The best is in Wisconsin

May 7, 2015


The world had to take notice of Wisconsin for a day. Well not the entire state, just a small portion called Kenosha. The 2015 NFL Draft concluded on May 2nd. The exciting part of any sports draft is the first round. It is the first round where many superstars are drafted. Names such as Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers were picked in this round. Well Kenosha, WI population of around 100,000 sent two players to the NFL in the first round. Trae Waynes and Melvin Gordon III are from Kenosha and both were drafted in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Waynes and Gordon played for Mary D. Bradford High School before attending Michigan State and Wisconsin respectively. Both players were rated very high before the draft because of outstanding college careers. Waynes will be playing for the Minnesota Vikings this fall and Gordon for the San Diego Chargers. Waynes was listed as the top cornerback prospect in the draft to some analysts. Waynes has the size and speed NFL teams covet at this position. With the 11th pick of the draft the Vikings chose the former Kenosha native. Waynes was the first cornerback taken in the draft. Waynes will likely be starting week one when the season kicks off in September. 0d7aeb037d488cfecc4e2550b67e3db3_crop_northWaynes joins a Viking team that is young and headed in the right direction. Gordon was picked four picks after Waynes. Gordon was the second running back taken in the draft; Todd Gurley went 10th. This is not a knock on Gordon because in 2014 no running back was taken in the 1st round of the draft. Gordon was drafted number 15 by the San Diego Chargers. Gordon’s skillset and amazing numbers at Wisconsin were factors that have him in play to also start week one. Gordon walks into a team with a solid, if not elite, quarterback in Phillip Rivers. This is sure to make Gordon’s transition into the NFL easy and successful. The negative images and press African American males have been getting around the country makes this story more impressive. Many people think living in small cities is easier than big ones. That is far from the truth. Because there are limited opportunities in small cities like Kenosha, trouble is easy to find. Waynes and Gordon used sports to give themselves a chance at living a different life. Waynes and Gordon are already a success story no matter how their pro careers pan out. If Waynes and Gordon dominate the NFL, great. If they flop and don’t become stars, fine also. The point is these two young men used the system to give themselves a chance. Many people say that sports have ruined African Americans. This is truer than many realize. But it is what it is; so let’s use what we have. For a shining few days the spotlight on African American males in Wisconsin was positive. Kenosha’s best running back and cornerback have entered the next stage of their careers. Waynes and Gordon have put Kenosha back on the map, at least for a week or so. It seems that, at least in two cases, the system may just work. Frank James IV © 2015 beingfrankwithfrank@ The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the writer and not of the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper or NCON Communication, its staff or management. Being Frank is a bi-weekly column exclusive to the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper.