Saturday, September 5, 2009

#457. The "Doak Walker Award" Name

The 2009 college football season has started and already we have one causality: LaGarrette Blount. He has been suspended for the 2009 season for assaulting a white Boise State player after that team was victorious over Blount's Oregon Ducks 19-8.

Unfortunately, his suspension removes him from contention for the Doak Walker Award, given annual to the nation's top running back. Blount was expected to compete for that distinction, but his well-place right hand leaves him more suited for the Octagon of the UFC.

Who was Doak Walker, you might ask?

Doak Walker was a famous running back for Southern Methodist University, where he was an All-American and a Heisman Trophy winner:

"Walker attended Southern Methodist University (SMU), where he played running back, defensive back, and place kicker. He also threw and caught passes, punted, and returned kicks. Walker's impact on SMU and football in the Dallas area led to the Cotton Bowl being referred to as "The House That Doak Built." Walker was also a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and lettered on the SMU basketball and baseball teams. In 2007, he was ranked #4 on ESPN's list of the top 25 players In college football history."
However, a problem exists, as Walker played football and went to college in Pre-Obama America and more importantly, well before integration. You see, Walker is a white person that played running back and still has his name attached to the trophy given to the top collegiate running back every year - a position that is dominated by Black people:
"There are 117 colleges playing Division I-A football in 2004, and none was scheduled to start a white tailback this weekend. Two schools -- Nevada, with Chance Kretschmer, and UAB, with Dan Burks -- have starting white tailbacks who are injured. Kretschmer, who rushed for 1,732 yards and 15 touchdowns as a freshman in 2001, received no scholarship offers and attended Nevada as a walk-on. Burks was a star high school player in Birmingham who was thought to be too slow to play for any "major" school."
In college football, rarely do we see the strange sight of the white running back, an oddity on par with the Black professional golfer or swimmer. Luke Staley of Brigham Young University was the last white running back to win the coveted Doak Walker Award (in 2001) and if Black people have their way, the last for a long time.

Many college football teams haven't had a white starting tailback for decades and this entrenched dominance by Black people appears to be set in stone:

"When Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden was asked to explain the decline of the white running back, he laughed so hard, he actually grabbed on to the reporter posing the question. When NFL spokesman Greg Aiello was asked whether the league kept statistics on white running backs -- perhaps the same way the league does on its black coaches -- he was incredulous.

"White running backs?" he says, laughing. "No."

Sam McGuffie, a high school star running back out of Texas, was signed by Michigan and immediately had a chance to start for team that would finish 3-9 in 2008. However, few school's looked at him, because yes, he is a white guy:
"Michigan hasn't had a white player start at tailback since Rob Lytle in 1976, which also was the last time a white tailback led the Maize and Blue in rushing..."I really don't have too much to say about that," said McGuffie, who ran for 1,711 yards and 23 touchdowns as a senior at Cy-Fair High School in Cypress, Texas, and gained YouTube fame for hurdling a defender. "If you can play the position, you can play the position."
In that same article quoted above, this quotation stands out as to Black people's belief as to why so few white running backs get a chance in college football, and why the Doak Walker Award should be renamed for a Black running back:
"I don't ever want to put a spin on it and say it's profiling," said Floyd Keith, the executive director of the Black Coaches Association. "I think it has a lot to do with the quality of player."
There have been a number of talented white running backs this past decade that refute Mr. Keith's stance, but the Black executive director the BCA has only one goal: to ensure that Black people populate as much of college football (players and coaches) as possible.

Numerous talented white players have played running back for major colleges this decade including: Tre Smith and Heath Evans at Auburn University; Brock Forsey at Boise State; Toby Gerhart of Stanford; Chance Kretschmer of Nevada; Peyton Hillis of Arkansas and Brian Leonard of Rutgers:
"I didn't get as many carries, and I could have come out after my junior season, but I felt that I wanted to go back and help Rutgers become a championship program," Leonard said. "The scouts know that I can carry the football as well as catch it and block it, even if I didn't carry it as much last season."

None of these players formed a White Running Back Association (WRBA) to ensure that white players trying to play running back are treated equitably, and they played a position that Black people believe it is their birthright to play.

However, one name does stand out among the rest of the white running backs as being the supreme player for a team that won the 2007 BCS national championship; Jacob Hester of the Louisiana State Tigers:

"LSU won the BCS national championship in college football, defeating Ohio State 38-24, with a white runner as its primary ballcarrier. Is this the first time in the history of the BCS? Jacob Hester had a standard Jacob Hester game against #1 ranked Ohio St., rushing for 86 yards on 21 carriers, finishing with over 1100 yards for the season."
Hester led LSU to the national title and was looked at as one of the top players of the 2007 season and found himself the subject of a Sports Illustrated cover-story:
"The consummate throwback player, the 6-foot, 224-pound Hester is a gifted inside runner and underrated receiver who'd sooner run over a would-be tackler than sidestep him or slap that defender's helmet in good sportsmanship than beat his own chest. Such selflessness can seem downright antique by today's standards. "
Later in that same article, a telling statement was made by Hester, as he related a tale about Black people and their defense of the ownership of the tailback position:
"Still, there have been other instances in which Hester has removed his helmet without meaning to pull a fast one—like when he's trying to towel off the part of him that is most an anachronism: his white face.

"The fact is, in today's game, it's rare to see a white running back playing the role of dominant rusher on a college football team, let alone a national champion. And Hester hears about it. In 2006, after shedding his headgear during a first-quarter timeout against Tennessee, Vols linebacker Jerod Mayo reacted as if he had seen a ghost. Said Mayo to Hester, "Shouldn't you be playing running back for Air Force?' "
The Air Force Academy still has rigorous standards, and the football team almost always starts 22 white players, thus the question from Mayo to Hester.

We have been discussing college football this week at length, because the game dominates the thinking of so many people in this country and yet, so few Black people would be attending major college's were not for the fact that they play football.

Sports are the only manner in which many white people come in contact with Black people (largely through their television) and the games help shape people's attitudes toward them in a very positive manner.

Stuff Black People Don't Like, however, includes the "Doak Walker Award" name, for white people playing tailback is a silly notion, considering that Black people dominate the position and how few white people actually play that position now. Remember, the goal in THE AGE OF OBAMA is to make everything Black - coaches and players a like - and any vestige of Pre-Obama America must be swept into the dustbin of history.

Or, if white guys want to play tailback, they can play for the Air Force Academy. We do need fighter pilots still.

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