by Aubrey Bruce
For New Pittsburgh Courier
Hey, I don’t know about “you’s” guys but when I think of Wounded Knee it is not the left knee that I injured falling on the ice on New Year’s Day 2013. Do not let your imaginations run wild because no, my slip and fall was not because of too much merlot; it was because of not enough salt in my walkway. However contrary to popular belief, life may in many cases imitate art; in my case my “distressed” knee did not cause distress for anyone but me. But that was not the case for the Washington Redskins this past weekend.
There are all sorts of unacceptable caricatures of native Americans with sports franchises being named the “Redskins” and “Indians.” However, when the Seattle Seahawks faced the Redskins in an NFC wildcard round in Washington, D.C. it was a “wounded knee” that disarmed the “Skins” and was pivotal in the outcome. This game was filled with so many social variables and contrasts that it would take a lot more space than I have here so please bear with me. First, the “Skins”All-Galaxy rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III was poised to face off against the now All-Universe rookie quarterback for the “Hawks,” Russell Wilson. Wilson was drafted two rungs lower than Andrew Luck, the first overall pick of the 2012 draft, and second pick RG III. Regardless, there were no “tomahawk chops” or any other signs that could have stopped the “little big man” from Seattle from climbing the ladder of legend. First and foremost there were many opinions as to why RG III should not have been starting the game in the first place.
Doctor James Andrews, the knee specialist who also helped Adrian Peterson’s return to the gridiron for the 2012 season is not quite seeing eye to eye with Redskins head Coach Mike Shanahan’s assertion that he had Andrews’ okay to put Griffin back in the game after he was injured against the Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 9. “He’s on the sidelines with Dr. Andrews. He had a chance to look at him and he said he could go back in,” Shanahan said the day after the Ravens game. “(I said) ‘Hey, Dr. Andrews, can Robert go back in?’ Yeah, he can go back in. ‘Robert, go back in.’ That was it,” Shanahan said. Dr. Andrews did not quite agree with coach Shanahan’s observation. “[Griffin] didn’t even let us look at him,” Andrews said. “He came off the field, walked through the sidelines, circled back through the players, and took off back to the field. It wasn’t our opinion. We didn’t even get to touch him or talk to him. Scared the hell out of me.”
Mr. Wilson performed as though he was the one who should have gotten the serious “cheese.” Wilson was the first rookie quarterback to win a playoff game after his team trailed by as many as 14 points, leading the Seahawks to a 24-14 victory over the Redskins. RG III also played a gutsy game. Did you guys and gals know that this was the first time that two “rookie” quarterbacks of “color” faced off in a playoff game? The NFL has come a long ways in regards to the skill positions but there seems to be a long way to go before there is a resolution in regards to folks being comfortable with “colored” field generals.
When it comes to quarterbacks, they should just be quarterbacks. A few weeks ago I severely criticized Ben Roethlisberger for his horrendous performance against the Cincy Bengals that knocked the Steelers out of the postseason. I received a caustic anti-minority email from email@example.com that said, “Translation: I don’t like the 6’-5” cracker with two Super Bowl rings. What a load of garbage your article is. How many turnovers did the Steelers offense have in three games WITHOUT Ben? Funny, how those games didn’t get mentioned. Including the game when Byron Leftwich sucked or the three pick game that Charlie Batch threw in a 6 point loss to the Browns. We both know why those games were omitted don’t we? Funny how the defense crapping the bed in Oakland and Tennessee didn’t get mentioned either. It’s OK Aubrey, we both know why.” Hey Keith J. Fro, translation: you don’t know what the he-l you’re talking about. Did you ever read any of the articles I wrote criticizing the Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin? Did you glance across the piece I penned several weeks ago in which I said that Charlie Batch did not deserve an NFL paycheck as a result of his terrible performance against the Browns in Cleveland? Or that as a result of his many injuries that back up QB Byron Leftwich should have been cut long ago? Get a life, Keith. Translation: it’s okay to beat up on the Black guy that many “folks” in the Steelers nation chop up on a daily basis as an example of the “Rooney Rule” gone terribly, terribly wrong. Secondly, Mr. “Fro” mostly all of my media and sports journalism buddies are White (I don’t care they are still my brothers and I love them and their families dearly) but less than 5 percent of Black journalist’s cover the NFL for AP and the other dailies, yet more than 75 percent of the players are Black. Does that make sense, Brother “Fro”? Just because an athlete is White does not mean that he is right and just because he is Black does not mean that he has to step back…peace, I’m out.
(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-583-6741.)