MIKE BURKE

Allegany Radio Corporation Sports

For being the so-called dead week prior to Super Bowl week, those scamps at #NFLTheTVShow sure are keeping things alive in the old news cycle, even though these greedy and entitled mopes can’t be too pleased with the life they’ve been living in this current news cycle.

The week began with Tom Brady’s retirement, yet seeping through the cracks of the aw-shucks ain’t he adorable feel-good fairy dust the NFL tried to sprinkle on us, was news that Brian Flores, the recently canned head coach of the Miami Dolphins, was filing a lawsuit alleging that the NFL and all 32 of its teams have engaged in racial discrimination during the coaching hiring process.

In his filing Flores produces screenshots of a purported text conversation he had with Patriots coach Bill Belichick, whom Flores worked under as an assistant for 11 years. Belichick congratulated Flores in the messages for getting the Giants head coaching job.

The problem there was, Flores had yet to interview for the job, so it appeared Belichick had accidentally texted Flores when he meant to text Brian Daboll, a former Belichick assistant whom the Giants ended up hiring. (One quick step back here, I am of the firm belief that with Bill Belichick there are no accidents.)

So it boils down to this, Flores, who had coached the terrible Dolphins to two straight winning seasons, having won seven in a row and eight out of the final nine this season, is Black; Daboll, who has never been a head coach, is White. Thus, Flores believes, as does anybody who has a brain, the job had been promised to Daboll before Flores was even interviewed.

Deplorable as the thought of the NFL and its owners being racist is, it certainly comes as no surprise. It is, after all, a league in which 70 percent of its players is Black and 31 of 32 of its head coaches is White, the lone Black head coach being, of course, Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As bad as this looks and as bad as it is that everybody, beginning with the owners who are doing it, knows it’s true, and has been true forever, there is even more that should be shaking #NFLTheTVShow to its core:

Flores also asserts Dolphins owner Stephen Ross urged Flores to tank games, even offering the coach $100,000 per loss. If true, Ross will have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do, and will likely be doing so to folks who spend a lot of their time in Washington, D.C. (see former employees of Danny Snyder’s organization on Capitol Hill Thursday).

Flores also says he interviewed for the Broncos job in 2019, which he describes in the lawsuit as a “sham” opportunity. He says Broncos general manager John Elway and CEO Joe Ellis showed up to the interview an hour late and “it was obvious that they had been drinking heavily the night before,” leaving Flores with no choice but to believe he was interviewed only to satisfy the Rooney Rule, which mandates each organization interview minority candidates for big jobs.

Naturally, the TV Show, the Broncos and the Giants all dispute Flores’ claims. Meanwhile, Flores is still a candidate for the Saints’ head-coaching vacancy and interviewed with the team Tuesday before filing the lawsuit.

So let’s put it this way: If Flores gets the Saints job, or any head coaching job (he essentially announced his retirement with this lawsuit), even with his qualifications, he would likely be getting it as part of yet another conspiracy by the owners. You know, just to shut people up?

See? We hire Black head coaches here, even one who is suing us.

Do not put anything past these NFL owners, for it doesn’t seem unlike what Deep Throat once told Bob Woodward about the Nixon White House: “Forget the myths the media’s created about (them). The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand.”

The racism we’ve known about. The tanking of games? It’s something many of us have long suspected, and this is the part of Flores’ lawsuit that will linger and then take hold in full crisis mode for NFL owners because it would violate every public trust the NFL claims to have built itself upon.

The cherry on top here is, on the same day Flores accused Ross of asking him to tank games, Grambling State University head coach Hue Jackson made his own claims against the Cleveland Browns, a team he once coached, and its owner Jimmy Haslam.

Jackson, who is also Black and who is the last head coach to have a winning career record coaching the Detroit Lions (think about that) and cannot find another NFL head coaching job, suggested Haslam paid him to lose for higher draft positioning as well, and that he can back up every word of his claim.

Whom are we to believe here? Two guys with proven winning track records as head coaches in the NFL who can’t get another head coaching job for some reason, or the integrity-filled owners who will not hire them for some reason and who have jumped into bed with millions of dollars in deals with gambling companies?

There is an old Broadway expression that says, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” There are 32 #NFLTheTVShow team owners, two in particular, who are saying, “Wanna bet?”

Mike Burke writes about sports and other stuff for Allegany Radio and Pikewood Digital. He began covering sports for the Prince George’s Sentinel in 1981 and joined the Cumberland Times-News sports staff in 1984, serving as sports editor for over 30 years. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @MikeBurkeMDT