His own private Idaho

I do not follow College football — which, to me, has the feeling of following Triple A Baseball. I do not quite remember the last time I watched anything of college football. But, yes, I do remember hearing and reading and buzzing about that Fiesta Bowl victory of the disgruntled mid-major “Nobody gives us any respect” Boise State over Oklahoma — a victory that came off of three miracle plays. Down a touchdown at the end of the game? Go to the play entitled “Circus”, which the coach indicated the team is going to by juggling air. Wackiness ensues as the team successfully completes a touchdown play which is based on confusing the other team by stopping them dead in their tracks because they can’t process why the heck Boise State appears to be running a Benny Hill routine. Or so the hype that surrounded the play would suggest. Actually, the highlights of the game are found here, and with that I don’t really want to go through the rest of the end of the game. Watch it — it’s entertaining, and it is the only minute thirty nine seconds that anyone will ever remember about the game.
In the height of the excitement the ensued, the star running back proposed to his girlfriend, a former cheerleader for the team, seemingly to make the game palatable for a made for tv movie — the backstory that adds depth to the football game.
Some things that were not particularly notable at the time, and thus did not process for me when, say, reading Sports Illustrated and seeing his photograph or watching the highlight reel on television. The running back that won the game with the not terribly ever used Statue of Liberty Play? He’s black. The girlfriend he proposed to? She’s white. This did not process because, you know, I grew up in the 1980s and the 1990s — not the 1940s and 1950s. Nobody commented on this fact because, you know, the Civil Rights Act is now 43 years old, and time marches on — the fairy tale story still holds together.
Until this past week, if you were to ask me if that running back for Boise State were black or white, I would not have had a clue. Until this story came over the news.

Boise State running back Ian Johnson’s wedding Saturday will be guarded by security because he’s received threats regarding his interracial marriage. His fiancee, Chrissy Popadics, is white. Johnson is black.

Johnson said he’s received more than 30 letters, phone calls and personal threats about the marriage. The threats were first reported by the Idaho Statesman.

“You take it for what it is — the less educated, the less willing to change,” Johnson told the Statesman. “But we’re not acting like we’re naive to all the stuff that’s going on. We know what’s been said. We’re going to make sure we’re safe at all times. It’s really sad because a lot of people that are probably doing it are the same people who were cheering me on.”

He didn’t describe the threats — or the heightened security measures the couple have planned — in detail.

Johnson led the nation with 25 touchdowns last season and finished eighth in Heisman voting while leading his team to a Fiesta Bowl victory. He scored the winning two-point conversion in overtime on a trick play to put the underdog Broncos over Oklahoma 43-42 on Jan. 1.

He proposed to Popadics, a former Boise State cheerleader, on the field after the game.

At which point I halt backward and do a quick double take, and give a “WTF?” I would suggest throwing out a “That’s Idaho for you”, but that feels a little too pant.  It has been notable the racial invectives that aggregate onto the comments of any video on youtube with Barack Obama, and they cannot all stem from out of Idaho.

I heard someone suggest that the problem is the lack of racial diversity in that area which stultifies racial attitudes. But that seems to have no particular solution, unless you suggest that we should create a mass migration of black Americans to live next to the old Aryan Nation compound. As it were, more than one black person has told me that when driving or riding across various states, they make it a point to not step foot out of the car when passing through Idaho.

Whatever.  May they have a happy marriage.  Wherever they live.

One Response to “His own private Idaho”

  1. Mr. Viddy Says:

    Yes, I can see Bush in the role of Mike Waters.

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