>>> Casual Misanthropy
By staff writer JD Rebello
February 26, 2006

Bryant Gumbel is a fucking idiot.

For those who haven’t heard, the NBC spokes-fat-ass had this to say on HBO’s Real Sports last week when asked about the Winter Olympics:

“Count me among those who don't care about them and won't watch them. So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention.”

Last spring, I wrote a column about how I despise the NBA and prefer the NHL. While I threw in the requisite racial humor for kicks, I was clearly trying to show that the NBA was an overhyped and boring league. A number of readers agreed, although a few emailed me claiming I was a racist for choosing a predominantly white sport over a predominantly black sport.

Let me assure you, it’s not a race thing.

“The problem with Gumbel’s statement is that it raises an issue that nobody really wants to attack. People of a certain race want to watch people of their own race.”

I just prefer sports that are faster, more physical, and don’t involve Bill Walton. Also, growing up in the early nineties, the best Bruins players were Ray Bourque and Cam Neely. The best Celtics players were Dino Radja and Eric Montross. Who would you rather watch? My disdain for the NBA has absolutely nothing to do with race and everything to do with it being a boring, ugly league that prides itself on the abilities of one or two players performing well and the rest of the team sitting around and watching.

Nobody outside of Philly watches the Sixers. They watch Allen Iverson.
Nobody outside of Cleveland watched the Cavs. They watch LeBron James.

Shit, Jack Nicholson does more for Kobe Bryant than most real Lakers. Speaking of Kobe, consider his 81-point game. I watched bits and pieces. It should have been one of the most exciting and historic moments of one’s life as a sports spectator, right? Wrong. Even when I knew he was gunning for a modern record, I kept switching over to Bride of Chucky on Encore Mystery. Let me state that more clearly: I’d rather watch fucking doll sex than an athlete make history. I’ve had wet farts that pushed me further to the edge of my seat than Kobe and his 81 points.

Compare that with college basketball, which prides itself on team play, a required high field goal percentage to win, and (here’s the kicker) athletes more ambitious to win games than promote an En Vogue album. The Duke-BC game last month dwarfs anything I’ve seen out of the NBA in years (including last year’s spectacularly boring Spurs-Pistons Finals). Again, this is not a race issue. The NBA is boring. I don’t care if you’re black or white. It’s boring boring boring.

Which brings us back to Gumbel. Now, there are a ton of reasons to hate the Olympics: NBC’s Grey’s Anatomy-stupid decision to put it on tape delay. US and Canada’s hockey teams completely shitting the bed. The two-man luge’s eerie resemblance to Brokeback Mountain’s tent scene. Male figure skating, which is so gay, it would make that gay guy from Kids in the Hall say: “God, these guys are faggots.”

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I love the Winter Olympics. Hey, maybe I am a racist. Or maybe Olympic hockey is more exciting than watching Kobe and Tim Duncan pretend to get along while launching stupid field goals against a Japanese team with an average height of 4’11’’. Maybe I get a kick out of watching curling (a sport that improves markedly when you’re absolutely trashed). Maybe female figure skating is that rare sport that’s both exciting to watch and sexually arousing. (And who else is thrilled that Sasha Cohen is 21. My word, have you seen that thing where she lifts her leg clean over her head standing? God bless Sasha Cohen.)

But hey, if you don’t watch or follow the Olympics, that’s your prerogative. What irks me isn’t Gumbel’s ignorance, it’s his assertion that if someone dominates a predominantly white sport, they shouldn’t be considered one of the best athletes in the world. This isn’t like finding a flaw in Major League baseball records because of how different they would likely look if Negro League players factored into the process. Black athletes have every opportunity to compete in the Winter Olympics. Example: Chicago’s own Shani Davis, who won a gold medal in speed skating, and was one of the few US athletes whose performance made you proud to be American. Would Mr. Gumbel like to tell him he’s not a great athlete because he’s competing in a largely white sport? Of course not, because Gumbel is a fat, racist fuck.

The problem with Gumbel’s statement is that it raises an issue that nobody (black or white) really wants to attack. People of a certain race typically want to watch people of their own race. Want proof?

Dear white people, how many of you have seen Beauty Shop?
Dear black people, how many of you have seen Reality Bites?
Dear white people, how many of you watch UPN?
Dear black people, how many of you watch Everybody Loves Raymond?

I was at a Best Buy a few months ago and overheard some black woman talking with an employee in the DVD section. She wanted to buy a DVD, but didn’t know which one she wanted. The employee, a white guy, suggested a few titles including Sideways and 40-Year-Old Virgin. Her response: “No. I want a movie with a lot of black people in it.”

I shit you not.

I’m not saying she’s wrong or a racist, but, well, she’s a wrong racist. And that’s okay, I guess, as long as you’re not white. If said Best Buy employee suggested I drop ten bucks on The Original Kings of Comedy, I’d have to make up some garbage about how I dislike stand-up comedy and Steve Harvey’s moustache is too disorienting. Can’t I just say, “Umm, can I get a movie with white people in it? Hey, do you have Clerks?”

I’m not a dumbass. I realize there are double-standards between the races. But for Gumbel to conclude that if something is predominantly white, then the people who take part shouldn’t be considered great, sorry, that’s racism. The NBA sucks, but I would never tell you Shaq and Tim Duncan are shit because there isn’t more white involvement. Everyone at ESPN, including the spectacularly flaccid columnist Gene Wojciechowski, is afraid to say it, so I will. Bryant Gumbel is a bleeding racist and I hope his fat ass gets caught in one of those feeding tubes at Sea World.

And with that said, Happy Black History Month everyone!

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