College Football as Religion in Black-Run America (BRA)

“Touchdown Jesus”: Fans across the country have replaced ‘God’ with “College Football”

Integrating the Gridiron: Black Civil Rights and American College Football by Lane Demas is an important work for understanding how Disingenuous White Liberals (DWLs) agitated against college football programs and their white head coaches in the late 1960s and early 1970s, coercing them to accept the concept of “Black Power” on the field and capitulate to demands made by Black athlete-students.

But on p. 109 of Demas’s book is this important passage which cuts to the heart of the problem plaguing college football and disables the alumni, student body, boosters and fans of Predominately White Institutions (PWIs) from ever saying a negative word about “their” football program, no matter if that program resembles a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). While discussing the high-quality character of Ernie Davis (the first Black to win the Heisman Trophy), Demas then writes:

 Some fans were spiritually moved by the story of Davis’s untimely death [Davis would die of leukemia], and beginning in the 1950s many universities and boosters consciously replaced their institutional religious heritage and symbolism with the cult of football. Instead of weekly chapel or mass service, football provided a new activity that could blind diverse students together. In the secularizing world of higher education, the sport was central to corporate identity formation – a powerful tool of campus socialization and an advertising bonanza. 


By the late 1960s, football had also transformed the architectural environment at America’s most celebrated schools. At the University of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Library, administrators in 1964 installed the massive “Word of Life” mural depicting a resurrected Christ with arms outstretched to heaven. Officials designed the image so it could be seen from the football stadium, and fans immediately redubbed the work “Touchdown Jesus” – a mark of secularization and a name the university soon embraced in its own literature.

Go back and read that again. Done? Demas is right; I’ve been to some of the biggest college football games all across the country over the past 15 years, and comparing the atmosphere to that of a religious experience is the perfect analogy.

Let me make this quite clear: the bulk of the Black athletes competing on the college football teams across the country do not have the grades to get into the schools they receive a scholarship to attend. We live in a time and place where the belief in “Black Power” and Black superiority in football have been conditioned into the minds of the ever so faithful and devoted college football fan and to deviate from this script and state that white athletes are at a disadvantage because of the sanctified concept of  Black dominance on the gridiron makes you a heretic.

The pious who gather on campuses across the nation on Fall Saturday’s are engaging in communal worship of their beloved program, and those who wear the uniform of their program and represent them on the football field are blessed individuals. Never mind that the majority of Black football players have no business being admitted to school; never mind that the majority of Black football players fail to graduate, cheapening the degree of that institution; never mind the off-the-field problems that Black players bring to PWI campuses and the recruiting scandals that erupt during the eternal struggle to entice the top Black high school talent (the only kind that can win games, in the minds of college coaches) to enroll and sign a scholarship; no, as long “our Blacks” can beat “your Blacks”… all is well.

This is the mentality of college football fans across the USA. They have completely embraced the concept of “Black supremacy” in football that to see a team like Boise State or Brigham Young (who routinely field teams comprised of majority white starters) is to immediately think back to the “Dark Ages” when Black players were barred from participating in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) or weren’t recruited with the zeal they are today.

I agree with the statement that “egalitarianism is revolt against nature.” For some reason, white people have been conditioned to believe that having Black skin and being an athlete automatically means you are bigger, stronger, and faster than any white athlete and conversely, any football game with more white players on the field than Black players is somehow an inferior brand of football.

Jon Entine wrote a book called Taboo, which does correctly point out that Black people of West African descent do hold the top 100 times in the 100 meter dash, that has contributed immensely to this idea and helped proliferate the belief that Black athletes are inherently better.

Alumni, the student bodies, fans, recruiters, coaches, hell, just about everyone has bought into the concept of “Black supremacy” on the football field. And why not? The SEC, sporting universities that are all majority white in their enrollment, have won the past five national titles with teams that have had predominately Black starters.

Never mind that few of these Black athletes ever graduate or become productive members of society (see Auburn and the Opiate of America), for during their time representing Florida, LSU, Alabama or Auburn on the football field, they are living embodiment of God, to be worshiped and praised.

We’ll get into the concept of “SEC speed” tomorrow, but many people assert that the SEC is the best conference in football. Few dare point out that the Black players representing programs like the University of Georgia, the University of South Carolina, Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State are “Special Admits” who lack the grades, standardized tests scores, or mental acumen to be admitted to school.

Grantland.com published an article by Bryan Curtis that tried to discuss the phenomenon of fans and alumni of individual SEC schools having pride in the entire conference. He writes:

That sounds a lot like the spirit behind the SEC chant. And as historian Michael Oriard has shown, every South-versus-North matchup thereafter became a fantasy football Civil War. “The Georgians might have been charging up the slope at Gettysburg again,” one sportswriter squealed after UGA upset Yale in 1929. When a southern team knocked off a northern foe, it was said to have exacted revenge on the Yankees. If the South lost, well, let Grantland Rice tell it: “It was a magnificent charge in a lost cause. It was Pickett at Gettysburg. It was an outclassed team, physically, giving everything it had.” That lede should have been burned along with Atlanta.

For a long, terrible period, the South’s football pride manifested itself as racism. Football became a blocking scheme to protect Jim Crow. “The South stands at Armageddon,” Georgia’s governor declared in December 1955, when an integrated Pittsburgh Panthers team was set to play in the Sugar Bowl. (They played anyway.) Southern teams refused to play integrated squads even in the north; they segregated their home stadiums. When judges struck down the segregationist laws, many SEC schools kept their squads all-white anyway. It took Bear Bryant until 1970 to recruit a black scholarship player.

By the 1980s, the SEC boasted national champs, NCAA sanctions, and bumper stickers that read “Herschel Walker Is My Cousin.”

Wait a second. Those all-white teams from the SEC’s past did win national titles. They won a lot of national titles. All-white teams from Ole Miss, UGA, Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia Tech (once an SEC member), and Alabama won national titles. The alumni of these schools were already treating these football programs with reverence, alms and donations when the programs were all-white and any hesitance to the integration of the teams went out the window when the Black players helped win more games (see Thank God for Earl Warren).

Now, because predominately white alumni, boosters, students and fans have been conditioned to accept “Black supremacy” in football, they have no problem believing that only fielding teams of majority Black athlete-students is the way to victory.

But one question remains: if SEC schools were able to win national championships with all-white squads before 1970 (and many talented white players have played on winning national title teams for Florida, Auburn, Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, and UGA since integration), what happened to the sons and grandsons of these athletes?

Simply this: white high school athletes are discriminated against by college football recruiting services and evaluators at Scout.com and Rivals.com, and by college football coaches who now believe that white guys shouldn’t play receiver, running back, corner or safety, because Black athletes (especially those with unpronounceable first names) offer more athleticism and increase the likelihood of victory. Here is the godfather of high school recruiting Tom Lemming on the problem, as he told The Chicago Sun-Times:

This is a subject that college football coaches don’t talk about in public. And the media doesn’t editorialize about it on radio, television or in print. It is too delicate. It has the trappings of racism. It’s a “no win” issue, a controversy that people talk about when they don’t think anyone else is listening.

It’s all about white players who aren’t recruited to play wide receiver, running back or cornerback in college. No matter how good they are in high school, no matter how productive, no matter how fast or how big they are, they are rarely if ever recruited by big-time college programs.

“College recruiters talk off the record to me,” said recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. “They talk off the record that if an athlete is white, no matter how great his production, they won’t recruit him.”

Why? According to Lemming, college recruiters don’t think whites have enough burst, a quick-twitch burst that black athletes have at those skill positions, particularly at running back and cornerback.

“When I started to evaluate players in the late 1970s, there were whispers that blacks couldn’t play quarterback. No one talked about it publicly at the time, of course. It was an example of reverse prejudice. But now college coaches and pro scouts have changed their minds about that issue,” Lemming said.

“But now white kids want to play other positions where they will be recruited because they know then won’t get a fair shot at cornerback or running back.”

On his annual coast-to-coast trips to evaluate the top 1,500 prospects in the country, Lemming sees hundreds of white tailbacks who are very productive but few get a chance in college. For example, there isn’t a white tailback in the Big 10 this season.

Tom Lemming has spent his entire adult life covering high school recruiting and evaluating talent. When he says white athletes are discriminated against – and he told this to Michael Lewis in The Blind Side – he knows that white athletes are being discriminated against. But it doesn’t matter, because alumni and students at PWIs are already worshiping their programs and to hear such heretical statements that defame the Black athlete-students wearing their teams colors is a flogging offense.

Not all college football programs have the recruiting budgets of the SEC schools (Tennessee spent nearly $1 million scouring the nation for academically unqualified Black athletes that will require an army of tutors to keep them eligible and baby-sitters to keep them out of trouble while enrolled at the school); not all college football programs have the football budgets of SEC, ACC, Big 10 or Pac-12 schools, to build lavish academic centers that help struggling Black athletes pass classes they have been “clustered” and will inevitably fail to graduate from.

The Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has complained about the poor graduation of college basketball and football programs (well, it is the Black athlete-students dragging down the mean) and stated that teams that fail to graduate their players should be barred from post-season bowls or tournaments. This would impact those schools that recruit Black athletes only, like Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks.

So, I have a proposal for smaller schools with limited recruiting budgets,  limited budgets for tutors and academic centers, and limited toleration for off-the-field problems caused predominately by Black athlete-students; recruit the white high school players that star for suburban schools. Recruit that white running back, who has yet to fully mature, and give him the ball.

Look for other intangibles besides Scout.com raving about a Black running back from some small school (and inevitably, from a “disadvantaged background”) being a ‘5 Star’ recruit. Steer clear of Junior College (JUCO) Transfer players, at least those who attended a school only to “help improve their grades.”

Think how many overlooked white kids are out there, never getting a second glance from your Nick Saban’s or March Richt’s because they don’t have that “raw athleticism” of Black athletes. Programs in the Big 10, whatever comes out of the Big 12, Mountain West, and Pac-12 could do a reverse of what these schools did 40-50 years; then, the SEC and ACC wouldn’t recruit Black players, and now, they won’t recruit the talented white players from the suburbs of Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, Memphis, Nashville, Orlando, Tampa, Mobile, Jackson, etc.

The only reason that Black crime, the abandonment of major American cities to the Black Undertow and general Black dysfunction is tolerated is because of the belief in Black superiority in sports; you never know how many Scout or Rivals 4 or 5 star recruits could come from these tough, inner-city Black neighborhoods, giving your school the edge over your rival!

Because college football is a religion to so many across the nation, and because the concept of Black superiority in sports has been conditioned into the minds of white people, academic standards are lowered to accommodate Black athletes overall scholastic shortcomings.

All in the name of winning, no matter the costs.

Amen.

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