Monday, January 03, 2011

MVP - Vince Wilfork

Racism.  Damn if I just don't hate this insidious aspect of our culture, or any culture for that matter.  If there is one thing about our species that points to the truth of a higher being with a twisted sense of humor having set all this up, it would be that there is more than one race of humans on this planet.  Sure there are physical aspects that separate us aesthetically, but essentially all of the races start out with the same tools.  Jeez, the fact that we can all interbreed ought to be a strong clue indicating there really is no difference between us other than the ones we come up with in our minds.

But then I have to consider the fact that ethnic prejudices, religious prejudices, and which side of the tracks prejudices are also part and parcel of our collective makeup.  Not a one of them makes a lick of sense to me.  Not a one.

I am sure some anthropologist or archaeologist could quantify, specify, and explain based on exhaustive study of runes, ruins, and the interactions of some tribe buried deep in the Amazon why the need to discriminate exists as part of our collective makeup.  Frankly I just don't care why we are assholes to one another based on stupid criteria, I would just like to see us stop doing it.

I only bring this up because of my recent lurking on sports forums.  The recent debate on who should be anointed the MVP(Most Valuable Player) of the NFL(National Football League) this year has pushed racism into the mix.  There are really only two contenders, a white guy and a black guy.   They have both had great seasons, but on paper, the white guy has by far the best stats.  If we were color blind and used just the stats to base our choice on, the white guy wins hands down.  But to be fair, the black guy offers more excitement potential.  The white guy is a machine I think.  He makes it look easy.

Sports fans are found everywhere in every corner of the globe and exhibit every positive and negative of our species.  Sports fans probably represent one of the best cross sections of our country there is without the baggage of religion, political slant, economic status, or intelligence level.   At any sporting venue out there, you have Whites, Blacks, Asians, doctors, truck drivers, Baptists and Jews all sitting on the same side and rooting like Hell for the team of their choice.  When the game is on, they all cheer in the same direction.  But when it comes time to pick a favorite player, many of them fall into the stupid trap of putting race in front of record.  Subjectivity overrules Objectivity and emotional baggage often tips their choice one way or the other.

A recent sports article I opened online pretended to offer an objective look at who the Pros themselves thought should be MVP.  The problem with it was the sample group used.  In my opinion this article was nothing but a race baiting ploy to ferret out the racist tendencies on both sides.  Several of the player responses were the responses of black players who have a history of having a black chip on their shoulder.  And the comments that followed from an obviously mostly white group of readers were sprinkled with idotic responses that must have satisfied the authors need to prove that racism was not dead in this country.  Like we needed another reminder. 

Of the two who are in contention, I would have to pick the white guy.  Not because he is white and I am white, but because in my opinion, he is the best choice.  Added into my decision is the fact that he plays on the team I root for.  If he was a black player, my feeling would be the same.  And if truth be told, my real choice would not be either of them, but would be a black guy who plays defense on the team I root for.  But he is just a huge lineman who plays his heart out every game and has for many years.  If I could pick, it would be Vince Wilfork.   It's not his accomplishments that matter to me so much as his ethic as a ball player.

Am I just trying to prove or disprove my racist tendencies?  I hope not.  I cannot deny that over the years I have had racist thoughts pass through.  That they just passed through and did not settle in is what is important in the scheme of whether I am racist or not.  Because when it comes right down to it for me, content of character wins out every time. 



David Barber said...

Not being a watcher of American Football, I can't comment. BUT, the size of the guy in the photo, I doubt anyone would be racist to his face. Holy shit! Look at the size of the dudes arms!!

Randal Graves said...

Tom Brady should be the MVP, period. And given how the Packers are only half an offense (they can't run worth a lick), I'd slot Rodgers higher than Vick.

As for the race angle, I still think McNair should have won in 2003 instead of splitting with Manning (he had a better ANYA, and though his counting stats were lower due to a different style, he didn't have Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne to throw to).

BBC said...

Oh hell, don't get me started here, I go on about that enough on my blogs.

The Blog Fodder said...

Mike, you have found the secret to being happy.

MRMacrum said...

David - No, I would guess Vince could go anywhere without worrying about some racist jerk getting in his face.

Randal - Yeah, Tom's got it all over any other QB this year. His play is so precise, it is almost boring.

Manning, Manning, Manning - I like the guy, but the love affair the media has for him is way over the top when weighed against his accomplishments. McNair should have been the solo winner that year.

But the real problem I think is the inaccurate name they give to this award - MVP. They should just call it "the best Quarterback Award" because that is what it seems to have turned into. One day I would like to see a Ray Lewis, a Wes Welker, a Woodson win it. As long as Big Ben never wins I guess, I'll be happy.

MRMacrum said...

BBC - Don't get you started? Isn't just waking up enough of a spark for you?

Blog Fodder - Indeed. My sanity was helped immensely when I gave up the high paying mid-management job back in the late 1980's and went to work as a bike mechanic. Of course then I found new entanglements to dampen the bright eyed bushy tailed outlook. Like owning my own business.

Kulkuri said...

I would vote for Clay Mathews for MVP. He plays his heart out every game and loves sacking quarterbacks!!