“I’m gonna take a beating for this one,” promises the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick, who modestly declares “unpopular truths are no less true than any other kind. And enough is enough.”
Following his death last week, legendary Grambling football coach Eddie Robinson was memorialized in every form of media as having been among the noblest leaders of young black men ever to bless this country.
But if facts count for anything, that can’t be true. Coach Robinson, you see, had this nasty habit. He didn’t merely like to win games. And he didn’t merely like to win them big. He liked to stomp his opponents, humiliate them, kick them when they were down, then kick them some more, only harder.
Even by the standards of run-up-the-score coaches, Robinson was cruel. And his victims were young, African-American men. And here, there and everywhere last week, all young African-American men who were touched by Robinson were identified as fortunate.
Throughout the 1980s and well into the 1990s, Robinson regularly directed needlessly brutal beatings. Those inclined to track such things, could always count on him.
There was 55-0 over Southern, 72-14 over Mississippi Valley State, 67-3 over Elizabeth City. And the scorched-earth massacres of Prairie View – 51-6, 68-0, 77-7, 49-0, 63-3, 66-0.
Then there was the 1994 Morgan State game. In that one, Robinson used a second-quarter tackle-eligible play to score a two-point conversion – to make the score 46-6. And at 53-6 with two seconds left in the half, Robinson called time so Grambling could score again.
And he didn’t let up in the second half. Grambling beat Morgan State 87-12.
Imagine if other coaches also held in such high social regard as Robinson – Joe Paterno, for instance – had coached similarly. They’d be synonymous with abuse and widely scorned as shining example of excessively unsportsmanlike behavior.
So there you have it, ladies and gents. Not only has Phil devoted the start of an April column to the offense of running-up-the-score in collegiate football, but he has reminded us, yet again, of the greatest social ill facing our nation — the scourge of reverse racism.