As reported on Deadspin, the ever-crumbling ombudsman George Solomon allowed Stuart Scott to respond to reader complaints about his..."poetry slam" reports he performed on air. (In case you didn't see them, we searched YouTube and found no trace of it. This may be a good thing, since future generations won't be subjected to its "brown note"-like effects, which caused rectal spasms in viewers nationwide and made for a huge month in the carpet cleaning business.)
An artist's rendition of our response to Stuart Scott's poetry slam.
Scott's defense of his on-air Dr. Seuss impression:
"The reading of poetry is an African-American thing -- expressing emotion," he said. "I do it as an ode of respect to the community and an interesting way to do a highlight. It's a way of expressing a passion that's creative and instructive. Sure it's different. That's what we're supposed to do. I want African-Americans to see you can do the job and still be who you are."
Scott lays out this equation as his defense: "ETHNICITY=LICENSE TO DO WHATEVER STUPID CRAP I WANT TO DO ON AIR."
Which, if ESPN's buying, is a perfectly fine defense. We think it's shaky at best, especially given the number of black dudes we know would beat a man unconscious for launching into freeform sports poetry:
Fan of hip-hop? Sure. Lyrical poetry? You tell us.
But while we're playing the part of Chief Runswithpremise, we may as well extend the license to all ESPN employees via their respective ethnicities.
Chris Mortensen: Mortensen comes from the Danish "son of Morten," which you may know as the name Martin in English.
Ethnic License: Will replace crisp, up-to-date NFL updates with dreary, fog-machine clogged scenes featuring Mortensen reciting football updates in Olde English from the bowels of a candlelit castle tower. May display sudden guilt-wracked indecision mixed with seasonal depression and existential angst.
Trey Wingo:An Anglicized version of the Huguenot name "Vigneau," which means "Vintner" or "from Vienne" in French.
Ethnic License:Wingo may now broadcast wearing rags and being whipped by Bourbon interrogators while quaffing a nice Bordeaux and announcing the news to the tune of "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God."
Scott Van Pelt: Dutch, meaning "of the pelt," or indicative of a tanner.
Ethnic License: Allowed to smoke time-warping quality marijuana on air during highlights with a Surinamese prostitute on his lap. May cause HR issues via Michael Irvin's insistence that he, too, is ethnically Dutch.
Suzy Kolber/Mark Schlereth/Jeremy Schaap: German.
Ethnic License:May chase Chris Berman and Linda Cohn around with torches.
Sal Paolantonio/Lee Corso: Italian.
Ethnic License: Free to broadcast with shirts open three buttons live from the back of a Camaro cruising somewhere north of Passaic. Also may use the phrase "fuhgeddaboutit" without Sopranos-nod irony. Saturation level hair gel use is also permitted, along with mid-segment slurping of spaghetti and use of wild, inscrutable hand gestures while talking.
Barry Melrose: Welsh.
Ethnic License: May wear a mullet, drink heavily, and swear and fight on air while eating beans on toast. (Melrose appears to be more than halfway toward fully utilizing his rights as a Welshman already.) Developing blacklung is also mandatory.
Beans on toast will make sense if you spend long enough underground.