ESPN out of touch with reality
Well that didn't take long. I wrote the following two days ago about the hysteria to remove all traces of the Confederacy from polite society and wondered what the virtuous forces would go after next: "First they came for the statues. Then they c...
Well that didn't take long.
I wrote the following two days ago about the hysteria to remove all traces of the Confederacy from polite society and wondered what the virtuous forces would go after next:
"First they came for the statues. Then they came for the names.
Now they're coming for a horse?
I was talking about Traveler, Southern Cal's four-legged mascot who is under fire because Robert E. Lee's horse was named Traveller and apparently insisted on a White-Horse-Only water trough.
If you think that purge attempt is an overreaction, I hope you're sitting down when you read the latest from the cultural cleansing front.
ESPN has pulled announcer Robert Lee off Virginia's opening game because his name is similar to You Know Who.
We pause now to let you laugh, cry or call your cable company and tell it to cut the cord on ESPN.
The network is apparently now run out of the faculty lounge at Wellesley College.
It's such a preposterous move, a lot of media members couldn't believe the initial report Tuesday night and held off reporting it. It had to be fake news or an inside joke or a story planted by Fox to make ESPN look bad.
But no, sports fans. It's real.
I don't claim to be a historian, but I did watch all 10 hours of Ken Burns' famed documentary "The Civil War." As best as I can recall, Robert E. Lee wasn't an announcer for ESPNU or ESPN3.
And unless all those tattered photos of a balding man with a beard were bogus, I'm pretty sure Robert E. Lee wasn't Asian like the ESPN announcer.
In other words, you have to be a complete dope or Al Sharpton to be bothered by the fact a sports announcer in 2017 has a name that sounds like that of a Confederate general in 1863.
ESPN apparently thinks its audience is full of dopes.
Here's the statement it released to the college football blog Outkick the Coverage, which broke the story:
"We collectively made the decision with Robert to switch games as the tragic events in Charlottesville were unfolding, simply because of the coincidence of his name. In that moment, it felt right to all parties.
"It's a shame that this is even a topic of conversation and we regret that who calls play by play for a football game has become an issue."
It's only an issue because the safe-space flowers at ESPN made it one. I'd like to think the other 323 million Americans have better things to do than worry about anything so ridiculous.
I'd like to, but ESPN probably isn't going to take any chances.
So watch out, Bob Lee the former major-league pitcher. Your records must be expunged from ESPN's database and your name never mentioned again on air or in line at the ESPN cafeteria.
Same for you Bob Lee, former Minnesota Vikings quarterback and father of an ex-Fox News Channel anchor.
And too bad for you, Bob Ley.
You may be ESPN's longest-tenured employee, having joined the network three days after its launch in 1979.
You may have won 11 Emmys and the respect of millions of viewers for your work on "Outside the Lines."
But to the naked ear, "Bob Ley" sounds like "Bob Lee," which to ESPN sounds like "Civil War bad guy whose name must be expunged from existence because it might bother somebody who has the I.Q. of USC's mascot."
First they came for the statues. Then they came for the Confederate names.
Then the horses.
Now they're coming for the Bob Lees.
I don't know who's next, but I suspect every Lee this side of Spike should be worried.