Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Phil Jackson's "Brokeback Mountain" comments getting too much attention

In case you haven't heard, Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson is getting the hammer laid down on him (no pun intended) for his comments after Tuesday night's loss to San Antonio. During the postgame conference, Jackson said, "We call this a 'Brokeback Mountain' game, because there's so much penetration and kickouts". This, in a word, is hilarious. It's funny, it makes sense, and it is something that obviously was being saved for the right game. Which means that Jackson thought of the comment, put it in his back pocket (no pun intended), and save it for a rainy day. And, oh, are people angry.

Take ESPN's "1st and 10", a show where they run down the day's headlines in a morning extension of "Around the Horn" or "Pardon the Interruption". ESPN Page 2 columnist Jemelle Hill and NFL "expert" Sean Salisbury were the commentators, and this is what they had to say:

Hill: "I can't believe someone as media-savvy as Phil Jackson would try out such a horrible example."

Salisbury: "For a guy so calculating, and as methodical as he is, I think it's pathetic."

Salisbury also mentioned that he's never seen the movie, which is necessary if he wants to show his face around the ESPN gym room any time soon. Of course, any personality whether it be on television, radio or newspapers has to express their anger. After all, Jackson made an analogy to a movie. Maybe if he said, "We call this a 'Brokeback Mountain' game, because everybody involved should go to Hell," then I could see the outrage. But in a society where we preach tolerance, we somehow also tend to punish those who seem to have accepted the ways of others.

This was not a story after the game. Actually, it wasn't until the NBA came down on Jackson that anybody knew about it. Listening to the audio, just about every press member started laughing afterwards, which tells us two things: that people are generally comfortable with it, and that publicly they have to act like their not. Hell, even the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation thought it was in poor taste.

So, everybody around the water cooler will be talking about Phil Jackson's poor judgement and that he should be fined, but if you listen to it by yourself or with some friends, more than likely you will find yourself laughing. It's not a gay thing or a straight thing, it's a comedy thing. Just don't get all angry because Jackson has a better sense of humor than you.

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