Thursday, August 29, 2002

Sports&Culture File:'s Bill Simmons keeps a diary of his (roughly) umpteenth viewing of Hoosiers. Plus an archived comparison of the movie and its real-life inspiration, the 1954 Milan High state champion basketball team:

Also, Slate's Robert Weintraub makes the case for Randall Cunningham, who won more MVP's than Joe Montana, to make football's Hall of Fame, with this observation about the sudden revolution Cunningham helped spur:

When Cunningham was drafted in 1985, black QBs were still a rarity. Doug Williams' historic Super Bowl win was still two years away, and the idea that fast, athletic blacks could succeed at the position was anathema to head coaches around the league. It took Buddy Ryan, a defensive guru who understood the kind of pressure a game-breaker like Cunningham could put on a defense, to prove that a black scrambler could not just survive but thrive in a league increasingly based on speed. Nowadays, with Kordell Stewart, Donovan McNabb, and Michael Vick making a QB who can run or pass seem a necessary part of modern football, it's easy to forget the Mesozoic Era when Randall was a curiosity. Yet it was only 15 years ago.

Earlier at Slate, though, Justin Driver says to guard against stereotyping black quarterbacks:

NFL commentators speak incessantly of a New Breed of quarterback. The New Breed is agile, swift, and black. The Old Breed is stationary, strong-armed, and white. This categorization, however, is deeply flawed. There is nothing novel about the so-called New Breed. By lumping these players together, the sporting world ignores the lesson of Doug Williams and Warren Moon: A quarterback's race need not dictate his style of play.

Finally, I finally found the link to this NY Times Magazine piece on men and sportscasting:

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