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Thursday, January 5, 2006
C. JEMAL HORTON
Black coaches missing
from NFL wish lists
Continued from page 1C
playoffs - it still sort of makes
me sick to point to them as a
reason to be held up to honor
the black race, as if to say
“See, bladt people can do the
job, so hire one ”
You’d think we’re long past
the days where such a thing
The truth is, too many own
ers with head-coaching open
ings this winter will ignore
Buffalo defensive coordinator
Jerry Gray And New York
Jets defensive coordinator
Donnie Henderson. And New
York Giants defensive coordi
nator Tim Lewis. And
Chicago defensive coordina
tor Ron Rivera. Or always-a-
bridesmaid Tbd Cottrell,
defensive coordinator for the
It just gets old after a while
or a generation or three.
So instead of letting the tal
ents and successes of black
coaches stand on theii* own
merit, it’s almost as if there
has to be a pity party for
them before they get hired.
Remember how bad it got in
the early 1990s, when Dungy
couldn’t get a job? What
about with Lewis in the late
19903? Those two men had
become downright sympa
thetic figures after a while.
Instead of journalists such
as myself complaining year
after year, it finally took a
litany of white media mem
bers saying, ‘You know what?
It’s dead wrong that this man
doesn’t have a head job”
before Dungy and Lewis got
But if that’s what it takes,
then so be it; Cottrell
deserves a job ... see what
Dungy and Lewis have done?
Fm only half-kidding.
Look, Fm eternally against
a quota system, which is why
I hate the NFL’s mandate
that teams interview a
minority candidate before fill
ing a head-coaching vacancy
So, no, there shouldn’t be any
pity minority hires —
although, yes, it would be a
travesty if no black men were
hired this year.
Ifeams should always hire
the best man for the job. And
all I mean to say is this; In
many cases, believe or not,
the best man might happen
to be black.
So, NFL owners, what will
you do this time around?
E-mail C. Jemal Horton at see-
Five-game stretch may prove
cmcial to Wizards’ season
Continued from page 1C
ing records, and four of the games are at
“We have five winnable games,” point
guard Gilbert Arenas said. “They’re not
going to be easy We’ve got to go out there
and play. January will tell what we’re
about, what we’re made of We just need to
do some soul-searching and come in with
The stretch started Tuesday night with a
loss at home against Houston (11-18), fol
lowed by a Friday game at New York (7-21).
Then comes Boston (12-17), Utah (15-16)
and Atlanta (7-21), all at home.
“We’d like to go into the New Year saying
we have a five-game package, that we’re
going to take it game by game and respect
our opponents,” coach Eddie Jordan said.
“We feel that we are coming together. We
are competing. We’ve competed down to the
last second most every game. We just have
to continue to befieve in each other and
believe in the system.”
The Wizards appeared to reach a turning
point when Ceiron Butler was inserted into
the lineup after an 0-3 start to last month’s
five-game West Coast road trip. They won
the last two games and returned home to
beat the Los Angeles Lakers, but they then
dropped a close home game to Phoenix and
suffered a dispiriting loss to Miami that ran
the Heat’s winning streak over Washington
to 14 games.
“There’s only so many times you can say,
‘This is the time to get things rolling,”’ for
ward Antawn Jamison said. “With me, I’m
pretty much fed up as far as saying that.
Eventually we have to pull it together. It’s
really no more excuses, the way we’ve been
playing, not finding a way to win games,
losing close games. It’s pretty much put
your money where your mouth is and find a
way to do it.”
Jamison doesn’t take much stock in the
records of the upcoming opponents. After
all, the Wizards have losses to strugglers
Portland and Charlotte, offsetting big wins
over San Antonio and Detroit.
“It’s pretty much ridiculous to me because
we had games against teams like that in
past and we didn’t find a way to win,”
Jamison said. “If you ask me, it’s the oppo
site way around. We play well against the
best teams in the league and played poorly
against the average teams. We just need to
get our act together. ”
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