By Maury Z. Levy
There is something to be said for arrogance. There is something to be said for the arrogance of Joe Namath. It is the same thing that should have been said for the arrogance of Muhammad Ali. There is something to be said for the arrogance of this whole generation.
It was arrogance that made this country. It was the arrogance of a small and explosive group of rebels who spit in the face of Mother England and made America. Now, in the America they started, their arrogance has been forgotten. It has been replaced with the complacency of quiet conceit.
Through injury to his pride and prejudice. Lyndon Johnson, man of the thirties, is leaving and being replaced by journeyman politico and loser Richard Nixon.
America, the Baltimore Colts, has finally kissed the crewcut of Johnny Unitas goodbye, only to welcome the weary and colorless arm of Earl Morrell.
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FOR AMERICANS who like their brand of politics 100 yards long, it is as simple as this. The only reason Earl Morrell replaced Johnny Unitas is because Joe Namath was killed last June.
The symbolism here is devastating.
Johnny Unitas is played by Lyndon Johnson. Earl Morrell is played by Richard Nixon. And Joe Namath is played by Bobby Kennedy and the hope for America.
The America of the Revolution was the New York Jets. The America of the present is the Baltimore Colts. The arrogance of the Revolution has atrophied into quiet conceit. We have raped Mother England because she deserved it and have turned around to dare anyone to stop further carnal pillage.
Quiet conceit has made America what it is today. Only arrogance can change it.
YOU WILL FIND the juxtaposition of arrogance and quiet conceit just about anywhere. There is something strange about it though. Arrogance is an absolute. It is s definite attitude. You know when somebody is arrogant.
Quiet conceit is like creeping mediocrity. It is fat-catism. It is the desire to sit back on your fat laurels and blow back at the winds of change.
Quiet conceit is the family newspaper that sits back and watches the world go by in journalism, with the addition of weak sister journalism. Don’t milk the sacred cows. Don’t knock the establishment. Be nice to the advertisers.
Arrogance is telling it like it is. Period.
There are two revolutions in America today that are spitting in the face of quiet conceit. The student revolution and the black revolution. Both are born of arrogance. Each has common goals. Their target is the Baltimore Colts.
THERE ARE PROBLEMS inherent to revolutions against the establishment. The major problem in overcoming the establishment is obvious. Most of the time you are shooting water pistols at the iron plate. The wars of revolution cannot be fought with tin soldiers.
For the people who don’t know any better, for those who are products of their society, the answer is violence. It is the violence that has brought about all of the “student unrest on campus.” It is the violence that has canonized such anti-saints as Stokeley Carmichael and Rap Brown. It is the violence of the small and fierce underdog clawing away at the fat cat.
Joe Namath could have taken his Jets on that route. They could have scrapped and fought and showed everyone how tough they were and that they really didn’t deserve to be such big underdogs because they were really a good football team. That would have been the route of quiet conceit.
One problem. The Jets didn’t have anything to be quietly conceited about. They won it with arrogance.
Johnny Unitas has had Namath beat since the fifties. Joe Namath got $10,000 for shaving off his moustache. There is something to be said for arrogance.