Media Yawns at Hartline’s Historic Receiving Day


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Brian Hartline

By Don Wassall.

Last Sunday, wide receiver Brian Hartline of the Miami Dolphins had the 16th most prolific receiving day in NFL history and the most ever by a Dolphin with 253 yards. He obtained that yardage on 12 receptions, or over 20 yards per catch, including an 80 yard touchdown reception.

For the season, Hartline leads the NFL in receiving yardage through 4 games with 455 yards on 25 receptions. For his pro career he has averaged just under 16 yards per catch, better than all but a few other receivers in the entire league.

Yet Hartline’s historic game generated mostly a stifled yawn from the corporate media. On the NFL Network, during Deion Sanders’ weekly “top ten players of the day” segment, Hartline not only wasn’t number one, he wasn’t on the list at all. On other highlight shows on the NFL Network and ESPN, Hartline’s great day was politely noted but hardly featured prominently. Yet his 253 yards receiving is comparable in rarity to a quarterback throwing for 500 yards in a game. Now imagine if a black quarterback had thrown for 500 yards last Sunday. It’s not a stretch to say that not only would Deion Sanders have been dancing for joy and naming him his top player of the day, every other sports show and media outlet would likewise have been heaping him with praise.

But White receivers don’t fit into the Caste System paradigm. Oh, some are tolerated and a few undeniable stars like Wes Welker and Jordy Nelson are given grudging respect, unlike cornerback and running back, which have been artificially engineered to be black only in perpetuity despite the ever shrinking pool of capable black athletes in the U.S, but the league and its media publicists clearly want wide receiver to remain a “black thang” even though if college football recruiting and the NFL were color blind, White receivers would be the norm and blacks the exception.

And many of those media outlets that did recognize Hartline’s great game felt obliged to utlize the obligatory racist qualifiers one almost always finds when it comes to the treatment of White football players. In Hartline’s case it was “craftiness” and not his obvious speed that accounted for his performance. Michael Lombardi pontificated that, “Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline was great against the Cardinals, proving with his 253 receiving yards and 80-yard score that crafty route running is more important than blazing speed.” California Sports News wrote after Hartline’s big game against the Raiders earlier in the season: “Crafty fourth-year receiver Brian Hartline used his cutbacks to slice up Raiders cornerbacks Pat Lee and Joselio Hanson for career highs of nine catches and 111 yards,” while Phinsinsider.com attributed Hartline’s 80 yard TD catch and run on Sunday to a defender deciding to jog on the play: “Safety Adrian Wilson begins to move toward Hartline, but seems to be jogging and watching to see if the receiver catches the ball, rather than running full speed to make a play.”

In fact, like all other White receivers who overcome the tremendous obstacles that exist to filter out star high school White receivers from first being recruited by a major college program and then getting a fair opportunity in the NFL, Hartline has always been falsely portrayed as a “possession receiver” who lacks speed and play-making ability. In Hartline’s case he was a state champion hurdler in the state of Ohio in the 110 meters and 300 meters, and nearly broke the state record in the 300 meters.

But the media and the vast majority of football fans believe that no White players are as fast as even the slowest black players, even though measurables consistently show that there are a large number of White players who are very fast and very quick, and who can also jump like kangaroos. The reality is that there are far more White football players in the United States than there are black ones, and even if blacks on average are slightly faster straight line runners over a short distance, there are still plenty of white players who are also fast, not to mention second to none when it comes to work ethic, hand-eye coordination, intelligence, strength and stamina, ability to sublimate selfishness for the betterment of the team, etc.

Congratulations to Brian Hartline, who has been denigrated non-stop by both the media and many fans ever since being drafted by the Dolphins in 2009. Nothing would be sweeter than for him to finish among the top receivers in the NFL in 2012.

9 Responses to Media Yawns at Hartline’s Historic Receiving Day

  1. seattlefan says:

    “But the media and the vast majority of football fans believe that no White players are as fast as even the slowest black players, even though measurables consistently show that there are a large number of White players who are very fast and very quick, and who can also jump like kangaroos. The reality is that there are far more White football players in the United States than there are black ones, and even if blacks on average are slightly faster straight line runners over a short distance, there are still plenty of white players who are also fast, not to mention second to none when it comes to work ethic, hand-eye coordination, intelligence, strength and stamina, ability to sublimate selfishness for the betterment of the team, etc.”

    In my opinion whites and blacks are about equal in athleticism, especially the type that is relevant in football. The only way these positions could possibly be 100% black as in the nfl, or nearly 100% black as in college football is if white athletes could not even come close to black athletes in speed and athletic performance. There are a number of black RBs, WRs and CBs that run in the 4.5 and slower range who are currently in the NFL. Surely this must mean that the average white athlete at this position runs a 4.7 or 4.8, and only the rare 4.5 can get a chance to play a skill position, according to caste logic?

    Yet when we actually look at combine performances, college pro days, or even high school combines, we regularly see white athletes that put up numbers that rival top black athletes.

  2. europe says:

    “not to mention second to none when it comes to work ethic, hand-eye coordination, ”

    Did you see Dorset of Miami against ND tonight drop 2 sure touchdown passes?

  3. rbtruck28 says:

    Andrew Bodenheimer: http://www.ecupirates.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/bodenheimer_andrew00.html

    NOTICE the attribute, “DECEPTIVE QUICKNESS”… I wonder why they say its deceptive? is it because he is huge, so quickness is surpising? or is it something else about him that gives makes his speed deceptive??
    Expected to cap admirable ascent from a walk-on special teams performer to part-time starter to full-time starter to honors candidacy during senior season … Will open final campaign with starters’ designation at the “Z” slot – one of two outside receiver positions in ECU’s four-receiver offensive scheme – for the third-straight year … Hands, reliability, savvy and deceptive quickness have enabled notable performance as a possession-type pass catcher … Earned promotion to full scholarship status after the 2010 spring semester … Made two receptions for 11 yards during the first spring scrimmage (March 31) and added a single grab for nine yards a week later … Also collected a catch for four yards during the Purple-Gold Game (April 14) … Selected as a fourth-team preseason All-Conference USA performer by Phil Steele’s College Football Preview Magazine … Produced a back squat of 480 pounds, a bench press of 340 pounds and a wattage of 1,207 in the jerk to rank among unit’s best during the strength and conditioning testing period.

  4. rifleman says:

    In high school, Hartline was a state champion in the 110 & 300 hurdles. In college, at Ohio State, he finished 7th in the 60 meter hurdles at the Big Ten Championships in 2008. Hartline is fast, very fast. Whenever he steps on the field he is one of the fastest players, black or white. But to the brain dead sports media, Hartline is a slow footed “possession” receiver. Congratulations Brian, on a job well done. There are many of us out here who recognize just how great was your accomplishment.

  5. ThePhinsider says:

    I am really bothered by how you take my statement that the safety seemed to be jogging toward Hartline as a basis to declare that I am racially saying that Hartline could not have possibly gotten open any other way.

    First off, The Phinsider is a Miami Dolphins blog. Why would I not want to see my wide receiver get open with speed over “craftiness?”

    Second, if you read the whole article, rather than pulling out one quote, I made it clear that Hartline ran a great route, and used his speed to finish off the play, beating the safety down the sideline.

    But, if you look at the play, at the moment Ryan Tannehill throws the ball, the Cardinals all suddenly realize Hartline is behind them, and turn to react. The safety, however, does not start running. He seems to start jogging, waiting to see if Hartline catches the ball, rather than sprint over there and try to make a play on Hartline. What about that implied racism?

    I am really disturbed by the use of my quote to try to imply any racial overtones in celebrating a great play by Ryan Tannehill and Brian Hartline.

    • admin says:

      The quote from your article was accurate and was used to illustrate a theme in the media, namely that white receivers at best have something often referred to as “deceptive speed,” whatever the hell that is, not to malign your entire article or your blog. If you believe it was unfair to use that particular quote as being out of context, then instead of quoting from your blog, I could have taken a quote from many others which indeed have the belief that someone like Brian Hartline can’t possibly be fast.

      Describing white receivers as having deceptive speed (which you didn’t do) is just as racist as successful black quarterbacks continually being described as “deceptively intelligent.” But no writer would dare describe a black QB that way, whereas white football players are regularly described in nauseatingly stereotypical terms.

      If you have always given Hartline credit for his speed, I’m glad, because you are one of the very few football writers who have. He has usually been described as a “possession” type receiver, rarely one with big play ability, and as a South Floridian (at least I assume you are), you know how much criticism Hartline has received from the day he was drafted. The near unanimous consensus before the 2012 season was one of horror that the Dolphins were going to go with Hartline as their number one receiver.

      And I’m sure you also know Hartline has been in the news this week because of teammates like Davone Bess giving him props for his speed and acknowledging that Brian has been underestimated because of his race. So the topic of our article was very timely indeed even if you feel that we misused the quote in your blog.

      So again, if you’ve always been fair in describing Brian without resorting to kneejerk stereotypes, congratulations. I hope you’ll continue to describe football players as objectively as possible because the media as a whole is woefully beholden to using silly cliches and often ridiculous comparisons when it comes to football players and athletes in general.

      • Elijah Matthews says:

        yes, this article was written when ESPN had a former coach diagramming the play and analyzing coach’s film as to why Hartline got open and they were acting like the play called was some magical new play that allowed a receiver to get wide open. The play design was nothing new, most dbs are fast in the NFL, coaches scheme just to freeze a db for a millisecond with play action , try to get the confused by calling a play to take advantage of what coverage they might be in etc, the same with those plays, Hartline took advantage of it, just like any other good receiver would have done, but only 17 have managed to get more yards in a game.

  6. jackryanvb says:

    Yeah, OK – agreed this Hartline receiver is very good and ignored, insulted by the US corporate media.

    But how about the millions of Chinese athletes who have never made it to to the NFL? The NBA has had 2 Chinese players, the NFL none.

    And look at the discrimination middle eastern Arab Muslims and Israeli Jews face.

    Can’t think of a single Arab Muslim or Israel Jewish player in NFL history except for some field goal kicker for the Giants in the 1980s.

    Look at the last Olympics – Israel won exactly zero medals and Saudi Arabia just one – silver medal in some equastrian sport that only milionare Saudis or Brits can afford to compete. That has to be discrimination!

    • Elijah Matthews says:

      very funny (sarcasm)
      How many Chinese people participate in football? All across America White kids participate in football at the high school level, and excel, and often have the same or better measurables than those non whites who get scholarships. There aren’t any majority Chinese schools, there are majority White schools, and they routinely beat majority black schools. There aren’t Chinese in the NFL (except Ed Wang who I am not sure is still playing, 5th round pick not a kicker, offensive lineman) but there are Samoans who are very overrepresented. It is said that a son of Samoan parents are 56 times more likely to play in the NFL. The NFL is running out of black talent, and is picking up anything non white. Igor Olshansky claims to be jewish of Ukranian descent, I highly doubt he has any semitic blood.

      The average height of Chinese men is like 5’5 or 5’6 compared to the 5 ’10 1/2 of whites in America and the 5’10 of blacks in America. Even though their population is huge and would probably have many people who have the right build, there just isn’t interest in American Football. Japan has a small percentage of the population who love football, with their own amateur league. However this is only a small percentage of the population and I imagine their height range is the not much different from Chinese people. Japan seems to have many different groups of people interested in a particular American thing ranging from American Football to punk rock (well that could be considered British but very popular in America) Haruki Nakamura is of Japanese descent. Scouts really aren’t trying to tap into outside countries for talent, they don’t have farm teams like baseball so these players would probably have to born in the US. Silly not to look outside of America, there are amateur leagues throughout the world, I am sure many teams have a standout player that could make it in the NFL, even considering most of the best athletes in places like Europe choose to do other sports. Scout rugby players and offer them more money. I know one thing, when a fumble occurs they would easily scoop it up and it wouldn’t look like a bunch of black sumos grabbing a bar of soap.

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