Monday, January 29, 2007

SuperBowl Coaches

This article over at The American Thinker hits the nail on the head:

Two Good Guys and the Other G Word

Both coaches were immediately asked in their initial post game interviews on Sunday about the significance of their being the first African American coaches in the game. Interestingly, both coaches used the vernacular "black" rather than African American, and quickly steered the conversation to their respective teams, and how much this meant for their cities. The two coaches are good friends, and talk each Monday during the season. Smith was on Dungy's staff when his Tampa Bay team played for the NFC title against St. Louis in 2000. Dungy praised Smith and his team in a properly respectful fashion. Smith was interviewed before it was known who his team's opponent was, so any comment on Dungy or the Colts would have been premature.

But there was one part of each interview Sunday that is not likely to be pursued as a big story line the next week. Both coaches thanked God for their good fortune, and expressed a genuine humility about getting this far, traits not always visible in the winners circles in professional or college sports. Dungy in particular pointed out how Smith coached with a calm demeanor (without the four letter word tantrums so common to the sidelines). The humility and demeanor of the two coaches very likely has something to do with the religious devotion of the two men

Only a fool would think that the race of the two coaches is irrelevant. This is a happy milestone. But that aspect of the story is overdone because it is cheap and easy to do. It appeals to the moral vanity of sportwriters and lets lazy "reporters" pretend that they are doing important work. The two men who coached their teams to the Super Bowl deserve better than that.

UPDATE: I love this quote over at Football Outsiders:

I think even more important than that to me, I know the type of person he is, and Lovie has the same Christian conviction that I have. He runs his team the same way. I know how those guys are treated in Chicago and how they play tough, disciplined football even though there’s not a lot of profanity from the coaches. There’s none of the win-at-all-cost atmosphere. For two guys to show that you can win that way, I think that’s just as important for the country to see.”

– Super Bowl-bound head coach of the Indianapolis Colts Tony Dungy

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