March 3, 2006, - 5:39 am

Is This Racist?: The NFL’s Idiocy Litmus Test

By Debbie Schlussel
It’s no secret that you don’t need to be smart to play in the National Football League. Or any major sports league.
When one thinks “pro football player,” the name Einstein does not immediately come to mind. So, when the NFL has a test that measures the most basic level of intelligence, and a Black player fails miserably, does that mean the test and the NFL are racist?
Apparently so, according to Detroit Free Press sports columnist Drew Sharp and assorted others. Sharp calls the Wonderlic Intelligence test a “ridiculous stigma,” because a promising NFL prospect, Vince Young, scored “idiot” on the IQ test. Stigma? Since when was an intelligence test a “stigma”?
Well, actually, for years–in the Black community. Every year when SATs are administered for college admissions, race merchants claim it’s biased against them. No matter that Blacks who are recent immigrants from Africa and the islands do very well on the SATs–better, on average, than Whites.

vinceyoung.jpg

Vince Young: NFL Prospect Might Be Dumbest Ever

Back to the NFL. Young scored a six out of a possible 50, the lowest score ever garnered on the exam. The NFL administers this test to every player interested in being drafted into the league.
It’s not like the test is brain surgery. Here’s a sample question: The ninth month of the year is? They actually give multiple choice options for this simple query. Then there’s this one: Paper sells for 21 cents per pad. What will four pads cost? And this toughie: Which number in the following group of numbers represents the smallest amount?: 7, .8, 31, .33, or 2.
Finally, there’s this one, which normally on-target USA Today sports columnist Jon Saraceno thinks is genius stuff: A boy is 17 and his sister twice as old. When the boy is 23, how old will his sister be?
If you didn’t get all four correct answers to these questions immediately, then you really are too dumb to play even in the NFL. Sorry, but there’s nothing racist about these. It’s, frankly, an idiot litmus test. And you don’t want complete idiots working for you, just as NFL owners don’t.
Not that they’ve succeeded.
The fact is that even for a league of dummies, there has to be a minimum standard, a minimum level past which the utter stupidity cannot exceed.
Another fact is that if the test is so racist, it’s notable that the majority Black NFL membership has never complained about it. In fact, the NFL Players Association, the union to which every current NFL player must belong, is headed by one Gene Upshaw. Guess what race he is? And, yet, each time Upshaw, his player representatives, and lawyers negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with the NFL, they NEVER make the Wonderlic test an issue. Never. It’s never come up.
The union negotiates every imaginable condition and term of employment imaginable for an NFL player. If they felt the test was “racist,” or a hindrance to making money in every way, they’d have gotten rid of it.
Yet, Drew Sharp and the sports race police say the test is racist, a way to keep Vince Young from becoming another Black starting quarterback in the pros. Didn’t they ruin Rush Limbaugh’s sports broadcasting career over exactly this type of sophistry?
And here’s another racist item: Unlike White players–and everyone else–Vince Young of the low score of 6 was allowed to re-take the Wonderlic exam, garnering a 16. That’s still below average for non-college graduates, according to Saraceno, and much lower than what the NFL prefers.
How did Young instantly gain more 10 points and go up 167% in his score on an IQ test? IQs simply don’t change that radically from one test-taking session to the next. Unless Young had help the second time around.
The very WHITE Dan Marino only scored 14 on the Wonderlic exam, two points below Young’s second score. But we never heard him–or Drew Sharp–complain the exam was anti-White or anti-Italian. It didn’t prevent him from becoming a quarterback, either.
According to USA Today’s Saraceno, the very WHITE Pat McInally, a Harvard receiver and Rhodes scholar applicant, sank three rounds in the NFL draft, after his high Wonderlic score was posted to NFL owners. The problem was, he scored TOO high.
Then-New York Giants GM George Young told him, “Look, we don’t want to draft players who are too dumb. And we sure as hell don’t want to draft ‘em too smart.”
So, is an IQ test racist on its face? If you believe that, then you’d have to believe Blacks don’t have high IQs.
And that would make you–and sports commentators like Drew Sharp (who is Black)–the real racist.

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22 Responses

I never thought anyone would under-perform Daunte Culpepper’s Wunderlic of “8″. But, alas, Vince Young has come up roses (again!). \m/ Hook ‘em \m/

Yiddish Steel on March 2, 2006 at 10:40 pm

Makes me wonder about an undiagnosed learning disability like dyslexia or something going on here to score that low. what is the business reason or even the PR rational for the NFL to give a test like that to anyone?

Crimsonfisted on March 2, 2006 at 11:10 pm

I agree with Crimsonfisted concerning what reason would they have in administering an intelligence test to players or potential players in the NFL? Are they concerned with football skills or whether players have the potential to become atomic physicists? Maybe they are concerned that some players cannot learn complex plays or remember the play count. However, they do not need an intelligence test to determine that. In addition, if they started administering intelligence tests to all football players, that might end the sport.
However, I do not agree that there must be a learning disability. He entered a university. Apparently, he is passing enough course work to stay in school. If he were able to meet those criteria and still not be diagnosed with a “learning disability” then one probably does not exist.
Amazing that some of the simplistic questions could not be answered. However, he certainly understands the numbers when it comes to the pay in his contract. Maybe they should have asked him, “What is the larger number forty million or fifty million, when considering a football contract?” Or, “what is a hail Mary pass?” Then have multiple choice answers like, a)”A religious ceremony;” b)”A means of greeting someone named Mary;” or c) “A desperation pass attempted at the end of a game.” If he answers (a) or (b) then he should be flunked as this pertains to football.
As for testing football players being a “racist” mechanism, it may or may not be. Since most players are black, probably most players that flunk will be black.

Insightful on March 3, 2006 at 12:48 am

Dear DS,
Could u pl write on the accqusition of Doncaster group by DIC. Doncaster makes precision equpiments for millitary hardware.
It’d be nice to hear ur view
reg
g

g on March 3, 2006 at 1:27 am

if you want racism, investigate the “rooney rule”.
quoting donovan mcnabb, “we’ve moved past that.”
to insightful;
if you were to investigate the budget of the UT athletic dept. and find that it came in right behind the GNP of say Germany, and the starting QB was single handedly winning ball games for said university, how difficult do you think it would be for said QB to get a 4.0 in say ROCKET SCIENCE or say BRAIN SURGERY?
in light of the people he has HIRED to represent him, considering the possibility of not having the CBA in place next season, i am surprised he scored as high as he did.

louielouie on March 3, 2006 at 1:30 am

No, there should not be an academic litmus test for the NFL. There should be, however, a mandatory academic litmus test for entering, staying in and receiving a degree from institutions of higher learning.
Maybe morons and thugs who excel at playing with some form of ball or another could be hired by the university to do just that and not insult those who really do earn a degree.

George on March 3, 2006 at 6:57 am

Don’t discount the learning disability angle. Former Redskins All Pro Dexter Manley graduated from OK State and couldn’t read. He was diagnosed with dyslexia. Now Dex is serving time for a coke habit he can’t quit because he had no other skills than sacking the QB. I hope Vince doesn’t go down the same path.

Blayne on March 3, 2006 at 8:18 am

IF you want to find intelligent football players, look no further than New England:)

EminemsRevenge on March 3, 2006 at 9:52 am

A few asked why the NFL gives the test.
The reason why this is such a big issue is because this guy is a quarterback. You have very fast 300+ pounders aiming to hurt you, linebackers and very fast defensive backs looking to pick off your pass, disguised coverages, and this is all happening in the blink of an eye. The quarterback has to think on his feet and recoginze and react to very complex defenses. In college a quarterback can take advantage of athletic skills more, but the NFL is a totally different game, requiring more thnking skills.
THAT’S why the test is important to NFL teams, who are investing millions on these guys. It’s not as important as other positions, but it is at quarterback to a certain extent. This is the reason why people like Peyton Manning are stars since he Manning is a very average athlete.
If anyone is to blame, it’s the universities for prostituting themselves for sports. The NCAA should go back to pure amateurs and the NFL should start a minor league system, which is what the NCAA is for the NFL at this time.

Jeff_W on March 3, 2006 at 12:29 pm

LOL….If a quarterback need to hike the ball on a hard count of 4 yet can barely count that high…what use is he to the team…
Vince Young with the false start….yet again…..

Avatar on March 3, 2006 at 12:45 pm

Darren Davis reportedly scored a 4 on the Wonderlic. Now, of course, he’s in Congress (says alot about Congress).

hunkpapa on March 3, 2006 at 1:08 pm

Manning is a very average athlete
and Mike Tyson used to hit like a flyweight!!!
Although Peyton is destined to be the next Dan Marino in the annals of history since Tom Brady has a three-peat and two more Super Bowls left in him, you CANNOT deny that he is one of the best pocket passers that ever played the game. While everyone seem to think that the Vick/”Soupboy” McNabb QB is the wave of the future, pocket QBs are STILL the ones who carry home the rings.

EminemsRevenge on March 3, 2006 at 1:29 pm

EminemsRevenge, as usual I can barely understand your ramblings, but I think we are agreeing.
That’s what I was saying, that NFL quarterbacks have to rely on more than pure athletic ability. I was saying that Manning is a great quarterback, but he is just average at best as an athlete, Brady, too.
I have to disagree with you about McNabb. McNabb has turned himself into a pocket passer by and large. In fact, I heard an NFL scout interviewed on Fox Sports Radio on JT the Brick’s show. He said he personally gave McNabb the Wonderlic test out of college and he said McNabb scored very highly, I think he said in the high 20s.
Is it only racist if a black athlete scores low?

Jeff_W on March 3, 2006 at 3:57 pm

Ok Young and Marino graduated from high school I assume. College too? I think this says a lot about how pathetic and corrupt our educational systems has become. How could you complete elementary school, much less high school, and NOT be able to answer those qustions?

John Sobieski on March 3, 2006 at 4:52 pm

I don’t get it.
When I took the military tests, there were plenty of ghetto-babies who scored every bit as high as I did.
True, you didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to be a Grunt a few years back. But the technical skills were a different matter.
So how does anyone equate this as racist, or a stigma, when so many non-whites were kicking the crap out of the technical tests?
I entered Aviation after being a Grunt, and the minority guys I worked with were scarey smart … we all were :)
So … if there are smart guys and there are dumb guys in any given group of people, regardless of color, race, creed, etc … then how is it a racial stigma if someone scores ‘idiot’ ???
Some of my fellow Marines … very BLACK looking guys … would kick the crap out of this moron for even suggesting that blacks have to be protected from testing.
The only one with a stigma is the idiot who is doing his best to perpetrate that myth.

Athling on March 3, 2006 at 10:24 pm

Considering that Ryan Leaf scored 27, while Dan Marino scored 16, I’d have to wonder about the relevancy of giving the Wonderlic to athletes. For the sake of accuracy, it consists of 50 questions, not 60. The test is NOT culturally-biased, and it does NOT measure intelligence or your ability to learn. It measures what you have ALREADY learned and your ability to use it. Take a look at all the sample questions that have been going around lately, and you should understand what I’m saying. It is curious, though, that only the scores of black athletes who do poorly seem to leak out immediately. You never heard about Jeff George getting a 10 or Marino’s score back in the years when they were preparing for the draft…
YOU ARE RIGHT IT IS 50, MY TYPO.
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL

InquiringMind on March 5, 2006 at 10:33 am

University athletes have tutors and certain majors available to them that couldn’t challenge a trained circus animal.
Some professors are lazy and pass out the same tests year after year. Students pick up on the weakness through word of mouth.
A star college athlete having difficulties in class is going to get help. Most college professors want you to simply repeat what they teach you. You can be really simple and do very well in college.

code7 on March 6, 2006 at 12:00 am

Thanks, Debbie for telling me why I could never play pro, college, high school, or even sandlot football or any other sports. I am too intelligent. (Like Lincoln said of Grant’s alleged drunkenness, “What brand does he drink? I’d like to send a barrel of it to my other generals.)

Loser on March 6, 2006 at 1:04 am

Hi Debbie, It’s sad that you focus on Vince Young’s score and try to make it a race issue. I think it is convenient that you leave out the fact that Bruce Eugene, a black quarterback who played at all black college Grambling scored 41 out of 50 on the wonderlic test. The highest out of ALL quarterbacks..yes..higher than Matt Leinert and Jay Cutler. So..if you are going to mention Vince Young with his low score..please do not omit the fact that the person with the highest wonderlic score is ALSO black. I doubt you will want this to be seen by your readers but that’s my 2 cents.
ACTUALLY, DREW SHARP (WHO IS BLACK) MADE IT A RACE ISSUE. I POINTED OUT THAT THE VERY WHITE DAN MARINO ALSO SCORED “DUMMY” ON THE TEST. I WAS NOT AWARE THAT THE HIGHEST SCORE ON THE TEST WAS BY A BLACK MAN. IF THAT’S THE CASE, THANKS FOR ENLIGHTENING ME. WISH I HAD KNOWN THAT B/C IT WOULD HAVE ENHANCED THE POINT OF MY ARTICLE, WHICH IS THAT THE TEST IS NOT ABOUT RACE.
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL

waynepj3 on May 3, 2006 at 6:55 pm

Most of you do not have a clue about the Wonderlic, the NFL or urban cities.

First off, I can tell you last week, I had taken the Wonderlic test, as an applicant for a management position. If was far more difficult that you make it up to be. It is true that there were arithmetic problems but there was also college level match, Trig and algebra, English and reasoning. Some of the problems I actually had to think for example what is the next series of numbers 1,3,500, 1000, 500, 3 and the answer is: ___________

A lot of the worthless players have never held a job a received a legitimate paycheck. For this reason, when they get the league, they manage their money poorly. If you are irresponsible financially when you are poor, then the fact of getting a monthly paycheck of say $48,0000, assuming you signed for league minimum, would not matter. Once you factor in taxes, a percentage to you agent, and a wild shopping spree that seems to be endless, see Vince Evans, spending 6 thousand per week at TGI Fridays, controlled substances, endless child support and alimony payments and the incessant need to go to a night club every night and participate in some type of crime that involves a gun, mayhem, rape, robbery or battery, racking up huge legal fees, then it is easy to see why they are in financial distress when they leave the NFL. They also seem to have a need to impregnate up to 14 different white women and have children which they bear no responsibility whatsoever. They tend to gravitate toward white women, because they can be easily pimped, as libs have socially engineered them to do, because blacks have been historically denied the opportunity to have intercourse with white women. They were essentially the forbidden fruit. Take a look at the Karsashians. Typical whores. They look decent but who would touch them with a 10 foot pole.

I think tests, for illegal substances as well, should be given to coaches and executives that are usually there because they are in big daddy’s pocket or simply knows someone that literally gives them a kush NFL gig. Take Jamarcus Russle for example. He signed with the Raiders in ’07 for 63 mil. He was cut in ’10. He is literally flat broke. His mansion in The Bay area was foreclosed and he owes the franchise tax board over 200(k). He was known for “Purple Drank.” A prescribed cough syrup with codeine mixed with 7-Up. The worse player in the NFL ever. I would give tests to the coaches and executives that drafted him in the 1st round out of LSU. I believe a famous QB tried out for the Raiders, Jeff Garcia I believe, and was quoted as saying that he could not believe how stupid Russle is and was perplexed as to why he was even in the NFL in the first place.

AR on April 26, 2013 at 1:38 pm

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