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Bad sports, good sports: Condoleeza Rice is a woman, so she must not know football

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If you read my column on any kind of regular basis, you know that I really despise prejudice of any kind. Whether it be racism, sexism, ageism, or sexual orientationism (that should be a word), I find it revolting. I don’t know that any of these things are actually more prevalent in the world of sports than everywhere else, but it often seems like they are. Early this week, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was reportedly selected to be a member of the committee that will select the college football teams that will participate in the new playoff at the end of the 2014 and subsequent seasons. Predictably, a bunch of schmucks went through the roof.

Former Auburn head football coach Pat Dye was one of these prizes [1]. He started with this:

“All she knows about football is what somebody told her,” Dye said. “Or what she read in a book, or what she saw on television. To understand football, you’ve got to play with your hand in the dirt.”

So let me get this straight. In order to analyze the seasons of the top teams in the country and select the four teams that should participate in the playoff, a person needs to have actually played football. Hmmm. That doesn’t seem right to me. In fact, it’s patently absurd. I was never a football player in any kind of organized league, and yet I am quite certain that I understand the game better than most and could definitely provide benefit to the committee, should I be chosen to serve. There is so much information available to virtually everyone these days, it is really hard to say that a layman can’t fully understand this game. We are not talking about coaching the teams here. If we were, I would be more inclined to agree with Mr. Dye, as I do believe that first-hand experience playing the game would have to benefit a coach. To pick the playoff teams, though, no such requirement exists.

The truth of it is, of course, that Pat Dye would have had nothing to say if the non-player had been a man. I know numerous women who know plenty about football. In fact, I am married to one of them. I have no doubt that the team that has been working to build this committee vetted Ms. Rice to determine her suitability for the role. Heck, before Roger Goodell was named commissioner of the NFL when Paul Tagliabue retired back in 2006, I heard her name mentioned as a possibility for the job. That would seem to be a pretty good indicator that she knows her stuff. I guess that is not good enough for Pat Dye, though. That Y-chromosome is mandatory, in his book.

I am excited that Condoleeza Rice will be part of this committee. I hope there are other women involved as well. I also hope neanderthals like Pat Dye continue to be made uncomfortable by these kinds of decisions. I’m sure his wife and daughters are proud.

Bad sports, continued:

2) The two-year-old son of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson died on Friday after having been severely beaten [2] by his mother’s boyfriend.

3) A third Tampa Bay Buccaneer was diagnosed with an MRSA infection [3] this week. Cornerback Johnthan Banks is the new name, joining Carl Nicks and Lawrence Tynes (who ins longer with the team). Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles was briefly thought to be in jeopardy, but it was played as scheduled.

4) The 2013 season just keeps getting worse for San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith. Already on a leave of absence for treatment of a substance abuse issue, he has now been charged with illegal possession of an assault weapon [4], a felony, after an arrest last year. He is a talented kid, but things are certainly not going in the right direction for him.

5) A bunch of Houston Texans fans cheered when quarterback Matt Schaub was injured [5] during the Texans game against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. That’s never cool.

6) Just days after firing the detestable Lane Kiffin, USC is looking for its next head football coach. The recruiting effort appears to have gone beyond the people actually doing the hiring, apparently, as athletic director Pat Haden said that some jokesters had been calling possible coaching candidates [6] posing as representatives of the school.

7) Former NFL cornerback Deion Sanders is under investigation for allegedly assaulting an employee [7] of a football academy he founded. I hope this is enough for the NFL Network to get this loser off the air.

Good sports:

1) Famed Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar announced his retirement [8] after 24 years. He will play his 200th and final test next month. He holds countless cricket records.

2) Robert Kirby, an assistant basketball coach for the University of Memphis, will miss the next few weeks while he recovers from a procedure in which he donated a kidney to his ailing sister [9]. That’s awesome.

3) Before Friday, the U.S. Olympic Committee’s nondiscrimination policy did not include sexual orientation. Now it does [10]. Good. Take that, Sochi.

4) Check out this fantastic play [11] by Kansas State linebacker Ryan Mueller against Baylor on Saturday. Tremendous.

Bonus) Did you see that Penn State game on Saturday night? Wow! What an unbelievable win.

Bad sports, good sports appears every Monday

Alan Spoll is a software quality assurance director from the suburbs of Philadelphia where he lives with his wonderful wife and children. He has spent his entire life as a passionate fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Penn State. Recent Phillies success aside, you will understand his natural negativity. Follow me on Twitter - @DocAlan02