According to the press release issued by the HOF; “The Baltimore Ravens used their first-ever draft pick, fourth overall of the 1996 NFL Draft on highly touted Outland Trophy Award-winning tackle Jonathan Ogden out of UCLA. For the next 12 seasons, Ogden was the main cog of the Ravens’ offensive line.” Ogden was always a very intellectual player and that intellect was on display even as he christened his “bust” into eternity.

Ogden said; “I’m just thankful to be here along with these other gentlemen, Larry, Cris, Warren, Bill, Curley and Dave, what a tremendous new class. To be up here with these luminary Legends of the game, to be inducted into the Hall of Fame with these guys is just unbelievable. As I examine my career, I look back and I kind of say this is where it was supposed to end for me, but not because of arrogance or cockiness, but it’s because I was taught lessons. Yes, I was blessed with tremendous God given talent, yes, but talent isn’t enough. A lot of people have talent, but they don’t always live up to it.”

I listened to and analyzed the acceptance speeches of the 2013 inductees and heard about their trials and tribulations; I shed a few tears of my own. Since I couldn’t play in the NFL I have fulfilled my other dream and I have covered the NFL. I have sat up in “peanut heaven” with the “salt of the earth” and rubbed elbows with and dined with Dan Rooney. Steelers defensive back Ike Taylor allowed me to stay with his family and chronicle his life after the football season ends. Very few journalists have even been afforded that opportunity.

However, I am more saddened and shocked by what Black media has endured and continues to face on a daily basis in regards to being granted press box credentials to cover national sporting events.

Except for my local affiliates and media reps from the Steelers, Pirates, Penguins and Power there has been and continues to remain a natural disdain for Black men who cover sports but no longer participate. However, there are a few exceptions such as the African-American journalists’ that represent national outlets such as ESPN and other syndicated networks and of course the ex-jocks who lend credibility to some of the nonsense being transmitted over the television and radio airwaves as well as what is printed in traditional newspapers.

I was forced at age 60 to walk around the stadium and was turned away and given faulty information, not once, not twice but three times. False information the first time means, there is a foul odor in the air. False info the second time means that you must get the pooper scooper because Fido has had an accident in the yard. When someone hoodwinks you the third time around should indicate that you must change clothes and shower. My father often said that “sometimes any view beats no view at all.”

(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at abruce@new­ or 412-583-6741)


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