For a variety of reasons, including the fact that it's too painful to watch the Carolina Panthers year after year as well as being so over the ongoing “Woke Mafia” era, I don't watch a lot of NFL games anymore. But because I write to put food on the table, sometimes stories about what happens at the games land on my desk, with some being interesting enough to be put in the “under further review” stack, to use a phrase heard often from the referees.
Such was the case with a joke former Dallas Cowboys quarterback turned-CBS News NFL sports commentator Tony Romo made about Tampa Bay Bucs QB Tom Brady's wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, during the Sunday game between the Bucs and the Chicago Bears, which was played in Tampa.
If you've watched Romo call a game, you may be of the mindset I have in that he is a delight to listen to. You can tell he really gets into it, and it's wild to hear him call a play well before it even happens and then see it play out. He really knows his stuff and enjoys what he does, which you can't help but appreciate – especially in comparison to hearing Troy Aikman's and Joe Bucks' insufferably annoying commentary on the Fox broadcasts, which I often mute when I do click over to watch a game.
In any event, during the game, Brady threw his 600th touchdown pass, a first in league history, and the Bucs on-the-field staff had to do some sweet-talking to the fan who Bucs player Mike Evans, who caught the TD, gave it to.
The moment was broadcast on live TV, with Romo and colleague Jim Nantz tossing around ideas for the Bucs on how to convince the fan to give the ball back. Romo's suggestion was a date with Bundchen, joking that Brady would be up for it as long as he could get that historic football back. Watch:
The Bucs had to negotiate to get Brady’s 600th TD ball back from a fan 😂 pic.twitter.com/31WAjBJVfU
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) October 24, 2021
Now I didn't watch this game, but if I had and had heard that, I'd have laughed in the spirit it was intended. But some Twitter blue checks, as well as numerous smaller accounts, were fauxfended over the unserious suggestion from Romo that Brady trade a date with his wife for the ball:
Tony Romo thinks Tom Brady is willing to pimp out Gisele to a random fan for a football.
— McNeil (@Reflog_18) October 24, 2021
Later (and apparently either not hearing what Romo actually said or choosing to lie about it), McNeil wrote, “[Ball goes into stands] Tony Romo: “I'd accept nothing less than sex with that players wife to give that ball back.”
Yahoo Sports columnist Shalise Manza Young was also upset, and took to the Twitter machine where she falsely proclaimed that Romo said the fan “should get a night with Gisele,” which, if he'd actually said that might make the outrage a little more understandable:
unlikely to become a column, but the number of people saying the Bucs fan who gave the 600TD ball back should get a night with Gisele (incl Romo): gross. y'all literally pimp out your wives/SOs for memorabilia? really?
— shalise manza young (@shalisemyoung) October 25, 2021
Though Young, a huge fan of former ESPN commentator Jemele Hill, said her displeasure was not likely to be expressed in a column, unfortunately, she changed her mind and decided to expand on her thoughts, apparently in an effort to dumb down the debate even more. In it, Young described Romo's remarks as “creepy” and “crude”:
Gisele Bundchen is an incredibly accomplished woman, and in many parts of the world, she is more well-known and recognizable than her husband. She is a stalwart environmentalist, an activist for numerous other causes, a best-selling author, businesswoman and mother.
But in an instant Sunday, she was reduced to a piece of property that should be passed around like a bowl of Halloween candy for … a piece of memorabilia.
It was all so unseemly and crude, the implication that Brady owns his wife and would offer her up in such a way.
For those of you who don't want to click to read the full piece – where a major amount of leaps in logic had to be made, I completely understand. After all, that's what my colleagues and I are here for.
The “outrage” over these nontroversies surrounding certain comments/jokes or whatever made about women just needs to go away and die a painful, fiery death. I mean, Terry Bradshaw took heat a few weeks ago for complimenting an outfit Erin Andrews was wearing in addition to her report (which I watched, and with which I agreed with Bradshaw on both counts).
My thought on these matters is that you have to view the comments in context before making a judgment call. You also have to consider the person making the comments. Then step back and really think about them for 30 seconds before jumping to conclusions. In most cases, people will shrug them off or chuckle in the spirit in which they were intended, as they should, and then will move on.
The vast majority of what we see people get “outraged” over as a society, anyway, is overblown and that's true as for various sports controversies as well. But what makes it particularly frustrating for women is when other women (and sometimes men, too) make something out of nothing and in the process infantilize women to the point people are scared as hell to utter one word about them unless it's someone gushing with praise over what a “queen” she supposedly is.
There are a lot of things for people to get outraged about in this country like, for example, the sexual assault that happened to a young female student in Loudoun County that the county school board tried to cover up and that the father's understandable aggressive reaction to was in part used as the basis for a letter written by the National School Boards Association urging federal involvement in investigating parents as possible “domestic terrorists” – which Biden's DOJ proceeded to act upon.
That's worthy of a considerable amount of outrage. Romo's harmless joke? Nope.