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Bryant Gumbel      

How long can I hold a grudge? In the case of Bryant Gumbel it’s 34 years. The exact date was January 25, 1981.

Recently Bryant Gumbel was in the news by babbling this in a Rolling Stone Magazine interview: “There are a few things I hate more than the NRA. I mean truly. I think they’re pigs. I think they don’t care about human life. I think they are a curse upon the American landscape. So we got that on the record. That said, I’m willing to separate that this story had nothing to do with that. It’s not a gun story. So I would like to think that I would have done it, but I don’t know. Obviously, that was my first experience around killing and guns and hunting.”

He was also featured in a BMW Super Bowl ad with Katie Couric showing them in the ’90’s confused about the beginning of the internet and now confused by the inner workings of a BMW automobile. This led me to me wonder when I first began to detest that man.

Back in the early days of the AFL and the Super Bowl I was drawn to the Oakland Raiders, fueled largely by George Blanda a former University of Kentucky player. When Blanda played for the Raiders his role was as a place kicker. In 1970 for several games he became the team’s quarterback after an injury to Daryle Lamonica and at the age of 43 led the team to 5 straight wins but eventually losing in the AFL Championship game.

I continued to follow the Raiders after the AFL-NFL merger (don’t get me started on the so called “immaculate reception” a true injustice) and I was pulling for them when they won Super Bowl XV over the Philadelphia Eagles. At that time, somewhat similar to Richard Sherman today, Lester Hayes was a premier cornerback in the league. But, unlike Richard Sherman, Lester Hayes shunned the spotlight because he had a severe stuttering problem. In those days Bryant Gumbel was a NBC sports reporter and he was assigned to do locker room interviews following the game. He chose to interview Lester Hayes and wouldn’t stop, no matter how uncomfortable Lester Hayes was. The effect was very painful to watch, making Lester Hayes look very bad and very unintelligent regardless of his speech impediment.

And that ladies and gentleman is the day I learned to despise Bryant Gumbel and I will never forgive him for that.

 

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