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Why Wait to Go Postal?

Note to our readers: We have eliminated the middle man so that you will not have to wait a week between Rick Reilly's column and the hate mail that inevitably follows.


et me ask you a question. If I said, "The sky is blue, water is wet and moose don't fit easily into coin slots," would you call for my dismissal?

Well, then, why did Air Force football coach Fisher DeBerry get pure hell when he explained a bad loss to TCU by saying, "[They] had a lot more Afro-American players than we did, and they ran faster than we did.... It's very obvious to me [black players] run extremely well"?

Did DeBerry sneeze into the flag or put out a kitchen fire with a bunny? Besides butchering the phrase African-American, what exactly did the 67-year-old DeBerry say that was so wrong?

Hellllooo? In football, if you're looking for speed, 99.9% of the time you'll find it in a black athlete. All but one of the last 100 wide receivers taken in the first round of the NFL draft were black. Of the last 50 All-Pro cornerbacks, only one was white. Only 48 men have broken 10 seconds in the 100-meter dash, and they're all black. You think that's a coincidence?

I have no clue why this is true. I just know it is true. Running fast is not the only thing these athletes are good at. Not by a million miles. But it is one thing.

And yet knees started jerking instantly. DeBerry was called into the athletic director's office for a tongue-hammering. He had to apologize. A sanctimonious Colorado state senator called for his immediate firing.

But get this: Almost no black people were upset! It was all PC whites freaking out for blacks. All my black friends were like, "Many blacks run fast? Duh!" Bill Johnson, a black columnist for Denver's Rocky Mountain News, couldn't understand the furor. "Was I missing something?" he wrote.

If I were DeBerry's boss, I'd have screamed at him, too. "You've been coaching here 22 years and you're just now realizing black guys run fast? No wonder we suck!!!"

DeBerry didn't insult blacks. If he'd have said, "Blacks are fast, but they can't grow orchids," or "Blacks are fast, but they stink at the accordion," then we'd have something.

Look, the only way we're ever going to deal with real racism is to throw out all the dumb crap that isn't racism--the stuff that gives racists ammo to toss at us.

Take it back? The only thing DeBerry should take back is his apology. ■


Reilly DeBuried

I think Rick Reilly just tested positive for stupid.

--Samuel Sosa, Baltimore

The only thing that Sports Illustrated should take back is Rick Reilly. Hey, Rick, what time does the Klan meeting start?

--Mr. Richard Feder, Fort Lee, N.J.

Hey, Rick. I'm enclosing a razor blade. Do the right thing.

--Spike Lee, Brooklyn

Rush Limbaugh was right. You white guys in the media overhype the talents of black athletes.

--Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia

I agree. That state senator was totally out of line. He should be calling for Reilly to be fired.

--Gary Barnett, Boulder, Colo.

Cheerleaders, hunters, Bill Romanowski. Doesn't Rick Reilly ever get tired of being wrong? By defending a dinosaur like DeBerry, he's guilty of plantation-owner thinking--seeing an entire race merely for their bodies and not their minds. Reilly is dumber than a roomful of lint. This clown won Sportswriter of the Year? Now that's a mark that should have an asterisk next to it.

--Barry Bonds, San Francisco

I, for one, am glad to see someone defend this fine Christian coach who really does want to reach out to the fast, Afro-American high-school-football-playing population.

--F. DeBerry, Colorado Springs

Couldn't Reilly just switch to tennis ball boy full-time and leave idiot sportswriting to somebody else?

--Conchita Martinez, Barcelona

Bravo! It's time somebody finally cut through the tyranny of ultrasensitive PC freaks and told the simple truth. Thank you, Rick Reilly!

--John Rocker, Atlanta

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Cheerleaders, hunters, Bill Romanowski. Doesn't Rick Reilly ever get tired of being wrong? By defending DeBerry, he's guilty of plantation-owner thinking.