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Even 10 Years Later, Brent Musberger is Still Heroically Stomping on People Who Were Shook When He Said AJ McCarron's Wife is Beautiful

John Biever. Getty Images.

Last week I said that Al Michaels has cemented his place in history as the sportscasting GOAT. And I stand by that. But not far behind in broadcasting's pantheon is Brent Musberger. It's hard to process exactly how long he has spent at the top of his game. But I speak from Boomer experience when I say some of the most vivid memories I have from my childhood are NFL Sundays with Musberger at the desk, hosting CBS' coverage. And as the 1980s Celtics established themselves as one of the truly indelible teams of all time in any sport, he was front and center of their postseason runs. 

Then, there was this. Hard as it is to come to grips with, 10 years have passed since Musberger authored this iconic moment:

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What's easier to come to terms with his how upsetting this was to that class of Americans who are easily and perpetually upset. Despite the fact they are hardly the demographic that spends a Monday night in early January watching the BCS championship game, the hue and cry from these shrill harpies was deafening, from sea to miserable sea. Musberger is a creepy old man! Poor Katherine Webb is a target of the male gaze! She's a victim! He needs to apologize! ESPN should fire him!

All this despite the fact Katherine Webb (and now McCarron) insisted she was nobody's victim. She made it clear she was flattered and appreciated the compliments from a nice gentleman. You know, the reaction women had to being told they're attractive from the time human beings climbed down out of the trees until January of 2012. 

To Musberger's undying credit, he stood his ground and never capitulated. Even though the braying mob demanded it, he refused to apologize because he had nothing to apologize for. Because there wasn't an adult in his viewing audience, male or female, who didn't agree with him 100%. On the contrary, he leaned into to non-troversy at the time. And still is. Even 10 years later, he wants all the indignant pearl-clutchers who called for his job to know what a joke they are to him:

Bless him. There's nothing like being an old guy who's accomplished everything you set out to do. It's like a superpower that makes you stronger as you age. The further along you go on life's great journey, the more fucks you get to not give. Instead, you  replace those fucks with reminders to everyone who tried to do you dirty that you succeeded and they failed. And in doing so, you make it harder for them to destroy the next person who offends the professionally offended with some harmless comment. It's beautiful.

Looking back a decade later, the visceral reaction Musberger brought out in people is astonishing. Especially given that, being a beauty queen and all, this strong, independent woman exercised her free will to put on a two-piece, walk on a stage, and ask older men to literally judge her on the basis of her looks. Quite successfully. 

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And still could:

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But sure, let's protect her from being evaluated on the basis of her beauty, in order to spare her feelings. 

So let this be a lesson to all of us. This is how you handle yourself when you truly did nothing wrong, but people demand you apologize anyway. All Brent Musberger has done is further add to his legend. 

P.S. This bit Conan did about it is still laugh out loud funny. And a sad reminder that the once proud American institution of late night comedy is dead: