ESPN, Musberger, Miss Alabama

252039_10151184591120759_577294256_nI can tell you three facts after Alabama’s routing of Notre Dame in the BCS Championship game earlier in the week.

1. As a girl that called South Bend home for years, I dislike Nick Saban even more.
2. Katherine Webb is absolutely gorgeous and the entire world knows it.
3. Brent Musburger was thrown under the bus. And ESPN was behind the wheel.

Let’s start with the obvious. Katherine Webb is beautiful. She’s beautiful in the way that makes men take notice and women turn green with envy. She’s a former Miss Georgia AND Miss Alabama. It’s safe to assume Ms. Webb knows she’s pretty. It’s also safe to assume Brent Musburger isn’t the only man on earth that’s noticed.

Here’s what Mr. Musburger had to say Monday night:

Now, when you’re a quarterback at Alabama, you see that lovely lady there? She does go to Auburn, I will admit that. But she’s also Ms. Alabama and that’s AJ McCarron’s girlfriend, ok?

And right there on the right is Dee Dee Bonner, and that’s AJ’s mom.

Wow, I’m telling you, you quarterbacks, you get all the good looking women.

For that, ESPN issued an apology claiming Mr. Musburger “went too far.” How exactly was he supposed to react? It’s ironic ESPN made an apology when it was their camera guy that zoomed in on her. ESPN got exactly what they were looking for; a reaction.

Brent_Musberger_cropKnowing Ms. Webb has willfully chosen to be judged on her looks makes ESPN’s apology all the more puzzling. Two crowns later, I don’t think she minds too much that people notice her appearance. The fact that she’s also PAID to look good as a model should have given everyone a clue. It’s not like Brent Musburger said anything 99% of viewers weren’t already thinking, anyway. His comments were above the board and in no way degrading or dirty. Who on earth would be offended by someone using the term “lovely lady?”

As much as I’d like that question to be rhetorical, there is an answer. Apparently progressives are offended. Progressives and feminists. The fact that a thinkprogress.org writer equated his comments to women being “chattel” isn’t that surprising. Saying his comments were the reason the NFL has so many sexual assault perpetrators and wife beaters was a bit much, however. Even for liberals.

There is a culture of domestic violence and sexual assault in football, and one need look no farther than the game Musburger was announcing to find evidence of it. At the NFL level, instances of domestic violence and sexual assault outpace the national average.

Painting Webb as merely a perk of the job, as nothing more than the Alabama beauty queen dating the quarterback of the Crimson Tide, only enables that culture. It’s a culture that views women as nothing more than chattel, a commodity to be won by the best player even if she isn’t a willing participant. It fosters a sense of entitlement to women and their bodies that only ingrains the rape and violence culture deeper into the game.

With all due respect….HUH??? Lovely lady to rape victim??? That isn’t just a stretch, that’s a quantum leap. Are we really supposed to believe that appreciating a woman’s beauty equates rape? It fosters a culture of spousal abuse? On what planet does ANYONE buy that?

An article on al.com whines that the camera shot of Ms. Webb took attention away from the game. The hoopla apparently meant “students playing on the field were being ignored.” (The game felt like 1000 to nothing at that point. Trust me, it broke up the monotony).

Meanwhile, Katherine Webb has told the media she wasn’t offended at all. Her family made the same statement. Why should others be offended when she isn’t? Are they really offended? Or do they just want something to complain about?

While the nation continues to debate this non-story, I’m guessing Ms. Webb will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Links: http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2013/01/08/1412861/brent-musberger-katherine-webb-and-footballs-culture-toward-women/?mobile=nc
http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/2013/01/08/espn-bcs-championship-brent-musburger/1818455/
http://blog.al.com/upbeat/2013/01/you_wont_see_katherine_webb_na.html

Miss Alabama wins Twitter the night her beau wins the BCS

Lower Image: Brent Musberger; author: Todd Wickersty from Charlottesville, United States;Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Pauline Wolak

About the author, Pauline Wolak: Pauline is a proud wife and mother of three. When she isn't being the world's greatest Girl Friday, she is volunteers her time as a school librarian and athletic director. Pauline enjoys football, politics, good beer, and arguing with anyone. She's a devout pro-life Catholic. Pauline believes in the 1st Amendment and uses it on a daily basis, most notably to ambush unsuspecting family members in political debate! You can find her work here at Clash and at redknucklepolitics.com. Follow her on twitter at @MiStateFan. View all articles by Pauline Wolak

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