Jemele Hill has a question: Where all the white running backs at? Is it racism? Is it genetics? Is it a plot by the KKK to get white people riled up about something and bring about the race war predicted by The Beatles’ White Album? Jemele Hill reports. You decide.
When Michigan played Notre Dame, a freshman pounded the Irish for 131 yards rushing, slashing and slithering around defenders like an eel.
Ah, the old “slash like an eel” descriptor. How cliché.
It was some coming-out party. But other than his ability, one thing really stuck out about this Wolverines tailback.
He’s a complete fucking asshole.
Same difference. WOOO! Black power!
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.
If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times, the University of Michigan hates white people.
If Sam McGuffie’s breakout game against the Irish is any indication, maybe he’ll be the one to break new ground for white tailbacks, who have become as rare a sight as Halley’s comet.
It’s about time white folks caught a break. You only see white guys at tailback once every 76 years, and that needs to change. You’re representing us all Sam. Don’t fuck it up.
“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.”
Insightful. Thank God this was included.
Many of us watch sports not caring if the men on the field are purple or magenta, as long as they produce.
If I saw someone purple on the field I think I’d care, as it would mean either that aliens have infiltrated our Universities or I need to stop dropping acid. Either way, it would be meaningful.
But watch sports long enough and you inevitably notice trends and rarities. One of them is that white tailbacks at the college and professional level have become virtually nonexistent.
I really don’t notice it much or care at all. At most it garners a “Huh, a white guy” from me. I will admit to noticing white cornerbacks though, and if your team has one it usually means your secondary sucks.
In 2007, just 13 of the top 100 rushers in the Football Bowl Subdivision were white. The SEC and Pac-10 each have just one white starting tailback in their respective leagues, Vanderbilt’s Jared Hawkins and Stanford’s Toby Gerhart.
13% doesn’t seem all that out of whack. It might even be a little higher than say, top 100 receivers or top 100 in interceptions or something. More importantly, who gives a shit?
And McGuffie is the Big Ten’s lone starting white tailback.
When are the whites going to wake up and smell the racism?
In the NFL, white tailbacks are even scarcer.
You don’t say.
Not one white player starts at tailback on any of the NFL’s 32 teams. The last time a white tailback was taken in the first round of the NFL draft was 1974, when the Los Angeles Rams selected Penn State’s John Cappelletti with the 11th overall pick.
Huh, and that sort of coincides with the college game really becoming integrated. Perhaps there’s some connection there.
With such a deeply entrenched trend, you wonder if ESPN college football analyst Craig James might be the last white player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in the NFL or if former Washington Redskins legend John Riggins will be the last white feature back to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
I just want to remind everyone that James is an asshole who played for the cheatingest program in NCAA history. That has nothing to do with anything else in this post, but I really hate Craig James. Some white dude will someday play tailback in the NFL and maybe even make it to the Hall of Fame. That Ian Johnson guy at Boise looks like he might be good enough to at least get a starting gig in the NFL. It won’t be common or anything, because black people tend to be better atheletes than white people, but I don’t know why you’d rule it out entirely. However, the main reason I don’t wonder if there will ever be a white running back who accomplishes anything in the NFL is because I don’t give a fuck.
“Fans write me all the time calling me ‘The Great White Hope,'” said James, who ran for 1,227 yards with the New England Patriots during the 1985 season.
Seriously? Fans write him all the time and call him “The (fucking) Great White Hope?” Because of that one good year he had 23 God damn years ago? That is some self-aggrandizing bullshit. I’m almost in awe of it.
“One of these days, someone will come along.”
Craig James molests goats.
There’s a lot of junk about nature vs. nurture arguments. My favorite quote is this:
“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.”
I find it ironic that the president of a group formed to combat profiling against one race refuses to accept that premise going the other way. I happen to agree with him about the quality of player being the determining factor though.
But what does someone who actually studies shit have to say about the rarity of white running backs?
“Once the population designations were set,” Entine said, “there are real differences in the gene frequencies in the east and west African population, which is quite different from populations around the world.”
Entine points out athletes with East or North African ancestry and also those from Mexico and South America are likely to dominate endurance activities because they have evolved in highland terrains whose populations tend to have a larger lung capacity and lean physiques.
“It’s geography and ancestry,” Entine said. “It’s not race.”
Geography and ancestry lead to racial differences, so it’s kind of race. But that’s quibbling. In summation, white people tend to be slower than and not jump as high as black people. Both of those things are important in playing the position of running back. Fewer whites play running back at the highest levels of football. Duh.