I hate it when people use the words hullaballoo, fracas, uproar, etc. to describe what is obviously only a hubbub. Yesterday’s uproarious fracasing hullaballoo kicked hubbub in its nuts, though, simply because it allowed newspapers and blogs to push headlines like “USC football players form online White Nation group” – which is a truthful headline, but man does it clamor tumultuously of race scandalizing. And not in that wholesome hue and cry way, either.
[Hint: the above is how not to employ journalism.]
[If it wasn’t already obvious, since I get paid nothing and am, in fact, probably losing money on this venture somehow.]
Anyway, the Los Angeles Times reported the following:
“White Nation” was coined by running backs coach and special teams coordinator Todd McNair, a black former NFL player. He first used the term affectionately during game films, according to accounts, after watching some white members of the kickoff team make a spectacular play.
“I made the name. The White Nation,” McNair said. “Just playfully, man.”
Other than an irrepressible wish that the editors at Time had taken a nap for a bit and overlooked accidentally calling McNair a “former black NFL player” simply for the delicious hullaballoo that would’ve ensued, I can’t take issue with this at all.
McNair goes on:
McNair noted the irony of “a brother, a black guy, a coach” being the so-called founder of the Trojans’ “White Nation.”
“I love having fun,” he said. “I gave them a nickname. I call the black coaches on our staff the Brojans. Brothers and Trojans. We’re the Brojans. Playfully. Because the locker room is colorless.”
First off, I love T-Mac, as he is often referred to. At 2005’s Salute to Troy he showed up on the podium with an umbrella. McNair’s job was to introduce the running backs but, mainly, to introduce LenDale White and Reggie Bush. He rambled on and on and we all wondered what the hell he was doing with an umbrella. Then he made a big show and declared that we ought to be ready for some Thunder and Lightning.
Actually, no, the crowd erupted. But they should’ve been aghast at such a buildup for a monumentally dull joke. It was like the Aristocrats without the incest or bestiality. As for me, I was secretly impressed that McNair could go on with the gag for so long, and it does not surprise me in the least that he’s now at the heart of a joke gone bad.
He is right, though, about the colorless locker room. I’ve certainly seen it. I’ve had teammates of every race and the only universal constant was to bag on them no matter their race. No one gets a free pass, unless it’s to the food stamp line.
*roll on snare drum*
See? That was a joke made by a Mexican linebacker friend of mine, and I’m not even sure he knew what a food stamp line was. I mean, is it a line where you go to collect food stamps? A line in which to wait in order to use food stamps? I didn’t know, and he – driving around in his huge, custom Escalade – answered my unspoken question by driving us after practice to 7-11.
So when McNair nicknames the white players who kick ass during kickoff coverage (which is the only thing I can think of, since Dan Deckas and David Buehler are both on that squad) “White Nation” I absolutely believe it was affectionate. And, like his umbrella joke, a little bit stupid. But it’s a locker room, and you don’t get to be affectionate without being stupid. And also crass. And a mooch, because if you can get your food stamp-joking Mexican linebacker buddy to buy you a slurpee then sweeeeet.
So, once again, Clay Matthews did not express anti-black sentiment. He simply expressed anti-Clay Matthews sentiment, in that he was incredibly stupid. And also crass. Not sure on the mooch part yet, though.