Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Stupid? or Incredibly Subversive Snark from ESPN commentators

I was watching Gonzaga crush Rice last night in the NIT Season Tip-Off, because that's how much I love college basketball (Butler beat Indiana last night, too! Suck it, hoosiers!).

And the commentators, who must have been D-List talent at best (the color commentator spent much of his time making the kind of observations a high school coach might make--"He's got to bend at his knees more when going up for that rebound"; "He's got a little wrinkle in his shooting motion", etc) had one very interesting and odd exchange.

It was about a guard on the Zags, Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes who looks to be getting a lot of clock this season. This is most definitely a paraphrase, but the basic idea is pretty much spot-on. Anyone would can find it, let me know.

Color Commentator: Cespy can really move in the open court.

Play-by-Play Guy: You've done a magnificent job coming up with a shortened name for the Gonzaga junior, Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes.

CC: I've been tellin' ya, you learn how to pronounce those foreign names, and they aren't going to let you on any more airplanes.

PbP G: [silence]

Now, what is being said here? Is the color commentator suggesting in a wry way that in Bush's America, just knowing how to pronounce a "foreign" name is enough to get your locked up? If so, brilliant commentary. However, using this as a reason to not learn how to say a player's name correctly tarnishes the joke a bit, I'm afraid. It makes you appear as though any name too hard for you to bother learning to pronounce is a name of a potential terrorist. Man, if that were true the NHL would be the Central Front on Terror, yah? I don't know whether this little joke from the bottom rung of ESPN counts are racist, but it sure as hell counts as really fucking stupid.

And for the record, Altidor-Cespedes is a combo last name, and neither are particularly "terrorist" related. Alitdor is his father's last name, who is Haitian, and Cespedes his mother's last name, who is Peruvian (perhaps our color commentator was making a sneaky reference to the Shining Path?)

They met in Montreal, where they married and Pierre Marie (the scariest of all terrorist names) was born.

Oh, and he doesn't care for nicknames:

"I have never had a real nickname that most people used, all those nicknames are fun but they don't mean much to me, I rather people call me Pierre or Pierre-Marie."

Update: Commenters have said, and I believe them, that the rude dumb guy was Rick Majerus. I believe them because it only makes sense that Rick Majerus would say something like that.

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Zach Landres-Schnur said...

great catch on that. i watched the same game, but had the sound off...

i could be waaay wrong, but was it no rick majarus the color commentator? if it was, that would be 10x funnier than it already is.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it was Majarus. (I find him more annoying than funny, but whatever.) And FTR, the nickname the lead commentator used was P-Mac (which is what, he said, Few calls Pierre).

Jerious Norwood said...

How about stupid AND subversive? Kind of like this site.