The Musburger Effect

Katherine Webb posing with fans at University of Alabama Spring football game

Remember when Brent Musburger had to apologize for the comments he made about Kathrine Webb during this year’s BCS National Championship game? The comments were innocent enough, but Musburger was forced to give a national apology to all those people he supposedly offended. Kathrine Webb was seemingly not among them and now, 3 months later, she should be writing a thank you letter to Musburger and all those guys in the production van who kept showing her. Webb has turned Musburger’s comments into a career. She made a TV appearance on Good Morning America that week, appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, a photo shoot for Vanity Fair and a spot in the reality TV diving show.

While Webb handled the increase in fame admirably, it is not as if her life has been crippled by the fact that she became famous. Sure, not being able to enjoy watching your boyfriend take part in a Spring football game may be annoying, but can you tell me that she wouldn’t trade three hours of posing for photos for knowing she can find work modeling or in television?

Admittedly, I can’t remember the last time someone became so famous for simply dating a college quarterback. (I guess it’s kind of like some talentless family becoming famous for their father being O.J. Simpson’s lawyer…). Is that a comment on the way we view sports or the way we view sex appeal? I would tend to lean towards the latter. You can find examples of the way sex appeal has vaulted seemingly everyday people into the spotlight by just turning on the TV for 5 minutes.

It will be interesting to see just how long Webb’s fame will last. Our society has the attention span of a toddler; just waiting for the next shiny object to come in to view to divert our attention. So while it may seem like I am bashing Webb for seizing the two minutes of TV time during the game and turning it into a career, its quite the opposite. Congratulations to Webb for accepting Musburger’s comments instead of pretending to be offended. Looking back, it proved to be quite the heady business decision for Ms. Webb. Credit to the former Miss Alabama for striking while the iron is hot and taking all the money she can get her hands on right now, even if it means she has to pose for pictures with a bunch of strangers for an afternoon.


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