Thursday Morning Starting Five: The Happy Birthday Marvin Gaye Edition

Yeah yesterday was some kind of cruel 1984 April Fool’s joke. Marvin would have been 70 and these two days give me that frustrating emptiness still to this day. Love your loved ones right now people…no damn excuses.

Jason Campbell is not a franchise quarterback? Really? How many coaches and systems has he played in since high school? Cutler? I smell a pass. (WaPo)

Dante Stallworth to turn himself in. Sad case. (Miami Herald)

Tim Floyd lands at Arizona. This could actually lead to Sean Miller coaching Pitt. (

Serena Williams: “I’m a good rapper.”(Vibe)

Someone flips a switch when the Kings and Warriors play because damn they score some points. Short interviews with Kevin Martin (50 points) and Jason Thompson (19 boards) will follow shortly today. (

Allen Iverson: “Eighteen minutes, c’mon, man. I can play 18 minutes with my eyes closed, with a 100-pound truck on my back. That’s a bad feeling.”I’m wondering what the rush was to get me back. I mean, for that?” Anyone wanna bet Allen Iverson isn’t in Philly next season again? I told ya’ll this could happen. I’ll have more on this Saturday hopefully. (Detroit Free Press)

Philly cop allegedly calls residents he normally patrols animals and the violence “t-n-s” when riding with a Temple journalism student and gets reassigned. Dumbass. Here’s the Temple article. (

Sistas not getting their due. (

Here you go Damon:

21 Responses to “Thursday Morning Starting Five: The Happy Birthday Marvin Gaye Edition”

  1. Damon says:

    good look … lol … because the only way I’m going to get comments from the women who read my blog concerning Bud Selig is if I randomly throw the word “weave” in every other paragraph.

  2. Temple3 says:

    Snyder’s on drugs. I like Cutler’s performance (with qualification)…too many picks, could be better in red zone. Even those qualifications need to be qualified – 7 RBs in one season, etc.

    The criticism of Campbell, though, from what I’ve heard isn’t so much about his ability to make plays…he can throw short and deep with tremendous accuracy. He doesn’t turn the ball over. He’s about 6’5″, but he is a rather quiet fella. Frankly, given Portis’ gift of gab, that should be fine.

    He didn’t throw a pick until Week 9. That alone means he’s probably good enough for that team to get it together and win a Super Bowl. Auburn was only 13-0 with him.

  3. Patrick says:

    Mizzo: With Jackie Robinson Day coming up on April 15th, there will be a bunch of stories asking the rhetorical question, why aren’t there more blacks in baseball?

    I had written a little bit about the ‘whitewashing’ system that Braves’ President John Schuerholz has used to neutralize the impact of blacks and players of color with the Braves. Since Schuerholz tenure which goes back to 1991, no African-American or person of color has emerged as a franchise player under him. David Justice was traded in 1997, but he was drafted when Bobby Cox was GM and Hank Aaron was VP of Player Development. Jermaine Dye was drafted in the early 1990’s in the late rounds and made himself into a MLB prospect, but he was quickly traded in 1997.

    There had been some heat on Schuerholz in his final year as GM in 2006 and the drafted Jason Heyward, but there is a 50-50 chance that he will be traded for prospects or a front-line pitcher. That has been the pattern under Schuerholz.

    Schuerholz isn’t the GM anymore, but I feel he doesn’t want to publicly answer the questions about his record in regards to African-Americans. Frank Wren is the new GM, but he is mostly a figurehead.

    This morning on ESPN FIRST TAKE, Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles was asked why aren’t there more blacks in baseball? Jay Crawford asked that question, and I was a little surprised… but then I did a little research and came up with this March 4 article in the Baltimore Sun:,0,2761972.story

    …”Orioles center fielder Adam Jones is well aware he’s the only African-American among the 73 players in camp at Fort Lauderdale Stadium – on a team that represents a predominantly black city – and he views it as both a sign of the times and a call to action….”

    “It doesn’t bother me,” Jones said yesterday, “but I’d like to see more black athletes playing baseball.”

    The mainstream media is pushing the excuse that black kids aren’t interested in baseball.

    Selig can talk up the RBI program, it won’t solve the declining numbers of blacks in baseball– THIS IS A GM PERCEPTION PROBLEM…

    In Houston, they tried to addressed it..and I applaud them for that..In Tampa, many of their prospects are African-American. Now Elijah Dukes was a bad seed, but Carl Crawford, Upton and David Price have been instrumental in the Rays success. Elijah Dukes didn’t scare the Tampa GM into painting ALL BLACKS with a broad brush.

    Major league GMs and team presidents see that having too many blacks as problematic because it interferes with team chemistry. GMs and team presidents (not all of them) don’t want the next brooding Albert Belle or talkative Gary Sheffield or uppity David Justice or the always angry Milton Bradley or lazy B.J. Upton.

    Here in Atlanta, Braves management made a token gesture and signed 37-year old Garrett Anderson as a backup in left field and he will likely be the only black person on the Braves’ roster on opening day 2009….however, Anderson has had injury problems this spring and may not play.

  4. kos says:

    T3 –

    One of the criticisms of Campbell that I’ve heard is that he’s too “safe” on the field. They’d like to see him take more risks. Of course, it’s unfair to characterize him as that without knowing if he’s being instructed to play that way. This was also Campbell’s first year of playing in his current offense. Cutler has had the benefit of playing in the same offense his entire pro career. (Because of injuries, he had to throw more last year, but he didn’t have to learn new plays or nomenclature.) For some reason, teams always seem to try to hold young qb’s back as much as possible. For black qb’s, they seem to want to micromanage. Maybe if Zorn cut Campbell loose, it would pay off in him showing the skills that led Auburn to an undefeated season in 2004.

    Interestingly, there’s a connection already for Campbell and the Broncos. The Redskins gave up a first, third, and a fourth round pick to get pick No. 25 and get Campbell in 2005.

  5. Patrick says:

    Campbell: I want to stay with Redskins

    Jim Zorn is finally showing his true colors apparently. Jason Campbell was never his guy and for Campbell his days as a NFL starter is over. Campbell apparently doesn’t deserve to learn a system two years in a row.

    Cutler with his 17-20 record as NFL starter is seen as true franchise QB and Campbell with his 16-20 record is seen as someone who may be asked to play a different position like receiver.

  6. Temple3 says:


    I’ve heard that from fans of the squad as well. Campbell can throw the rock…I think you’re right. Zorn has to cut him loose — and they need more than Santana Moss running deep downfield. The two young guys have to step up…Thomas and Kelly. Honestly, I think that team is fine — they need to leave it alone for a minute. They’re the only team that really thrashed Arizona on a clean field by shutting down their offense. (Philly caught ’em on a short week; the Jets just bludgeoned the defense.)

  7. Mizzo says:

    Patrick read this and there’s a huge part of your reason.

  8. Damon says:

    @patrick & Mizzo: I’d be curious to see a study done analyzing starts by black position players and how that affects/correlates to the winning percentage of their teams. Over the last 10 years or so.

    There has to be someone out there who can come up with some data like that. IDK, there’s just a part of me that knows that if you put that type of talent that they have in Tampa (where there are three or four black position players) or like Minnesota once had with Torii Hunter, Jacque Jones and (third name eludes me), there’s a good chance for success.

    I’d love to see that study done.

  9. Patrick says:

    …..”What is it with White coaches who don’t want to teach young Black kids and then label them attitude problems when they rebel?

    I’m just giving you my experience. Yes, I have had White coaches who have stepped up and taught me the game, but it was a different time. Michael Jordan hadn’t yet ushered Black kids onto the hardwood. Reggie Jackson, Rod Carew and Jim Rice were the players I emulated.

    Now, baseball is a White sport with American Blacks only making up 8 percent of its players. That’s the worse in the two decades where such statistics were measured.

    Yes, Gaston has other opportunities to become a collegiate student athlete in football and basketball, but does that preclude coaches to force him out of the sport so a young White kid can have a spot rightfully reserved strictly because of his race…..?”

    Many young African-American kids are steered away at a very early age who are very talented, and for those who decided to continue despite the obstacles and is signed to a MLB contract, most are drafted in the later rounds and not deemed as immediate can’t miss prospects. With the Braves, Jermaine Dye was not highly touted, but he persevered to become a MLB prospect and Schuerholz (just like the coach in your piece does a 180 and show their true colors). Ron Gant came up through the Braves organization as a second baseman in 1987. However, he made too many errors (31 errors in 1988 and another 16 in 1989)… If Schuerholz was there, he would have killed Gant’s career right there..However, GM Bobby Cox didn’t give up on Gant. He sent him back for the remainder of the 1989 season to learn the outfield and brought him back up and it helped save his career. However, once Schuerholz became GM, Gant wasn’t viewed as a long-term franchise player. Schuerholz wanted to give Gant’s job to Ryan Klesko..and Schuerholz did exactly that when he cut Gant in 1994 during the strike season.

    Racism exist on all levels and it is practiced by some white coaches on the Little League level or it plays itself out through general managers on the major league level. There are ‘silent gloves’ out there, but there has to be more of a LIGHT directed at people such as John Schuerholz and others who practice this type of exclusion and other GMs across the league have emulated this style of managing. Schuerholz felt uncomfortable when Rainbow PUSH called him out in 2007, but there was a mainstream media backlash trying to imply Rainbow PUSH wanted quotas..and that wasn’t the case. Schuerholz and other GMs are practicing exclusion of players of color particularily African-American in an effort to minimize the impact of blacks in baseball.

    Here in Atlanta for many black youth when they turn on a Braves telecast there are virtually NO African-Americans– except for the OTHER TEAM. And this does have an affect on black kids in regards to role models. In the 1990’s, there was Ron Gant or David Justice or Otis Nixon or Deion Sanders or Fred McGriff or Marquis Grissom, and it isn’t a coinceidence when the Braves had their MOST DIVERSE TEAM, the Braves had the MOST SUCCESS. Black people were going to the Fulton County Stadium/Turner Field BUYING TICKETS. Little black kids and teenagers were wearing Braves gear. Now that has subsided.

    It has been ten years since the Braves have been to the World Series, and three years since the team has been to the playoffs…. Schuerholz plan of whitewashing the roster is complete, but things can turn around if we don’t stay ‘silent’…

    The mainstream media keeps asking EVERY SPRING about what can we do to get more blacks in baseball? The answer isn’t exclusively giving more resources to the RBI program, but expose the racist GMs and team presidents such as John Schuerholz…once these relics are exposed and removed, then young black kids’ opportunities to play baseball will start to grow once again..

  10. Damon says:

    ”What is it with White coaches who don’t want to teach young Black kids and then label them attitude problems when they rebel?”

    I’m just going to answer this question briefly before I even read the post above: Do you ever see a female lion trying to rear a tiger cub? They’re both cats. But that’s a rarity, right?

    With humans it’s definitely feasible, but it’s likely going to be easier for an Korean man to teach a Korean child than for a white or black man to try to do the same.

    That’s partly why if you can find a good/great black coach, you best hold on to him for dear life because he’ll keep the attention of his black players.

  11. Temple3 says:

    What happened? The Skins are benching Campbell?

  12. Patrick says:

    Campbell has a reprieve for now, but a DRAFT DAY TRADE is still in the picture.

    There is a strong undercurrent from Redskins media and fans to start Colt Brennan.

  13. Patrick says:

    “… I’d be curious to see a study done analyzing starts by black position players and how that affects/correlates to the winning percentage of their teams. Over the last 10 years or so…”


    I would be interested in a study being done as well. As you know, the number of blacks playing in baseball has dropped dramatically. In the 1980’s, nearly three of 10 MLB players were black…now it is less than one out of every ten MLB players.

    However, if you look at rosters such as last year’s World Champion Phillies with Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins who are the team’s franchise players… Tampa had Carl Crawford, Upton, David Price, Edwin Jackson (now with the Tigers) and Cliff Floyd on their (2008) World Series roster. The playoff bound Dodgers had Matt Kemp, Russell Martin, Juan Pierre and James Loney along with pitchers James McDonald and Cory Wade.

    Remember Cito Gaston’s Blue Jays teams of the 1990’s with Dave Winfield, Joe Carter, Dave Stewart and others… or Leyland’s Pittsburgh teams with Bonilla and Bonds …

    As a side note, the Milwaukee Brewers have one of the most diverse teams in baseball with Bill Hall, Prince Fielder, Ricky Weekes, Mike Cameron and until recently Tony Gwynn, Jr….last year Milwaukee had C.C. Sabeitha..

  14. Patrick says:


    Cutler had a nice statistical 2008 season. I am NOT denying him that, but there are other intangibles that work against Cutler such as his ego and/or attitude.

    Cutler has NFL talent, but the way he acted to get out of Denver may be a Jeff George-like or Ryan Leaf pre-cursor. Lovie Smith is black, and I wonder if Cutler ever took orders from a black man before? When things go bad, will Cutler use the ‘n’ word?

    There is something about Cutler I don’t like, there is an arrogance there, not an athletic arrogance, but a stuck up, a-hole type arrogance…. and I don’t think it will help the Bears get where they want to be.

    …and its only a matter time when Cutler calls out Lovie and suggest he should be fired to the MEDIA–either discreetly or not so discreetly. This trade was all Jerry Angelo, not Lovie. The first or second three-INT game by Cutler is when stuff starts to hit the fan and the Chicago media will side with Cutler…and unfortunately Lovie may join Herm in the broadcast booth..

  15. origin says:

    I agree Patrick..I was thinking the same thing when the trade went down.

    This is indeed Lovie’s last year.

    Even though the cheap bears made this trade, exactly who is Cutler suppose to throw to???

    Never put it past the Mckaskeys but I swear this was a media and cost cutting move. Yeah they have Cutler, but they also got rid of 2 1st round picks over the next 2 years.

    And Mizzo if you think Lurie is cheap……….shoot he doesn’t have anything on the Mckaskey Family.

  16. Patrick says:

    Lovie is in trouble. And I believe he wanted the Bears to get the less complicated Vick. Vick could have helped Lovie rebuild his defense, but now they have pay Cutler a lot of money and the Bears lost TWO first round draft choices that could helped the Bears defensively this year and the following year.

    Bears’ fans think they would be better off with Cutler than Vick and quite a few would rather lose ‘pretty’ with Cutler than win with Vick…just to make a point.

    I feel bad for Lovie, because things probably won’t end well. And I believe his comments about Vick was a calculated PLEA to Angelo:

    “Mike made a mistake, and he’s paying the price for that mistake. Once you’ve paid your debt to society, you have to say, ‘OK, let’s go on from there.’ ”

    Usually, Lovie is very low-key, but he felt compelled to talk about Vick.

    Cutler is football diva with an unimpressive 17-20 record as a NFL starter, and there are no playoff guarantees with this type of player. He couldn’t lead his team to a postseason bowl berth at Vanderbilt in three years nor in Denver after being there for three years.

    And if it becomes the CUTLER IN CHARGE show with Lovie or the Chicago defense being the target of media rants, the Bears’ locker room will divide very quickly.

  17. Temple3 says:


    Scott Hanson, the guy who posted on the NFL blog, is full of shit. His piece was written to make it seem like Campbell was just as shaky and prone to bitchness as Cutler. No one has a single quote from Campbell that suggested his “nerves” needed to be calmed by anyone.

    This whole thing is about positioning players to be perceived a certain way.

    I flat out reject each word that Hanson had to put down because his approach has been to mirror the tactics of management.

    They may certainly want to move JC, but it ain’t about nerves. If anything, the dude is unflappable and they can’t stand that.

  18. Temple3 says:

    Patrick — you are a true Prophet of Doom. LOL


  19. Temple3 says:

    Coincidentally, Jarrett Bell’s USA Today piece on Lovie and Vick is more of the same. It’s classic positioning.

    Negro gets the boot. Other Negroes called to account for actions of booted Negro.

    USA didn’t print or Bell didn’t solicit quotes from white coaches — nope…they just asked Lovie to account for Mike.

    It’s all positioning and it’s all bullshit. Lovie’s not in any more trouble than any of the other coaches in the league. Gruden, Shanny and several others got the boot. No one is wearing teflon except for Billy B., Mike T. and Coughlin.

  20. Patrick says:

    …” you are a true Prophet of Doom. LOL…”

    Maybe so…. LOL

  21. Temple3 says:

    It’s all good, P.

    Have a great weekend.