5 Replies to “Wes Welker column on The Love of Sports”

  1. Doogan, do you think that a bigger factor in this whole thing than the “unimpressive 40-times” and his height is that fact that Welker is a white wide receiver? You know me and know that I am a bit of a paradox when it comes to race and its effect on everything. I believe that the “race card” is grossly overplayed and done so predominantly for innanely moronic situations. However, at the same time, I believe that race has a lot to do with everything in American society–it completely matters and only really does so because we try to ignore the fact that it matters in our imperfectly human assessment of all things.

    Okay, I am going to stop on this social tangent. But, I am interested to know if you think that the fact that Welker is a white wide receiver has anything to do with his “lack of respect” until now? In short, though it may be difficult to say with complete political correctness, do you believe that the “white wide receiver” of today faces the same difficulties as the “black quarterback” did a decade or so?

    ps…fantastic column, by the way

  2. That’s a good point, but I don’t know about the comparison of white wide receivers to black quarterbacks. There’s just too much baggage there and good old fashioned racism played a big part in the obstacles faced by black quarterbacks, that white receivers don’t have to deal with. A lot of it was “black athletes don’t have the brains to handle the quarterback position”, which, I think, is a much harder thing to overcome than “white athletes don’t have the pure athleticism to be elite wide receivers”. That being said, it is still a mindset that becomes an obstacle and I’m sure it was a factor in this case.

    If Welker was black and set the NCAA record for punt return touchdowns, does he get drafted? I’m not sure, I would think that guy would get drafted no matter what. Lord knows the Eagles could use a good punt returner, and would be smart to use a late-round pick on one, even if he won’t be a receiving threat. And also assuming the guy didn’t spend the previous two years being a moguls skier. That also helps, I think.

    I was actually very surprised to hear that Welker never had good 40-yard dash times. You watch him on the field and he looks lightning fast, but I guess he can just accelerate like crazy but doesn’t have good top speed. It’s also just surprising to me that no one really saw how valuable he could be as a slot receiver. It’s not like the Pats are the only team that use one. There’s plenty of short, quick receivers that are really good in that role. And Welker is maybe the best I’ve seen at actually making his size an advantage. I meant to put this in the column but forgot. He catches the ball, then crouches down so that he’s like 4 feet tall and defenders either can’t get a good shot at him, or can’t even see him, and he just bolts right through the defense.

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