ESPN’s Brent Musburger need not apologize for anything
BY RICK MORRISSEY Twitter: @MorrisseyCST January 9, 2013 12:06PM
FILE - This June 3, 2012 file photo shows Miss Alabama, Katherine Webb, competing in the swimsuit competition during the 2012 Miss USA pageant in Las Vegas. Webb, Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron's model girlfriend, became a hot topic on Twitter as her guy was helping the Tide blowout Notre Dame in the BCS NCAA college football game Monday night, Jan. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)
Updated: January 9, 2013 1:11PM
ESPN broadcaster Brent Musburger needs to issue an apology. This is what it should say:
“I’m sorry that I pointed out on the air that AJ McCarron’s girlfriend, who happens to be Miss Alabama, is attractive. I don’t know what came over me. I do know that, while calling a very one-sided national championship game, it occurred to me that if she had won a beauty pageant, there must be a reason for it. And although she might have won for her nimbleness on the cello or her razor-sharp thoughts about the fiscal cliff, I had to go and mention that she was drop-dead gorgeous. Next thing you know, I’ll be talking about a champion bodybuilder’s biceps. I’m sorry I’m perceptive, old, funny and still have blooding running through my veins. Why don’t I just die?’’
By now, you might have heard that the 73-year-old Musburger went a bit far afield during the Alabama-Notre Dame BCS title game Monday night. Specifically, he was rather taken by Katherine Webb, who is Miss Alabama USA 2012 and the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron. She was at the game.
“You quarterbacks, you get all the good-looking women,’’ Musburger said on the air. “What a beautiful woman.”
ESPN apologized because that’s what ESPN does whenever there’s a hint of controversy.
But what part of Musburger’s comments required an apology? The part where he said a beauty contest winner was beautiful? Predictably, there was a line of experts waiting to be quoted about the objectification of women. I’d say Webb objectified herself when she filled out the pageant application. You’re in it to win it mostly by being attractive. Or does the swimsuit portion of the competition have something to do with quantum physics that organizers aren’t telling us?
What seems to bother people most about this, though, is the fact that Musburger is 73. For someone to have those thoughts is creepy, we’ve been told. To sum up: Sexism bad, ageism just fine.
And what about the stereotyping of quarterbacks, who are trying to break free from the perception that they get all the pretty women?
“If you’re a youngster in Alabama, start getting the football out and throw it around the backyard with Pop,” Musburger said.
That was clever. That made me laugh. Apparently, humans still have brain activity well into the 70s. Who knew?
“It was kind of nice,” Webb said of Musburger’s comments. “I didn’t look at it as creepy at all. For a woman to be called beautiful, I don’t see how that’s an issue.”
But don’t listen to the beauty pageant winner. She doesn’t have a brain, right?