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After the Super Bowl, Brothers Dissed Again

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By Marvin Wamble

How in the heck did Tampa Bay quarterback Brad Johnson get a trip to Disneyland after the Bucs’ victory over Oakland in Super Bowl XXXVII?

Johnson did not get one MVP vote following the Bucs’ 48-21 dismantling of the Raiders, but there he was the following day hanging out with Mickey Mouse on Main Street. That’s a shame.

Why Mickey dissed Super Bowl MVP Dexter Jackson is a question that may never be answered, especially since Mickey doesn’t talk.

Jackson’s Disneyland exclusion is just one of several disappointments related to the Super Bowl and the National Football League.

The Tampa Bay defense was huge in the Bucs’ Super Bowl victory, flexing its muscles to put a super-sized whipping on the league’s top-rated offensive.

Jackson, Tampa Bay’s free safety, snatched two first-half interceptions to earn MVP honors that could have easily gone to Simeon Rice, Dwight Smith or Michael Pittman—all African-Americans.

Instead of honoring one of the defensive stars, the commercial and Disneyland visit went to Johnson. Does that seem a bit strange?

Traditionally it is the MVP of the Super Bowl who gets to say, “I’m going to Disneyland.” According to published reports, the company chooses a glamour player on both teams before the game and the pre-selected player from the winning team gets the keys to the Magic Kingdom.

Is Johnson the best they could do? I know he looks like the All-American, clean cut kid, but give me a break. Going into the game everyone knew it was going to be the tale of the Tampa Bay defense vs. Oakland’s top-rated offense.

If they didn’t want Mickey dancing with a brother during the parade down Main Street, they could have at least picked safety John Lynch.

All was not lost, however. Jackson won a Cadillac for his MVP efforts. In some circles, back in the day, that would have been an insult (Give the boy a Cadillac, but keep him away from Disneyland).

But Jackson seemed okay driving into the sunset in his new Escalade. “I was disappointed, I always wanted to hang out with Mickey Mouse and the boys,” he said after the game.

“I wasn’t selected and that’s fine. I can ride by Disneyland in my new Cadillac on my own. It’ll be great. So I’ll just toot my horn when I ride by Disneyland. I’ll go to Six Flags [over Georgia] or somewhere in Atlanta.”

Jackson was not the only brother feeling a little left out after the Super Bowl. He’s not talking, but you have to know that former Tampa Bay coach Tony Dungy can only wonder why he was fired on the brink of a championship.

The defense that dominated the Super Bowl was assembled by Dungy, currently the head coach in Indianapolis. Gruden was lucky enough to inherit Warren Sapp, Simone Rice, Derrick Brooks and a defensive scheme that punished opponents all year.

Without the six years of defensive architecture by Dungy, Tampa would have lost in the first round of the playoffs. Gruden seemed to appreciate Dungy’s work, crediting the former coach with building the league’s most dominating defense. I wonder if the Glazer family will send Tony a Super Bowl ring?

African-American football coaches who didn’t want to be dissed took their phones off the hook in the immediate aftermath of the Super Bowl. Why? Detroit Lions head coach Marty Mornhiweg (not a brother) was fired and the position was earmarked for former San Francisco 49er coach Steve Mariucci (also not a brother).

According to an agreement among NFL owners, spawned by pressure from attorneys Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. and Cyrus Mehri, owners are supposed to interview a minority candidate for every opening.

But many African-American coaches are tired of token interviews. Why talk to an owner you know is not going to give you a job. The entire process is ludicrous.

Owners are not going to turn over their multi-million dollar investment to an African-American they do not know. We are going to have to face the facts that despite African-Americans making up close to 67 percent of the players in the NFL, there will probably never be more than four African-American head coaches working in the NFL at one time.

Heck, if brothers can’t get invited to ride with a mouse in a parade at Disneyland, how difficult will it be to get a head coaching job from a NFL team owner?

Marvin Wamble is an award-winning sports columnist with more than 12 years experience covering sports in California, Texas and Washington, D.C. Wamble also hosted several sports talk radio shows in Dallas.

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