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Football as a History Lesson

Posted Jan 27 2009 8:05pm

As most of you know, I normally update my blog once on Mondays. But this week there was just too much to say! So, you get two blogs this week. I just couldn't resist!

As an African American, I am beaming with pride. After 41 Super Bowls, a black head coach takes home football's greatest prize. Coach Tony Dungy was truly exceptional last night as he talked about his faith and how the win was not only an achievement for his race, but for his faith - two black head coaches who were also Christians, showing the world that you can be successful without all of the yelling, screaming or profanity. And while Coach Smith wasn't victorious, he too has much to celebrate. His part in the history of Super Bowl XLI (41) can't be denied.

Even with all of that, there's still one more reason last night's game meant so much to me. As a graduate of a Historically Black College (HCBU), I love it when HCBUs are highlighted and last night, my alma mater's band, Florida A&M University's Marching 100, took center stage, performing with Prince.

Last night was so much more than a game for me. It was a testament to how much we have achieved as African Americans and how far we've come. A few years ago, black head coaches were unheard of in the NFL. During a month that recognizes the achievements of African Americans, how could I not stop and comment? My children watched last night's game, not just because they like football, but because it was monumental - a history lesson in a football game, who would have guessed it?

Like many young African American boys, my son dreams of being a football player (he thinks he can just go from college to any NFL team he chooses, he's only six). But I am working to expand that dream, I want him to know he can do it all, there are still many barriers to breakdown - I'd say my son's name, C. Thompson, NFL Commissioner has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

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