This #TBT came at an extremely interesting time considering the storylines attached to it. On this day February 4th, nine years ago Lovie Smith (Chicago Bears) and Tony Dungy (Indianapolis Colts) made NFL History becoming the first African American head coaches to face off in a Super Bowl. The Colts ended up winning the matchup 29-17 giving Peyton Manning his first successful Super Bowl experience.
In a league that once marveled at the talents of Doug Williams, becoming its first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl, now watches Cam Newton impact it once again but with a hip hop inspired spin. So many storylines even dating back to Newton’s rookie year where he broke Peyton Manning’s record by throwing for 400 yards in his first NFL game. Go to the opposite sideline and you’ll see the same quarterback who played his role in Dungy becoming the first black coach to win a Super Bowl. Now the attention turns to Manning, will he leave with a Lombardi Trophy in hand during this victory lap? Or will Cam Newton etch his name further into the record, or even history books this Sunday?
Either way, the level of class and respect these men have shown has to look a lot like the NFL version of something Dr. King hoped for. We not only celebrate the achievements of two African American head coaches nine years ago today but we also acknowledge Cam Newton making history weekly having great team success while handling it with a unique blend of flair and class.