Tuesday, January 16, 2007

ESPN celebrates MLK day

ESPN celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day yesterday with segments from various personalities reflecting on what the man and the work of his life meant to them. The thoughts of Tom Jackson and John Thompson, among others, were especially poignant. Unfortunantly, not all of the taped segments went smoothly as some of the anchors had a problem shifting from "ESPN Personality" mode. We have uncovered a transcript from one such segment which luckily never made it past the cutting room floor.

"Today we celebrate the life of the Rev. Martin Luther 'It don't mean a thing if it aint got that' King, Jr. Dr. King, FROM?!?!?! Morehouse College with a Ph.D. from Boston University. He first made national news when he organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 after Rosa 'Yosemite and Yellowstone are National' Parks refused to move to the back, back, back, back, back, back of the bus. Dr. King had to overcome so many obstacles during these years, but he managed to evade them all. Whoop!!! right past racial segregation on public transport. Whoop!!! past racial prejudice. Whoop!!! past injustice and prejudice. The Jim Crow laws of the 1950's put all black men at a disadvantage as they tried to move upward in life, but that's why they play the game. It could be especially bad in the south, and we know a little something about the south now don't we."

Clip of Berman making catch in Tampa Bay preseason camp circa 1982 shown. "A young Boomer streaking down the sidelines, much like a young Dr. King streaking past the F.B.I. wiretaps that produced no evidence of communists in the Civil Rights Movement."

"Some of the rights that a black man was denied in the 1960's included voting, labor rights, and of course there was segregation. But nobody circles the wagons like the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. At a time when poor leadership could have led to rumbling, bumbling, and stumbling in advances, Dr. King stressed the non-violent civil disobedience with great results."

"The early successes led to Dr. King being part of the March on Washington in 1963. The crowd awaited in anticpation to see if Dr. King could. go. all. the. way. in a speech to the audience. Would the reverend Fumble?!?!?!? No, he delived the famous 'I have a dream' speech' and became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. This just in. . .Dr. King, he was good. And Boom knows a little something about being up in front of a crowd and delivering the goods."

Clip of Berman singing with Huey Lewis circa 1991 shown. "Oh, that was a good day for the Boomer."

"In the world of sports think of how different the landscape is now than in the 1950's before Dr. King and his movement. Sports has become an equal playing field for people of all color from the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field to the New Sombrero. Young men of all colors can grow up wishing to play for the G-men, you know the New York Football Giants on the East Coast or Da Raid-ahs on the west coast. This is true in all sports, not just football.

Clip of Berman making put in Pro-Am event circa 1993 shown. "Like in golf, and Boomer knows all about making a pressure putt in golf, and just like racial equality it's good."

"There is still a lot of work to be done in this country. Will we ever get there? The Swami Sez, yes in the year 2023 when the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers will battle it out in the Super Bowl. Of course you will be able to see those highlights on. . . The Blitz."

I think ESPN made the right decision in sitting on this one.

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