Excellence Transcends Race

Brad JamesCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2008

To start off this article, let me preface my comments thusly: RACISM SUCKS.

Those who perpetrate it are horrendous human beings and fail to understand that people of many races have done wondrous things.

With that said, CEO's and college presidents alike should be able to hire whoever they want based on what they're looking for.

In one of the greatest books of all time, Tony Dungy's autobiography Quiet Strength, the stellar Indianapolis Colts coach said that owner Jim Irsay hired him because he was the perfect mix of integrity and coaching ability to take the Colts to heights they'd not reached since their days in Baltimore.

As we all know, in 2006, Irsay's decision was rewarded as Dungy hoisted the Lombardi trophy amid the rain on a historic February evening in Miami.

As for what happened at Auburn, president Jay Gogue (who is a really nice man and gave me a favorable response via e-mail when I told him college football playoffs are a good idea) and his board of trustees should not feel obligated to hire Turner Gill, although the former Nebraska quarterback would have been an excellent choice.

I do however question the hiring of Gene Chizik, not for racial profiling purposes, but because he had a 5-19 record in two seasons at Iowa State.

I thought college football was all about winning.... 

Anyway, while I don't believe this to be an example of racism at Auburn, AL, it does nothing to suppress stereotypes about the deep south, some of which I have found, from sad experiences to be true.

While I am not black, I can come to no other conclusion that blacks and other minorities don't want to be hired just because of their color, they want to be hired for their merits and abilities.

The man who most successfully defines my take is illustrious Monday Night Football play-by-play man Mike Tirico.

Yes, he is black, but even as I paid attention to Warren Moon and Randall Cunningham for their excellence on the gridiron rather than their skin tone, I view Tirico in the same vein.

I remember in the early '90s when I watched ESPN's weekly college football halftime shows, I saw Tirico and I thought that he had an excellent voice.

Apparently, the brass in Bristol agreed with me and soon "Mr. Smooth" was on Monday Night Countdown, before obtaining his current role.

On a hard day, it's always nice to hear the soothing cadence of Tirico articulating the action of my favorite game.

To me, Tirico would be outstanding if he were Filipino, Dutch, Native American or whatever because once again excellence transcends race.

Now, if Auburn excluded Gill (or another deserving minority in Richmond football coach Mike London who is coaching in a REAL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME this Friday) because of their race, shame on them. Nevertheless, since I lack omniscience, I will not judge.

I would just hope that minorities are treated like the great people they are: with equity and fairness.

After all, anything else is as un-American as the tyranny and oppression of the BCS.