Bill Cowher: A Caste Remembrance

Discussion in 'Pittsburgh Steelers' started by Don Wassall, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Bill Cowher was hiredto bethe Steelers head coach at the young age of 34 after the 1991 season, replacing Chuck Noll. Noll had coached the Steelers for 23 seasons, winning 4 Super Bowls in a 6 year span in the 1970s.


    Energetic and ambitious,Cowher was obviously quite aware of the trends and dynamics of the Caste System, the basics of which had for all intents and purposes been put into place by 1985, when Cowher was finishing his career as White Special Teams Demon/backup linebacker. The Steelers had gone stale at the end of the Noll era, and Cowher quickly refashioned the team after that of Jimmy Johnson's Cowboys, who were then the dominant team in the league.


    The Cowboys were winning in the early '90s with one of the blackest lineups in NFL history. After his success at the University of Miami with rosters dominated by ghetto thugs, Johnson successfully repeated the demographic process at the next level.


    Cowher immediately demoted Merrill Hoge and made him a blocking fullback.Hoge was never a featured tailback, but had been the Steelers' leading rusher the previous four seasons, and still holds the distinction of being the last white runner to be the primaryRB for an NFL team.


    The offensive line became all black, perhaps the first of its kind in league history. On defense, whites were limited to the occasional linebacker.


    Cowher was almost sadistic in his treatment of white players at times. He loved to humiliatethem during games, screaming at them from the sidelines when they madea mistake. His favorite targets were kickers and punters. A missed field goal or a shanked punt, particularly during nationally televised games, was sure to bring Cowher's best rage, spit flying as he cursed the offender the entire time he ran off the field. By contrast, when black players made bad mistakes, Cowher was a study in near-stoicism.


    White receivers had absolutely no chance for most of Cowher's tenure. In 1992, his first season, the Steelers had a kid named Mark Diddio out of (then) small college Connecticut. Diddio had Mike Hass-like hands andseemed incapable of dropping a ball. He finally played in a regular season game, made three timely catches, then was promptly "disappeared" and never played again.


    Cowher wrecked Danny Farmer's pro career, cutting UCLA's all-time receiver in the preseason after drafting him in the fourth round in 2000.


    Cowher's biggest asset was his ability to motivate his players. He bonded very well with black players, and his ranting and raving was nothing like any head coach before in the NFL. His "style" was black-oriented, even wiggerish.


    He will always be inextricably linked with Kordell Stewart. Stewart was the Michael Vick of his era, babied to an unbelievable degree by Cowher, who refused to even allow any meaningful competition at the position for year after year even though Stewart was mostly horrible. Steelers fans are as anti-white as any, but even they became sick of Stewart and nasty rumors about Cowher and Stewart being gay lovers were circulated all over the place.


    Cowher did mellow in the last few years some. After the end of the Great Eight Year Kordell Stewart Experiment, he seemed to become totally converted to the idea of having a white starter at QB. Whites were also staples at tight end and fullback, though mainlyfor blocking purposes. The Steelers even started two white players at defensive end in 2006, andChris Doering had 18 receptions as the Steelers' fifth receiver in 2003, after Doering had been jerked around the league by team after team for the better part of a decade.


    All in all, Bill Cowher had a coaching career that the Caste System will always revere.
     
  2. Poacher

    Poacher Mentor

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    Man, great post.

    There was always something about Cowher that never sat right with me.

    Always wondered what happened to Chris Doering. This guy was on the front of SI when he played for Florida if I remember correctly. He was a top receiving prospect. I think he went to the Giants and then I never heard about him again. Figures Cowher wouldn't give him a fair chance.
     
  3. LabMan

    LabMan Mentor

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    "A Caste Remembrance",A fine factual editorial by Don Wassall!
     
  4. Ground Fighter

    Ground Fighter Mentor

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    Cowher's gone? Thats the best news I've heard all week. I have always hated him for some reason. Aside from being one of the more prominent caste-whore coaches, he just always came off as a schmuck. He was always unnecessarily loud and obnoxious, and equipped with that dopey Tom Selleck mustache of his. Oh well, at least he's gone, finally.

    The funny thing is, the Pittsburgh fans are just like he is, in the sense that they hate White players too. I think Don actually pointed that out already in his initial post up top. Anyway, thank God Cowher's gone, maybe the Steelers future will be a little brigther...and, hopefully, a lot "Whiter".

    Maybe his replacement will actually use White fullbacks John Kuhn and Dan Kreider, instead of letting them rot away their careers on the bench.
     
  5. Leonardfan

    Leonardfan Hall of Famer

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    I am a Steeler fan but am the furthest thing from anti-white when it comes to players. I have hated their past few drafts for being black as coal. I am hoping Ferentz somehow becomes coach because his track record at Iowa is in stark contrast to the Steelers of the past 15 years.
     
  6. Matt_Bowen_Fan

    Matt_Bowen_Fan Guru

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    I'm hoping for Grimm, as he was a great player in his day, and would be one of the smarter coaches, IMO.
     
  7. white is right

    white is right Hall of Famer

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    Strangely enough I remember those face mask grabbing split flying incidents. I also remember him cursing the air when a flagrant foul by one of his defenders. Ahh great memories....... [​IMG] As for the Kordell rumours.... [​IMG]
     
  8. cslewis1

    cslewis1 Guru

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    Danny Farmer.... Man, another victim. I remember him dominating at UCLA. Yet, nothing in the pros, all the while all these scrubs from Michigan St. and USC and pretty soon GA Tech get years and years to prove themselves frauds. Bull f'ing crap!
     
  9. RedBeard

    RedBeard Newbie

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    I think it would be great if Mike Ditka was brought in to replace Cowher. I know that Ditka made a major boneheaded move by giving away his entire draft for Ricky Williams, but he was also a one of the strongest supporters of white players in his last years with the Saints. The Saints had Keith Poole and Brett Beck at receiver and also started two white safeties a few times during Ditka's last season. Ditka is from Aliquippa and a Pitt Alum, which would make him a great fit for the area. Plus he would toughen up the image of the team that was severely emasculated under Cowher. Anyone remember the Kordell kissing incident?
     
  10. Solomon Kane

    Solomon Kane Mentor

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    Great summary of the Cowher era, DW.

    Merrill Hoge, a tough guy who they should have kept.

    Kordell Stewart, a perfect example of caste-system coddling of black mediocrities.

    And the Cowher sideline antics...good riddance

    Roethlisberger bailed out Cowher, and gave him the Super Bowl Victory he did little to merit.

    I'm suprised that Pittsburgh fans are "anti-white". I've always thought they supported the white working class heroes--people like Rocky Bleier and Phil "Scrap Iron" Garner.

    Are there any caste football posters from the Pittsburgh area who can enlighten us on this change? Does it have to do with a shift in the general demographics of the City?
     
  11. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Alas, where aren't fans "anti-white" in the ways we talk about it here? The Drunk White Fan in the last Corporate Sports Report can be from Pittsburgh or any other major league city. He represents a general attitude -- impatience with white athletes often bordering on hatred, and infatuation and often saint-like patience with black athletes.


    Sure, fans take to an "overachiever" like Rocky Bleier or Phil Garner, the same way fans took to Wayne Chrebet and Mike Alstott. They like them, but they still don't have the faintest inkling of the Caste System, just the opposite really; they think, to the extent they ponder these things at all, thatthe rare "underdog" who makes it actually proves the rule that blacks are superior athletes.


    The fans in Pittsburgh finally turned against Kordell Stewart -- but it took years of consistent failure. In the late 1990s, there was a small army of white people in Pittsburgh and vicinity wearing Kordell jerseys. They were reluctant to boo Stewart, while almost instantly booing white quarterbacks has long been almost an art form around these parts.


    Stewart was coddled by Cowher in a way that no white quarterback ever would be, not even close, and he was coddled by the fans, too. The "incident" that was mentioned over and over about how supposedly terrible the Steelers fans were towardStewart was the timea drunkthrew a beer on him at the end of a game. Wow, big deal! Anyone who remembers when Mark Malone and Cliff Stoudt started for the Steelers can testify that they were treated with a viciousness that was unbelievable.


    Tommy Maddox came off the bench last year and had a bad performance, costing the Steelersa home game against Jacksonville, and again the viciousness directed toward him was unbelievable, an orgy of hate that drove him out of Pittsburgh and football.


    In baseball,the Pirates were the blackest team in MLB in the early 1970s, actually the blackest of all time, before or since. They were the first team to start nine black players, and most of the time they started 7 blacks out of 8 position players. The lone exception was third baseman Richie Hebner, a very likeable guy from Massachusetts who had a strange accent (in these parts) and a good personality. He lacked power but usually batted around .300 or close to it.


    Who was the only member of the team to be booed? Hebner, of course. Just about every error, every strikeout, was rewarded with boos. It was great sport for the white fans, who never booed any of the black players.


    The fans were far nicer to such world-class a-holes as Dave Parker and Barry Bonds than they deserved to be treated. Even now, there are still many devoted Bonds fans here. One local talk show host actually campaigns for a statue of Bonds to be built outside of PNC Park, and there is no shortage of white fans who agree with him.


    And the media and fans coo over busts like Oliver Perez and every other hispanic player signed by the Pirates.


    Big Ben is popular here, but the fans were very close to turning on him this past season. The demands for thelegendary Charlie Batch to replace him as the starter were beginning to build before Ben started playing better. It didn't matter thatRoethlisberger was the youngest quarterback ever on a Super Bowl winner the previous season, or that he had nearly died in a motorcycle accident a few months before, or that he had an emergency appendectomy right before the season opener, the impatience was there.


    Sean Morey is regarded as a joke when it comes to being a receiver. The thoughts of him actually catching the ball inspires horror in most Steeler fans, who would regard it as irrefutable proof that the team needed a complete overhaul at the position.


    And on and on. I could cite many more examples, as I'm sure just about everyone here can about the white fans where they live. The black-is-better, self-loathing attitudes are deeply ingrained.Edited by: Don Wassall
     
  12. Solomon Kane

    Solomon Kane Mentor

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    Thanks for the historical summary, DW.

    I didn't know it was that bad in Pittsburgh, or that the caste mentality had started so early.
     
  13. GWTJ

    GWTJ Mentor

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    Here is the Wikpedia info on Cliff Stoudt:

    Cliff Stoudt (March 27, 1955) was an American football player, playing quarterback for Youngstown State University and the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers. He was the back up to Terry Bradshaw for many seasons before taking over as starter during Bradshaw's injury plagued 1983 season. He led the Steelers to a post season appearance which ended with a loss to the Los Angeles Raiders.
    After the 1983 season, he joined the Birmingham Stallions of the USFL. During a 1984 game against the Pittsburgh Maulers, before the only sell-out crowd at Three Rivers Stadium in the Maulers only season, Stoudt was pelted with snow balls during the whole game.
    After a two season stint in the USFL, Stoudt retuned to the NFL with the St. Louis Cardinals and stayed with them through the 1988 season when they moved to Phoenix. He spent his final NFL season with the Miami Dolphins apearing in three games without attempting a pass.


    Don, I must say, your rants have an excellent subtle comedic quality to them. That beat down of the Steeler fans was awesome!
    Edited by: GWTJ
     
  14. sport historian

    sport historian Master

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    Don told of how the fans do like an "over-achieving white guy" like Rocky Bleier. The corollary to this is a strong dislike of white players like Peyton Manning or, if he struggles, Big Ben.

    That explains why movies like "Invincible," or even "Rudy," are made. The Rocky Syndrome of the athletically inferior white guy who can barely succeed through tremendous effort plays into and supports the System.
     
  15. Freedom

    Freedom Mentor

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    The movie Rocky wasn't all that explicitly racist. This new one, I think, is more anti-white because it shows a black heavyweight champion and rap music, in a sport that is now Russian dominated. I guess they couldn't have another Russian fighter movie. Apollo Creed was portrayed as a good guy and not a castewhore, who was much more patriotic than Ali. Don't forget Rocky 5 featured Tommy Morrison.
    Fans are fickle. They just use sports to escape reality.
    Stewart was regarded as an MVP candidate in 2001-02! The hype continued and he war heralded as one of the best players in the game until a poor performance in Monday Night Football. Big Ben did become a superstar under Cowher's smash mouth offense two years ago. That was it! Not much else as far as any support of white players. If Farmer was at USC today, he would surely get screwed over there and forced to play volleyball only.
     
  16. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Farmer, the son of an NFL player,was a walk-on at UCLA; the Caste System wasn't any different a decade ago than it is now.


    Kordell Stewartbecame the backup to Tommy Maddoxduring the2002 season. Stewart had two half-decent statistical years, 1997 and 2001. He barely surpassed 3,000 yards passing in both, which would be considered a bad year for the league's good white passers. Other seasons featured such putrid outputs as 1,464 yards passing (1999) and 1,860 yards (2000). Much of the time Kordell couldn't throw even the shortest of passes accurately. A trademark of announcers was to exclaim "Strike!" when he managed to hit a receiverfive or tenyards downfield. For his careerStewart threw 84 interceptions to just 77 touchdown passes and had a QB rating of but 70.7. Edited by: Don Wassall
     
  17. Colonel_Reb

    Colonel_Reb Hall of Famer

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    All is right in the world when Don is "Slash"ing! [​IMG]
     
  18. foreverfree

    foreverfree Mentor

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    That recently? Wow![​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG]

    JohnEdited by: foreverfree
     
  19. foreverfree

    foreverfree Mentor

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    I think you mean 7 BLACKS out of 8, Don. Speaking of Hebner, he played out his option after the 1976 season I believe and headed down the Turnpike (or the Lincoln Hwy. if you will) to sign with the Phillies. Hebner was one of the less heralded members of the maiden FA class.

    I'll have more to say about Pirate "raceball" tonight, my energy permitting (I have a more physically demanding job than I had a month or so ago).

    John
     
  20. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks John, I edited my error.


    Another reason the booing of Hebner sticks with me is that the Pirates were a great team at that time, and still the fans went out of their way to boo the only white position player on the team. I think often times the irrational dislike of white athletes takes place because they are a safe target for people to use to let out their frustrations -- racial frustrations, problems in their own lives, etc. Booing a black player is kind of like saying something negative about blacks in public -- whites always look around to make sure it's "safe" before they do so. Black athletes aren't booed until fans are sure that a consensus exists that the player truly deserves it and that it isn't being done for racial reasons.
     
  21. foreverfree

    foreverfree Mentor

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    You're welcome.

    And in making good on my vow to talk more Buccos, I read where the history making game came on Sept. 1, 1971, 5 days after my tenth birthday (I lived a couple of miles from Danny Murtaugh's hometown, Marcus Hook, PA).

    Courtesy of http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PIT/PIT197109010.sht ml , here is the Pirates' starting lineup that night (their foe, the Phillies, started 2 blacks, "Willie the Phillie" Montanez and Oscar Gamble)...

    Philadelphia Phillies Pittsburgh Pirates&nbsp ;&nbsp ;
    1. R Stone& nbsp;RF1. R Stennett&nbs p;2B
    2. L Bowa&n bsp; SS2. G Clines CF
    3. T McCarver&nbs p;C3. R Clemente&nbs p;RF
    4. D Johnson&nbsp ;1B4. W Stargell&nbs p;LF
    5. W Montanez&nbs p;CF5. M Sanguillen C
    6. O Gamble LF6. D Cash&n bsp; 3B
    7. T Harmon 2B7. A Oliver 1B
    8. J Vukovich&nbs p;3B8. J Hernandez&nb sp;SS
    9. W Fryman P9. D Ellis& nbsp;P

    (sorry if the starting lineups didn't format right, hope you can read them)

    Dock Ellis ("Docktor" Ellis, my dad called him) didn't last long, only four outs. Hebner didn't play; in fact, the Bucs' only substitutions that night were on the mound. Take heart though, guys, from the fact that the game was won by a WHITE Pirate hurler, Luke Walker, who worked the last 6 frames. [​IMG]

    John
     
  22. Solomon Kane

    Solomon Kane Mentor

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    Was Bill Mazeroski and SS Gene Alley still on the Pirates in 1971, or had they retired by then ? What about Steve Blass? The reason I ask is that it would have been nice for these white veterans to have picked up a championship (or in Maz's case a second one) before they retired.
     
  23. sport historian

    sport historian Master

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    Mazeroski, Alley, and Blass were still with the Pirates in 1971.
     
  24. foreverfree

    foreverfree Mentor

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    Maz played 70 games in 1971. He retired after the '72 season. Interestingly, Maz and Clemente, the only members of both the 1960 and 1971 world champions, had careers that just about matched each other chronologically. Murtaugh, who grew up 3 miles from where I did, managed both teams, but was not Pirate manager continuously during the intervening years (he was in his third go round [of four] as Buc skipper in '71).

    Alley retired after 1973, Blass after 1974. BTW Blass won game 7 of the '71 Series, a complete game job (I can still see the pic in the Philly Inquirer of Blass doing the Toyota leap after the final out).
     
  25. OldSchoolBoy75

    OldSchoolBoy75 Guru

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    I saw Bill Cowher on "NFL Today" (is that the show he stars on?) and it looks like his teeth are entirely capped. It was like looking at Dionne Warwick.
     

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