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Be Like Mike

I’ll be perfectly honest with all ya’ll, because we’re family.

Aren’t we family, KING?

I have no desire to see Kurt Warner or the Arizona Cardinals win Super Bowl XLIII.

Sure, the Cardinals offense is exciting and watching Larry Fitzgerald play is worth the price of admission (or that HD feed you got just for the Super Bowl).

But, in the end, my blackness won’t permit me to root for anyone other than Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

This coming from a Dallas Cowboys fan no less.

Thanks to the Obama presidency, black folk are—naturally—happy and hopeful about the positive things our 44th president can do over his four-year (hopefully eight) term.

He has inspired a new generation of young black men to reassess what they want to do with their lives.

Tomlin has done the same thing in the sporting realm.

There are plenty of black coaches in professional and college basketball, but the NFL and the NCAA is another story.

It’s hard to get those gigs, because—frankly—owners and GM’s, despite being driven by the bottom line, seem content to recycle coaching failures.

That’s what makes Tomlin’s ascension from position coach, to one-year defensive coordinator to Super Bowl coach that more amazing.

The 36-year-old from Newport News, Va. is the third youngest head coach not just in the NFL, but in professional sports.

He is also the youngest head coach to lead his team to a Super Bowl.

And it’s not like he was chosen as the head coach of a team who needs to sell tickets or who needs the kind of attention that comes with hiring a black coach.

He was hired by the Pittsburgh Steelers—as blue-collar a town and team as there is in the United States.

The Steelers have the second most Super Bowl appearances all-time and are tied with the Cowboys for the most wins (five).

Tomlin has a unique blend of humility, that allows him to be thankful he was given the opportunity by Pittsburgh owner Dan Rooney and swagger that lets everyone in the football-crazed state of Pennsylvania know that he is the unequivocal H.N.I.C.

That’s why I want the Steelers to win—a win for Tomlin will open doors for more black head coaches.

With Tony Dungy retired from football, Tomlin is already carrying the banner once-held by Art Shell and Dennis Green well.

Go Steelers.

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