes between plays to get themselves organized. Football is just really complicated. The best team in the league just simplified matters by putting their best athlete, a black kid, at quarterback and letting him do whatever he wanted with the ball.

Similarly, whenever my younger kid got roped into playing Madden, a game he never paid much attention to, he'd always pick Michael Vick as his quarterback and just have him run around with the ball, because that was a lot easier than trying to have a quarterback throw to receivers running routes.

From that perspective, all this "future of football" stuff about quarterbacks who can run is backwards: having one player Do It All isn't the future of football, it's the past. You can't stop a great athlete in PeeWee Football, but you can in the NFL. They apply a lot of brainpower to the problem of stopping one man.

No, the future of football is like the present in the NFL, just more so: having all eleven players execute in tandem ever more sophisticated schemes.

Part of the problem is that getting a mobile black quarterback became a quick fix for having a lousy offense. Is your offensive line so porous that a 30 year old white guy would get killed? Put a fast young black guy in at quarterback and let him outrun the defenders. At minimum, it will excite your fans.

After a few years of this, maybe you've finally fixed your offensive line, but now your fast black quarterback is banged up and isn't quite as fast anymore, but he's been confirmed in his instinct to take off with the ball and run rather than to step up into the pocket.

This happens at lower levels, too. If you are a high school or college coach, why try to train a fast black quarterback to be an NFL pocket passer when you can win now by just letting him freelance?

In contrast, the white sideline dads of America with tall, strong sons have given up on basketball, and they don't trust their coaches to take the long view of their sons' potential. So, they are paying out of their own pockets to hire personal quarterbacking tutors. (When USC played Notre Dame this weekend, Matt Barkley of USC said he'd know Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame for years because they have the same off-season quarterback coach, Steve Clarkson.)

So, the quarterback trends of the last half decade are a triumph of Nurture over Nature., and thus should be celebrated by liberals everywhere. (Of course, it doesn't hurt to have Nature and Nurture together on your side, like the two Super Bowl-winning Manning brothers enjoy.)

92 comments:

Grim said...

Warren moon was the man. Freaken awesome QB. Randle was a one of the best scramble backs around and led the eagles through some good years.

Too many of the modern black QBs seem more like punks than leaders. Hiphop culture destroys, all, eh?

Vernunft said...

And again, Kevin Kolb gets better numbers than McNabb. Why bring up the fact that Rush was right so many years ago as if it's a mark against him? He was right then, and if he said that McNabb was overrated now, he'd be right now.

What a dumb time to live in.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Rush, apparently MSNBC talkers Rachel Maddow and David Schuster have presently fake racist Limbaugh quotes as if they were real. Things are getting scary.

Bob said...

It'd be awesome if you could get an article about race broken down by football position into a sports magazine or high-traffic website. Seems like you have most of the necessary research and ideas already at hand.

A great way to get HBD science some additional exposure!

BigDon said...

Along with the thumbnail photos and stats on the roster pages, arm photos of the tattoos should be shown as well...so we can see the gang affiliations.

Shouting Thomas said...

The other part of the issue, which even you have not addressed, Steve, is the campaign by sportswriters years ago, insisting that the number of quarterbacks in the NFL was a civil rights issue.

As I recall, article after article appeared in the sports press decrying the lack of black quarterbacks and attributing this to some sort of racial prejudice against blacks.

So, yes, Limbaugh was also right that the PC left desperately wanted black quarterbacks to succeed.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, the "off-season quarterback coach" factor is less significant than what seem to be more well-rounded athletes among the white quarterbacks. There really aren't many slow-footed pure pocket guys any more, especially among the younger guys. And as a reaction to this, defenses are more wary than ever about giving any kind of running room to quarterbacks. It renders the "running quarterback" strategy ineffective. Ironically, it also seems like more white quarterbacks are taking advantage of their "secret speed". The rules have also been gradually changing to benefit the strategic passing game.

One interesting note is that a common trait among the tenured black quarterbacks (Campbell, Garrard, McNabb) is their low interception rate. That probably has something to do with how they're used and also their general inability to throw catchable balls.

"the tattoos should be shown as well...so we can see the gang affiliations"

If some of these players are indeed gang affiliated, I wonder if there's any point shaving going on.

sykes.1 said...

Somebody did the Sabremetrics thing on football a few years ago. The conclusion was that football is primarily a passing game; the run should be used occasionally to mess with the defense. So the whole recent emphasis on running quarters is fundamentally stupid. To be successful, a team needs a pocket passing quarterback.

These are very hard to come by, so historically most teams have done a lot of running simply because they lacked the talent to pass consistently.

Ohio State is currently the poster child for the error of the running quarter back.

Anonymous said...

And again, Kevin Kolb gets better numbers than McNabb.

Not to mention A.J. Feeley and Jeff Garcia. Both of them put up big numbers when McNabb was injured but struggle to find a job elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Hey Vernunft, before you claim Kolb gets better numbers than McNabb, try checking the nfl.com stats:

2009 Stats:
Name....TDs...INTs...Yds....Rating
Kolb......4.....3.....741.....88.9
McNabb...5.....1.....612.....93.8

Career Ratings:
Kolb.....68.9
McNabb...86.0

Anonymous said...

A little off-topic, but it's instructive to note a few of the names in the Patterson Belknap sports group, which was responsible for planting the fabricated quotes on Rush's Wikipedia page:

Contacts for the Sports Group are Saul B. Shapiro (212-336-2163/sbshapiro@pbwt.com) for Litigation matters; Daniel S Ruzumna (212-336-2034/druzumna@pbwt.com) for Investigations; and Daniel C. Glazer (212-336-2523/dcglazer@pbwt.com) for Transactional matters.

Notice any pattern?

There's more information on the backgrounds of the lawyers in the Patterson Belknap Sports Group in this thread over at Jim Robinson's site:

Patterson Belknap Sports Group's Peter C Harvey and Obama at Columbia University in 1981-82
Friday, October 16, 2009
freerepublic.com


PS: In a supremely ironic [or maybe not so ironic] twist of fate, which ought to be of immense interest to iSteve readers, Mikheil Saakashvili worked as an associate at Patterson Belknap in 1994-95, after having been graduated from Columbia Law School in 1994.

Saakashvili would go on to become involved with George Soros and the Rose Revolution, would see himself installed as President of Georgia, and would eventually go to war with Russia:

How is South Ossetia not like Kosovo?
Saturday, August 9, 2008
isteve.blogspot.com

The Israeli Connection: personal rather than strategic
Friday, August 15, 2008
isteve.blogspot.com

Pipeline politics
Monday, August 18, 2008
isteve.blogspot.com

Why Americans don't swoon for the former Soviet Republic of Georgia
Monday, August 18, 2008
isteve.blogspot.com

Georgia's government: The Davos Man Junior Varsity Team
Monday, August 25, 2008
isteve.blogspot.com

Saakashvili: The gun went off by itself while I was just holding it
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
isteve.blogspot.com

NYT: Georgia, not Russia, attacked
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
isteve.blogspot.com

Detailed account of the Georgian-Russian war
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
isteve.blogspot.com

etc etc etc

silly girl said...

Rush Limbaugh isn't the kind of person we want involved with the NFL.

Plaxico Burress convicted on weapons charges.

Michael Vick convicted of dog fighting charges.

Pacman Jones arrested for assault and felony vandalism.

73 other players arrested for DUI in 2008.

Rush Limbaugh isn't the kind of person we want involved with the NFL.

http://townhall.com/cartoons/cartoonist/DanaSummers/2009/10/2

Anonymous said...

Moon and Cunningham were good but could never win the big game when they got to the playoffs and faced sophisticated defensive schemes by top defenses. That's the real reason for the lack of black qb success...it's the hardest position to play in sports and you need to know the playbook inside and out and study your ass off.

Doug Williams got it done though- however he played only so-so against the Bears and Vikings in the playoffs before exploding against the worst defense ever to play in a Super Bowl- the 1988 Broncos with lilly-white Tony Lilly trying to play free safety.

Anonymous said...

Was wondering if and when you might address this, Steve.


Actually, years ago I was naive enough to wonder why anyone was so upset by Limbaugh's remark about McNabb. I've always liked McNabb, but I agreed with Limbaugh that the effusive praise of him at that time needed to be tempered. When he was younger and before injuries took their toll, he was indeed a fine athlete and a good quarterback, but Limbaugh's point was that he was not a GREAT quarterback, not yet anyway, and that the media had pre-annointed him as such. Rush was right.

I still believe McNabb has been and still is good-very good when compared to what's out there at that position; however, I'd agree with Rush that the media applied a different set of criteria in assessing his "greatness" in their rush to convince people that blacks could succeed at that position in the NFL.

Ironically, this was always a touchy subject because of the "intelligence" factor. Well, judging from listening to him speak, McNabb is a fairly intelligent man. Even in the days when Qbs called plays, a guy didn't need to have anything more than "football intelligence," but we do know that even the GREAT ones, like Joe Montana, don't need to have a superior intelligence.

Anonymous said...

Steve,
OT but I thought you would find this article very interesting. You wrote about this pretty extensively earlier this year I believe.

http://www.newgeography.com/content/001110-the-white-city

Anonymous said...

Here’s a study of the predictive power of the Wonderlic IQ test for QBs:
http://blog.criteriacorp.com/blog/bid/4920/The-Wonderlic-as-a-Predictor-of-Performance-in-the-NFL

Here’s the Wonderlic and physical stats for the cream of the crop of black QBs as identified by Steve:

David Garrard: Wonderlic 14/IQ 88; 6- 1.3...240...4.77
Jason Campbell: Wonderlic 14, 27, 28, (avg. 23)/IQ 88, 114, 116 (avg. 106) [Such a large discrepancy probably reflects training effects and 14 is probably closer to Campbell's true ability.]; 6- 4.6...230...4.69
JaMarcus Russell: Wonderlic 24/IQ 108; 6- 5.5...258...4.82
Donovan McNabb: Wonderlic 14/IQ 88; 6- 2.0...238...4.82 (could run a 4.64 once upon a time)
Seneca Wallace: Wonderlic 14, 12/IQ 88, 84; 5-11.5...196...4.44
Byron Leftwich: Wonderlic 25/ IQ 110; 6- 5.6...238...5.09
Josh Johnson: Wonderlic 15/IQ 90; 6- 2.6...213...4.54

So, we appear to have two oversized clods with triple-digit IQs and then a bunch of morons.

Lets look at the 13 white QBs with passer ratings over 90 (player/passer rating/wonderlic/IQ/ht/wt/40):
Drew Brees (118.4): 28/116; 6- 0.2...214...4.85
Peyton Manning (114.1): 28/116; 6- 4.0...228...4.87
Brett Favre (109.5): 22/104; 6- 2.4...212...5.22
Ben Roethlisberger (104.5): 25/110; 6- 4.8...252...4.86
Aaron Rodgers (104.1): 35/130; 6- 2.6...227...4.72
Matt Schaub (102.7): 31/122; 6- 5.5...228...4.94
Eli Manning (102.2): 39/138; 6- 4.6...223...4.88
Tom Brady (99.0): 33/126; 6- 4.0...227...5.18
Kyle Orton (97.4): 26/112; 6- 3.8...227...4.98
Matt Ryan (95.6): 32/124; 6- 4.8...232...4.88
Joe Flacco (93.8): 27/114; 6- 6.3...236...4.76
Kurt Warner (92.1): No score available; 6- 2.0...222...4.96
Philip Rivers (90.6): 30/120; 6- 5.0...232...4.98

Nary a double-digiter among them. Not as slow as I would have thought either.

Also, if any of you caught the Eagles game last weekend, notice how Donovan McNabb tried to call timeout at the end of the 1st half, having forgotten he had already used them all. Notice how Brian Westbrook, the smartest RB you’ll ever find (Wonderlic 31/IQ 122), was trying to tell him he couldn’t do this because he was out of timeouts.

Larry, San Francisco said...

On the other hand black head coaches seem to be doing pretty well. Lovie Smith has taken the Bears out of mediocrity, Tony Dungy was a great coach and Mike Singletary may have turned the 49ers around, although Art Shell was less succesful (to put it mildly) with the Raiders. I haven't done the numbers but it would not surprise me if black head coaches were well over 500.

Anonymous said...

Why not a simpler theory: Whites are better at quick thinking and throwing accurately, which are the essense of quality quarterbacking. Reaction time is correlated with IQ, and for whatever reason, Whites throw better (obvious in baseball pitching and even in basketball shooting).

Keep in mind, if there are 6 out of 30 starting Black quarterbacks, that is already over-representation.

Anonymous said...

Steve Clarkson is black (yes ?). It is just one data point, but do you think QB coaches need a slightly different skillset? Video game versions of football are a far cry from the real thing, but I guess it is reasonable to assume that they place cognitive demands in terms of memorizing routes. Is that a short term memory demand because you have access to play cards right before the 'snap'? I remember watching this reality show on ESPN about 'elite' Madden players competing for some prize I forget. Would you expect the make-up of the top roster to be similar to the QB rankings?

Peter A said...

Funny, I was thinking this morning that black QBs haven't been this bad since the early 70s. Garrard and McNabb are the only ones who are even half decent, and even McNabb is pretty much washed up at this point. Every year the athletes who do so well in college - the Vince Youngs, the JaMarcus Russels - just flame out in the pros while unheralded white guys like Joe Flacco become the future of football. I think smart black kids probably are at a disadvantage though. At the lower levels an athletic black kid can excel at QB based on skills alone- and coaches will promote that kind of kid to QB while patting themselves on the back for being open minded. Meanwhile a smart black kid without the amazing skills will still probably have a hard time beating out a smart white kid because coaches still expect exceptional athleticism from a black QB. The smarter black kids seem to end up playing WR or in the secondary.

Whiskey said...

Steve -- Don't forget Daunte Culpepper of the Lions. With Stafford out he's at least stopped the bleeding at the position (compared to some of their past QBs at the Lions).

Defenses can handle running QBs now, they can lay off the pass coverage and go man, do a lot more blitzing, and stop the guy while banging him up. It's strikingly similar to how to handle a passing guy like Tom Brady -- blitz, move him out of the pocket, he's less effective.

A truly good football team needs balance, an effective running game to keep defenses honest. That's the impetus for the Wildcat offense -- the ball can be flipped to the QB for a quick screen pass (so you can't blitz to stop the run because you leave the middle or ends open in short yardage) or a running back with some passing skills.

A Black QB CAN be effective, but he has to be able to quickly assess defensive coverage at the line (and hard count to make guys drop into their actual coverage, something the Mannings have perfected along with Brees and Brady) and make the adjustment to protection and routes accordingly from the play called into the huddle or from the sidelines.

This means a lot more film study to get the defensive scheme each week, the ability to get the ball out quickly (and not hold it) and not run around. Running around means more time for the defense to make a play and the best running QB is inferior to the worst pure RB. Note how one of the "Blackest" QBs Brett Favre stopped running around with the Vikings and made throws quickly out in rhythm. Because he has a good O-line and outstanding RBs besides Peterson.

I've noticed too that teams are getting a bit "Whiter" with some of the previously "Blackout" positions such WR, RB, etc. now featuring White guys.

Anonymous said...

One wonders whether the mandate to hire more black coaches will reverse the growing complexity of the sport, making it more amenable to black quarterbacks.

On a related note, a report on FSU's program last week suggested that "some" of the football players could read only at a second-grade level.

Bill said...

Moon was the future. Most elements of the modern passing game entered through the West Coast offense or the Run and Shoot. The primary requirement to run the offense is really owning the playbook (mostly a matter of hard work) and making reads in real time. The Jammie Foxx character would end up a Kordel Stewart, not a Warren Moon.

green mamba said...

Funny to see a Yahoo! headline this morning referring to a "dumb" timeout call made by McNabb yesterday. I can't quote it because it's gone and can't even be found by searching. The commisars are thorough.

Fred said...

"Funny to see a Yahoo! headline this morning referring to a "dumb" timeout call made by McNabb yesterday. I can't quote it because it's gone and can't even be found by searching. The commisars are thorough."

Yahoo! always rotates its headlines; no need for conspiracy theories here: "McNabb: Not the most situationally aware fellow..."

Anonymous said...

Will Mark Sanchez of the Jets become the media's new Donovan McNabb?

Anonymous said...

Steve, have you ever looked at the NFL's Wonderlic test and how it relates to success at QB and other positions?

In this last draft, Matthew Stafford received a 38 on his Wonderlic which is considered very high. According to wikipedia, the average chemist only scores a 31.

Given his handicap of being with the Lions, I wonder if he will still have a decent career.

jimbo said...

"The conclusion was that football is primarily a passing game; the run should be used occasionally to mess with the defense."

This is true, of course, but there always seems to exist in certain quarters of fandom the belief that passing is somehow "cheating", and Real Men butt heads against their opponents instead of throwing the ball over their heads...

Svigor said...

Why not a simpler theory: Whites are better at quick thinking and throwing accurately, which are the essense of quality quarterbacking. Reaction time is correlated with IQ, and for whatever reason, Whites throw better (obvious in baseball pitching and even in basketball shooting).

Last I knew, Steve was still enamored of a black edge in quick and "improvisational" thinking. Why this doesn't translate to NASCAR and fighter jockeying is anyone's guess.

Anonymous said...

Part of Moon's problem in the NFL (at least with the Oilers) was that the defense wasn't that great. The Oiler's run-n-shot offense put lots of points on the board, but, like the Coryell's Chargers, they gave up plenty too.
But Moon did win 5 Grey Cups in Canada, so to tar him as not winning the big one is inaccurate. It may have been a minor league, but no other team in the CFL has won 5 championships in a row.

Svigor said...

Steve, have you ever looked at the NFL's Wonderlic test and how it relates to success at QB and other positions?

If memory serves there's been quite a bit of yakking about it here. Seems it's most important to QB and Offensive Line but I think people here tend to overrate it (naturally). On the other hand, IQ carries indirect benefits; smarter people make better choices, which impacts lifestyle (Hangover? Mistress or other off-field drama?), health (vitamins?), fitness, etc. It may also carry deficits, like a tendency to be more neurotic or bored.

Andrea said...

I wonder to what extent 'great' quarterbacks are really great. 1/2 or perhaps up to 2/3 of 'great quarterbacking' depends on the strength of the offensive line and the quality of receivers. Could Montana have been as great without Jerry Rice as receiver? Notice that SF 49ers did great for several yrs EVEN AFTER Walsh and Montana retired. It could well be that most of the black quarterbacks in the NFL are in sucky teams. Who knows, a good quarterback with a great receiver might actually have better stats than a great quarterback with a poor receiver.

There used to be a theory that blacks were 'too dumb' to play quarterback positions, but I think this is nonsense. It might require some brains but quarterbacking isn't exactly rocket science, and I doubt if Terry Bradshaw was a genius of any kind. A quarterback probably needs a strategic SENSE more than a strategic FORM. As most plays never pan out as planned, the quarterback must improvise quite often, and blacks have an edge in on-the-spot improvisation. Just look at black mastery of Jazz, the most fluid of all musical forms.

As for Limbaugh's comments about McNabb, he was right on. The opposite has also been true in popular music and sports. Whites long searched for the 'great white hope' in boxing. Larry Byrd was indeed a great player but the fact of his whiteness in a black dominated sport had something to do with his popularity. In popular music, Elvis was special to many people because he was a 'white guy who sang and danced like a black guy'. And, Obama is special because he often acts and talks like a white guy. But, however true this may be, we are supposed pretend not to notice it. It's bad manners to point out certain obvious facts, like it's bad manners at a ladies' tea party to comment that someone farted a nasty one. Whatever the smell, the ladies are supposed to go on as if everything is just fine and dandy. So, Limbaugh's sin was not in being wrong but in cutting the cheese on the subject which most people in media don't want to acknowledge openly. When Bryant Gumbel spoke a similar truth--that Winter Olympics is mostly a white affair and can't be the gathering of the most naturally gifted athletes since blacks are generally excluded--, he got in hot water too and had to backpeddle and apologize--though being black, I don't see the NFL or NBA denying him right to own shares because of his 'divisive' words.
There is a double standard. If Jesse Jackson or Kanye West tried to buy a piece of Houston Astros, and white ballplayers said they wouldn't play for a team partly owned by black jerks, the media would have sided with Jesse and Kanye, and the white ball players probably would have been suspended or even fired for 'racism'. If Karl Rove had said white athletes shouldn't play for teams owned by leftist Jews or angry blacks, he would have been hounded off the air(and even conservatives would have distanced themselves from him).

ANY GIVEN SUNDAY is an interesting movie and gives us a glimpse into the white mentality that is resigned to loss of power. It could be seen as an allegory of race relations as a whole, with power going from white males to women, blacks, etc.
The most that the white man can hope is for the NEW BREED to carry on with the spirit of the old tradition. It's kinda like, 'okay, okay, you can marry my daughter and take over my house but treat her nice and don't throw away all the old photos and antique furniture steeped in tradition'. White man loses out but perhaps some of the great white MYTH may be preserved. In a way, it's this game that Obama has mastered. Many whites who voted for him have resigned themselves to the decline of whites and rise of non-whites. By acting 'clean cut' and 'nice', Obama assures or fools a lot of white peole that he will indeed maintain the BEST of the white tradition while bringing in more non-white stuff. Nelson Mandela promised the same.

Svigor said...

OT, but man Amren is hands down the most censored pro-white website I've ever come across. No contest. I can't get a post through there to save my life. Taylor should rename it to Israeli Renaissance or something.

The White Detroiter said...

"I haven't done the numbers but it would not surprise me if black head coaches were well over 500."

Not quite.

The 2008 NFL Regular Season records of black head coaches were:
Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4;
Tony Dungy, Indianapolis Colts 12-4;
Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears 9-7;
Marvin Lewis, Cinninnati Bengals 4-11-1;
Romeo Crennel, Cleveland Browns 4-12;
Herman Edwards, Kansas City Chiefs 2-14;
Mike Singletary, San Francisco 49ers 5-4(hired midseason).

Collectively that is a record of 48-56-1. Black head coaches have been doing better that black QBs and one even won a Super Bowl last year but their overall average is not better than white head coaches.

Anonymous said...

Why aren't there more black kickers? Not enough lower body strength?

Andrea said...

"The other part of the issue... is the campaign by sportswriters years ago, insisting that the number of quarterbacks in the NFL was a civil rights issue."

Hey, we can reverse this issue against the PC gang. If diversity is all important, where are the white running backs? We have a Civil Rights issue!! Where are women players? If the military must have women, why shouldn't professional football? And what about Hispanics, Arabs, Hindus, and Asians? (And where is the fat ballerina? Fat-ism is EVIL!! And where is the straight male fashion designer? Fashion industry is anti-straight male!!)

It's often been said that the change in culture profoundly affects the direction of laws and politics. So, Jackie Robinson and Ernie Banks were more than athletes but great symbolic role models who paved the way for acceptance of blacks in all fields of life. IF INDEED sports are THAT IMPORTANT, INFLUENTIAL, AND DETERMINISTIC in shaping the kind of society and nation we live in, then it follows that sports teams MUST live up to our 'progressive' ideals. But, just look at NBA and NFL. It's nearly all freaking black--mono-racial. So much for CIVIL RIGHTS!! So much for INCLUSIVENESS!! So much for DIVERSITY!! (Heck, we might as well turn Nobel prizes in science, medicine, and economics into a civil rights issue as well since disproportionate number of Jews hog most of the awards).

Biological discrimination has made sports into the domain of black power, black rule, black authority, and black everything. Funny how the liberal media still stick to the GRAND NARRATIVE of 'oppressed' blacks breaking new barriers in sports(!!!)while completely ignoring the fact that teams dominated blacks are de facto to closed to all other groups. Sure, there are gimmicks like Yao from China, but NBA is about as black as it can be. But, the liberal media only care 'what barrier will blacks break next?' So, if blacks had ALL THE POSITIONS on the football field, the next big issue will be blacks in management. If blacks had ALL THE POSITIONS in the field and management, then the next issue will be ownership. If black had ALL THE POSITIONS on the field, management, and ownership, then the next barrier would be Ice Hockey and Bowling.

Never mind that most positions in the NBA and NFL are virtually permanently denied to non-whites. Maybe it's because so many teams are owned by liberal Jews who also happen to own the media(plus the fact that most white gentile journalists have been raised under the cult of white guilt, especially in relation to blacks). Since Jewish team owners rely on black talent, they are especially careful in their sensitivity toward black issues.

Andrea said...

Svigor, you can't blame Jared Taylor who is a serious and good man. Too many lunkhead Neonazi morons try to post crap on his site. Neonazi types with their Holocaust denial and other nonsense are really the best friends of liberal Jews. All that liberal Jews have to do in order to discredit the Right is point fingers at Neonazi types and say, 'see how crazy the white right is?'

ben tillman said...

Black vs. white QBs in the NFL? What about eye color? At last check I think blue-eyed QBs still constituted about 80% of the winners. Bradshaw (4), Montana (4), Aikman (3), Brady (3), Starr (2), Namath (1), Dawson (1), Unitas (1), Staubach (2), Elway (2), Young (1), Griese (2), Stabler (1), Theismann (1), Simms (1), Hostetler (1), etc.

What's the HBD explanation?

ben tillman said...

We've heard about Doug Williams, but let's not forget about the first black QB to win a championship, Clemson's Homer Jordan, from Athens, Georgia, of all places.

Fred said...

"Hey, we can reverse this issue against the PC gang. If diversity is all important, where are the white running backs?"

You're thinking small. It doesn't cost that much to start a new football league; minor league salaries are peanuts. And a new league just sprung up this year (the UFL). If Rush Limbaugh weren't such a big NFL fan -- if he were more interested in stirring the pot -- he could start his own football league that, unlike the NFL, celebrated the full range of American diversity. Call it the DFL.

You probably couldn't get away with explicit quotas, but the DFL could use "outreach" and "inclusion" to foster teams that roughly matched the ethnic make-up of America; i.e., a 50 man squad would have, say, 6 blacks, 30 whites, 10 Hispanics, 2 Asians, and a Jew or a South Asian or some exotic to round out the squad. The advertising tag line would be easy: "The League that looks like America".

A mediocre Jewish QB like Rex Grossman could be a star in this league, and he could market the league in traditional Jewish communities. An Indian star could do the same in an even wealthier demographic. The league could end up being a financial success, as whites in flyover country decided to take their kids to see mostly white teams instead of watching mostly black NFL teams.

Andrea said...

"Never mind that most positions in the NBA and NFL are virtually permanently denied to non-whites."

Oops, I meant to say 'non-blacks'.

Anonymous said...

"Why aren't there more black kickers? Not enough lower body strength?"

Now that is a good question. Lots of factors here. First off, I don't think blacks want to be kickers and punters, especially when they are athletically gifted enough to play other positions on their way up the ladder. Second, I think that the white body type might generally be more suited to these positions. Third, when it comes to contests of single-serving max exertion whites tend to excel. Fourth, and probably most importantly, consistency is paramount in both of these positions and that's definitely an Ice People trait.

OhioStater said...

I think there are many reasons:

1. The dominance of "no huddle" Peyton Manning offsense. Although Peyton has been limited to one Super Bowl, there is a perception you need to beat Peyton to win it all. As a result, as defenses plan for the best dropback QB of all time (one reason Mario Williams was taken higher than Reggie Bush in the draft), mediocre QBs struggle with these improved defenses.

2. The success of Belichick/Brady game management. Arguably, Brady is better than Manning, but at their core, they manage games and let the other teams make mistakes. If you watch a Sunday morning pre-game show, their analysis will show you the subtleties of the game at this level, where zero-yard plays set up large gains later. I don't think black QBs have this patience.

3. Tony Dungy defense, which is ironic since he's the premier advocate of black coaches and QBs. His defensive scheme, "Tampa 2", puts the fast guys in the middle of the field, with strong fast guys outside. Most NFL offenses are timing based and the ball is thrown before the receiver arrives. In the Tony Dungy scheme, the receiver is hit as he leaves the line and maybe slow to arrive at his spot.

4. More money and longevity for defense. I guy like Ed Reed could serve as wide receiver, but his relative dominance and pay are higher on defense. Same for Nnamdi Asomugha.

ben tillman said...

Why aren't there more black kickers? Not enough lower body strength?

Ricardo. Comparative advantage.

Anonymous said...

the white sideline dads of America with tall, strong sons have given up on basketball, and they don't trust their coaches to take the long view of their sons' potential

Tall, athletic white kids are also playing Tight End in football rather than being the big white stiff in basketball

OhioStater said...

One thing that is interesting: quarterback play has especially deteriorated at big name college schools, given the pressure to win now.

A number of schools with big budgets and a large pool of white dropback passers installed the wild cat, and moved to running quarterbacks, since it clearly works at the college level. Michigan, the school that developed Tom Brady, is a good example of this.

Of course, since the big name schools won't produce NFL quarterbacks, the little schools will.

Joe Flacco (Delaware) and Matt Ryan (Boston College) are franchise quarterbacks and will play for a very long time in the NFL, and make a lot of money.

When Matt Ryan came out, he received a salary comparable to Manning or Brady and there were complaints about rookie salary inflation. Well, he's due for a raise!

If I had a son, I'd have him emulate Matt Ryan.

Truth said...

"and again, Kevin Kolb gets better numbers than McNabb."

No he does not, Kolb has a lifetime passer rating of 68.9 with 4 TDs and 7 INTs.

McNabb has a passer rating of 86 with 19TDs and 91 ints.

Additionally, JaMarcus Russell has a higher passer rating than the #2 QB picked in his draft Brady Quinn. Russell 68.0 17 TD 18 INT, Quinn 64.5 3TD 5 INT.

And Matt Leinart, the heisman trophy winner has a similar, yet slightly higher passer rating then Vince Young, the first QB in his draft 71.9 to 67.8, yet Vince has won more games, made the pro bowl and the playoffs, and won rookie of the year.

"There really aren't many slow-footed pure pocket guys any more, especially among the younger guys."

"slow-footed" is relative.

"That probably has something to do with how they're used and also their general inability to throw catchable balls."

No, it has to do with black QBs not taking enough chances.

"Not to mention A.J. Feeley and Jeff Garcia. Both"

AJ Feeley's lifetime passer rating 69.6, 20 points lower than McNabb, and WOW! a point an a half better than JaMarcus. Garcia is a good QB at 87.5, but also 7 years older than McNabb.

"Rush was right."

He made three points:

1) McNabb is overrated

2) The media wants to see a black QB do well.

2) The defense carried the team

As for point one, it's debatable, McNabb is a good to very good QB, he aint' Brady or Manning and never will be, but he goes deep into the playoffs every yearis much better than your average NFL QB.

As for point 2, again debatable, there is no mysterious media convention, and the moron IS the media, obviously he does not want to see a black QB do well.

Point 3, they had a good defense, but they also had a good offense.

"Keep in mind, if there are 6 out of 30 starting Black quarterbacks, that is already over-representation."

There are 32 NFL teams, Blaise Pascal.

"the media would have sided with... Kanye,

Oh yeah, they were all in favor of him last month.

"Why aren't there more black kickers? Not enough lower body strength?"

They don't play soccer growing up.


"Svigor, you can't blame Jared Taylor who is a serious and good man."

No, he's pretty much a commie moron who couldn't spell cat with out the "C" and the "T".

The Bear said...

"The conclusion was that football is primarily a passing game; the run should be used occasionally to mess with the defense."

This is true, of course, but there always seems to exist in certain quarters of fandom the belief that passing is somehow "cheating", and Real Men butt heads against their opponents instead of throwing the ball over their heads...


What sport are you two watching? Tim Tebow and Vince Young, whose teams have won 3 out of the last 4 national championships, are primarily running quarterbacks. Can you even name LSU's quarterback from its 2007 national championship team? How about the quarterback of the current No. 1 team, Alabama? No, because they're running teams.

Check out how it's done in the SEC. Violence. Force. Direct snaps to the tail back. Players getting carted off.

Passing is "faggy." *

* - unless you're from Mississippi (i.e. Mannings, Favre).

Truth said...

"but the DFL could use "outreach" and "inclusion" to foster teams that roughly matched the ethnic make-up of America;"

Capital idea, I say we do it with nuclear labs also.

"Of course, since the big name schools won't produce NFL quarterbacks, the little schools will.

Joe Flacco (Delaware) and Matt Ryan (Boston College)..."

Boston College is a D-I BCS conference school in the ACC; and your son should emulate you rather than some football player.

Anonymous said...

Lets look at the 13 white QBs with passer ratings over 90 (player/passer rating/wonderlic/IQ/ht/wt/40

If I am correct in fearing that Black children born over the course of the last several decades have a mean IQ no higher than about 80, and if you assume that the standard deviation of their IQ curve is 15*, then an IQ of 125 is THREE STANDARD DEVIATIONS above the black mean.

I.e. a black quarterback with an IQ of 125 would be a "Rocket Scientist" or a "Nobel Prize Winner" among all American blacks.

The probability of that happening - that a "Nobel Prize Winner" could also be a supremely skilled athlete - strikes me as just about zero.


*And if the standard deviation is lower, like down around 12 [which some people fear that it might be], then an IQ of 128 would be FOUR STANDARD DEVIATIONS above the mean - getting out into Mozart/Newton/Aristotle territory.

albertosaurus said...

Lines can be obtained by listening to Jazz records and transcribing what the professionals play during their solos.

This quotation is from the Wikipedia article on Jazz Improvisation. So you learn to play jazz by memorizing and practicing a set of stereotyped elements. Some improvisation!

The idea that blacks have gifts in spontanetity and improvisation greater than those of whites seems to me to be an urban legend. I know of no compeling evidence that demonstrates that blacks have such abilities.

Creativity is usually considered to be a threshold variable with respect to IQ. A creative thought process involves divergent thinking followed by convergent thinking. You need to be able to produce new options ("Thinking outside the box"). But you also need convergent thinking to weigh those options. If you can't generate new options you will be flumuxed by unexpected events. If you have poor judgment you will tend to pick "hare brained" options.

The threshold for creativity is usually given at around 120. That is to say above 120 there is no difference in creativity but below 120 it is not possible to be creative.

Given the Wonderlic scores posted in this thread it doesn't look like very many, if any, of the black quarterbacks have the mental ability to act creatively to an unexpected field position or event.

Consider another battle simulation game - chess. The sofware chess player actually are much more creative and improvisational than the humans. The machines analyze each position and run through all their possible responses. Human chess masters, in contrast, rely on having memorized thousands of similar board positions.

I think quarterbacks do likewise. They recognize rather than analyze.

Of course I don't really know. I was a lineman.

Hugh Direction said...

Sailer et al miss the most obvious point. The only black athletes who play QB are those who can't quite cut it in b-ball.

The best black quarterback material is playing in the NBA.

Svigor said...

Andrea, Amren's censorship policy goes far beyond what you describe. You're describing Steve's censorship policy, which I'm fairly sympathetic to and comfortable with.

DAJ said...

In contrast, the white sideline dads of America with tall, strong sons have given up on basketball....


Steve, why do you keep insisting that white Americans have virtually opted out of basketball? American whites are still involved in the game. For instance, here are the percentages of whites in Division I NCAA basketball.

2000 34.6%
2001 32.5
2002 32.3
2003 32.3
2004 31.6
2005 31.9
2006 29.9
2007 32.5
2008 32.6

As the numbers show, white boys are still winning basketball scholarships at a virtually unchanged rate this decade. Plus, recall that quite a few prominent D-I basketball stars from this decade have been white. The 2006 NCAA Co-Players of the Year were J.J. Redick and Adam Morrison. Tyler Hansbrough recently became the ACC’s all-time leading scorer after completing a phenomenal career at UNC. Kevin Love, Nick Collison, Dan Dickau, and Troy Murphy were named All-Americans this decade. The Notre Dame program has become a challenger thanks to Luke Harangody. Plus, mid-major programs often are led by whites who fare well in the NCAA tournament.

The problem is not that U.S. whites do not play basketball. Rather, the problem lies with the recent inability of white Americans to become stars in the NBA. Notice that not a single one of the aforementioned white guys has become a star in the league (though Hansbrough and Harangody have yet to play their first NBA regular season game and Kevin Love seems to have mustered a respectable rookie season).

I will presume that this post will be assailed by fellow posters contending that the NBA ruthlessly discriminates against these poor whites. Such cannot be the case because white foreigners have met considerable success of late (e.g., Steve Nash, Manu Ginobili, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol). This dichotomy of white performance cannot be explained away by blaming David Stern, black players, liberals, the media, affirmative action, or ESPN. White Americans simply are not getting it done in the NBA.

NCAA basketball data

DAJ said...

We've heard about Doug Williams, but let's not forget about the first black QB to win a championship, Clemson's Homer Jordan, from Athens, Georgia, of all places.

I am an alumnus of Clemson University, so the mentioning of Homer Jordan resonates well with me. By the way, I never had a class at Ben Tillman Hall.

ben tillman said...

The best black quarterback material is playing in the NBA
.


Ha. Charlie Ward was somehow too short to play in the NFL but tall for the NBA.

Truth said...

"The threshold for creativity is usually given at around 120. That is to say above 120 there is no difference in creativity but below 120 it is not possible to be creative."

Have you gone completely insane?

There are many caveats in the black QB debate, but I've said it before and i'll say it again: The main reason black QBs have not been very good is that very few PEOPLE are very good at that job as it is the most difficult job on the planet bar none.

At no given time in football have there been more than 10 guys were good, 5 who were excellent and maybe 5 more who were adequate. Can you say the same about brain surgery or nuclear physics?

Great NFL QBs have a high intellect level, a very high athletic level and leadership level, a level of extroversion, physical and mental toughness, and leadership that is off the scale, and need a maturity level off the field that will not cause them to do silly things off work and get savaged by the press.

One also has to be at least 5'11 and 195 lbs. (and that's a great reach) have a work ethic like a military dockworker and a higher than usual memory.

It is no accident that there are 20 guys on the planet who can adequately perform a job that pays 5-17 million dollars a year.

Dave said...

"Given the Wonderlic scores posted in this thread it doesn't look like very many, if any, of the black quarterbacks have the mental ability to act creatively to an unexpected field position or event."

Reminds me of something that happened on my high school football team. My school was mostly black, and so, of course, was the team. The quarterback was a 6'2" black guy, but a fairly vanilla drop back quarterback. Not a running QB. Anyhow, the coach had sent in a play, but seeing the defense change, he signaled for the QB to call an audible. He didn't tell him what play to call, just asked him to call something else. The QB audibled the same play the coach had sent in.

Anonymous said...

Re: Andrea, Montana won two Super Bowls without Jerry Rice, Rice only won one Super Bowl without Joe Montana. Re: Grim, Warren Moon was an outstanding regular season QB, but never played well in the post-season, which makes one wonder why he was a first-ballot HOFer like Montana and Young. I think Moon deserves to be in the Hall statistically, but the fact that he went in the first year of eligibility was definitely a stick it to Limbaugh move by the sportswriters. Moon finished his career without a SB appearance or even Conference Title appearance, much less any titles and his regular season record as a starter was one game above .500 ( 102-101). Montana's ratio by contrast was 70 games above .500 (117-47), and Young's was 45 games above .500 (94-49). Yet all three went in the first year of eligibility. Jim Kelly who made it to and lost 4 straight SB's still had 42 more wins than losses (101-59) in his career, so there was definitely some AA going on for the HOF ballot as far as Moon was concerned.

Regarding the Limbaugh-McNabb controversy, it was a classic tempest in a teapot. Not one of his co-hosts even batted an eye when he said it on-air live Sunday morning ( I was watching ), and then two days later, they were all appalled and outraged ( Because they apparently realized they were supposed to be outraged but weren't when it happened. ) I remember Tom Jackson was practically crying and saying that black kids including his sons and nephews would grow up thinking that they wouldn't be smart enough to play QB or stuff along those lines, which was such a huge distortion of what Limbaugh had said as to be basically beyond comment.

NEWS FLASH: Today on ESPN News, former Titans WR Drew Bennett in response to questions concerning why the 0-6 Titans shouldn't just play Vince Young to see what he could do just said that Vince Young didn't have the intellectual capacity to run a 2-minute offense, which the guys at the desk thought might be what the Titans needed. I was amazed the words came out of his mouth, but maybe being a white guy who played a black dominated position makes you more honest about a black guy playing a white-dominated position.

Paul said...

It seems to me that all the negative vibes this blowhard (Rush Hudson Limbaugh A.KA. Jeff Christie) has been spewing over these many years has come back to blow back on his face (A classic “Blow Back”). He always tries to give off the airs that he can have anything he wants but as we all witness those with more money and more influence tossed him aside like sack of potatoes and the ultimate insult was that it was done in public (money don’t buy you everything butterball).

Now of course he blames everyone else (Michael J. Fox, Perez Hilton, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor, Hillary Clinton, Olympia Snowe, ESPN, NFL, the media, basically people of color, the handicapped, women and gays) when of course all you have to do is listen to his show and plainly hear his daily prejudices filled sermons. So NFL, I salute you decision, job well done. And to the whaling cry baby perched on his self made pedestal, quit your whining it was your own fault. He is reaping what he has sowed, KARMA, "palin and simple" like his followers. Don’t we all feel better?

http://www.chasingevil.org/2009/10/rush-limbaugh-in-his-own-words.html

Anonymous said...

"Not to mention A.J. Feeley and Jeff Garcia. Both"

AJ Feeley's lifetime passer rating 69.6, 20 points lower than McNabb, and WOW! a point an a half better than JaMarcus.


Thanks for reinforcing my point. A.J. Feeley is a career journeyman, a bad QB. And yet when he was thrust into McNabb's position due to injury, he shined.

The same is true of Jeff Garcia. He was good when he was younger, but has bounced around from one team to another in his later years. Nobody wants to have him. And yet when he filled in for McNabb he put up huge numbers.

Andrea said...

"If I am correct in fearing that Black children born over the course of the last several decades have a mean IQ no higher than about 80, and if you assume that the standard deviation of their IQ curve is 15*, then an IQ of 125 is THREE STANDARD DEVIATIONS above the black mean."

But, black is a broad category due to the 'one drop rule'. A person who's 10% genetically black still counts as black. And, consider blacks with Jewish blood? They are small in terms of overall black population but vastly overrepresented among successful blacks. Lani Gunier for example. And I believe Skip Gates is 1/4 Jewish. If a half-Jew/half-black person wins the Nobel Prize, he will win as a black guy.
Who knows, maybe the reason why Tiger Woods is a such a great golfer is due to his mix of jazzy black genes and calm/studious Asian genes. But, the media only describe him as a black guy.

Andrea said...

A question. Are black quarterbacks generally lighter skinned than blacks in power positions such as running black or defensive linemen? Does the presence of some white genes aid in the making of a great 'black' quarterback--mix of brains and braun? If he ends up with the best of both white and black genes, he could indeed be more awesome than a pure white guy or pure black guy, especially since the QB position requires both speed/strength and a quick mind.

Ali was lighter-skinned than most black boxers but he was the greatest. Joe Louis too.

And, I suspect it's the miracle mix of Asian and black genes that made Tiger Woods what he is. Of course, most race mixing doesn't produce anything special(look at most Mexicans, Kazakhis, or Hindus), but there are probably rare cases where the best of both types to produce something magical. Same goes for looks too. Most mixed race people don't look special, but some look exotically, mysteriously, and sublimely beautiful.

Truth said...

"And yet when he was thrust into McNabb's position due to injury, he shined."

Feeley did not "shine." in 12 games with the Eagles he threw 16 TD and had 14 Int.


And Garcia is a good QB but not as good as McNabb, he has never played in a Superbowl, and has led mostly mediocre teams.

"But, the media only describe him as a black guy."

And if some guy with 1/4 "jazzy black genes" and 3/4 "studious white ones" wanted to marry into your family, would he be white?

Truth said...

"Jim Kelly who made it to and lost 4 straight SB's still had 42 more wins than losses (101-59) in his career, so there was definitely some AA going on for the HOF ballot as far as Moon was concerned."

And we all know that due to the result of the civil war, Grant was a better general than Robert E. Lee.

Anonymous said...

“One interesting note is that a common trait among the tenured black quarterbacks (Campbell, Garrard, McNabb) is their low interception rate. That probably has something to do with how they're used and also their general inability to throw catchable balls.”
Agreed. Most of them can’t pass over the middle into traffic very well, so their not asked to. Donovan McNabb, for example, is a master of the dink screen pass which his excellent receiving RBs (Watters, Garner, Staley, and, above all, Westbrook) turn into big gains.

“And again, Kevin Kolb gets better numbers than McNabb.

Not to mention A.J. Feeley and Jeff Garcia. Both of them put up big numbers when McNabb was injured but struggle to find a job elsewhere.”

Which shows that maybe Rush was right: the Eagles have an excellent defense and more offensive talent than people give them and McNabb has looked good because of this. The fact that any old replacement seems to do at least as well shows that the Eagles success is definitely not due to him.

“Hey Vernunft, before you claim Kolb gets better numbers than McNabb, try checking the nfl.com stats:”

Until the last two weeks when Kolb started, he never got to practice with the first team. Let’s see how he does when he gets to be the number one QB. I wouldn’t bet on him doing worse than McNabb.

Anonymous said...

"As most plays never pan out as planned, the quarterback must improvise quite often, and blacks have an edge in on-the-spot improvisation. Just look at black mastery of Jazz, the most fluid of all musical forms."

Good Lord I hate it when people act like jazz musicians invented improvisation, and black people are natural improvisors because they invented jazz, which is the apex of improvisation amen. They just happened to invent jazz right after serious white musicians quit improvising, and improvising constantly and publicly, for about the first time in Western history. The great "Baroque composers" were better known in their day as fantastic improvisors (Handel, Scarlatti, and of course Bach, lots of others too), and Baroque forms had their genesis in improvised instrumental passages. Even when playing "compositions" players were expected to improvise. Later on Mozart would write frequently about improvising piano sonatas and so on. Beethoven was a great improvisor before he went deaf. It's hard to say what happened to improvisation in classical music but I think when it got all turgid and Wagnerian, largely due to Wagner, composers worried more about manufacturing "masterful" chromaticisms and orchestral effects, and less about the ability to whip up a melody ex tempore. Then classical music became largely a preserve of Jews, gays and eccentrics (causal connection?), while white popular musicians were just performing stuff by the Tin Pan Alley hacks...unless they played jazz themselves (and - gasp! - some of them could do it almost as well as some black guys!)

There's a lady named Gabriela Montero who improvises Romantic-type stuff nowadays, she doesn't blow me away but for my money she's better at "on-the-spot" improvisation than some overrated junkie like Charlie Parker.

Whiskey said...

In a nation of 304 million people, according to the Census Bureau, it is between 76% (2005-2007 community survey) and 80% (2008 Estimate) White. And 12.5% or 12.8% Black.

While I am far too lazy to break out demographics for younger people who could be NFL QBs, I assume that the population disparity holds true for Whites-Blacks. I.E. there would be roughly the same proportions among younger populations. IF QB at the Pro level are the best of the best, the simple population proportion would ensure that the position be mostly White to be successful. Since there is a much larger population base to choose from in the first place. Hispanics being generally too small and uninterested in football vs. soccer to significantly contribute to the NFL QB ranks.

As for NFL kickers, they are like Olympic swimmers. The subject of extensive and expensive coaching since early teens, with low payouts (only a few win gold medals in the Olympics or go to the NFL as kickers).

I do think the ability to rapidly recognize patterns and react instinctively is keeping older guys in the game -- tonights Chargers vs. Denver had a guy who was a Safety in his mid thirties for Denver. There because he could "see" the Game.

That's probably Belicheck's main contribution -- the choice of football player (often a veteran) over pure athlete.

Andrea said...

"Good Lord I hate it when people act like jazz musicians invented improvisation, and black people are natural improvisors because they invented jazz, which is the apex of improvisation amen. They just happened to invent jazz right after serious white musicians quit improvising, and improvising constantly and publicly, for about the first time in Western history. The great 'Baroque composers' were better known in their day as fantastic improvisors (Handel, Scarlatti, and of course Bach, lots of others too), and Baroque forms had their genesis in improvised instrumental passages."

Yes, I'm aware that 'classical music' was big on improvisation before it was refined into a repertory tradition. But, there is a major difference between Western classical music and jazz. Western music doesn't need improvisation to convey its essence whereas Jazz is nothing without improvisation. A classical pianist can memorize a tune note-for-note and give a perfectly wonderful performance. But, a jazz musician who memorizes another jazz musician's performance note-by-note would be a fool.

The nature of mprovisation in classical music is different than in Jazz. The essence, style, and form of classical music stress dignity, refinement,nobility, etc, so there is less room for free flowing wild improvisation. Classical music must improvise within a strict or narrow perimeter. It cannot do the Duke Ellington and certainly not the Charlie Parker thing. Classical music cannot let it 'all hang loose'. If classical musicians improvised like jazz or jam artists, they would not be making classical music but popular or avant garde music.

The difference between classical music and jazz is like that between traditional poetry vs free form poetry. Though there is room for variations in the traditional form of poetry, it must stick to certain basic ground rules. Free form poetry, on the other hand, can be whatever it wants.

Early jazz was somewhat defined in form but starting with Charlie Parker, jazz became very free form where improvisation wasn't just an element but the very essense. Baroque music had a core form which could be improvised around the edges. Modern Jazz was improvisation at the very core and toyed with form with wild abandon. Also, as Jazz was emotionally less inhibited, repressed, or defined than classical music, Jazz could make forays into more primal and 'liberated' expressions. Its improvisation was total and running wild.

Given that blacks have been the major shakers of Jazz and wild music--Hendrix was one of great giants of the 20th century--, one could argue blacks have a greater tendency for off-the-cuff expression and perception. It could the result of evolution as blacks evolved in a continent filled with many dangerous animals. Blacks had to be quick, lightening fast in response to stimuli. Whites and Asians, who evolved in colder climes with fewer dangerous animals, probably learned to huddle and work together through long cold winters and, as a result, became 'lamer'. Notice that Asians are good in classical music where the trick is to practice and perfect a given form, but they haven't been very good at Jazz where you have to be brazen, wild, and take the stage and do your thing. And, we see this is comedy and behavior too. Black comedians are more jazzy and wilder. If black expressiveness in everyday life were translated into music, it would be more like Jazz than the natural behavior of whites or Asians or Mexicans. Jackie Chan is wild comedian in terms of stunts, but his personality as a comedian is rather 'lame'.

Finally, consider boxers like Ali. Ali wasn't just strong and fast but had a certain intuitive sense and jazzy improvisatory coordination of all his body parts and senses. Or consider Sugar Ray Leonard vs Roberto Duran OR Sugar Ray Robinson vs Jake Lamotta. Duran and Lamotta were tough hombre brawlers who just charged in. Both Sugars, on the other hand, had a better overall coordination of their physical and mental skills. They could charge in when necessary but also play the matador.

David said...

ben tillman said

> What's the HBD explanation? <

For shame. Eye color does not exist in a vacuum, statistically cut off from other traits that are explanatory.

Light cool eye colors track with whites. For example, "blue-eyed," in some languages, is a synonym for "overly trusting."

Anonymous said...

It's hard to say what happened to improvisation in classical music but I think when it got all turgid and Wagnerian, largely due to Wagner, composers worried more about manufacturing "masterful" chromaticisms and orchestral effects, and less about the ability to whip up a melody ex tempore.

Bruckner came out of the Wagnerian school and he was a legendary improviser.

But, then again, Bruckner was kinda special.

Anonymous said...

On a related note, a report on FSU's program last week suggested that "some" of the football players could read only at a second-grade level.

Which is what I keep trying to tell people on this board [only to be deluged with copious servings of derision and ridicule]: You need an IQ of about 90 to have any hope of tackling the 3Rs [reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic].

And if it is true [as I fear] that American blacks born in the last several decades have a mean IQ no higher than about 80, then a young American black has to be about ONE STANDARD DEVIATION above the mean just to have any hope of tackling [much less mastering] the 3Rs.

Reading "only at a second-grade level" is EXACTLY what you would expect of a young adult black with an IQ in the 80s.

In fact, to expect anything more would be delusional.

Mike Schilling said...


Six years later, 2009 is turning out to be a bust for black quarterbacks in the NFL. Not a single one is having a good season.


Yet the PC press insists that they're all having great years. What? It doesn't? You mean that saying this vindicates Limbaugh's attack on McNabb is a complete non-sequitur? Imagine my surprise.

albertosaurus said...

Good Lord I hate it when people act like jazz musicians invented improvisation, and black people are natural improvisors because they invented jazz, which is the apex of improvisation amen.

Yes indeedy!

This anonymous poster gets the music issue right. Western music moved away from performer improvisation as it developed and became more sophisticated. The kind of improvisation heard in jazz is an atavism.

It is also the case that people think that musical improvisation is difficult and a sign of ability or creativity. Not so. I remember being asked to step in at the last minuet and sing one of the roles in Cosi fan Tutte. I learned the one short aria and all the many ensembles but not the recitatives. I just faked them. The conductor was amazed at my ability but she was wrong. It's very easy to create recits if know the key and the words. Singing recits while making up both the words and the notes is a bit more difficult but still easier than memorizing what Mozart wrote.

Most so called jazz improvisation is not spontaneous, original or difficult. The idea that a black quarterback (and only a black quaterback) can just create a successful field campaign off the cuff is like the idea of "the whore with a heart of gold".

green mamba said...

"A mediocre Jewish QB like Rex Grossman..."

I don't think Grossman was Jewish. Grossman can also be a German name.

Howver, some hbd'ers and sports enthusiasts might be interested in the small resurgence of the Jewish pitcher: Scot Feldman of the Rangers, Jason Marquis of the Rockies and the up-and-coming Aaron Poreda of the Padres.

Anonymous said...

With regard to my previous post on Orton- this is from his Wikipedia page.

"Overall, the Bears had a record of 10-5 in games that Orton started, including an eight-game winning streak after a 1-3 start. Despite the team's success, Orton finished with the lowest quarterback rating in the NFL (59.7) among all "qualified" quarterbacks (those with 224+ pass attempts).[2] Despite the low rating, the Bears coaches repeatedly insisted that they were pleased with Orton's performance. The coaching staff asked Orton to minimize mistakes and to let the rushing attack and the defense win ballgames rather than employing an aggressive passing attack. Measuring Orton by victories, his rookie season was a successful one even by historical standards. Orton's 15 starts and 10 victories are both rookie records for Bears quarterbacks, and the 10 victories are the third most in the NFL since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, behind only Ben Roethlisberger's 14 victories in 2004, and 11 victories by Joe Flacco in 2008."

Svigor said...

He is reaping what he has sowed, KARMA, "palin and simple" like his followers.

Heh, yeah, the Universe had to step in on this one.

"But, the media only describe him as a black guy."

And if some guy with 1/4 "jazzy black genes" and 3/4 "studious white ones" wanted to marry into your family, would he be white?


For the umpteenth time, he'd be mixed or mulatto or quadroon if you want to get specific - oh forget it.

It is also the case that people think that musical improvisation is difficult and a sign of ability or creativity. Not so.

I can't speak for music, but I had some training in art years ago and from that perspective your position dovetails nicely with my experience; in visual arts it's much easier to "improvise" than it is to be "disciplined" and emulate another artist or style; improvisation is pure you, emulation takes tons of practice. It's easy to imagine something similar in music; you're coming up on that tricky passage the master wrote - are you going to attempt it, or fill in with something of your own, something in which you're confident? Or maybe just feel your way through? Or as a singer; man, that note is way out there, dunno if I can hit it; if I attempt it, my voice will certainly break if I fail; if I don't attempt it, it may not be the master any more, but there'll be no broken notes...

Whether or not all that applies to music is speculation, but it isn't speculation vis-a-vis visual arts in my experience; I've got this angle down, I can draw it in my sleep - that angle from the master is great, but I might flub it because I don't have it down yet.

To make more of a 1:1 comparison, consider caricature, which is often rendered in real time.

What I'm saying is, maybe one man's improvisation is another man's working within his limits, and playing to his strengths.

Truth said...

"For the umpteenth time, he'd be mixed or mulatto or quadroon if you want to get specific - oh forget it."

I know what he'd be in the dictionary Noah Webster, but what would he be in YOUR mind's eye?

In matters of family and sisters and sex is there really any such thing as "mulatto?"

Truth said...

"in visual arts it's much easier to "improvise" than it is to be "disciplined" and emulate another artist or style;"

-Bon Jour, is this the Louvre?...Yeah, I'm over here in America and I just completed this "paint-by-numbers" Mona Lisa you should be very interested in...yeah...yeah I have a vase of flowers and dogs playing poker too...

Anonymous said...

I was just reading through Sid Luckman's Wikipedia page, and learned that he finished third in the 1938 Heisman balloting, and that second place went to a fellow named Marshall Goldberg.

Weird - two of the top three being Jewish.

Seems almost like Jews used to try harder at assimilation than they do nowadays.

Ah, who am I kidding? Komment Kontrol isn't going to approve that line of thought.

Anonymous said...

Flutie broke all of Moon's records in the CFL. Garcia was his backup in Calgary before he went to San Fran.

"His career CFL statistics include 41,355 passing yards and 270 touchdowns. He holds the professional football record of 6,619 yards passing in a single season. He still holds four of the CFL's top five highest single-season completion marks, including a record 466 in 1991. His 48 touchdown passes in 1994 remains a CFL record. He earned three Grey Cup MVP awards, and was named the CFL's Most Outstanding Player a record six times (1991-1994, and 1996-1997)."

Desmond Jones

Anonymous said...

Well Albertosaurus, I think you go too far in suggesting that improvisation is an "atavism" in music, or that it's not particularly difficult. Improv didn't fit with the direction classical music took, but that was only a temporary trend, not an endpoint. I don't think we have "gone past" improvising. As for difficulty I would say that its difficulty depends on the form and on the performer. Improvising a recitative can't be very hard if you know the style (I don't, I always fast forward the recitatives on my CD's, life is too short for Italian talk-singing IMO). Picking up a lute and improvising a passacaglia on the "flow my tears" melody (as some 17th century English musician might have done rather often) would take some skill, though no great talent.

But assuming a form with a lot of scope for creativity, improvisation is really about as difficult as the standard to which you hold yourself - much like composition. When I listen to jazz, I can pretty well "sense" the performers struggling to squat out one little idea, then another, then play G-F-D-G-F-D about a million times when they can't think of anything. They seem to think that is acceptable. I have a feeling J.S. Bach didn't.

Anonymous said...

"Blacks had to be quick, lightening fast in response to stimuli. Whites and Asians, who evolved in colder climes with fewer dangerous animals, probably learned to huddle and work together through long cold winters and, as a result, became 'lamer'."

There were quite a few dangerous animals in Europe. Whatever could have happened to them?

Andrea said...

"There were quite a few dangerous animals in Europe. Whatever could have happened to them?"

True, there used to be even lions in Europe. But cold weather killed off most of them. Humans survived the cold weather--Ice Age--because they could use their intelligence to make fire and build shelter and work together. So, eventually, the only truly dangerous(to humans) left in Europe were wolves and bears(and some tigers in Siberia). Africa has wild dogs, hyenas, lions, leopards, african buffalo(meanest buffalo in the world), elephants(much bigger and more aggressive than the Asian kind), gorillas, babboons, hippos(bad tempered beasts), rhinos(even worse tempered than hippos), and whole lot of killer snakes. And, Africa also has more insects carrying malaria, so the weaker members of society tended to be weeded out. Only the tough, fast, and funky could survive in Africa.

Anonymous said...

Now might be a good time to plug the Topological Theory of Autism.

Svigor said...

I know what he'd be in the dictionary Noah Webster, but what would he be in YOUR mind's eye?

In matters of family and sisters and sex is there really any such thing as "mulatto?"


I think we've been over this - he'd be what he is. Dictionaries are for regular folks too.

Ceteris paribus, my preferences for my daughter's husband would run in order from white, mustifee, etc., etc., all the way to sambo, black.

Re reflexes, don't conflate them with foot speed or even fast twitch musculature. We should establish that blacks actually have faster reflexes before we look to explain why, which is something I've yet to see. The only tests I've heard about show whites with quicker reflexes, which again is distinct from foot speed or gross movement response time, which AFAIK favor blacks.

Anonymous said...

Terrelle Pryor: The bane and shining glory of OSU. He has the skills to be a good quarterback, but he doesn't always make the best decisions when it comes down to it.

Anonymous said...

"True, there used to be even lions in Europe. But cold weather killed off most of them. Humans survived the cold weather--Ice Age--because they could use their intelligence to make fire and build shelter and work together. So, eventually, the only truly dangerous(to humans) left in Europe were wolves and bears(and some tigers in Siberia). Africa has wild dogs, hyenas, lions, leopards, african buffalo(meanest buffalo in the world), elephants(much bigger and more aggressive than the Asian kind), gorillas, babboons, hippos(bad tempered beasts), rhinos(even worse tempered than hippos), and whole lot of killer snakes. And, Africa also has more insects carrying malaria, so the weaker members of society tended to be weeded out. Only the tough, fast, and funky could survive in Africa."

I think a man's advantage over those animals lies within his head than his legs. Making fires and working together is also useful when you are in the tropics.

Trying to outrun (rather than avoid, intimidate, or kill) those kind of animals is bad. Most of them are faster than people and many of them are more likely to attack if you flee.

Middletown Girl said...

"I think a man's advantage over those animals lies within his head than his legs. Making fires and working together is also useful when you are in the tropics.
Trying to outrun (rather than avoid, intimidate, or kill) those kind of animals is bad. Most of them are faster than people and many of them are more likely to attack if you flee."

Yes, making fire and cooperating are useful in ALL societies, and indeed Africans knew how to make fire and worked together. But, there were differences in the extent to which those factors were utilized in North and South. For people in Northern areas, it wasn't MERELY useful but ABSOLUTELY necessary for survival. It wasn't merely a choice or advantage but a dire necessity. Those failings to conform to this need were killed off immediately by the environment. In hotter Southern areas, your community or tribe might do less well than one that learned and developed new skills and cooperated well, but that didn't mean that your tribe was gonna freeze to death right away.
Also, in colder climates people had to develop better clothing, build more elaborate shelters, preserve food better, and think more strategically.

And yes, while it is hopeless for a single individual to outrun a lion or leopard, running is a useful strategy for survival in a group setting. If you're on your own and come upon a hungry lion, you're dead even if you're Carl Lewis. But, if there are ten of you and there's a badass lion, the slowest runner will be eaten by the lion while the rest can 'run like a mothafu---' and survive. Over time, the slower ones get weeded out. This is true of most prey animals. Because they move in herds, the lions or hyenas generally drag the slower, weaker, or less alert ones down while the faster, stronger, and more alert make a dash to safety.

Since all human communities were social, they had to rely on numbers for survival. When it came to fleeing from danger, the faster/stronger ones had better chance of survival while the weaker ones turned into lunch. There was bound to be more weeding out of the weaker in Africa. Since blacks had to be very alert to danger and react instantly, blacks developed fast-twitch muscles and stronger bones. Also, the hot weather reduced the portion of body fat and favored muscle mass.
Also, colder climates produced people with more body fat--for caloric storage in the winter--, which meant they had less muscle mass. Also, the development of agriculture meant more food, which meant more people--even weaklings--got to survive and pass down their genes. Compare the more robust herdman-like Mongols with the long sedentary and agricutlural Southern Chinese and Vietnamese who are physically pitiful. My guess is long yrs of agriculture in Southern China even allowed weaklings and gimps to survive and pass down the genes whereas the harsher conditions in Mongolia favored the bigger tougher guys.

Of course, sometimes the strongest and proudest get killed first. Tough warriors might run into battle out of martial pride and get killed while the weaker and cowardly members might stay behind or take off from the battlefield. (In school during Dodge Ball, the most athletic and bold often got clobbered first while the more cowardly ones lasted longer because they stayed in the back.) During WWII, cowardly Italian soldiers had better chance of surviving than brave German soldiers who fought to the last man.

Anonymous said...

Jesus I'm not even a practicing musician but the comments on Jazz are ridiculous.

Aside from some of the true "free form" guys like Ornette Coleman, the improv is based on the underlying chords and scales of the music. They don't just play anything they want.

And the reference to the junkie Charlie Parker is hilarious given the reverence on the thread to Rush Limbaugh, also a junkie.

Middletown Girl said...

"Aside from some of the true "free form" guys like Ornette Coleman, the improv is based on the underlying chords and scales of the music. They don't just play anything they want."

No one said Jazz musicians 'just play anything'. Any kid can do beat pots and pans, but that's not Jazz--it's not even music. We simply said improvisation is much more important in Jazz than in classical music. Improvisation is not 'playing anything' but exploring/expressing variations--often surprising and unexpected--through an intuitive genius for rhythm and beat(grounded in bold personality and individuality).

There are certain underlying rules all forms of music to be sure, but rules are looser in modern Jazz than in traditional Jazz or classical. We never said improvisation = playing anything = Jazz. After all, polka, klezmer, and bouzouki music are also often improvised, but that doesn't make them Jazz.

I was praising Jazz musicians for having lightning fast reflexes and intuitive mastery of musical forms. To be sure, there is improvisation to mask one's lack of talent VS improvisation to go beyond mere technical mastery. Similarly, there are abstract painters who can't draw a simple face or scenery VS abstract painters who've mastered representation and venture beyond it. Picasso was a technically accomplished artist who expanded the boundaries of art, not a talentless hack hiding behind avant-garde cliches.

Anonymous said...

What is funny about these thinly veiled racial assault on Blacks is that Michael Vick and Vince Young were among the highest racist QBs in the NFL for 2010.

There is even talk of Michael Vick being the league MVP.