FanDuel - WFBC

February 17, 2006

Bryant Gumbel Torches Olympics: "Count me among those who don't like them and won't watch them ... Because they're so trying, maybe over the next three weeks we should all try too. Like, try not to be incredulous when someone attempts to link these games to those of the ancient Greeks who never heard of skating or skiing. Try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention. Try not to point out that something's not really a sport if a pseudo-athlete waits in what's called a kiss-and-cry area, while some panel of subjective judges decides who won ... So if only to hasten the arrival of the day they're done, when we can move on to March Madness -- for God's sake, let the games begin."

posted by rcade to other at 08:34 AM - 41 comments

Obviously someone is repressing the large African-Finlandish populace.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:43 AM on February 17

Ahem. Fuck Bryant Gumbel. He is to journalism what Don Cherry is to the English language - A butcher. And what the fuck is the deal with people who HAVE to tell everyone about the things they don't like and won't watch? What kind of assholes actually think this is something we're all dying to hear about? I mean, is the whole idea for me, who really enjoys the Winter Olympics, to now realize that I've been wrong the whole time? Yep, Bryant Gumbel can kiss the fattest, hairiest part of my ass. And the black thing - what a red herring. What a terrible angle and non-story. Way to encourage tolerance, you complete and utter dipshit.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:47 AM on February 17

I saw this quote last night, and marveled at how unfocused it is. I understand he doesn't care about the Winter Olympics, but past that, none of his other points even sound thought through, let alone coherent. Gumbel has always been a bit of a crotchety old fart, but playing the race card (They're mostly northern countries, this isn't apartheid or anything) and throwing a single wayward shot at figure skating (there are reasons to hate on figure skating, enough for a rant all its own, but you can't seriously claim they're not athletes) come off as half-assed. By the way, someone should tell Bryant that the Ancient Greeks never heard of basketball neither, so maybe we should stop holding March Madness. Gumbel is really good when he thinks things through, and lets his inner editor do some work. When he doesn't, shite like this come out.

posted by chicobangs at 08:53 AM on February 17

Weedy man i enjoy watching olympics no matter winter, summer whatever as much as anyone in here. What i think really jacks everything up is that they announce who won what event before it comes out on TV, so why bother to watch it you know. As far as this dumbass, everyone knew he was a fucken moron, if they didn't know now they know.

posted by chuy at 09:01 AM on February 17

I was thinking about why it is that America isn't more competitive in the Winter Olympics. I came up with a couple theories. Many events just aren't workable in most of the country (i.e. luge). Some of the events just aren't "sexy" enough (e.g. curling, cross-country stuff). But, I do think that some of the other events just are not attracting America's very best athletes. And, from an American perspective, it could be a race issue or a class issue or something like that. So, I sort of see where Gumbel is coming from, though I probably wouldn't have phrased it as he did. And, regardless of whether figure skaters are athletes, the judging makes it a questionable sport.

posted by bperk at 09:20 AM on February 17

Figure skaters are athletes - it obviously takes athletic ability to do what they do. However, any contest that requires judges to completely decide the outcome is just that, a contest - not a sport. This would also include the half pipe in snowboarding, gymnastics, etc. I'm still not sure about events that combine judging with hard stats - moguls skiing, ski jumping, etc. Lastly, what moron added style points to ski jumping. Why don't they just see who goes the farthest? I don't care if the guy flaps his arms and blows gas to stay aloft.

posted by nickl at 09:40 AM on February 17

rcade gets some kind of award for linking to a Brent Bozell organization.

posted by holden at 09:40 AM on February 17

But, I do think that some of the other events just are not attracting America's very best athletes. And, from an American perspective, it could be a race issue or a class issue or something like that. Then he should get into the subject and investigate. Not just throw out words meant to shock. I could go to an nba final, look around, and complain that there are no white players. That seems to be what he did. The comments come across as someone simply wanting to shock.. One of our many authors could do a column on the subject and blow this tripe out of the water.

posted by justgary at 09:46 AM on February 17

For some reason, when I think about carrying the banner of the repressed Black man, neither of the Gumbel brothers (pun intended) spring to mind.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 09:53 AM on February 17

The Winter Olympics are about as relevant as the X Games!!!!

posted by Big Dookie at 09:56 AM on February 17

rcade gets some kind of award for linking to a Brent Bozell organization. I'll get my award for doing that in hell.

posted by rcade at 09:59 AM on February 17

And for the love of God, enough with this "not a sport, is a sport" crap. It's a semantic argument masquerading as a intelligent debate. Fine, call them contests if it makes you sleep better at night, but don't get huffy if the rest of the world is happy to call figure skating a sport. Part of me thinks half this garbage would go way if they just decided to call judges, umpires given the general narrow-mindedness that creeps around here.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:05 AM on February 17

rcade, you ingrate, don't you know that he's protecting you from the scourge of liberal bias in the media and (through the Parents Television Council) making TV booby-free and obscenity-free and otherwise safe for your kids? They should build statues to this guy in Washington, or make him head of FEMA or something.

posted by holden at 10:08 AM on February 17

I am damned near 60 years old and I am finding the new "X" sports very refreshing. The athleticism that these youngsters exert is amazing, no matter what the sport. Maybe Gumble ought to look at the definition of sport: "Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively". I see nothing in there about race. Some of his exposes' are very eye opening when it comes to race, however I think a lot of times he goes out of his way to make things about race that aren't really there. I don't see a bunch of rednecks out there bitching because the majority of skiers are a bunch of rich white kids from up north. Get over it Gumble.

posted by dandy491 at 10:11 AM on February 17

Gumbel's black ?!? When did that happen

posted by DOGFOODMAN at 10:12 AM on February 17

What if Jim Nantz said, while speaking of the Summer Olympics, "These aren't the world's greatest athletes, and it feels like a rap concert". Just wondering.

posted by stockman at 10:13 AM on February 17

And for the love of God, enough with this "not a sport, is a sport" crap. That is figure skating's fault for the most part. I never really questioned it that much until recently. I have no idea by watching it who will be the eventual winner. The scores make no sense. And, things like this happen.

posted by bperk at 10:14 AM on February 17

Crotchety older man of color stuck in the old days when the black man was denied access or participation in particular sports. The guy has lost it, never really had it. Still looks like a tomato only now wrinkled due to a life time of chair sitting. Playing the race card does no one good and it will not drive young persons of color to run to the nearest ski resort anytime soon. It's not racism keeping them from trying either. It's desire and if your family enjoys the activities. Anyone notcie how gay the men's skating is now? It sure put me off the Olympic thing! Oh, except the women's curling, those Johnson sisters are easy on the eyes and can sure throw the rock!

posted by mikemora at 10:16 AM on February 17

Gumbel...what an ass.

posted by lil'red at 10:18 AM on February 17

holden: rcade gets some kind of award for linking to a Brent Bozell organization. He gets a round of applause from me. Bravo, rcade!

posted by L.N. Smithee at 10:23 AM on February 17

Still looks like a tomato only now wrinkled due to a life time of chair sitting. Some of the Gumbel hating's getting carried away. You may not like what he said here, but to dismiss him as a go-nowhere crank ignores the fact that his show's the 60 Minutes of sports news. In the 10 years he has hosted RealSports, the show has won 11 Emmys and the first duPont broadcast award ever given to a sports program.

posted by rcade at 11:00 AM on February 17

bperk: But, I do think that some of the other events just are not attracting America's very best athletes. And, from an American perspective, it could be a race issue or a class issue or something like that. Right on. Not unique to winter sports, mind you, but an issue nevertheless. justgary: Then he should get into the subject and investigate. Not just throw out words meant to shock. I could go to an nba final, look around, and complain that there are no white players. That seems to be what he did. Right on. When we have the discussion about race and the winter Olympics, let's not start like this. dandy491: I don't see a bunch of rednecks out there bitching because the majority of skiers are a bunch of rich white kids from up north. Exhibit A from a Washington (Post) Redneck. I like the last part the best: "Paul Farhi is a staff writer in the Post's Style section."

posted by Amateur at 11:09 AM on February 17

Please note that the Winter Olympics are on NBC, the network Gumble hates, and March Madness is on CBS, the network he works for. Yeah, I BET its all about racism to Bryant...

posted by Masked at 11:15 AM on February 17

Gum-ball is an angry, insensitive jerk. Lets throw him in a cell with Rush Limbaugh and Jimmy the Greek so he can justify the attitude. As painful as figure skating and sync. swimming is I believe they have a place in the Olympics. To me the games serve a social purpose that is greater than just individual. Maybe I can't beat the bully on the block with fists however I can humble him in the sports arena. National pride grows from watching heroes win at sport. Who knows wars may be settled on the playing field instead of the battlefield. Winning gold at snowboarding imho is just a engineered event with the scales tipped too heavily in the US favor. Ridgemont highs Spigoli clones, for sure dude .

posted by kosmicdebris at 11:16 AM on February 17

Figure skating not a sport? I don't like it and seldom watch it, but take some of our recognized greatest athletics from other sports (football, basketball, baseball, etc.) put the on skates and let's see what happens.

posted by daveflo19 at 11:52 AM on February 17

i had no opinion of Bryant Gumbel before I read this. But now that I have, F*ck him, he's a jackass. who gives a crap if watches the olympic games or not. i'm glad I cancelled HBO after the sopranos took a couple years off.

posted by erkno11 at 12:37 PM on February 17

Gumbel has been, is now and always will be a piece of shit. Ditto with his brother.

posted by bigbreeze at 12:55 PM on February 17

I agree with erkno11. Also, EVERYTHING IS NOT AN ISSUE OF RACE.

posted by the don at 01:39 PM on February 17

Also, EVERYTHING IS NOT AN ISSUE OF RACE. Yeah, just ask any white guy you know and they all agree.

posted by bperk at 02:19 PM on February 17

How dare those nations that are frozen for half the year try to find sports to compete at that they can actually play! The fuckers. They should be out swimming in freezing weather going for the swimming medals. Oh no wait--there aren't a lot of black athletes in swimming. RACISTS.

posted by mkn at 02:57 PM on February 17

All right, every one take a deep breath and relax. Lets all just remember that Bryant was in the regrettably cancelled TV series "Gumbel to Gumbel". "Gumbel to Gumbel" people. "Gumbel to Gumbel".

posted by lilnemo at 04:01 PM on February 17

Oh no wait--there aren't a lot of black athletes in swimming. Unless you happen to be swimming in Divison Four in the same league with Southfield and Pontiac.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:05 PM on February 17

bperk, are you saying that everything IS a race issue to black guys?

posted by the don at 05:27 PM on February 17

daveflo 19, they already have a show like that called Skating with the Stars. As strange as Dancing with the Stars, only on ice.

posted by lil'red at 05:35 PM on February 17

I do not care for many of the games in either the summer or winter games. Not because of the racial mix of the teams. I watch what I like, and frequently watch things I do not know about, to widen my knowledge base and who knows I may like it. I do not count the participants by how many of what ethnic group are involved as he does. If it is competative it is good, and if not or it is boring then it is not so good. The games are being played for world consumption, and so what may be loved in northern Canada may not be liked in California. Some New Yorkers may not care for some of the sports but so what.

posted by Aggie1 at 05:49 PM on February 17

"Can't we all just get along?"

posted by wingnut4life at 07:12 PM on February 17

there are three reasons racism exists, 1 the media uses it to keep pointing out our differences 2 politicians use it to divide and conquer 3 the racist idiots who keep whining about it just wont move on in life(no matter what color they are) the only ones responsible for not being successful in life are those who have failed by their own hand,if you cant make it in this world thats your problem,find something your good at and stick to that and stop crying about the lack of a certain race in any one sport,maybe the reason there is a lack of blacks in the olympics is because a lot of them are off in professional sports making money or acting on television,if it were me, i would choose money too.

posted by benpenrod at 04:03 AM on February 18

That is really well said.

posted by the don at 10:17 AM on February 18

Bryant Gumbel is a bitter guy. Bryant Gumbel complains about Winter Olympics, and yet sees nothing wrong with his picking up a pay-check to host a post-match Q&A analyses of a 16-week sporting contest called "Survivor" where contestants stab their teammates in the back for a bowl of Doritos. Bryant Gumbel seems ignorant that Winter Games are comprised of sports played on ice and snow. Gee-whizz Wally, did you know there isn't a lot of either in tropical and sub-tropical Africa? Well, d'uh. Bryant Gumbel complaining about there not being enough black athletes at the Winter Olympics is like William Huang complaining about the NCAA Basketball tournament not having enough tall Asians. Bryant Gumbel is a loser.

posted by the red terror at 11:00 AM on February 18

Breaking . . . a black American athlete named Shani Davis just kicked his skate in Gumbel's mouth.

posted by the red terror at 11:59 AM on February 18

Gumbel is a racist. Ignore him

posted by storagepro at 08:43 AM on February 20

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