Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
BRENT MUSBURGER WILL BE FLIPPING BURGERS SHORTLY
The Great Brent Musburger Horndoggin' Incident has passed, and resulted in a formal apology from ESPN and (allegedly) some kind of HR rebuke for Mr. Looking Live himself. There's the entirely just noting of creepiness, yes, but remember a few complicating factors here. ESPN, an organization with a dismal track record as a female-friendly workplace, had to apologize just to keep its head above the rising tides of "hostile workplace" status. They had no choice in the matter from a boring legal standpoint.
There's also the complicated figure of Musburger, who really is about five times more interesting than you might know. He is the same guy who used the phrase "black-skinned stormtroopers" to describe the protests of John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympics, and once got into a fistfight with Jimmie The Greek in public. He is also the same man who shared the desk with Phyllis George and Irv Cross on The NFL Today for years, and was at the very least an accomplice in getting talented ladies and black men into your living room as media figures. On an unrelated note, he also ran tollbooths frequently for fun in the 1970s and '80s, sees nothing wrong with a drink or three, and makes open references to that and gambling on air, and always will. He gives no fucks, and with another nine years of average American lifespan left likely will not give any in the future.
But we don't get any real joy from policing him, either, since to be honest we're totally comfortable with a degree of sexism from a 73 year old man. It doesn't feel like victory to pillory him for it, nor to point out that the lady in question got her title in a beauty pageant, a spectacle fifty times more fucked up than anything in the admittedly creepy head of Brent Musburger. (We hope that's true, and if it's not don't tell us, Brent.) Musburger deserved a measured amount of carefully calibrated outrage, and got it from the principals involved.
You hit him with the howitzer if you like, but that's a waste of munitions when a hit of pepper spray to Musburger's nostrils will do. (Or rephrased: cut him a break, which is the very thing Webb's father has suggested.) The rest is hectoring bullshit, and believe us, we know hectoring bullshit, especially when we write it. You know, like the sort an unfrozen 1960s sexist announcer would write, perhaps about a Black Power salute at the Olympics, for instance.
P.S. For future reference, Brent should just do what Matt Millen did: leer in an age-appropriate fashion, as Millen did when the shot of a player's grandmother came up on the screen this season and Millen said "HEY, THAT'S A GOOD-LOOKIN' GRANDMOTHER." Hate Matt Millen for a lot of reasons, but not for his ability to follow the generally accepted rules of senior lechery.
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