RG3 Carries a Huge Burden into the NFL

When you read this, you will understand why I am writing in the first person. I would like to make it perfectly clear; this is my voice and not the opinion of Dolphinshout. The reason is the touchiness of this subject always draws out the worst in people, but that is not my intention. I believe I would not be doing my job for the readers if I ignored the subject, because it is reality and we deal with it everyday.

The phrase, “Black Quarterback,” has been finding its way onto the blogs and it is something I believe should be discussed rationally and realistically. The facts are there for everyone to see, but the moment they are brought up, it is an immediate indictment the writer is prejudiced. I am not racist in the least, so please take that out of the conversation before it starts and let’s delve behind the closed doors and the closed minds of a society that thinks one thing, but says another.

The fact is, Doug Williams broke the black-QB-winning-the-Super-Bowl barrier in 1988. No other black QB has been able to duplicate the feat, and 24 years later, it doesn’t look like it will happen again soon. To me it is very strange, because the opportunity has been provided and no one has succeeded. There have been many black QBs to follow in Williams’ footsteps, McNair, McNabb, Vick, Young, the list goes on and on and for some reason, it does not happen.

It reminds me of the old movie, White Men Can’t Jump, which uses this humorous catch-phase to say, blacks are better athletes than whites. In our society, it’s okay to stereotype whites as unathletic, but very politically incorrect to say whites make better QBs. Is 24 years enough to make a conclusion that perhaps this is true? Will there ever be a day when our society can look at certain races and say, one is better suited for a certain function? Can that ever be acceptable? Probably not…

It doesn’t really matter, of course, because people think this way whether they are willing to put themselves out on a limb and actually say it. Behind closed doors, even if the closed door is Jeff Ireland’s mind, the thought has to be running through it; will RG3 be the guy who breaks the trend? The barrier was broken a long time ago, but the lack of success has to be reckoned with or Ireland is not doing his job.

Ireland will never, ever, make light of these thoughts. After asking Dez Bryant if his mother was a hooker, I can just imagine the fallout if Ireland were to say, “I didn’t want to take a chance on RG3 because he is black.” The truth is, Ireland is wondering just that, he could say I’m putting thoughts in his mind, or words in his mouth and that’s fine. From the grandstand where I’m writing, I can say these things, he cannot.

Whether we accept it or not, every one of us knows there are differences between people, is it upbringing, education, anatomy, we may never know, but it is probably about time we admit it to ourselves. We are different, and some things one race does better and some things another race does better. I guess I am somewhat na├»ve to believe the world will be a better place when we can look each other in the eye and say, white boys can’t jump, but they make good QBs.

The question then becomes, is this a compelling reason to hesitate about giving up 2 maybe 3, 1st round picks for a player that has so much history going against him? Should it be taken into consideration? If I’m Jeff Ireland, I have to say yes, which means the conviction on RG3 has to be through the roof because selling out for him means putting everything on the line, including history. It’s a hell-of-a burden for Robert Griffin III to carry into the NFL.

That burden is not so high if the Rams were to take him because it would be their draft pick. He would land in his slot, without some team paying a king’s ransom. The Rams have already placed him on the trading block, which means some team is going to pay that ransom and by doing so, they give up their future for the next 2, perhaps 3 years.

I feel sorry for Griffin; the league has become so QB centric that he is walking on a minefield. Whichever team takes him has no choice but to play him, probably from day one and it begs to reason whether the situation he finds himself in, is a recipe for failure. The enormous price is not fair to this kid, the NFL and the Rams for their own good, without regard to his welfare, are using him.

The rookie salary cap does not consider this inequitable situation. If a team trades 3 first rounders for RG3, shouldn’t he earn the salary of 3 first round paychecks? If he is to carry this entire burden, shouldn’t he at least be paid for it? No, Griffin will earn the salary where he is slotted, but his team will feel the price of acquiring him for next 3 years.

For these reasons, I believe I would take the coward’s way out and stay away from RG3. The sad thing is, it has nothing to do with his talent. It has everything to do with the unfortunate place he finds himself. April 26th should be the greatest night of his life and yet he will be walking with trepidation up to that podium, knowing he will be looked upon as the savior of some franchise that has just traded their future for him.

What’s worse is, he is carrying the burden of his race on top of all that. It shouldn’t be, but his folks will be looking at him to break the trend and stop the foolish talk I outlined above. I find it ironic that so many people look at Tim Tebow as some kind of savior when the real savior will be selected with the 2nd pick of this draft.

Does Ireland have the conviction for the scrutiny that will follow a move bold enough to land RG3? Do the Dolphins have the wherewithal to overcome the vitriol that will follow should RG3 fail and the franchise be decimated for the foreseeable future? No…

The Dolphins will go the free agent route. There are simply too many things that stand in the way of RG3 landing in Miami. I like the kid and I think he has the strength to overcome what is ahead of him, but it will play out in another city, for another team. Jeff Ireland will never place himself in the precarious position of trading away his own future. History makes RG3’s chances of success an incredible exception to a very politically incorrect reality.