If you'll remember, I had Tony Romo in a postseason truth-is-stranger-than fiction scenario. Well, I was right. Sort of.
I haven't checked it out, but surely I'm not the only pundit to recognize that Romo's fumbled snap in last night's game is straight out of North Dallas Forty, the movie based on Peter Gent's fictionalized account of his days with the Cowboys. In the movie's climactic scene, which is different from the book's, Mac Davis is leading the two-minute drill with a playoff berth on the line. During a timeout, Davis convinces G.D. Spradlin to bring in the benched Nick Nolte, who promptly makes a couple of key catches, including the TD that presumably will tie the game. But the backup quarterback fumbles the snap during the extra point attempt, dashing North Dallas' playoff hopes.
Meanwhile, the NYT's William Rhoden just won't give it a rest. He thinks Ohio State's Troy Smith is disrespecting the Black Quarterback title:
Earlier in the season, Smith told reporters that he felt the African-American quarterback angle was a dead issue. 'We're way beyond it,' he said.....'I don't see color. I see people in my situation. I disliked it so much when they said Warren Moon was the first African-American quarterback inducted into the Hall of Fame. He's a quarterback. I didn't appreciate that.'
With all due respect to Smith, the Buckeyes' senior quarterback, if you respect Moon, you must appreciate the arduous path that took him from Los Angeles to Edmonton to Calgary to Houston to Canton. Moon helped clear the way for Smith to flourish in Columbus and Leak to survive in Gainesville. Someone cleared the path for Moon, and earlier generations cleared the a path for that pioneer.
Taken in context, Rhoden implies that Moon's path to the NFL was arduous because he was black. Maybe so. But is it not possible that a lot of guys don't take a direct path to the NFL because it's pretty damn hard to make it there? Fortunately, Moon had the tenacity and the skills to do it. So did Doug Flutie, a Heisman Trophy winner who spent some time in Canada before he became an established quarterback. Short people got no business, as Randy Newman once said.
Rhoden also implies that racism was behind critics' suggestion that Vince Young would be a better position player than a quarterback. His performance in last year's Rose Bowl, no matter how extraordinary, certainly suggested he might not be a classic pocket passer. But Young has proven his critics wrong. So has Steve McNair, the veteran quarterback who was unceremoniously cut loose to make room for Young.
Personally, I'm rooting for McNair during the playoffs because he'a good Southern boy. I don't if that cuts it with guys like Rhoden.