So Charlie Weis was speaking to Notre Dame alumni and made a statement saying that "he could win if he had hoodlums and thugs, but he's not going to do that".
Pretty innocuous for the most part, if you ask me.
However, while listening to PTI, Wilbon and Kornheiser made it one of their topics. Now, having paid enough attention to sports media, I naturally thought someone was going to use the terms "hoodlums and thugs" to immediately imply "black people". At least I know that some of our readers do that, you racists herpes sufferers.
Funny thing is, no one brought race up as an issue.
"Notre Dame never could recruit hoodlums and thugs. The University's standards are too high, and they've won without them. Of course he's not going to recruit them!"
"What is Charlie Weis implying? Is he saying that all the teams that have won in the past few years have had hoodlums and thugs? I want him to specifically name the programs and the players that he is referring to. Also, he went 3-9 last year, what makes us think he's going to be able to coach anyone to victory?"
I'd love to think that maybe, just maybe, we've come to a point where the sports media doesn't have to jump to race automatically. I was floored when it wasn't implied, insinuated or inferred (Kurt Angle's real "three I's") that Charlie Weis meant inner-city, poor black people.
Floored in a good way.
Look back at Wilbon's and Kornheiser's arguments. They're actually really good points.
I'm not naive enough to say that a non-story like this signals a maturity in the media to move past race and report on salient points. In fact, I'm cynical enough to say that they were purposely ignoring the proverbial "elephant in the room" and happened to hit on solid points.
Do you ever see a point where race and sports can co-exist without flash points?