The Wonderlic Tears : VY Smeared, Apologies Slow To Come

Posted in Gridiron, Racism Corner at 10:23 am by

After yesterday’s widely repeated reports that QB Vince Young had scored a pitiful 6 out of 50 on his NFL draft combine Wonderlic test, the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain writes that that Young’s total was actually 16. Certainly not a score likely to improve Young’s standing prior to the draft, but not evidence of “a learning disability” as one national talk radio creep chortled last night, either.

Writes crusader for truth Will Leitch,

Ignoring the fact that Wonderlic scores are supposed to be confidential — we repeat: Nothing ever ends up confidential. Nothing — we have to wonder about the grading skills of the “guy” in charge. If you’ve seen the sample Wonderlic test — which we encourage everyone to take — it’s difficult to understand how one could grade a test (particularly one so high-profile) so wrong. Strikes us as a bit fishy, actually.

Indeed, it’s almost as though someone has a stake in publicly humiliating Vince Young, negatively impacting his earning potential and worst of all, engage in the scurrilous practice of mocking the intellectual capacity of prominent black sportsmen.

Not that there was anything remotely provocative about a headline that read “If Your Wonderlic Score Is Lower Than Your Jersey Number.”

12 responses to “The Wonderlic Tears : VY Smeared, Apologies Slow To Come”

  1. Joey says:

    >Indeed, it’s almost as though someone has a stake in publicly humiliating Vince Young, negatively impacting his earning potential and worst of all, engage in the scurrilous practice of mocking the intellectual capacity of prominent black sportsmen.

    Fuck yeah! Well said.

  2. GC says:

    Noted brain surgeon Jim Rome was just on the radio saying “I wouldn’t trust a guy who scored a 6 to step off the curb without getting hit by a bus, let alone run an NFL offense.”

    Rome made the above statement after casually mentioning there was some dispute over Young’s score being a 6.

    I do hope the persons who did their best to play up this story are very proud of themselves.

  3. josh says:

    Today in the Milwaukee Sentinel, courtesy of CNNSI:

    In 1999, Donovan McNabb scored 12 on the Wonderlic Test. Akili Smith scored 15, Daunte Culpepper scored both a 15 and a 21. The year before, Charlie Batch had a 12 and a 15 and Aaron Brooks scored 17.
    — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    I mean, why did they only mention black quarterbacks scores? Why don’t they just write “if your black you won’t do well on the wonderlic”? it’d be as subtle.

    The only wonderlic score I am interested in is Brenda Warner’s.

  4. GC says:


    I saw at least one mention of Jeff George scoring a ten.

    I apologize if by repeating this, I’ve done anything to hurt his career options. I really wanna be above the fray.

  5. David Roth says:

    Massive credibility gap, GC: you have made a scurrilous practice of mocking the intellectual capacity of Jeff George. Also his haircut.

    Seriously, this whole thing stinks — the discussion of it stinks, and the cheerful bandying about of a “fact” now believed to be false (and never verifiable, anyway) also stinks. Anyone who doesn’t believe Vince Young will be a successful NFL quarterback after watching the Rose Bowl — or who still believes, like some of my coworkers, that he’d be better off playing safety — doesn’t pay enough attention to football or has biases handicapping their thinking. Playing quarterback is about instinct, athleticism and the ability to make decisions and execute plays. Jon Kitna, for instance, being as dumb as a box of zubaz has less to do with why he’s a mediocre quarterback than his decision making.

  6. josh says:

    The only valid critique against Young is he almost always played out of a shotgun so it might take him a year or two to adjust. Some coaches/GMs might not feel like they have time to wait and pass on him.

    I’d love to see him go to Oakland. Clearly the Jets will pass with Jay Fiedler, a Dartmouth grad and top wonderlic score on board already

  7. Ian says:

    Yeah, because we all saw where the Wonderlic got Ryan Fitzpatrick. This is unreal; Vince Young beat was being considered one of the greatest times of all time almost by himself, and yesterday on ESPN, they were writing how Jay Cutler’s haircut is indicative of a great QB. In that case, Brodie Croyle should be drafted #1. Really, is ESPN still bitter about the Trojans being taken out?

  8. Joel says:

    When I think of “prominent black men” I think of Barack Obama, Colin Powell, Al Sharpton, Bill Cosby, etc.

    I don’t think of
    a) a convicted rapist
    b) one of the worst businessmen in the history of professional sports
    c) a 21-year-old amateur athlete

    Look anywhere on the web and you can find several “prominent black” sportswriters questioning the intellectual capacities of Tyson and Isiah. Deadspin claimed from the beginning the VY’s score was alleged, and then posted the next day it was false.

    Get over yourself. It is just sports blogging 🙂

  9. GC says:

    J –

    What, Paul Robeson didn’t make your list?

    so you’re saying that Mike Tyson, Isiah Thomas and Vince Young aren’t prominent black men?

    one of ’em was the youngest heavyweight champ of all-time, the other a member of the Basketball Hall Of Fame/NCAA champ/NBA champ X 2 and the third, the QB of the reigning National football champions and a probable (well, until a few days ago) top 3 pick in the NFL draft.

    So which is it, they aren’t prominent or they aren’t black enough for you?

    Sure, there have been commentators of all races who have ridiculed Mike Tyson and Isiah Thomas. But please, just to prove you are not completely full of shit, by all means, show me one example of a prominent black sportswriter who has a) suggested that Mike Tyson can’t read, b) that Zeke doesn’t know how to use a computer and c) Vince Young is dumber than a rock and/or Jeff George, and I’ll send you an autographed copy of “Catch”.

    Caling Tyson crazy or a wasted talent, or Thomas a flop as a businessman or a terrible GM is one thing. But taking such glee in suggesting illiteracy for the former, or lacking the basic skills to operate a computer for the latter, is more than a little suspicious.

    Indeed, DS did acknowledge that Young’s lower-than-low Wonderlic score was alleged, though not before providing a rather inflammatory headline. The doofus editor, having played no small role in spreading the smear, doesn’t seem to let that trouble his conscience.

    And yes, “it is just sports blogging”. That’s why you’re here every fucking day. And being that it is “just sports blogging”, let’s just turn a blind eye to the double standards, racial bias and ethical lapses that are a regular feature of the shitty blog you’re so quick to defend.

  10. Stephen says:

    This is my first time to the site (linked here by Joey) and if this is the sort of stuff I’m getting, I’m coming back here every day. I’m not just saying this as a Longhorn fan annoyed about Vince being dragged through the mud, but as a sports fan looking for smart writing about race and sport and celebrity. Thanks for calling out that other idiot. I’d never heard of his blog before either and don’t plan on looking at it. Keep up the good work.

  11. Johnny says:

    GC, I don’t know if you saw, but Deadspin did do a decent-sized post on David Beckham being an idiot as well. ( http://www.deadspin.com/sports/david-beckham/vince-young-meet-david-beckham-157050.php )

    I don’t see how calling out Vince for allegedly scoring poorly makes them racist so much as it makes them bloggers who aren’t bound by conventional journalistic principles. If something is funny, or of the public’s interest, it probably should be reported. And the fact that both Beckham and Young seem to compute fractions at a 3rd grade level falls in both categories.

    The beauty of these blogs is that there really aren’t any boundaries; “Politically Correct” is a nonexistent concept. Obviously I don’t mean that racism on any level should suddenly be condoned just because there’s no one to police it, but would you find the same kind of humor in a Steve Rushin column as you do in any of the stories on Every Day Should Be Saturday? Probably not. Regardless of what side you’re on or how much truth there was to it, Vince scoring a six was interesting, and absolutely no one was going to leave it on the rumor-mills to go stale. Deadspin just happened to be one of the more notable outlets to poke fun at it.

    Look, there are a lot of people out there that I don’t agree with, but it’s rare that I find one with content as good as yours. What I mean is, please don’t take this post as an antagonist just trying to pick of a fight. I don’t agree with you entirely, but I admire your work enough to respect it. And really, a catalyst for conversation is what mainstream media seems to be lacking. Keep up the good work.

  12. GC says:


    I saw the DS post about Beckham — I already mentioned it elsewhere, in fact.

    I don’t actually see the comparison. Beckham’s status as a halfwit has been known for years. And, to my knowledge, there’s never been any sort of a stereotype that blonde white guys can’t play the midfield.

    I’m not saying that DS didn’t have a right to mention VY’s allegedy low score, but the chosen tone in doing so struck me as genuinely fucked up. I’m not talking about “political correctness”. I’m refering to a situation where Young’s earning power and reputation are damaged by certain individuals’ pandering to some of the ugliest stereotypes imaginable.

    I’m not calling for boundaries on blogs — my gripe isn’t that I thought the VY slur was in poor taste. Rather, I found it to be in a disturbing pattern of deragatory comments about the intellect of black sportsmen. Yeah, DS pokes fun at dopey white guys, too. But those same white guys have never had to go to school or apply or for jobs in a country where there were overt and subtle attempts to portray their race as a bunch of idiots.

    Sure, Vince scoring/not scoring a 6 was interesting. Even more interesting might be the way some people took such pleasure in reporting it, and what it says about their biases.

    thanks for writing

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