If Notre Dame getting Ivan Drago’d for four quarters wasn’t quite enough to keep your attention during Monday evening’s BCS Championship pummeling, you may have missed announcer Brent Musburger saying some really horrible and insensitive things about Alabama Quarterback AJ McCarron’s girlfriend, Katherine Webb. Things like:
“She’s a lovely lady”
“Quarterbacks get all the good-looking women”
Boy, what an asshole. Now, whether you find gushing in bad taste is up to you. But while Musburger’s comments may have teetered on uncomfortable, I think most of us can agree this wasn’t exactly Champ Kind wanting to, “Put some barbecue sauce on that big ol’ behind.”
Of course, that didn’t stop
idiots people from storming the internet castle with their pitchforks to vilify Musburger. Some called his comments creepy. And in the words of Michigan State professor and sweater enthusiast Sue Carter in this total bullshit New York Times article, Musburger’s actions were, “A major personal violation” and “Extraordinarily inappropriate.”
Know what Katherine Webb called all of it? “Flattering.”
Of course, one might argue Webb is used to being called attractive since after all, she’s MISS ALABAMA. What really makes this whole thing laughably stupid though is the fact that ESPN, the network in charge of broadcasting the game, felt the need to apologize by releasing a statement that showed about as much spinal fortitude as Notre Dame’s defense. It read:
“We always try to capture interesting storylines and the relationship between an Auburn grad who is Miss Alabama and the current Alabama quarterback certainly met that test. However, we apologize that the commentary in this instance went too far and Brent understands that.”
So let me get this straight, ESPN cuts to Webb no fewer than 3,762,278,912 times and all Musburger is allowed to go on is the fact that one goes to Alabama and the other went to Auburn? How interesting! That’s like, a Chili’s employee dating someone from TGIFridays! Crazy talk!
Musburger was simply reinforcing what everyone watching whose interest had waned in the first dominating minutes was already thinking: “Holy shit she’s hot.” Or perhaps, “That bitch thinks she’s hot” depending who you are. No, it didn’t have as Sue Carter pointed out, “anything to do with the game.” But making an observation with a boner is still just making an observation.
But perhaps the most disappointing commentary on the subject came from Deadspin (which isn’t exactly the moral standard of journalism) editor, Timothy Burke who said: “For him to assert that every boy should try to be a football hero to get such a gorgeous woman, is where it is really not a good thing for me.”
Right. Because the idea that the star quarterback gets the hot girl hasn’t been perpetuated by every football movie, book or TV show ever created or anything. Sure it’s cliché. But that’s just what makes Musburger’s comment so harmless. He wasn’t giving real advice on how to be successful and end up with an attractive woman. He was pandering to his audience. Only in the process, he managed to offend a few who demanded Musburger cater to even the smallest common denominator. Such is the way of speaking freely when you have a large platform to do it on. Just ask Bob Costas.
Last time I checked, there’s a difference between calling a woman pretty and construction worker whistling. Musburger may have went to the well a few too many times with his commentary on Webb’s looks, sure. But it was far from objectifying. You can find a lot more of that in magazines these days. Ironically, mostly in the women’s section.