By Jared Trexler
In order to escape the metaphorical chains of servitude clasped tight to their ancestry, both Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy had to be successful.
They weren't coaching just for their own careers, but for the livelihood of African American coaches everywhere.
Win big and the underlying notions of justly deserved bigotry and stereotypes of genetic inequality would all fade behind the confetti marking a champion.
Or so we all thought.
Yet, if the build-up to Super Bowl XLI has taught us anything, it's that two African American coaches meeting in sports' biggest game won't erase the unimaginable opinions protruding from many attending this week's festivities.
Suits and ties genetically disposed of Eastern European descent, men and women born and raised behind the belief in 20th century societal roles, will never fully accept men like Smith and Dungy.
That's why tattered Confederate flags still fly in the deep South. It's why America voted George W. Bush into the White House for a second term.
Steps have been made, but don't let any member of the media searching for a heartwarming, significant story angle convince you Smith and Dungy's arrival in this game proves the American football family, or even the majority of NFL higher-ups, are ready to give African Americans their just due.
"It says very simply that for as far as we've come, we haven't come very far," Golden State Warriors executive Al Attles told InsideBayArea.com.
Yes, Mike Tomlin was hired in Pittsburgh, but by a man almost solely responsible for a rule that pushes black candidates through the door. And yes, more African Americans are getting their shots at prominent coordinator and front office positions.
Yet, in a day in age where Barack Obama is trying to convince the nation he is not 100% African American during a run for the presidency, two head coaches in a league where 70 percent of its players are black aren't being discussed as successful head coaches.
But rather black ones. And that's the overwhelming problem.
No one is asking Peyton Manning how it feels to be white? Or even Lance Briggs how it feels to be black?
However, when two men of authority are of a race suppressed for generations, progress is the sexy word.
Members of the media talked about the move forward with both coaches extensively on Media Day in Miami. The same media who asked Washington Redskins quarter Doug Williams before Super Bowl XXII, "How long have you been a black quarterback?"
Still, everyone fails to realize the absurdity of all this. Progress would be not talking about it at all.
You can contact Jared Trexler at email@example.com
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