Sunday, December 26, 2004

R.I.P. Reggie White, State Funeral Planned For Tuesday

I just tuned into NFL Gameday on ESPN, and the guys were talking in very solemn tones about a major tragedy. I thought they were going to reference the several thousand dead from the major earthquake in Asia yesterday. No, they were mourning the passing away of all-time NFL great Reggie White. It was so sad for the ESPN crew that I swear Ron Jaworski was crying.

Reggie White was undeniably one of the greatest defensive ends to play the game. And, apparently a really nice guy as well.

He was also a not-so-lovable religious kook. He made one of the most memorable speeches ever before the Wisconsin Legislature in the late 1990s. Of course, that is not exactly the most impressive achievment because most speeches by Wisconsin legislature are probably about dairy and sausage policy. Some highlights:

  • "Homosexuality is a decision, it's not a race. People from all different ethnic backgrounds live in this lifestyle. But people from all different ethnic backgrounds are liars and cheaters and malicious and back-stabbing."
  • Blacks are gifted at worship and celebration
  • Whites are industrious, "You guys do a good job of building businesses and things of that nature, and you know how to tap into money."
  • "Hispanics were gifted in family structure. You see a Hispanic person, and they can put 20 or 30 people in one home."
  • Asians are inventive, and "can turn a television into a watch."

Look, it's sad when anyone passes away, but the de-contextualized, hagiographic treatment of White and athletes when they pass away is just an inch short of absurd.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reaction of the NFL commentors (don't know why that extra syllable is in the word so I choose not to use it) was also witnessed by me. I found it acceptable and not a problem b/c clearly the man was known by them and well loved. No problem.

The incredible devastation in Asia is another subject. Far more people affected, but when your friend dies...that is important to you. Don't make fun of their reactions.

Finally, none of the cooments by Reggie White to the Wisconsin Legislature are incorrect!

11:07 AM  

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