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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Bryant Gumbel: The Lone Voice in the Mainstream

I happened to see this item, along with the video, on 101 Great Goals today. Bryant Gumbel, the veteran journalist and former Today Show host, gave a concise but thorough thrashing to his brethren. Namely, some of the negative press that has surrounded the arrival of David Beckham. He is a commentator on HBO's "Real Sports."

Very few mainstream journalists would dare take to task their colleagues in this fashion. Especially in the insular world of sports journalism, and specifically, over the sport of soccer in the North American desert of world football. But Mr. Gumbel has always had a global perspective, and been a risk-taker. Given his sport journalism background, few media analysts thought he would last for long on the Today Show. But he proved the critics wrong.

Here were a few quotes from his commentary:

"It has been fascinating and somewhat disturbing to watch the self-styled arbiters of American sport rip Beckham, his game, his salary, and his future... But the antipathy seems to run deeper than that. With many venting unreasonable levels of disregard for the man, and disgust for his game. And that is the point that I don't get...

Are we as as a people so arrogant to think that only real 'American sports' deserve our applause?

Welcome, David. I doubt you'll ever convince most of the columnists here that there are actually two types of football worth watching, but here is wishing you all the best."

To see the video, please click here.

Real American sports... We are the only country with the arrogance and ignorance to crown our domestic champions as "World Champion." Who in the world do they compete against?

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