Last week Condoleezza Rice was selected as a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee— the group responsible for selecting 4 teams to play in college football’s mini playoff. Upon selection, Condoleeza Rice unofficially became the token double minority for traditionally white, male organizations. When Augusta National decided to add a female member, who did they pick?
So it’s no surprise that when whoever picked the playoff committee saw that their committee was both too white and too male, they picked Condie. (I have to clarify here that I’m in no way criticizing Condoleeza Rice, or attributing her accomplishments to some social glass elevator. I happen to like her, and I respect her accomplishments quite a bit. A bunch of crackers adding her to clubs and committees doesn’t reflect negatively on her, in my opinion)
Rice is the safest diversity addition to any organization because, outside of Clayton Bigsby (“Condolangas Rice!”), everyone likes her. Republicans like her because she’s a Republican. Democrats like her because she’s a successful black woman. Both seem like strange reasons to like a person, but that’s where we are in 2013. It also helps that she seems like a friendly, smart woman, and was a seemingly competent Secretary of State, which appeals to…everyone.
I’ve never met her; this is just speculation. But if I think she’s a nice, smart, competent person then most people probably do too, and that’s the important thing. People like her. You can’t go wrong adding Condoleeza Rice. She’s like avocado. She goes great on anything.
On October 5th, ESPN College Gameday analyst David Pollack took some heat for a comment he made regarding the rumor that Condoleezza Rice would be on the College Football Playoff selection committee.
“Now I’m going to stick my foot in my mouth, probably, I want people on this committee that can watch tape, that have played football, that are around football, that can tell you different teams on tape, not on paper.” Host Chris Fowler asked Pollack if he was implying that no women should be allowed on the committee, and Pollack said “yeah,
Pollack later clarified his comments in a tweet
I’m not particularly interested in whether Pollack was sincere when he said he thought women shouldn’t be on the selection committee (he was), or if his tweet was a more thorough reflection of his views (it wasn’t. It was damage control). There’s a lot more to his quote. It isn’t that Pollack doesn’t want women on the list. Pollack doesn’t want anyone who hasn’t played football on the list. It has nothing to do with women, and everything to do with playing experience. He’d probably be perfectly fine if Becky “The Icebox” O’Shea was on the committee.
Pollack isn’t alone as a former player (Pollack was a 3 time College All- American and a 1st round NFL pick before suffering a career ending injury. Thanks Wikipedia!!!) who dismisses anyone who hasn’t played college or professional athletics. It was the underlying theme of the only week ESPN’s First Take actually featured thoughtful debate.
Skip Bayless had a rotating cast of ex jocks come on the show and more or less explain why their opinions were more important. Inferior journalists/superior athletes arguing with a superior journalist/inferior athlete. It’s worth watching.
Hearing athletes turned journalists dismiss fans has always irritated me for a two reasons.
1) We overrate experience.
Look at every pregame/post game show. It’s 4-6 ex players or coaches being baby sat by an anchor like Chris Berman or Ernie Johnson. A desk full of ex jocks gives the set a sense of authority. These guys played/coached, so we assume they’re going to tell us information that’s gained through years of two-a-days and suiting up on Sundays.
But for every time Ron Jaworski explains a quarterback’s read progression on a play, or Barkley tells a story about how players on his team responded to a similar present day situation, we hear Shannon Sharpe or Cris Carter talking about how guys today don’t hit like they used to. Although, Shannon Sharpe does occasionally strings together complete sentences, so maybe I’m being too hard on him.