Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Somebody Get Spike Lee on the Phone

I hate to bring up the race issue again, but some dickhead named Jeff Svoboda gave me no choice. The aforementioned dickhead wrote a column Wednesday for about Buckeye WRs Brian Hartline and Brian Robiskie being The New OSU Odd Couple. Svoboda writes about their differences in personality and playing style, and by all accounts, they do make a bit of an odd couple.

But, was the obvious question posed?

Were Hartline and Robiskie ever asked about the color of their skin, and how it might affect their relationship, or how they're perceived? Of course not. I mean, the title used the words Odd and Couple, and it was about a white guy and a black guy...everybody who read the heading was thinking the same thing. So why not ask the question?

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking I'm making an issue where there isn't one. To that, I would say...relax (or as Alan Cutler would say, "take a chill pill, pally." Kill me.) But anyway, I realize a white guy and a black guy being close friends isn't a big deal. In fact, it's not a deal at all. Believe me, I UNDERSTAND THIS. But, it is part of the equation here, and it was certainly implied (at least to me) by the "Odd Couple" heading.

I want you to think back a few years...

Do you remember when Bryant Gumbel did a Real Sports piece on Tony Kornheiser, Michael Wilbon and the meteoric rise of PTI? In my years of watching Real Sports, that was hands down my favorite feature. This was partially because I love Kornheiser and Wilbon, but mostly because of Gumbel asking the obvious question to Kornheiser: "How much does race play a role in the show's success?" It turned out that I loved TK's answer (he admitted that race was the most important element to the show's success), but I would have loved the question regardless. We were all thinking it, you know, so why not ask it?

This is why Jeff Svoboda will never be as relevant as Bryant Gumbel. But I guess you already knew that.

-Brad Spieser (