Of the guys I've covered regularly in recent years, what's remarkable is the three players who stick out for their interest in constantly getting better and doing only what's best for the team. All three played this weekend. Manning. Tom Brady. Brian Urlacher. They love the game, respect the game, work at the game and treat other players with respect. It's what we all should be teaching our children, not that Reggie Bush crap we saw Sunday ... the pointing and taunting.
Among all NFL players, a significant majority of whom are black, the three who work the hardest and are most committed to the team are white. If there was ever a quote that best summarized the latent borderline racist stereotypes that middle-aged white sportswriters pile into their columns about hard-working white guys and loud-mouthed black guys, this would be it. I don't think that Peter King is consciously racist and I'm sure that he interacts well with black players. (He would really suck at his job if he didn't.) However, he, like most other writers, trades in racial stereotyping and this paragraph is pretty obviously an example.
This hits on something that I've wanted to discuss for several weeks. I feel a significant amount of white liberal guilt about my criticism of Michael Vick and that guilt intensifies with every call to 680 or 790 from Alpharetta about how Vick lives the "thug lifestyle" or he's "dumb" or "lazy" or "shouldn't drink from the same water fountain as me because that will lead to miscegenation." (OK, I made that last one up.) Some of those criticisms of Vick are probably true. He isn't very good at reading defenses and there are grounds to criticize his work ethic, in light of the fact that he fumbled on the final drive against Cleveland because he was clearly winded. However, those criticisms come with a lot of baggage in the form of unfair stereotypes that have been hurled at black quarterbacks (and black athletes in general) for years. There's no good way for me to distinguish myself from a latent racist when criticizing Vick's performance...other than to anguish in my guilt over it, I guess.
Anyway, I just wanted to get that out there.