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Whitlock: Lamar Jackson is Kid Rock in a world of male Dixie Chicks

Patrick Smith / Staff, Maury Phillips / Contributor, Charley Gallay / Stringer, NBC / Contributor | Getty Images

Excuses cripple. Criticism fuels.

When Lamar Jackson signs the biggest contract in NFL history, I hope he wears a “Nobody Cares, Work Harder” T-shirt. It’s his way of conveying that excuses cripple and criticism fuels.

Three games into the NFL season, Jackson is once again the league’s best player, its clear MVP front-runner.

Playing without a new contract, the fifth-year quarterback is on pace to duplicate his 2019 MVP season, arguably the greatest season of QB play in the more than 100-year history of the league. In that magical season, Jackson passed for 3,100 yards and 36 TDs and ran for 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns. This year, he’s headed toward 50 passing touchdowns and 1,200 rushing yards.

Sunday, against Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots, Jackson tossed four TD passes and ran for 107 yards and a score. He’s a one-man team. Baltimore’s defense can’t stop anybody. Jackson outscored the Patriots 37-26. I’m not sure we’ve ever seen one player account for a higher percentage of a team’s offense than Jackson.

Why is Jackson so great?

Of course, he’s talented. Of course, he has a great work ethic. Of course, the Ravens have built an offense that fits his skill set.

But there’s an extra ingredient. He’s been criticized his entire career. Before the 2018 draft, NFL Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian said Jackson should move to wide receiver. Few people believed and/or believe Jackson’s style of play is sustainable. Jackson has a boatload of doubters.

Those doubters fuel his greatness. It’s a joy to watch. It speaks to the importance of criticism and the danger of excuses.

The mainstream media think it’s important to shield black people from criticism. They pin every failure on systemic racism. They blast every critic as a racist. They promote the narrative that black people must be smothered in a cocoon of praise to blossom.

It’s just not true. Especially for men.

Men, regardless of color, need critics, adversaries, and obstacles to reach their highest level of achievement. That’s our fuel. Excuses are our Kryptonite.

Let me channel my inner Al Bundy and reminisce about my glory days as a high school athlete. As a 15-year-old sophomore, playing in my third varsity game, I injured my elbow recovering a fumble against Ben Davis High School. Trainers looked over my arm for two or three plays and decided I could go back into the game. My offensive line coach, Lee Dilk, startled me before I returned to the field. He moved within inches of my face and snarled: “You better play like you’re not injured.”

I was blown away. How did he know what I was thinking? It had crossed my mind that I had an excuse for poor play the rest of the game. He took the excuse away from me. I’ve never forgotten that moment or lesson.

The people showering black men with excuses do not want us to succeed. They’re grooming black men for feminization and fragility. They don’t believe we can compete without crutches, handouts, and their sympathy.

It’s my belief that girls need more positive affirmation than boys. That’s a controversial statement in modern America. The controversy does not diminish the truthfulness. Look at the way many female broadcasters respond to mean tweets and emails. They nail themselves to public crosses.

Harsh public scrutiny tears at their souls. Most male broadcasters, columnists, and opinionists used to see public backlash as a sign of relevance. Thirty years ago, generating angry letters to the editor signaled success. Now, Twitter mobs signal unemployment.

Public discourse has been feminized. We’re leveling the playing field by making weaker men and lowering standards.

We need to do the reverse. We need to build more Lamar Jacksons. You do that by taking away all excuses and letting men devour their critics with their performance.

That’s what Tom Brady has done for 23 years, since falling to the bottom of the draft. That’s what Michael Jordan did when people said he couldn’t win championships being a volume scorer.

The excuse-makers on television turning every situation into an example of systemic racism are eunuchs or closeted bigots. They’re believers in the supremacy of whiteness and menstruating men.

Many of them, particularly the former athletes, are useful idiots. They have no idea they’re being transitioned into chicks with d**ks. They’re addicted to fame and need the money to sustain their irresponsible lifestyles.

The culture replaced the Dixie Chicks with Dicksey Chicks.

Lamar Jackson is Kid Rock.

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