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FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2008, file photo, Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy watches from the sideline as his team plays the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter of an NFL football game in Cleveland. Dungy is the first African-American head coach to win a Super Bowl and has been a strong advocate of more diversity in coaching hires. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

NFL proposal for diversity

I am all for diversity. Varied viewpoints and opinions are never a bad thing.

(Spy, get the lawyers on the blower and see if that's enough of a disclaimer. We'll wait. Need more? Sure.)

The aim for more diversity in life, at work, in law enforcement, you name it, is good for all of of us. (Good? Cool.)

There are a slew of changes to the Rooney Rule being pitched this week by the NFL owners. A lot of them are ways to add to the core of the rule named for the family who owns the Steelers and increase the number of minority candidates interviewed.  

But the NFL's leaked proposal to increase draft picks for teams that hire minority candidates for head coaching and GM jobs and also to retain minority in those jobs is wrong on so many fronts, it's difficult to know where to start.

First, in the most basic, one of the primary reasons I love sports is because it remains arguably the final thing in our society that is the closest to a true meritocracy. This at best distorts that, and at worst completely lays the foundations to destroy it.What's next? Do the Panthers get five downs because they are using a white running back? If the Patriots find a female kicker does she get to try every kick form 10 years closer with no rush?

Too flippant? Maybe, but you get the idea.

Maybe more importantly, every black football voice — including the always excellent and likely-future-GM Louis Riddick — is adamantly against this idea for another clear reason.

Riddick, on Golic or Wingo on Tuesday morning, talked at length about this rule undermining the credentials of the candidates who interview and land those jobs. And he's right.

Riddick was clear that incentivizing the hiring and retention of minority coaches and front office folks goes beyond his desire of having an even playing field in the hiring process not an advantage in it.

Big picture, though, the issues are deeper and those issues are being ignored.

Unless the leak of this proposal was a ruse designed to sink this idea before it gets off the ground and check the box of "See we're looking at ways for diversity" for the owners, this is a tangent aimed at distraction more than diversity.

Look, the proposal comes from the owners, who are in charge of the hiring process to begin with. And if the owners need to put rules in place to prevent the owners from institutional and industry-wide perceptions of racism, then Holy (Bleep) that's an issue.

If you're wondering, the Rooney Rule was put in place because Johnny Cochran was threatening to take the NFL to court in violation of anti-trust rules. That was a reaction to accusations and something  designed to address an issue.

This? Big picture, this is either a charade or a not-so-veiled internal self-admittance of a real problem.      

Either way — be it a farce or a real look at some multi-billionaires who can't control themselves to retread Mike McCarthy, Belichick's current DC or a former Pats VP of player development — the discussion is merited.

But draft improvement to fight perceptions of unjust hiring practices is not a desired solution; it's a dumb suggestion.  

Thoughts?

 

Let the transfers begin

On first glance, this seems like a big deal because the headline says "COVID-19 prompts Michigan QB commit to transfer to Florida HS."

The truth is five-star QB J.J. McCarthy, who has committed to the Wolverines, is, like many elite players before him and COVID, is headed to IMG.

But the quotes from folks close to McCarthy, who was looking to lead his Illinois high school to its fourth straight state championship game say this would never have happened without the presence of the Corona.

So, while IMG is going to attract the big-time stars — McCarthy is the No. 2 ranked pro-style quarterback and the No. 15 overall player according to 247sports.com — the reality seems clear.

There is a real possibility of a whole lot of high school athletes looking toward states that are a) warmer and b) more open to re-opening as they get ready for their upcoming athletic seasons.

Think of what's at stake and it's hard to argue with this kids looking to play, whether they are five-stars who can't afford to miss a year while other elite players are competing or a two- or three-star athlete trying to find a place to play at the next level.

Dang you, Corona.

 

Tuesday in the kitchen

OK, we were at the in-laws lake spot last weekend. It's on Lake Martin in Alabama and it's a great spot. Heck — to paraphrase Shooter about his suit when he sits down Coach Dale — it's a real wing-dinger we got married there.

We made dinner Saturday and Sunday. Sunday was pimento cheese burgers and hot dogs. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.

Saturday, we grilled chicken. I believe we have shared our marinade around these parts before.

Well, we have joined the food-share program with the Signal Mountain Farms folks. Hey, support local, right? And it's a lot of great fresh produce each week and new things that expand my comfort zone with the utensils.

So, in our first box of SMF produce included, cabbage, carrots, yellow onions and radishes. (It had some other stuff, too, like the best-tasting lettuce we've ever had, some super-fresh strawberries and something called a kohlrabi, which we have not done anything with just yet.

With those items before me, the sides for Saturday's grilled chicken were  a non-mayo slaw and grilled radishes.For the slaw, finely shred the head of cabbage. Grate two medium-sized carrots. (Reminder: The outer layer of the carrot is not meant for eating, friends. Take the outer layer off, then grate.) Take half a yellow onion and finely chop it. This is really important, because onion chunks too big dominate the palate. If you like the kick of a red onion, hey, knock yourself out.

As for the dressing, mix these in a separate bowl: 1/3 a cup of apple cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of honey (you can increase this if you prefer more sweetness), a tablespoon of dijon mustard (I prefer some with a little more spice, but address your specific tastes), 1/2 tablespoon salt and 1/4 tablespoon pepper. I will experiment with some added tastes/spices/seasonings in the future with this.I was told it was excellent, and the folks who like slaw, devoured it. I personally am not a slaw fan.We also served grilled radishes Saturday too.
Wash and trim the radishes. Put the radishes in a microwave safe dish and adda  cup of water. Microwave the radishes for about 5 minutes to tender the radishes. (If you can easily slide a skewer through the radish, you're ready to roll. If radish is still tough, microwave for another minute to two.)

Drain and let the radishes cool. Put 3 radishes on a skewer

Melt a 1/4 cup (half a stick) of butter and combine it with 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley, a teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teapoon of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Brush that coating on the radishes before (and after) grilling.

Grill the radishes on high heat for about two minutes per side.

Viola.

 

This and that

— Hey, I'm well-versed in the fool's errand that is judging a book by its cover, but Holy Buckets or pink woven mohawks and six-inch-long sideburns, this dude has some real issues, and that's before he locked two dogs in a bedroom he set on fire. Egads.


— You know the rules. Paschal college football read/link Again, you know the rules. Here's TFP college football expert David Paschall continuing his countdown of the top five University of Tennessee football players ever. (Remember, he did Georgia last week and Alabama the week before that. If you missed any of those, click on his name inside the story and it will list his previous musings and you can enjoy them all.) As for another bonus of Paschall's college football goodness, here's yet another UT football recruit. If my Auburn math is correct, that gives UT something like 1,247 commitments for the 2021 class.
 

— Here's today's A2 column on the powerful educational lesson not getting graduation could be for the students who have had the final act of their academic career Corona-ed.


— Rest easy Eddie Haskell aka Ken Osmond, who died Monday. He was 76. Is Eddie Haskell on the Rushmore of TV characters who become accepted society references, because I know it was applicable back in my day? Alejandro, do the young people of today know/use the Eddie Haskell reference?

— Here's Monday's Press Row interview with NASCAR Xfinity driver Chase Briscoe.

— I did not see it but there was a lot of hubbub about Ryan Seacrest struggling mightily during American Idol's broadcast Sunday. So much so, that his peeps had to release a statement that said, "No Ryan did not suffer a stroke" which is never a good sign.

— OK, speaking of race and sports, this headline is head-turning. "Turns our Donald Sterling was prejudiced against white people too" the headline reads on the main page of CBSsports.com. Which begs the question, was Sterling racist at all if he was just a mean, bitter jackwagon to everyone? Discuss.

— As you would expect the 10 installments of the 10 "The Last Dance" rank as the top-10 documentaries in ESPN's rich 30-for-30 series. Side note: And I apologize for not learning about this and sharing it before now, but for all the ballyhoo celebrations about the number, the ESPN movie "3" about Dale Earnhardt had more viewers (7.25 million) than any live airing of "TLD." Who knew?

 

Today's questions

It's a Tuesday. That means true or false time.

True or false, we are to a point that we can verb Corona, like "So-and-so's senior year got Corona-ed."

True or false, the Aikman-Emmit-Irvin Cowboys would be a great "The Last Dance" type of documentary. True or false, Matt Ryan, who tuned 35 on Sunday, will lead the Atlanta Falcons back to the Super Bowl again.

On this day, May 19, André the Giant was born in 1946.

Smokey & the Bandit premiered on this day in 1977.Rushmore of Bandits, because Burt Reynolds' portrayal of Bo "Bandit" Darville is dang sure on there. Go.

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