After radio shock-jock Don Imus made a stupid remark in a rather sloppy attempt at humor, it seems as if the world fell apart for the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. After a stellar season that brought Rutgers’ women to the brink of an NCAA championship, the remark by Imus must have come as a slap in the collective face of that team.
But really, folks, do you seriously believe that a single remark in poor taste by an aging shock-jock should have such a profound effect on that team? It’s not as if they were the brunt of ill-conceived attempts at humor across the country. One aging clown, known for frequent irreverent remarks should not destroy the world for these women.
Last time I checked, Don Imus was not the President of Rutgers University. Neither was he the Dean of any college. Nor was he Athletic Director. Nor Coach. Nor did Imus have any connection with the University. Imus is not an elected official in New Jersey. Nor is he a particularly revered spokesperson for women’s basketball. Neither is he a sports broadcaster. He’s just an aging shock-jock whose taste in humor gets seriously derailed on occasion.
So what is the big fuss about?
Is the self-esteem of Rutgers women basketball players so fragile that they cannot tolerate a single off-hand stupid remark by an aging shock-jock? Who really cares? How could such a remark have any lasting impression on anyone who has a sense of proportion and perspective in such situations?
Star-Ledger columnist Kathleen O’Brien tries to defend the reaction of the Rutgers women with a column (“Rutgers players battle on”) in today’s Star-Ledger with such gems as:
This is their moment in the sun.
It probably doesn’t feel that way to the women of Rutgers’ basketball team. Right now it probably seems a crabby old man rained on their parade, leaving them with nothing but wet sneakers.
Oh, please! How does a comment by a “crabby old man” that means nothing to anyone else sully the outstanding achievements of these women? In a rational world, it cannot. No well-grounded individual would allow such a stupid remark by a no-consequence has-been have even the slightest impact on their sense of achievement.
Another brilliant remark from O’Brien:
But years from now, when this three-pointer or that offensive rebound are a distant memory, they’ll understand the real challenge didn’t come from the Tennessee Volunteers.
It came from the current trashy, no-holds-barred notion of “humor” against which no one had drawn the line.
If these women carry with them the memory of Imus’s stupid remark more than they treasure their rise to the NCAA championship game with the Tennessee Volunteers, then there is something seriously wrong with the preparation for life that Rutgers University imparts to its students.
Reality to Rutgers’ basketball women: Get over it. Life isn’t going to treat you fairly nor can you expect to be treated with respect by everyone you encounter. If you are not prepared to deal with the reality of life, then you are in for a long, difficult struggle.
Time to get a grip and grow up. That goes for you too, Ms. O’Brien.
Bob Webster, a 12th-generation descendent of both the Darte family (Connecticut, 1630s) and the Webster family (Massachusetts, 1630s) is a descendant of Daniel Webster's father, Revolutionary War patriot Ebenezer Webster, who served with General Washington. Bob has always had a strong interest in early American history, our Constitution, U.S. politics, and law. Politically he is a constitutional republican with objectivist and libertarian roots. He has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint by the regressive Progressive movement as a great danger to our Republic. His favorite novel is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and believes it should be required reading for all high school students so they can appreciate the cost of tolerating the growth of unconstitutional crushingly powerful central government. He strongly believes, as our Constitution enshrines, that the interests of the individual should be held superior to the interests of the state.
A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science. Bob earned his degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, graduating in 1964.