I Sit in the Middle of History

Three hours north of Indianapolis and less than an hour from downtown Chicago, I am in between the hometowns of the two teams going to the Super Bowl. Those teams are led by these men:

They are Indianapolis Colts' head coach Tony Dungy and Chicago Bears' head coach Lovie Smith, and they're the first black head coaches to go head-to-head at the Super Bowl in NFL history. It's a little bit of progress the realization of which gave me a face-cracking grin.

Just days ago, the hideous boil on the ass of humanity Rush Limbaugh disgorged another detestable bit of his typical "observational" swill, intoning that "the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons." Only one station dropped his show.

And yet, we're about to see history being made in spite of Limbaugh's vile transmissions of racism, as he struggles against the inevitability of progress, makes last-gasp attempts to rile his bigoted listeners' hatred in the waning days of their undeserved privilege. When millions and millions of people tune into the Super Bowl, they're going to see two teams, each with a black coach—and those who insist on clinging to their sad and desperate reserves of irrational hatred will feel no joy. Their racism will be ruinous. The rest of us will celebrate, or fail altogether to notice the passing of this historical benchmark, which itself is a rather notable commentary.

As for Shakes Manor, sitting as we are in the middle of the two teams, we'll be smiling when both Smith and Dungy take the field, but there's little doubt about for whom we'll be rooting. Mr. Shakes cared very little about American football when he was a wee thing 4,000 miles away, but there was one team that captured his fancy:

Go Bears. Go Lovie.

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