Monday, August 21, 2006

I'm Gumbel, darn it...

Broadcasting personality Bryant Gumbel is at it again.

In February of this year, he questioned the nature of the Winter Olympic Games, showing his unflattering racist side (see my blog entry here). Now, he's gone and made outrageous remarks about the NFL, outgoing commish Paul Tagliabue, and players union head Gene Upshaw. He's suggested that Tagliabue has controlled Upshaw "on a leash" and that the NFL players have suffered for it (see the report here).

Gumbel, as I said in February, is not a journalist. He's an entertainer...a professional personality. His remarks should never be taken seriously; he is not a serious person.

But these offending remarks should result in his termination by the NFL, which has employed Gumbel as a broadcaster for the NFL Network. And for what?

Gumbel's former partner Katie Couric, one of America's most popular professional personalities (second only to Oprah, perhaps), will soon be taking over the CBS Evening News. Gumbel's former haunt, NBC's Today Show, continues to flourish without him. Maybe Gumbel is searching for relevance, trying to prove that he is important.

Here's hoping he learns to be content without saying untruthful things that only hurt others and make him look foolish.

UPDATE, Wed., Aug. 23: Gumbel is called "jealous" and "desperate" by former NFL star and current Vikings player rep Robert Smith (see here). This seems part of a consensus among NFL folks, journalists, and the blogosphere that Gumbel is unhinged.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

To be fair to Gumbel, he did get his start as a sports journalist. So his opinions re: the Winter Olympics or the NFL are at least based on something. I'm not defending him and I don't agree with him (I love the Winter Olympics and I think the NFL players get a great deal, as does everyone connected with the NFL). But at least he's more qualified to comment on sports issues than he is on, say, social issues or politics.