I am flabbergasted that ESPN felt it necessary to apologize for Brent Musburger. Really? I listened to it, and then I transcribed it word for word:
“Now when you are a quarterback at Alabama, do you see that lovely lady there? She goes to Auburn, I want to admit that, but she is also Miss Alabama. That’s AJ McCarron’s girlfriend, okay. And right there on the right is DeeDee Bonner, that’s A.J.’s mom. Wow! I’m telling you, you quarterbacks, you get all the good-looking women. So if you’re a youngster and in Alabama ,start getting the football out and throw it around the backyard with Pops.”
Okay, here is my take on this supposedly offensive comment.
1. Before the game, the producer told the cameraman to get a picture of AJ McCarron’s girlfriend and his mother while they were watching the game. You know how the producers love the human interest stories. I am sure they thought it was going to be a defensive battle and with 4:22 left in the first quarter, the producer probably expected the score to be 0-0. I’m sure in the pre-production meeting it was discussed that they would zoom in on these two women and see the anxiety in their eyes as they cheered on the boy they love.
However, with 4:22 left in the first quarter, the Crimson Tide were already winning 14-0. They had the ball, and defensively, the Fighting Irish looked like garbage. Neither woman looked concerned because there was nothing to be concerned about. It was already clear that Alabama had it in the bag.
So what did Musburger do? He went from color commentator to entertainer. He decided to make a light-hearted joke and entertain his audience. Musburger thought it would be fun-loving to offer a compliment to each of these two beautiful women. He not only called the young Katherine Webb pretty, but he called McCarron’s mother, DeeDee Bonner, beautiful as well.
When did we as a society decide it is offensive to call a woman attractive? Brent Musburger, if you ever have the opportunity to read this post, you can call me beautiful and throw me a “wow” anytime you want! I would be flattered!
2. I have to imagine that when he said, “I’m telling you, you quarterbacks, you get all the good-looking women” that he was actually facing Kirk Herbstreet and indicating that the “you quarterbacks” meant Herbstreet and McCarron. If you listen to the sound bite, Herbstreet lets out a huge, warm laugh, and by the sound of it, I think he is internalizing that Musburger just complimented his wife, too. With that being said, I am not offended that he alluded to the fact that “the quarterback” always gets the beautiful girl. Should I be? I mean, it is a little cliché, but if you really think about it, doesn’t the quarterback get the girl? That’s as American as apple pie, Sunday night spaghetti dinner, and a Friday night movie.
3. Since we are addressing everything he said, we might as well address the dastardly last statement, too. “So if you’re a youngster and Alabama start getting the football out and throw it around the back yard with Pops.”
You hear a sexist pig, do you? I hear a family man who encourages sons and fathers to spend time together tossing around the football. I hear a man with a sense of humor. I can even go so far as to say I hear a man who encourages children to get off the couch and exercise.
I really think we as a society need to stop reading into every word. I think we need to relax and regain a sense of humor. I think we need to realize that sometimes, someone says something nice and it is just that, nice– no hidden agenda.
Take a chill pill, America. You need it.