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Post in this thread if you want to read and contribute to a thoughtful (if exhaustive) treatise on race and leadership in football


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#16 teeray

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:43 AM

This may be my favorite post of the year.

I already told this story once, but I will give the quick version of it again. When I was in high school I was a good enough basketball player that the local news team here in Raleigh came out to do a feature on me.

They wanted to do an interview, so we go in the coaches office and they put a camera about a foot away from my face and a microphone inches from my mouth and ask me a simple question like, "Why do you hate to lose?" And I couldn't even muster up an answer. Just a long awkward silence.

I am a fairly smart guy. But I swear I could not form a complete sentence that entire interview. It was just a bunch of sentence fragments that luckily he edited up to make me not look like a complete idiot. Point being, it is very hard to be as intelligent and thoughtful as you want to be, or actually are, in the snap second that it is demanded of you in an interview.

As far as being articulate, and how that translates to being a leader. I can only speak as a basketball player, but more often than not, there is a real disconnect between the super smart, articulate guy, and the rest of the team that are just average Joes. In a locker room environment, leadership is earned, not spoken. It doesn't matter how well you can speak to the press if you can't speak to your peers. Leadership is earned by:

A.) Your actions at practice and in a game
B.) Your ability to communicate with your teammates
C.) And most importantly, the trust you have gained from your teammates through A&B

Leadership is not granted through words or articulation. It is earned by a personal connection to teammates and/or performance in practice and in games.

#17 top dawg

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:49 AM

This may be my favorite post of the year.

I already told this story once, but I will give the quick version of it again. When I was in high school I was a good enough basketball player that the local news team here in Raleigh came out to do a feature on me.

They wanted to do an interview, so we go in the coaches office and they put a camera about a foot away from my face and a microphone inches from my mouth and ask me a simple question like, "Why do you hate to lose?" And I couldn't even muster up an answer. Just a long awkward silence.

I am a fairly smart guy. But I swear I could not form a complete sentence that entire interview. It was just a bunch of sentence fragments that luckily he edited up to make me not look like a complete idiot. Point being, it is very hard to be as intelligent and thoughtful as you want to be, or actually are, in the snap second that it is demanded of you in an interview.

As far as being articulate, and how that translates to being a leader. I can only speak as a basketball player, but more often than not, there is a real disconnect between the super smart, articulate guy, and the rest of the team that are just average Joes. In a locker room environment, leadership is earned, not spoken. It doesn't matter how well you can speak to the press if you can't speak to your peers. Leadership is earned by:

A.) Your actions at practice and in a game
B.) Your ability to communicate with your teammates
C.) And most importantly, the trust you have gained from your teammates through A&B

Leadership is not granted through words or articulation. It is earned by a personal connection to teammates and/or performance in practice and in games.


There is somewhat of a disconnect between super smart, articulate guy and people in general. Sometimes simply being analytical, thoughtful and passionate is mistaken for arrogance.

#18 Marguide

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:02 AM

Many of the problems with how the average Joe/Jane assess things like leadership and intelligence stem from people just not having enough exposure to other cultures or sub-cultures. Humans generally fear or mistrust that which they don't understand, and that extends to things as simple as the way others talk or dress.

The answer is these types of problems is one of education and exposure. Unfortunately, that proves difficult at times as people would rather reside in their comfort zone and not open their minds to new things.

It's been my experience that Europeans often have a more open world view than the average American. Much of this can probably be attributed to their propensity to travel outside their home countries much, much more than most Americans.

#19 pstall

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:03 AM

Expectations can be unfair at times because many times people will place them on someone yet ironically never tell the very person they have projected said burden on.
I have coached and played sports and I have learned a few things along the way.
When you tell someone you believe in them you really don't because when you do, it never has to be said. The opposite can happen with leadership. You may see it within someone but they may not just yet. Similar to saying you believe in them the same can be said of asking someone to step up and lead etc. If you are convinced they are a leader then you don't say it. You let it happen and then get out of the way.
I think the very nature of fans is to be irrational on what it wants from its team and players. Homerism and being a fan will do that.
I don't try to split the semantic atom and go into the Freudian level of what someone thinks or God forbid an article or feed from the media. I'm just a fan of sports and I like the Panthers and I want them to win. I don't have to tell them that or one guy.
All this back and forth on Cam reminds me of some friends who try to look so deep into a film they get lost in their analysis of imagery and lighting or plot holes or historical accuracy that they end up squeezing the fun and life out of just enjoying a movie for what it is. A movie.
Enjoy the team and Cams ups and downs as he grows. He will be fine.
Now pass me some popcorn and fanta cherry drink.

#20 Cape Fear Cat

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:04 AM

+89 for the anthropology references, and for this being one of the best posts I've read here.


Absolutely! I'm down with anyone who can construct a scientific premise to explain some intangible principle of athletics (and no, I'm not being sarcastic - I really mean it)! Well done, sir. Mr. Darwin and Mr. Leakey would be proud of you!

#21 top dawg

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:57 AM

Many of the problems with how the average Joe/Jane assess things like leadership and intelligence stem from people just not having enough exposure to other cultures or sub-cultures. Humans generally fear or mistrust that which they don't understand, and that extends to things as simple as the way others talk or dress.

The answer is these types of problems is one of education and exposure. Unfortunately, that proves difficult at times as people would rather reside in their comfort zone and not open their minds to new things.

It's been my experience that Europeans often have a more open world view than the average American. Much of this can probably be attributed to their propensity to travel outside their home countries much, much more than most Americans.


To your last point, I don't necessarily think that having a "more open world view" is the answer as much as it is having a more human view, or being more open-minded towards people and different ethnic groups in general. It is my view that some cultures (or sub-cultures) are more disposed to being open-minded or inclusive of other people because they themselves have experienced being discriminated against (for whatever reason), so they better understand and empathize with the dynamics of being culturally shortsighted,

Americans really don't have to travel outside their country to open the cultural barriers that bind their minds because this nation truly is a melting pot of different races, ethnic groups and cultures. All Americans have to do is open their minds and get over their stereotypical notions, mistrust, ignorance, fears, etc., and strive for education, communication, and a certain degree of integration of cultural barriers (in keeping with one's personal comfort level---whether that be a gradual letting of one's guard down, or complete and immediate total immersion).

#22 SCP

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:59 AM

I always tip 20% and go up from there. My wife hates it.

#23 BigSyke

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:06 AM

all those those qbs have white girlfriends.....is that the problem with cam or no???

#24 Hawk

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:20 AM

jesus Philly...if I was in your bar I would have been helping myself to the top shelf waiting for you to type all that out man!! Good post though...and ya...I want to be involved in a conversation that doesn't jump automatically to being accused of being racist.

I live in Canada. Compared to most US places, we don't really have very many black people in these parts. Lots of Asians, Indians..both kinds, lots of people from all over the world to be honest as that's what Canada is all about...not aboot, about! I don't consider myself a racist even in the slightest bit. Just wanted to get that out of the way first.

We all joke about Asians being the great mathmeticians of the world. Maybe it's in their DNA or their education...damned if I know. What's my point...I wasn't sure if I had to have one....no, I remember years ago a sportscaster getting in major crap because he said blacks were dominating in the running events at the Olympics I think it was because as he put it, their muscles were developed differently and they had a different muscle in their leg that made them run faster. Do I believe this...no, probably not, but it could be I suppose.

I guess my question, which won't be well liked by some, is that...I am wondering if there is a chance that certain races are just wired differently, that their minds are just programmed to do different things. Being a coach makes you think of things differently than being a fisherman or a nuclear physicist etc etc etc. damned if I know.

tldr...I know...I'm going back to sleep

#25 Kevin Greene

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:20 AM

I always tip 20% and go up from there. My wife hates it.


Well maybe if you gave the wife more than 20% of the tip.
Just sayin'.

#26 FootballMaestro

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:30 AM

Nice, thoughtful post and data. Kudos!

Unfortunately, some people just hate and dislike Cam for what ever reason (including some of yours), and it's not that very complicated. Sometimes it's a little more personal and under the skin. He's threatening to many, and turns their prior belief system upside down, so they need to reinforce their long held belief for themselves.

Take Colin Kaepernick for example. He's not a great communicator; looks a whole lot less refined than Cam, is even more combustible and excitable on field than Cam, inarticulate, not a winner like Cam, and wasn't good enough to start over former career bust like Alex Smith. But you really hear him criticized or take such personal criticism about his looks, antics or background, as Cam has, now that's he's in the spotlight. Why?

I think it could be more the "MANDINGO Effect (speaking Sociology)". Cam is just too Stud-ly it appears. LOL.

Newton is 6'6", 262lbs, and as the esteemed Dave Letterman said when Cam was a guest on his show in 2010 after winning the Heisman: "Wow! Look at that guy!", when Cam came on stage. Letterman continued, stating...."If I looked like that guy, you could all kiss my ass!!" Yes he did say that. LOL. AndI think that's how many of Cam's critics, thinks he feels. Letterman also said "What a horse" when he read Cam's measurements of 6'6", 250lbs (at the time), before his appearance.

And that could be it in a nutshell right there. Most "running quarterbacks", are supposed to be Mike Vick or RG3 sized. But Cam is big, tall, strong, fast, shifty athletically, has a great arm, along with being charismatic and good looking. Nice combination, huh? You just can't dismiss him, as "another running small, fast black/running QB". Cam had pocket talent, presences, athleticism and size, the envy of practically all Quarterback, black and white. And of course Cam's bad boy image, from the alleged, but unfounded accusations concerning his father, made him accumulate unprecedented haters, as to what was wrong with College Football. And Cam just continued to play on, ignored the media and excelled.

Now you combine everything mentioned, while Cam won a JUCO championship, at BSC Championship, a Heisman, and Rookie of the year in the NFL, and was much better than many of his critics gave him credit for, while still not kissing anyone ass, acting like he belongs, with only 1 years BSC experience. Cam didn't cow tow to the media and appear or interview on their schedule. He did/does his thing. And only talks to them when he's ready, like any secure long time star would (or a smart, hardworking football player, that wants to focus on their craft). Its' all those things, that make many in the media Hate or negatively rate Cam with out really ever watching him play. There's something about him, that just gets under certain insecure/conceited individuals (like Bill Polian and Peter Kings's) skin. Cam is threatening to them.

And I don't think Cam speaks poorly. I think it's Cam's southern drawl/twang and youthful, hip expression (along with how fast he speaks). But he certainly doesn't sound street or like a thug. Not at all. You can tell he was raised from a good, strong family (which he was). Now you have white guys from the south, that sound the same way. But would we call them stupid sounding, urban or inarticulate?Of course not. Robert Griffin is not a threat. He's small and ugly. And though he's arrogant himself, they over look it, cause he can be marketed as the Anti-Cam [black], simply cause they want to. Russell Wilson (who they weren't paying much attention to initially), is small, articulate/no twang, and was a refreshing story (3d rd pick, turned into starter) of the "Aw Shucks" variety this year. But neither (including Kaepernick), are KING MANDINGO types like Cam, who so many find so threatening. That's the problem!

Newton is certainly not dumb nor sounds dumb. Far from it. And just cause he's doesn't come off as polished (which he's not), it doesn't mean what he has to say doesn't make sense. I've heard much worse from athletes. He's certainly not Allen Iverson, or a young Randy Moss for example. Far from it. Most times, Cam says the right things, accepts blame, compliments his teammates and coaches, promises to work harder and smiles. That should be more than enough one would think? You notice, most of us aren't even aware or care how Colin Kaepernick sounds/speaks (though to me he sounds practically uneducated, breathless and always hyper)? That's how silly this has become.

Nonetheless, no one really cares (how Kaepernick speaks), and shouldn't It should be the same with Cam? Hmmmh. I wonder why? :phew:

#27 SCP

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:40 AM

Well maybe if you gave the wife more than 20% of the tip.
Just sayin'.


If I give her more than 20% of the tip my balls are in her ass. :-(

#28 PhillyB

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:18 AM

I guess my question, which won't be well liked by some, is that...I am wondering if there is a chance that certain races are just wired differently, that their minds are just programmed to do different things. Being a coach makes you think of things differently than being a fisherman or a nuclear physicist etc etc etc. damned if I know.


no. actually a lot of founding sociologists and anthropologists originally assumed that there were differences in the makeup of brains based on race, but it quickly became apparent that all humans were the same biologically in terms of mental makeup (if not morphologically, due to environmental patterns.) any behavioral differentiations are due entirely to environment - varying combinations of ecological and social - and have nothing to do with biology.

#29 PhillyB

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:29 AM

Is this that book you were talking about finishing Philly?


haha no. i still have a little ways to go on that... i'll be sure and spam the huddle with amazon.com links if i manage to hook a publisher

#30 Guest_BlueBoy_*

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:49 AM

I think all this crap about leadership bullpoo is just a majority populace and their relentless desire to impose their will on any minority population. Just a group of people, as sadistic as it may seem, that 'enjoys' the status of majority. That's all it is. Thus they poke at any perceived minority whenever they have the leverage. That's all it is. Nothing more. As a sport fan, I think I understand Cam completely for the information I expect from him. Heck, Cam is a well spoken young and I understand him clearly when he speak. And no, I don't speak or understand ebonics(?).

When anybody of non-caucasian decent see a young man like Cam they just think of the good looking class clown in their high school. They ignore them, not chastise them. That, my friend, is where tolerance come from. The understanding of human behaviors base on prior experiences. But when you're 'enjoying' being majority I guess you tend to overlook that. Thus you start expecting 22 year olds to be great leader and orator. That, I think, in itself is quite childish. Mind you, we're talking about a sport where people are hitting the crap out of each other people senselessly. Thus, it's not the fault of Cam, it's the majority that's childish with their inability to understand basic human behaviors.

And yes, those so-called ebonics speakers can if they want speak just like caucasians. And of course, why would they!? People of African heritage have a background in speaking 7 dialects. English is NOT that complicated. You notice how many black comedians like Martin, Shappelle, Murphy would sometimes do their caucasian accent as part of their act.

It boils down to, how would you feel like if someone is always pointing their dirty, filthy fingers at you?


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