Friday, January 26, 2007

Vicarious wish fulfillment in the NFL

The Monk knew the name Jimmy Raye tickled at his memory -- the Jets' RB coach has spent the past 30+ years as a position coach in the NFL with nary an opportunity to become a head coach but is more famous as the QB for Michigan State in the infamous 10-10 tie with Notre Dame in 1966. At the time, Raye was the ONLY black QB at a non-black school (i.e., Howard, Grambling) in all of college football.

For Raye, and other pioneers in the NFL coaching ranks, the fact that they paved the way for two other black men to become head coaches and lead their teams to the Super Bowl gives a small
measure of satisfaction and vindication after the indignities and racism they fought. Jason Cole has a good feature article on some of the trailbreaking black coaches in the NFL.

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