By: Ashley Conley
Longtime sports announcer Brent Musburger is calling it quits after more than 40 years in the industry. Some sports fans, coaches and colleagues on social media aren’t ready to see him go but for others, the 77-year old who’s found himself trending on more than one occasion for off-the-wall comments made on live television should’ve packed his bags a long time ago.
Brent Musburger retiring from play-by-play absolutely breaks my heart. Say it ain’t so.
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) January 25, 2017
— John Boulton (@Jvboulton) January 7, 2014
Musburger’s most recent social media downfall came during the 2017 Sugar Bowl broadcast when he praised Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon and wished him a lengthy and successful NFL career despite the fact that he punched a female breaking multiple bones in her face back in 2014. Gruesome video of the altercation was released to the public just days before the game.
“We’ve all talked to the coaches and they all swear that the young man (Mixon) is doing fine,” Musburger said. “Folks, he’s just one of the best. Given a second chance by Bob Stoops and Oklahoma, let’s hope that this young man makes the best of his chance and goes on to have a great career in the National Football League.”
Musburger was almost automatically a top trend on Twitter. Someone in the press box must’ve told him about it because he re-addressed the topic moments later in an attempt to dig himself out of the hole he just stepped into.
The announcer went on to say that he believes what Mixon did was “uncalled for” but since Mixon made a tearful apology, he deserves a second chance.
*Insert eye roll here.*
I believe in second chances, but someone who demonstrates violent behavior and poor decision-making skills like Mixon shouldn’t get another shot at a million-dollar career as a professional athlete. Those people are supposed to be role models.
Brent Musburger’s praise of Joe Mixon during Monday’s Allstate Sugar Bowl is beyond me. Come on, Brent. What a low moment in sports.
— Kareem Aly (@kmaly3) January 6, 2017
Musburger’s decision to retire midway through the NCAA basketball season is pretty strange and you can’t help but wonder if he actually chose to retire or if the social media backlash finally got him down.
Hard to believe Brent Musburger’s sudden midseason retirement isn’t related to the Joe Mixon Sugar Bowl comments.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) January 25, 2017
People first began to question Musburger’s moral values during the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship when he made inappropriate remarks about then-Miss Alabama Katherine Webb, who was A.J. McCarron’s (the Crimson Tide starting quarterback) girlfriend at the time.
“You quarterbacks, you get all the good-looking women, I’m telling ya,” Musburger raved as the camera focused on Webb for an extended period of time. “What a beautiful woman. Wow. If you’re a youngster in Alabama, start getting the football out and throwing it around the yard with pops.”
Way to fail in the professionalism department, Brent.
Brent Musburger already has the Katherine Webb sexualization debacle. Add downplaying a domestic abuser to his resume.
— William Hirsch (@WilliamAHirsch) January 3, 2017
I can’t say I speak for everyone, but I won’t necessarily miss Musburger’s occasionally distasteful commentating. His final call will come on January 31 as the Kentucky Wildcats face the Georgia Bulldogs at Rupp Arena.
Cover Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal
Ashley Conley is a senior journalism student at WVU. She aspires to become a writer or reporter in the sports industry upon graduation. You can follow her on Twitter @ashleyconleyyy.