Race and Sports- Is this article absurd?

The Full Article (scroll down to “The amazing (thing about) race | From Ralph Wiley”)

The article above is a compilation of prediction blurbs from ESPN’s Page 2 writers. This one kind of stuck with me. In the first part of his blurb, Wiley made a decent point about how the Sprewell and Kermit Washington attacks will be forever remembered, while Bill Romanowski’s attack on his teammate is swept under the rug. Maybe so. Maybe I would think this is racially motivated. I don’t know the level of the attack Romo had (I thought the guy’s career ended because he wasn’t any good, but I am willing to believe this all has something to do with race.)

But the part I have quoted above really is absurd.

OF COURSE people remember GENE HACKMAN over Ray Crowe! He’s GENE HACKMAN! Would I be ignorant to know Humphrey Bogart over a high school football coach who won ten straight championships REGARDLESS OF RACE? I promise you people will remember Denzel Washington long after they have forgotten the name of the real man he played in Remember the Titans (which I have already forgotten).

It isn’t a racial injustice for someone to remember a mulitple Academy Award winner over the character they played. Nor is it an injustice to remember such a celeb over a high school sports coach, no matter his color or contribution.

I own Hoosier’s on DVD and all of a sudden I am confused as to whether I am doing something wrong…

(actually, I think this Wiley character is just an idiot.)

Ralph Wiley is indeed a freaking idiot. His only angle on sports is race. When you read his columns, ever other one is about how the white man is holding the black man down and everyone is racist against blacks.

The Sprewell attack will be remembered because he freaking choked his coach!. TWICE! Washington’s punch literally almost killed Rudy T and effectively ended Rudy’s playing career. And was during a game with video and pictures taken of it. That’s why that will be remembered more than Romo’s punch.

It’s just like him to take two of the most violent and horrific acts of intentional violents in the game and compare them to a fairly brutal punch but clearly not in the league of those other two in order to make a point.

Remember, this is the guy who believes that Hoosiers is a racist movie and that SABRmetrics is an attempt to discredit the accomplishments of black baseball players. Idiot.

Well, I think the difference between the Romo situation and the others is that dustups between teammates happen frequently while assaults on coaches are almost unheard of, and while the teammate fights are seen as “boys will be boys”, the coach attacks are a serious violation of the coach/player relationship (ie, the race involved in the incident is irrelevant)

I guess another point would be that the Raiders had an active interest in protecting Romanowski (a Hall of Fame-caliber linebacker vs. a scrub barely likely to make the team) while the NBA teams obviously wouldn’t.

(Disclaimer: I am in no way condoning what Romo did. I think he’s a roid-rage moron, and certainly would never want him as a Steeler)

Years ago I read a history of Indiana basketball. One point that was made was that basketball was popular at small highschools because a football program requires lots of good players but a good basketball program could be based on one genius and several competent players.

The team that was the basis for Hoosiers was discussed. I don’t recall any mention of the coach but I do recall that they won the big game by having one player hold the ball at midcourt for several minutes until time ran out. The other team wouldn’t take a player off the one “star” and ther was no shot clock. I reckon I could have coached that play.

Great movie though.

I have GOT to hear how sabermetrics is somehow a conspiracy against black ballplayers, especially when all the stat-heads worship Barry Bonds, who, I am certain, is black. Where’s THAT article?

Maybe Rush Limbaugh can tackle this one?

If he’s all done with the drugs and jail…uh…well drugs anyway.
Jail is only for criminals who commit crimes, like addicts who buy drugs illegally, like he did…uh…wait a minute…it’s all too confusing. Let’s just forget all that. And let’s forget what he said about McNabb. That never happened.

Mr. Wiley’s Opus.

Sure, Ralph. Bill James is a closet racist, so he gathered up his other (white) statheads and undertook a 20 year campaign to try and change the way things were looked at in baseball, simply to get rid of them dang blacks like Rickey. Dipshit.

Isn’t the whole point of Sabermetrics to combat the notion that anything in baseball “goes without saying” and to show that anyone who believes that is an ignoramus?

Is ther any explanation why Rickey Henderson stole 100 or more bases in 3 of his first 4 full years in MLB but never really got close again?

Ralph Wiley really bothers me. EVERYTHING is about race in his columns and it drives me insane. It takes away from stories that are actually about race and really just makes him look like an idiot.

And I have never heard anyone say a bad word about Rickey Henderson’s playing career. The man was a god on the field. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s loopier than most mental patients.

And don’t forget, Mike Tyson isn’t crazy, the white man is doing it to him:


Allow me to recommend the book The Punch, about Tomjonovich and how Washington darn near killed him - and the aftermath of the whole thing. Good stuff.


Because it’s really, really hard. Especially when every pitcher and catcher was gunning for him, it’s a wonder he even stole 80 after those first few seasons.

And, to be fair, he did steal 93 in 1988. After that, age begins to take its toll.

Incidentally, I’m surprised someone in Australia would know that about Rickey.

Don’t ask,

     I don't know where you heard that about the end of the Milan State Championship game, but its not true.  The real game actually ended almost exactly the same way as the movie, with Bobby Plump hitting a shot he had done thousands of times for the win.  The rest of the movie is fictional, but that scene is pretty true to life.  ANd they filmed the ending to the movie, I am pretty sure, in the actual gym where the real shot took place.  Milan (the "real Hickory") was not as much of an underdog as the movie made them out to be, though.  They were a small school, but I am pretty sure they had made deep runs into the tourney in the years prior to actually winning it all.

I remember that article at the time… made me pissed off! Wiley assumes James has NO problem against sac flys and bunts… and gets it 100% WRONG! James thinks that any wasting of outs is a bad move… so he doesn’t like bunts to move a runner from 1st to 2nd, etc. That’s why the A’s, who are based on James’ philosophy don’t ‘move runners over’. I mean if you are going to critique something, actually READ IT first!

HomerIU: don’t ask’s version is pretty close to what happened in the actual 1954 championship game. This article has more detail, but essentailly, Milan star player Bobby Plump held the ball for several minutes by himself late in the game, then again held the ball by himself for a minute before that timeout at 18 seconds. I have seen a tape of the actual game, and all that’s happening is Plump is standing near midcourt holding the ball, with no opposing players approaching him.

You are right that Milan had made a deep run earlier; they had made it to the semis the year before with the same core players.

You can buy a dvd of the game by going to the ishaa web site. I tried to link directly to the page, but the link wouldn’t work for some reason.

I was reading recently about Maury Wills chasing Ty Cobb’s record in 1962. Very interesting with Ford Frick’s interference and all. Anyhow I discovered that Wills having got 104 in 1962 got 94 in 1965 and then only broke 40 once in 9 more seasons. Looking at other noted stealers I could find, that was usually the pattern. Like Rod Carew, in 1969 he stole home 7 times in his first 15 stolen bases and from 1973-76 averaged 40 SBs a season nearly double his later average.

I love reading about sports and fooling around with statistics. Cricket and baseball are the best games imaginable for number buffs.

I get caught in little runs - I read Sandy Koufax’s autobiography and then Bill Veeck, and Bums and Boys Of Summer and a book about minor league baseball. The same happened with basketball (a game I don’t really like) - a biography of Larry Bird, led me to a biography of Bobby Knight, to a history of Indiana basketball, to a Jordan biography, Jayson Robinson’s book, then 48 Minutes a whole book on one game minute by minute. And I’m probably forgetting some.

It’s very cool to see questions from US Dopers that I actually know the answers to.

Very true. There’s a ton of baseball sites devoted to statistics. The two best, IMO, are BaseballProspectus and Baseball Primer. And if you see it laying around on a discount shelf or something out there, pick anything by Bill James. Lots of good stuff.