Tuesday, February 28, 2006

To the Defense of the Black QB...Again

The two press releases below talk about QB's that have scored low on the Wonderlic Test, an exam used to examine the "football IQ" of a player. Of course, they point out that black...I mean..."running QB's" have scored low. I read somewhere that Matt Leinert, a white...I mean..."pocket passer" scored a 35. Is this an example of standardized tests missing the desired goal? Are black QB's dumb?? Did George Bush really just sell our ports to Dubai, a nation known to be sympathetic to terrorists??? Sorry, I lost it there for a minute, but I'm back. Seriously, what is to be made of this, because I thought D. McNabb was one of the smartest QB's out there...

The latest buzz about Texas quarterback Vince Young at the NFL Scouting Combine: his score on the 50-question Wonderlic Test. It was reported to NFL general managers Saturday that Young correctly answered just six of the 50 questions on the 12-minute exam designed to test logic and cognitive ability. Then came reports Sunday that Young was allowed to retake the test and that he scored a more respectable 16.
-- Austin American-Statesman

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


Brother Lightness said...

The first response I thought to scream out was cultural bias! I mean, isn't that what we've all been trained to respond with when it comes to matters of standardized testing and the minority achievement gap? But for the sake of the blog, let's delve deeper...

In American culture, athleticism and scholastic aptitude have always traveled on divergent paths, while those individuals who succesfully create one path of the two routes are incessantly celebrated (see: Rhodes Scholar qualifications; Corporate Academic All-American awards). But how realistic is that?

We live in a society where athletic feats are celebrated with greater vigor than academic achievements. This being the case, should it really be a surprise that any athlete --forget race-- scores low on a test measuring cognitive ability, even if that ability is specific to a sport itself?

While this is great for discussion, the reality we (the brothers) are left with is a defense of the black QB's ability... again-- as Brother Spotless's blog title implies.

But no worries. If we can't provide an adequate defensive line for our QB's to perform behind they can always rely on that special brand of negro athleticism and maneuver their way out the pocket in fashionable style. That's just what a black QB does.

Brother Spotless said...

Sometimes I really like the press and it's ability to catch heat from both liberals and conservatives at the same time (if both sides hate the press, they must be walking the fine line of truth...right?). With that in mind in regards to this issue, I try my best to check myself and attempt to see the issue from a neutral position. They are just reporting the facts...right? WRONG!

When you release a statement saying these members of the the NFL QB fraternity scored below a 20, the underlying point you are making is that this group of players are lacking something that others possess. When that group you mentioned is all black, it should bother every open minded person. When the only white prospect to have his score mentioned (Matt Linert, a score of 35) has done well on the test, you are painting a landscape that tells the reader blacks perform poorly on this test, and whites perform well (I wish I could find Ryan Leaf's Wonderlic Test score).

In the end, as Lightness explained, all we can do is defend our brothers as they (once again) attempt to break the sterotype that has been reinforced since the days of Jesus.

Brother Smartness said...

Hmmmm. I thought about this one and I’m going to disagree with you both just for the sake of arguing. (By the way, I took a sample Wonderlic test and thought it was a joke). Here’s my thought process on this:

What's wrong with reporting that black quarterbacks are not performing well on the Wonderlic Test? Doesn’t the problem lie with the people who approach this data with preconceived notions about black performance in standardized tests? The fact is: the famous black quarterbacks that we know did not do as well as famous white quarterbacks we know. It then follows that our question should be: what about the portrayal of results is misleading?

Well for starters, the most famous white quarterbacks consist of Brett Farve’s and John Elway’s. These guys have been hugging the corner of the end zone like I used to hug the corner of my block. Back when Elway was doing his thing there weren’t too many brother’s throwing the rock (however, I’m compelled to state here that I in fact knew of a few brothers who passed the rock on the corner I held (once again, that was many many years ago)).

Ultimately, the facts are the facts. Contemporary black QBs aren’t holding it down on the Wonderlic Test. I wouldn’t jump to say its racist though. I’d just say that it’s pathetic reporting.

Brother Spotless said...

Brother Smartness, I have a question: do you know the Wonderlic score that John Elway recieved? How about Brett Favre? Dan Marino?? Forget the best QB's; what about Jon Kitna?? My point is that the press (in those two releases) were doing more than the Joe Friday (the fact, just the facts). They focused the argument. When you show that a bunch of people from one ethnic group scored low, and juxtapose that against one member of another groups high score, you are focusing an argument, basically saying whites are still smarter than blacks and are still better at playing QB in the NFL.