Mike Tomlin, head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, is the coming of the next messiah. Well, the Black one. If you believe the hype leading up to and including the Super Bowl that’s what you might be thinking. I for one am tired of that sort of thinking. What finally sent me over the edge and propelled me to write this post was a feature on Yahoo Sports alluding to Tomlin being NFL’s Barack Obama. You said what?! In this article on the Rooney Rule it is mentioned during Obama’s trail to the Democratic nomination “one of the reporter’s conclusions was that Obama was helped in part because people had begun to see an increased number of black head coaches of sports teams.” Whoa! That’s a huge leap! You are telling me folks looked at the THREE Black coaches in the NFL (at the time) and thought to themselves why not elect a Black president…um, ok. And to be clear, this post isn’t about the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview minority candidates. That’s bigger than Mike Tomlin. And while his success highlights the opportunity the Rooney Rule provides let’s be real he does not represent ALL Black coaches.
When it comes down to it, Tomlin is a good coach. Period. That speaks for itself, whether he happened to be White, Black, Hispanic, whatever. Who he is, what he represents, his team, their record SHOULD represent him not anyone else. Each team, each coach, their situation is different. While we would like to see them all succeed, given the many variables, that doesn’t always happen even with a great coach (*ahem* Marvin Lewis). So don’t put that burden on Tomlin, he is who he is. He inherited a great team, has great owners, and they all believe in his philosophy and respect him. All that needs to be said is he’s a good/great/inspiring/respected/pick your adjective (except Black, African American, or minority) coach. The end.