The case for Coach Deion "Primetime" Sanders staying at Jackson State University
The Hump Day Hot Topics!
***If you follow Black College football, then you know that NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders has led a resurgence of the once mighty Jackson State University brand as head coach of the Tigers—and renewed interest in HBCU sports among ESPN and other mainstream media outlets. Coach Prime, as he prefers to be called, has stated many times this past year that his work in Jackson was a "calling from God" and with his son, Shedeur, leading the offense at quarterback and another son, Shilo, leading the defense at safety, the Tigers are leading the SWAC at 7-1 and are highly ranked in both Black College and FCS polls.
You also may know that Coach Prime had surgery back in September and over the past month, has missed three games as he recuperated from a related illness. This fact led to my surprise yesterday when it was widely reported that Prime had interviewed with officials at Texas Christian University as they search for a replacement to their former coach, Gary Patterson, who abruptly stepped down last month.
Now, as a born and bred FAMU Rattler who later became a Morehouse Man, I hope that Coach Prime stays at Jackson State because his presence has been good this year for ALL HBCUs. Still, I was somewhat surprised that with the season far from over, and with his players, fans, and even opponents praying for his health and hoping that he doesn't wind up in a hospital ICU, that Coach Prime was interviewing with TCU and immediately declared to be “impressive” and "squarely in the mix" as the potential next head coach at the Power Five school that plays in the Big 12. A conference, if I may add, that could soon lose prominence as charter members Texas and Oklahoma leave for the greener financial pastures of the SEC.
From my perspective, an interview, even one conducted virtually by Zoom, doesn't mean that Coach Prime definitely is leaving Jackson State. But reports that Sanders reached out to TCU—not vice versa—sure invoke memories of Smokey Robinson singing about "shopping around" back in the day.
That said, I can actually see both sides to this issue in that we all work each day to satisfy our professional goals AND to get paid for our services. While I've read the argument that "Deion is already rich" from many posters, I learned long ago to never assume what the next person's financial situation is like; it would be hard for Coach Prime or anyone to turn down $4 million to $6 million dollars per year when they are making a fraction of that at their current job.
On the other hand, if money is not an issue for Coach Prime, then I can also understand the arguments that his premature leaving would be the latest example of Black folks seeking adjacency to—and approval from—white folks at the expense of our own institutions and businesses. I get this last point quite well because in full transparency, it took me a hot minute, despite all of my knowledge of American history, to realize that my former editors at The Hill needed me far more than I needed them (thus, the launch of Hobbservation Point in 2017).
As a double HBCU alumnus and staunch HBCU advocate, I sincerely hope that Coach Prime stays put in Jackson because Black College football is a reawakening giant across America. Lest we forget that his current employer, "Thee" Jackson State University, has placed as many players in the NFL Hall of Fame (4) as the current #1 Georgia Bulldogs—and more than Auburn (2), Clemson (1), Florida (2), and Texas A&M (1)! Further, Coach Prime has already shown that he can become both a coaching icon and multi-media giant at Jackson State while, at TCU, he would be one or two tough seasons away from being run out of town on rails like Brother Charlie Strong was at the University of Texas—and Brother Willie Taggart was at Florida State University! Facts that should remind Coach Prime and Black folks in general, as the elders used to say, that “white folks ice ain't colder..."
***So, this may sound somewhat elitist, but every single time that I read comments on social media that prove the writer's complete inability to understand basic civics concepts like the separation of powers, or how laws are passed, I really become frustrated to think that these blissful modern day "Know-Nothings" are given a right to vote and decide elections and the trajectories of our cities, states and the nation. I mean, it is harder to get a driver's license than it is to get a voter's registration card these days, and something about that strikes me as bizarre.
Yes, I know that the whole vote testing piece from Jim Crow was designed to discriminate against my Black ancestors according to race, but I also know that the majority of whites during the Jim Crow era would have failed those civics literacy tests, too, if they did not have the skin complexion for protection from taking them. Still, nothing would delight me more than to see these loudmouths sit out come election day if a basic objective test revealed that they should not vote for offices that they have zero clue about their purpose of functioning.
*** Speaking of Know-Nothings, Aaron Rodgers has now said that he takes full responsibility for lying about his Coronavirus vaccine status. This past summer, when reporters asked for an update, Rodgers fired back, “Yeah, I've been immunized," which was a total lie.
Now, having been caught deep in his mendacities, Rodgers recently said, "I realize that I am a role model to a lot of people, and I just want to start off by acknowledging that. I made some comments that people might have felt were misleading. To anybody who felt misled by those comments, I take full responsibility for those comments.”
No, no, no, no, no, Mr. Rodgers, if you're going to apologize, then give a full-throated "I lied and I am sorry" apology, not one of those half-assed, "If you feel as if I misled you, I am sorry" statements.
Again, if I was one of Rodgers's teammates that had been exposed to the 'Rona due to his lies, the Packers would have released me because I definitely would have confronted dude right there in that locker room. Especially when considering how Rodgers still doesn't seem to "get it" after he and teammate Allen Lazard attended a Halloween party while unvaccinated, a move that drew a violation of Covid-19 protocols fine of $300k for the Packers—and $14,500 a piece for Rodgers and Lazard.
To conclude, it's funny how the NFL was quick to exclude Colin Kaepernick for the simple act of kneeling during the Star-Spangled Banner—a move that hurt no one—but have yet to release Rodgers despite placing other folks' lives at risk…
***Every so often on social media, I scroll across some meme from a conservative Know-Nothing claiming that the Coronavirus vaccines don't work because people can still contract the virus. While I ordinarily avoid addressing the willfully blind, the fact that the Flu Vaccine doesn't forever prevent folks from getting the Flu doesn't mean that it isn't an effective treatment to mitigate that disease each winter.
Similarly, a report from the Department of State Health Services in Texas showed that 81.3 percent of COVID-19-related deaths between Sept. 4th and Oct. 1st of this year were among unvaccinated people, while only five percent of fatalities occurred among partially vaccinated. Facts that continue to bear out that it is far wiser to get the shot (speaking to the Aaron Rodgers and Kyrie Irving's of the world) than to not get the shot!
Thank you for subscribing to the Hobbservation Point—have a great Wednesday!