During last year's BCS National Championship Game, ESPN's Brent Musburger created an uproar and arguably started a career with his semi-inappropriate comments about Katherine Webb, the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron.
CBS Sports' Verne Lundquist was afforded a similar opportunity during the Tide's victory over LSU on Saturday. Lundquist didn't take the bait.
In fact, he used the opportunity to take a shot across the bow at Musburger and ESPN.
With two minutes remaining in Alabama's 38-17 victory over the Tigers, CBS' cameras panned to Webb sitting with McCarron's mother, Dee Dee Bonner.
Choosing to stay professional, Lundquist introduced the two women and quickly shifted topics to whether McCarron would return to what had become a blowout. Perplexed by his partner's lack of elaboration, Gary Danielson tried prodding the conversation further.
"That’s it?" Danielson said (h/t USA Today's Scott Gleeson). "That’s all you’re gonna say?”
Lundquist's response will likely prompt thousands of #shotsfireds on Twitter in the coming days.
“You’re darn right," Lundquist said. "I don’t work for that four-letter network. Discretion.”
The four-letter word means ESPN, of course, and the lack of "discretion" is a direct reference to Musburger's comments this past January. Musburger famously called Webb a "lovely lady" and "beautiful" and opined about the stereotype that quarterbacks are a magnet for attractive women.
In the aftermath of the situation, Webb became an instant sensation, landing modeling gigs and even appearing on the ABC show Splash this summer. Musburger, who received criticism and was labeled sexist by some, apologized and has continued to work with ESPN and ABC.
Webb, Musburger and McCarron have all openly joked about the reaction since, though the entire situation coats any camera panning to Webb with awkwardness. Announcers have been understandably quiet with their opinions on the situation to avoid criticism.
Lundquist attempted to do the same before being painted into a corner by his partner.
While the focus on the situation will be Lundquist's comments, it's important to note here that both he and Danielson were laughing at the time. This wasn't a character-assailing attack on Musburger or even all that pointed a shot at ESPN.
It was merely a professional shifting out of an uncomfortable situation in the best way possible. Well done, Verne.
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