Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Def Comedy Jam With Michael Irvin

Tom Knott wrote an interesting article in the Washington Times, basically saying that Michael Irvin's jokes were out of line, but also chastising those who got their noses bent out of shape by them.

While we do believe that in a way, since the jokester was Michael Irvin, that taking them too seriously is not necessary: Wagging a finger at those that didn't appreciate them and telling those people that double standards exist so get over it is....well....essentially BS.

Knott pleads his case by essentially saying that it is incumbent on the viewer/listener to understand that Michael Irvin was not only making a joke, but was using it as a backhanded compliment to Romo. He goes on to compare the comments made by a jokester/clown to those made by Jimmy "the Greek"and other's by categorizing the one's that weren't made in jest as being worthy of scorn because they were attempts at actual social commentary. They weren't simple (but poor) attempts at a complimentary joke.

"Irvin may be a clown, but he is harmless. The same cannot be said of so many of the other clowns on the airwaves."

Agreed. Few would argue that Irvin is a clown. But are jokes of that type harmless?

Probably not. One of the problems that exists is this: If we are to forgive Michael Irvin and say "he's just a clown", what are we to do when ESPN trots Michael Irvin out and he gives us "serious" commentary?

Forget about double standards and what would happen if a white guy said something of the same nature. That is a whole other issue. But what happens the next time there is sports-race story in football and ESPN let's Irvin comment? We have been told to allow Irvin leeway on this because he is comic relief. A sideshow. Not to be taken seriously. How can ESPN then trot him out to give us serious opinions...on anything? Accepting Michael Irvin as a loose cannon and as comedy relief is one thing. Trotting him out holding a microphone with an ESPN logo and letting him take on the role of serious commentator is something else. Even in sports journalism, there is something called credibility.

By allowing Michael Irvin to get away with this sort of commentary, and then later allowing him to make "serious" commentary degrades the credibility of the WWL. Michael Irvin makes off the wall comments continually. Remember the TO fiasco involving his saying the Eagles would be undefeated if Favre were the QB instead of McNabb, and the racial implications of the white QB on the downslide over the black QB in his prime? Do you also remember that that whole thing originated through comments made on the Dan Patrick Michael Irvin?

If ESPN wants Irving to be the host of the WWL's version of Def Comedy Jam, that is fine. But by doing so, they seriously undermine their own credibility. How the hell are we supposed to know which crazy Irvin statements are serious, and which are part of the Def Comedy set?


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