Black Quarterback: The Playoffs for Christmas Episode
By Brandon Simmons
Big Ben a Hall of Famer or Nah?
Last week, New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan made headlines when he questioned how Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could be considered a Hall-of-Famer. It seems like a pretty absurd statement that turned into who was the best 5 quarterbacks of his era:
Cam Jordan just shit all over Ben Roethlisberger’s Hall of Fame bid 😮💩pic.twitter.com/94QMvisKFB
— NFL MEMES (@NFLMemes4You) December 20, 2018
When studying the QB’s he’s being compared to in this video (Brees, Brady, Rodgers, Peyton, Eli, Rivers) Roethlisberger could easily be a first ballot guy.
When looking at his numbers in yards, wins, completions and touchdowns, his average placement is around 4th best. When you compare him to his closest peers he was drafted with, he ranks near the top. Roethlisberger is 3rd in Super Bowl Appearances and only 2nd in wins during this era as well. It’s very little that can be counted against him, and if it is, then you can’t find it on the stat sheet. He has quite a few seasons where he missed time because of injuries, which is a lot compared to his other contemporaries.
So in spite of Jordan’s entertaining objections, Roethlisberger can be put in that first ballot conversation, regardless of when he agrees on retirement. He has kept one of the NFL’s oldest franchises relevant in modern times while other clubs are either rebuilding or clinging to their last bit of importance.
Is it Safe to put the Saints in the Super Bowl?
The New Orleans Saints beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday to clinch homefield advantage throughout the playoffs and it might be the best shot at the Super Bowl that they have honestly. Yes, the Saints have won some games on the road this year, but the last 3 outings have not been so kind to quarterback Drew Brees. In those games, Brees threw for 2 touchdowns, 3 picks and sacked 5 times. They did go 2-1 in those games but those stats could be a recipe of trouble for the Saints.
On the flip side of this, Brees and the Saints’ best performances has come in home games. The Saints gave the Los Angeles Rams their first loss of this season at home and knocked the Steelers out of the playoffs this past Sunday. Their only loss was against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and that may have been a fluke game, considering how the Bucs’ season has gone since then. They are more than confident playing at home and it will show when the playoffs come around with tougher opponents; especially if they are inexperienced (Chicago Bears) and experiencing hiccups offensively as of late (L.A. Rams). It’s safe to say the Saints will be marching into February.
The Problem with Travis Performing at the Super Bowl
Houston rapper Travis Scott was recently added to the Super Bowl halftime show to perform alongside group Maroon 5, who was selected back in September. Scott’s selection caused a lot of furor among the black community, since many wanted him to stand in solidarity with the boycott done by other performers, due to the league’s mistreatment of Colin Kaepernick. It caused such an uproar, it allegedly raised the ire of rapper Jay-Z, who reportedly tried to talk him out of the Super Bowl performance. On the flip side of that, rapper Young Joc has encouraged the young artist to go out and claim this rare opportunity. However, the real issue people should have with Scott performing.
When it comes to the current landscape of music, Travis Scott is one of, if not the, biggest artists in music right now. He just released a critically acclaimed album back in the summer, has one of the biggest songs of the year he’s currently on a huge national tour and his girlfriend/baby mother is Kylie Jenner, the younger, wealthier sister of the Kardashian-Jenner collective. In short, his visibility is a little bit higher than the guys who sang “Moves Like Jagger”.
Essentially, the problem with this “performance”, is not only should he have a spot entirely to himself, but it’s also kind of the wrong time. No disrespect to Maroon 5, but this is just a pattern that has been happening the last few years: black artists have been tapped onto the white headliner’s set and made it bigger than what it was probably heading to. Think back to when Katy Perry performed (don’t be shamed if you remember) and she brought out Missy Elliot. And of course, there is the Beyonce Super Bowl concert, originally headlined by Coldplay, in case you forgot. But other than that, tagging him to this performance almost seems like the league is playing the black friend card. They know they are under heavy scrutiny for with these coercion lawsuits by Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid. Maroon 5 and Travis Scott have no major song together, so unless the league is doing a dual performance, there’s no legit reason for either act to share the stage without some hidden motives. Hopefully, if it’s cool with culture, the NFL will give an urban artist their own spotlight instead of having to backdoor on a white artist’s performance.
This is all I have for this week. Go spend more time with your loved ones than money at the malls. Week 17 is here and most of the schedule, on paper, is washed honestly. The Titans and Colts are going to battle it out for a potential playoff spot on Sunday Night Football, so enjoy that last bit of action before the season ends. An interesting note about that whole game: If both teams tie, with a Steelers win and Ravens loss, then Pittsburgh will be able to make the playoffs. It would be poetic justice for the Steelers to get in the postseason from a tie game, when it was a tie game that may have put them in this predicament. But until then…I’ll holla.
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