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Superbowl Politics

I knew right after the championships on Sunday we were in trouble. For the next two weeks we’d hear nothing but “first black coach …” before every story. But that doesn’t give them enough credit. Tony Dungy (I don’t know much about Chicago’s coach Smith) is a great man, coach and (most importantly) a good role model. Stop talking about him as a “black coach” and just a great head coach who works hard, is a good role model and deserves a chance at the big game. Apparently others feel the same way, as a recent ESPN article states.

Dungy and Smith are role models, not just for coaches who look like them or men who look like them, but for all coaches and all men. They live their lives the right way, and as a result they do their jobs the same way. Their priorities are, in order: faith, their families and football. The outcome of the Super Bowl or any game does not define them. They personify words such as class, grace, dignity, honor and integrity. We all can draw inspiration from men such as these.

You won’t hear either utter a word of profanity. And they still win. They care about and foster relationships with their players. And they still win. They serve their communities. And still, somehow, they find time to do what it takes to prepare their teams.

Dungy and Smith are Christian men who serve the Lord first and spend nearly as much time serving their communities. Doesn’t prevent them from winning. And often. In just three seasons Smith, last season’s Coach of the Year, has helped build the Bears into a league power. Dungy has won more regular season games than any coach since 1999. Where does color factor into that?

… When Dungy walks away from coaching he likely will devote more of his time to the prison ministry about which he’s so passionate. He and Smith are examples of what a strong man is. Never mind what they look like. They’re the perfect people to represent not just the African-American community but the NFL community.

I’ve followed Dungy since his job in Florida. I always thought he didn’t get enough credit for his work in Tampa (they won the super bowl with basically his team). He always seemed to have his priorities straight, providing a good model to follow. I’m glad he’s got a shot at the big game.

Tony’s won the right way — with integrity, honesty and character. With all the sports brawls, ethical problems and other nonsense in sports, entertainment and politics, Dungy’s a refreshing change. It’s nice to see a good guy win. (Come to think of it, maybe he’d run for President. A politician with integrity — what a change!)

For Dungy and Smith to get their teams here had nothing to do with where their ancestors originated. Just as a person’s ethnicity, ideally, should have nothing to do with … well, anything.

Are we ever going to have a hyphen free America? Dungy is a great man. Period (no hyphen needed).


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