Monday, February 05, 2007

A Super Moment

On the gridiron, of all places, we made a little black history during Black History Month. Appropriate, huh?

Tony Dungy, as gentle and thoughtful a soul as there is in football, led the Indianapolis Colts to the Super Bowl title Sunday, making him the first black head coach to claim an NFL championship.

His team managed to defeat the Chicago Bears, who are led by head coach Lovie Smith. Lovie, a native East Texan, was the first of the two first black head coaches to make it to a Super Bowl sideline (Dungy came through a little later on that day two weeks ago).

They are friends, proteges and excellent role models for those kids who may have thought their only place on a football field came between the sidelines and wearing helmets. They are unabashedly Christian, uniquely even-tempered for coaches and brilliant tacticians, something they aren't given enough credit for.

Of course, some people will say last night didn't matter. That it was an insignificant milestone. That if it's not about medicine, law or some other professional field, then we aren't really making progress toward racial equality.

And, to some extent, those people might be right. But I will take my milestones wherever I can find them, and if you can't find it within yourself to root for Tony and Lovie, then maybe you can't appreciate history. Or maybe you have a problem with progress.

Either way, you will have to move out of the way. We're moving forward, all of us, black, white and all shades in between, in small and large steps, whether people like it or not. Especially on the football field and on the sideline

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