NOT VANCOUVER – Before anyway gets their panties in a bunch, let me clear: I am Black. I was born in Ghana, West Africa and have lived in the USA since I was six. With that said, I would like to state that all comments are mine and mine alone. Further, the comments made in this article are neither encouraged or endorsed by The Matts. So, let’s get to it…
I have always hated Black History Month. Since I have a degree in History, my disdain stems from my anger that it takes a special month for people to actually study History. But The Matts insisted that I channel that anger and use it to educate Mattville. So, I decided to look at some of the odd and not-so-famous sports moments involving contemporary Blacks For Black Unhistory Month. Just remember – I can get away with laughing at this because I am black. Besides, I know some of you think the same way.
The first oddity is within Track & Field. I always wonder whether anybody else notices that when it comes to any distance under 800m, you get nothing but USA and the Caribbean blacks (descendants of West Africa) all over the place. As soon as you get to the long distance, in come the East Africans and North Africans but no USA and the Caribbean Blacks. I have found this odd since I was like 12 and nobody ever explained it to me. I am sure there is a scientific answer but it is just funny to me.
Speaking of Kenyans, I wonder if any of you have heard of Philip Boit. Back in 1998, somebody at Nike had this idea that since Kenyans are so dominating in the Marathon and Cross-Country in the Summer Olympics, they should be put on skies and to see if a couple could win a Winter Olympics cross-country event. Philip Boit was one of their choices. As you can imagine, that went horribly. He never finished higher than 60th in ’98, ’02, or ’06. I believe the Exec that came up with the idea is been right-sized out of his job.
Unfortunately, Nike can’t be blamed for this next one. Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, aka The Snow Leopard of Ghana. Yes, he is my countryman. No, I don’t think this was a good idea. A Ghanaian boy, raised in England, who learns skiing and becomes good enough to qualify for the Olympics??? Well, not good enough for England… But hey, Ghana doesn’t have a team – so why not? In case anyone is thinking that I could do this, I could… But I won’t. Rugby will have to suffice. Uh-oh, now The Matts are ringing my cell off the hook…
The Snow Leopard of Ghana
We all remember Cool Runnings and the Jamaican Bobsled team but if any of you think they were anywhere as good the second day, like in the movie, I suggest you slow down. They did get better and did get help for other nations. The is a current team that has failed to qualify for the last two Olympics but they finished ahead of the United States, Russia, France and one sled from Italy in 14th place in 1996.
I did notice though that in the Salt Lake City games the USA did improve by adding a couple of former track and field sprinters to help with the push. Of course, they were guys and girls not good enough for the T & F Summer Olympic Team.
With Pitchers and Catchers reporting, anyone notice that decades after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier you watch baseball today and you will find a Robinson Cano but not a black American. I mean they are there but I mean it is getting so rare even Hockey players are starting to notice.They seem to have all gone to the NBA or NFL or worst yet golf or something.
I will say, though, that if the Swedes can have a Bikini Team, can’t we get more black figure skaters that look like this??? They have to be out there someplace. As we speak, I am working on a way to make the first part of that statement happen.
That’s all for today, feel free to voice your opinion and/or thoughts and get ready for Grote’s Gripes, tomorrow.