Rooney Rule proves its success w/ the Super Bowl

After dissing Katie Couric in comparison with Russ Mitchell, I decided maybe it was time to watch more of him, so I taped the Saturday telecast of the CBS Evening News. I now must correct my statement that he "never" makes verbal mistakes. He does, but not as often as Katie. (Maybe she should wear higher-grade contacts so she can read the teleprompter better?)

In yesterday's newscast, Randall Pinkston reported on the Rooney Rule. Named after Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney who was chairman of the NFL's diversity committee, it's a requirement for the league's teams to interview minority candidates for the position of head coach. It's often been cited a successful implementation of affirmative action.

Before the Rooney Rule, there were only two head coaches who were minorities: Herm Edwards (New York Jets, 2001-2005) and Tony Dungy (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1996-2001). Today, there are six African-American head coaches in the National Football League, two of which brought their teams to Miami today.

Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati Bengals, 2003- )
Herm Edwards (Kansas City Chiefs, 2006-)
Tony Dungy (Indianapolis Colts, 2002-)
Romeo Crennel (Cleveland Browns, 2005- )
Arthur "Art" Shell (Oakland Raiders, 2006- )

Lovie Smith (Chicago Bears, 2004- )

How strictly was the Rooney Rule enforced? In 2003, the Detroit Lions were fined $200,000 for failing to interview minority candidates for their vacant head coaching job. Partly because of this incident, Greg Wyshynski ranked the Rooney Rule 85th in his list of the 101 worst ideas in sports history in his book Glow Pucks and 10-Cent Beer.

A method similar to The Rooney Rule was adopted by Coca-Cola after it was hit with a discrimination lawsuit in 1999. In 2000, minorities made up just 8.4 percent of senior managers at Coca-Cola. Today, the percentage is around 21.

Now let's watch the pre-game!