Man, we are way, way too sensitive as a society. Last night just about everyone watching the BCS title game had a little fun at Brent Musberger’s expense. When the ESPN announcer made a couple of remarks suggesting he was more interested in Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron’s bombshell girlfriend than the bombs the QB was tossing on the field, it was Twitter that went blew up.
“You quarterbacks, you get all the good looking women,” Musberger said to Kirk Herbstreit in the broadcast booth. “What a beautiful woman,” he said of Katherine Webb, the reigning Miss Alabama. “If you’re a youngster in Alabama, start getting the football out and throw it around the backyard with pop.”
For his part, Herbstreit added a “wow” and said McCarron was “doing some things right down in Tuscaloosa.” Apparently no one had any problem with Herbstreit’s comment.
Nothing Musberger said was offensive. It simply went viral as a Twitter topic. There’s a difference between going too far and simply saying something that everyone else — those of us at MrSEC.com included — takes too far.
But remarkably, ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz still issued an apology for the broadcasting legend’s remarks:
“We always try to capture the 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.”
First of all, ESPN was the one to put the shot of Webb on the screen. Unless Musberger was also directing last night’s broadcast, he didn’t make any decisions about which fans would be shown in the stands. And if McCarron’s girlfriend didn’t have world class looks, here’s guessing who ever did decide to zoom in on her wouldn’t have done so.
Second, we find it ironic that several sites reporting on Musberger’s comments have decided to use a bikini photo of Webb to go along with the story. “Boy, Musberger went a little overboard, didn’t he? Now, look at this shot of that same babe in a bikini!” Hubba, hubba, indeed.
Third, was Musberger wrong about pretty women dating starting quarterbacks? Just stereotyping here, but no. Anyone remember how bright the spotlight shone on former Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s wife at last year’s NFL draft (televised by ESPN)? And just last month The Dallas Morning News wrote a story about current A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and “his beautiful model girlfriend.” (Maybe A&M’s the place to be a QB, not Bama.)
Musberger’s comments weren’t the kind of thing you would expect from a seasoned broadcast veteran, but they didn’t cross over any imaginary line. Certainly not far enough to necessitate an apology from ESPN.
And the fact that Webb reportedly picked up 90,000 Twitter followers during the game suggests Musberger wasn’t alone in his ogling of McCarron’s main squeeze.