Thursday, February 2, 2017

Why the NFL Pro Bowl Format Should Be Black Players vs. White Players

What better way to celebrate post-racial harmony than a friendly exhibition game pitting the best African-American ballers against the greatest Caucasians of the gridiron?


By: Jimbo X

I'll just come out and say it: the Pro Bowl fuckin' sucks. 

On average, I watch at least 1,000 hours of college and pro football a year, but even a hardcore pigskin junkie such as myself can't stomach the NFL's piss poor attempt at an all-star game.

There's a lot of reasons for this, beginning with the fact they moved the damn thing ahead of the Super Bowl itself, thus ensuring a good six or seven Pro Bowl selections won't be participating due to well-founded injury concerns. Secondly, they just relocated the thing to Orlando, whose entire pro football milieu consists of Arena League nuthuggers and the world's last three or four surviving XFL enthusiasts. But most of all, the big problem here is the game's format, as evident by the nine billion times it's changed over the last couple of seasons. 

The AFC vs. NFC structure is stupid because that means players from your team have to take orders from players on divisional rival squads, and they last thing a Raiders fan wants to see is Alex Smith lobbing passes to Amari Cooper that he'll probably drop anyway. All these marketing gurus keep forgetting the NFL ain't like the NHL or NBA, where player loyalty triumphs over team identity. You only care about watching your team kick ass (or, at the very least, watching a team you REALLY don't like get their asses kicked), and some all-star mega-super-duper crossover clusterfuck glorified preseason game don't mean a damn thing to nobody. And don't even get me started on all those years they had the "legendary" general managers and the on-air player drafts. Don't you damn even

So this year, the NFL suits tried to church up the festivities nobody cares about by adding "skill challenges," including the big attraction, dodgeball. As expected, a grand total of 15 people tuned into watch it, and about six of them were there because they experienced unrelated seizures and didn't have enough time to change the channel before the EMTs arrived. If the National Football League wants people to watch this stuff, they've got to go one step above and beyond and give us TRULY cutting edge entertainment. Something that goes beyond a mere sporting exhibition and crosses over into a bona fide sociocultural event, like the old Battle of the Sexes tennis matches from back in the day. None of us will ever publicly declare it, but deep down, we ALL know we'd tune in to watch it. Folks, the time has come for the NFL to FINALLY give its TV viewing audience what it's secretly been craving since the heyday of Joe Namath and Johnny Unitas. 

It's time for the inaugural blacks vs. whites Pro Bowl.

Yes, at first glance, it does seem a little sensational, perhaps even a bit confrontational. To some, the mere idea of breaking professional athletes into teams based on skin hue may - in and of itself - sound like a grave, politically incorrect thoughtcrime. But when you really think about it, wouldn't hosting an artificially segregated Pro Bowl be the ultimate cultural indicator that we here in the States have finally gotten over our long-in-the-tooth racial hang-ups?

We all know this to be self-evident. A sure-fire sign that a society has finally gotten comfortable discussing its uneasy historical transgressions is when it's able to laugh about it - or at the very least, able to talk about it in a casual, airy tone instead of acting like it's some grave, somber still-living thing we have to treat with hushed reverence at all hours of the day. A society that hasn't made any progress rectifying the societal woes of yesteryear treats the idea of a racially-aligned Pro Bowl with unthinking outrage and umber, while one that has actually triumphed over the ignoble wrongs of history is able to accept it as the quirky, meta-humorous charade it is.

Which means Colin K. can sit on the benches for BOTH teams!

The idea is brilliant for several reasons. First, although no one has the guts to admit it, everybody in the U.S. is secretly an in-group loyalist and even people who don't give a shit about football would prolly tune in just to see how well their "people" perform against their more/less melaninated brethren. Secondly, that racial pride angle gives this a much heavier air to it than just a pointless all-star exhibition. These players aren't out there to mug it up on camera, they are there to literally put points on the board for their genetic hometeam. We all know blacks are incredibly loyal to their own, and any player suited up for this game - whether or not he wants to publicly acknowledge it - bears the entire weight of the race on his shoulders. Win this one and you can show whitey who's REALLY the best. I guarantee you every damn Afro-American baller on the gridiron will be giving it his or her all to prove that unuttered-but-oh-so-obvious point, and if that means having to snap some ligaments and crunch up fingers in the dogpile, so be it. 

Now, we know the coddled white athlete isn't really too keen on supporting any kind of ethnic identitarianism, but trust me, that shit will get activated the first time the quarterback gets clotheslined. Even if you don't feel a certain affinity/loyalty to your arbitrarily designated in-group, you at least don't want to get your ass kicked - or your career ended - by people who do. It may take a couple of snaps before the Caucasoids realize this shit is for real, but once it finally sinks in, hoo boy, get ready to see some WHITE hot rage the likes of which America hasn't witnessed since the heyday of Chuck Bronson and Dirty Harry.

In fact, I've gone on ahead and done a mock draft had this year's Pro Bowl - you know, that thing over the weekend neither you or nobody you know watched - had it followed the white vs. black format. Naturally, the best starting place for recruitment was the official Pro Bowl roster, but I had to do quite a bit of picking outside the all-star ranks to fill up the starting positions. Now, before we move on to my official selections, a few caveats we have to address:

Numero uno, the National Football gives us sort of a Bizarro inversion of contemporary U.S. society: here, black people, representing nearly 70 percent of all pro football players, are the clear cut majority while white players, who represent about 15 to 20 percent of the League depending on who and what you consider "white," are a considerable minority. There, it's obvious that it's the white team that should be the recipients of any special help or treatment - for example, perhaps the white team could get maybe two or three top-ranked black players as honorary teammates, or maybe Team Honky could get five downs instead of four. And if you think any of this is highly absurd, just remember - we've been doing this in academia for decades

Numero two-oh, I suppose players who are half white and half black should have the option of playing for whatever side they want. I decided to lump any player who had at least one black parent into the black team for my draft, but it is something the NFL brass could consider if they ever go all the way with this sucker. 

Numero three-oh, what to do with all those Hispanic and Asian and Pacific-Island players? Remember, the NFL is basically opposite world where the blacks are the obvious majority, so in the interest of fairness, I suppose we could lump every player who isn't black into a sort of non-African super-bloc to make it a little fairer in competition. Strangely enough, I couldn't really pinpoint any non-white or non-black players this season who I would consider first team material, so that little dilemma never popped up on my radar. 

And with those sticking points nailed firmly into the sod, howzabout we finally take a gander at the starters for the 2016-17 White Devils and Black Bandits rosters?

Yeah, not a lot of surprises here. Of course, we're having to use a little creative license here and let the Fighting Whities start some guys like Danny Woodhead and Jordy Nelson who were injured for long parts of the season, but beyond that, I'd figure it's a pretty evenly matched equation, at least offense-wise. You might be able to give the Black Bandits an edge in the run game, but factoring in tight ends down the depth chart (hell, Rob Gronkowski isn't even starting for the Chalkies), I'd say the passing game is a dead heat, if not slightly tilting towards the albinoids. Both offensive lines are great, so here, it comes down to quarterbacking. Yes, Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott are both great quarterbacks, but take a look at your Hall of Fame lock options at QB for the Devils - Tom Brady, Big Ben, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers and Derek Carr. Sorry, but I'm taking Andrew Luck and Eli Manning over Jameis Winston and Tyrod Taylor any day, folks.

ADVANTAGE: The White Devils
Now we've got to do a little reverse affirmative action to make this shit feasible. Right off the bat, there are NO non-black cornerbacks in the National Football League (in fact, there hasn't been one since Jason Sehorn retired 15 years ago), so that means we had to take two standard safeties (Andrew Sendejo and Chris Conte) and move them to the CB position so the Devils won't be two defenders down. We also had to do a little bit of reshuffling of the defensive ends and defensive tackles on the white side, but try as we may, there's no way around it: when it comes to defensive football, the Black Bandits aren't just better than the White Devils, they're substantially better at every position. Of course, that raises the million dollar question - is the underpowered White Devil "D" potent enough to keep the Black Bandit "O" in check, or is the Black Bandit "D" just so damned dominant, the White Devil "O"even with its Canton-worthy constituents don't stand a prayer?

ADVANTAGE: The Black Bandits




And lastly, we come to special teams. Absolutely no surprises here - Pat McAfee is pretty much the consensus pick for best punter in the League, and since Marquette King is the only black punter in professional football, he has no choice but to represent the Black Bandits. Of course, we had to look high and low for anything even remotely resembling a black kicker, and the only viable name is the Bengals' Jon Brown - a backup BACK-UP kicker who has never stepped foot on the field during a real NFL game. The same problem arose when the issue of return men came up; nobody's going to argue with convicted woman beater Tyreek Hill's designation on the Black Bandits, but finding a capable return man for the White Devils was about as difficult as winning a game of Arkanoid while wearing a set of boxing gloves. Although Edelman isn't a return man by trade, he's probably the fastest white guy in the League - which, by default, makes him the Whities' sacrificial lamb on kick-off. The field goal game is a lock for the White Devils, but when it comes to handling kick returns, you have to give the nod to the Black Bandits - thus, I've no choice but to call this one a wash.

ADVANTAGE: Tilt

Hey, if the Hit-O-Meter from Super High Impact is telling you it's a good idea, you KNOW it's a good idea.
So you see, the Voluntarily Racially Segregated Pro Bowl isn't just crass sensationalism and race-baitin' for nothing. Clearly, the format itself would lend itself to an intriguing on-the-field struggle, if not an all-time for-the-ages classic. Will the White Devils' field goal proficiency be enough to overcome the dynamic defense of the Black Bandits? Can the Black Bandits exploit a weak White Devils' secondary, or will the front seven honkies put so much pressure on the QB he won't even have time to target his receivers deep? This is the kind of matchup that's exciting and engaging even without the whole racial element - adding THAT to the mix is just a great, big, succulent cherry atop a vanilla and chocolate sundae that's already awesome. 

Of course, America being the immature nation of petulant in-group loyalists they are, the NFL will prolly never get the chance to give us this "dream" matchup. Regardless, despite whatever phony adverse reactions to the idea we may air in public, deep down, there isn't a single American anywhere who wouldn't want to watch this game and root their hearts out for team-whoever-they-may-be to pull out the W. In a way, the Ikaruga Bowl has the potential to become an even bigger cultural phenomenon than the Super Bowl itself, and that's far and away the greatest American social phenom already. There is a LOT of money to be made off this idea, and the TV ratings would shatter records. 


The only thing standing between us and a game that would draw damn near 200 million viewers and generate millions - maybe even billions - in advertising and sponsorship revenue? Simply put, our own childish inability to look at race as anything other than some Apocalyptic nuclear wedge that's only good for producing extrajudicial lynchings and inner-city riots.


For shame, America. If ONLY you could stop treating "race" like some sort of primitive, jihadist, sacred subject, we might actually be able to, y'know, move forward and let those wounds of the bad old days finally heal. But no, we have to keep acting like it's some sacrosanct supernatural force, with any attempts to bring any levity at all to the matter oh-so-routinely written off as a "secret" signifier of ethno-racial hostility.


Tis a pity, too - 'cause all that pettiness is costing us what assuredly would be one hell of a ballgame.


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