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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pro Bowl Weekend & NFL's Rooney Rule Takes A Hit

George Rose/Getty Images

With probably less that 10% of all real NFL fans
watching the Pro Bowl this weekend, the league
and it's players get a chance to enjoy themselves,
and not worry about about impressing anyone with
an event that means little to nothing the week
before an event that means everything to many.
Though I am not going to give you any sort of
plan to make the Pro Bowl a better than it is,
it's something that is certainly worth looking
in to.

What is flying under the radar even more than how
boring and uninteresting the Pro Bowl is, is the
fact that the "Rooney Rule" took a little bit of
a hit this past off season. Though I don't think
that it's in any jeopardy of being ignored or
pushed aside in the future, the numbers now that
all the coaches to replace fired coaches have been
hired, have produced a negative step back as opposed
to a status quo or minimal gain. Going into to
the 2011 season there were 8 minority head coaches
in the NFL, seven African American, and one Latino
American(Ron Rivera). Once the season ended, of
the seven coaches relieved of the duties, 3 were
minorities, all African American, and all seven
were replaced by non minority coaches. So where
there was once a 25% presence of minority head
coaches in the league that number is now just a
shade over 15%. The drop of 10% may not seem like
much, but it can't be ignored either, just think
how great a 10% pay raise for you would be, or how
much it would suck if your rent went from $1500 a
month to $1650 a month in just a couple of weeks.

I have never been a fan of the "Rooney Rule" and
neither have some minority groups. You shouldn't
need to force someone to do the right thing, and
by right thing I don't mean force someone to hire
a minority, but rather look at all the candidates
as equally as possible. The Oakland/LA Raiders
hired a Latino American Head Coach long before
this rule, Tom Flores, and he won 2 Super Bowls
for them. They Hired an African American Head
Coach before the rule too, Art Shell, and he had
a winning record throughout in his first stint as
Head Coach. And though the "Rooney Rule" covers
minorities, and not women the Raiders also hired
a female Executive VP who is still on the job today
before this rule was adopted, Amy Trask. A perfect
example of how all you need to do is just hire the
right people, rule or not. We are divided in way
too many ways, so maybe this is a good place to
start ignoring the divisions, and embrace the one
thing that brought us here, Football.

It is also worth noting that this year the Raiders
were one of the three teams that fired their African
American Head Coach, Hue Jackson, but it was done by
their newly hired African American GM Reggie Mckenzie
and that is one place where minorities did make a
gain the the NFL this year, the front office.

Don't Believe In Plays, Believe In Players - Al Davis

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