In today's Sacramento Bee, the only basketball columnist at the city's only daily newspaper tells fans bemoaning the replacement of sideline reporter Kayte Christensen with veteran talking head Jim Gray to, ahem, "get over it." She, Ailene Voisin, suggests all backlash against the Gray hiring stems from the fact that fans liked the way Kayte looks. Voisin insists it is "male fans" who are upset, that "tissues should have been distributed at ARCO Arena to mop up all the drool," and that professional skills are supposed to be the issue (as if fans upset with the switch have no opinion on the professional skills involved).
If Voisin really believes the fans care about Kayte's looks and not her professional skills, I'd advise her to read all about the backlash when the fetching but overmatched Angela Tsai was let go by the Kings. Oh wait, there was no backlash, because few thought Tsai did good work. So, wait a minute ... if Kayte is handsome and there's a backlash regarding her exit, and if Angela is handsome and there was no backlash regarding her exit, and if Kayte was talented but Angela perhaps wasn't ... hmm ... I didn't major in Common F-cking Sense, but ...
There are myriad things wrong with Voisin's piggish, accusatory, conceited and blatantly ridiculous column. Perhaps most glaring once you get past the sexism is that Voisin touts how hard-hitting Gray will be regarding the team ("no house man with a headset," she writes) ... and then leads a discussion of Gray's career by noting his incredibly sympathetic post-Eagle interview of Kobe Bryant, Sacramento's Public Enemy No. 1, while also describing the media backlash against the unbelievable puffery that piece was. "Jim Gray is hard-hitting. ... On one of Gray's biggest assignments, the media believed Gray was too soft on his subject." Holy dissonance, Batman!
And of course, this absurd defense of Gray on how tough he'll be on, I don't know, Mario Elie and Donte Greene completely ignores that Kayte Christensen was pretty damn tough on the Kings back when she was doing the pre- and post-game shows with Jim Kozimor, Henry Turner and Fat Lever. No one in the Sacramento media other than Sam Amick -- Voisin included -- was as tough on Hawes as Christensen. If Voisin or anyone thinks Gray will pick up that mantle, I'd advise them not to hold their breath.
But in the spirit of cooperation, I would like to compromise with Ailene. We will "get over it" so long as Ailene promises to "get over" the following items:
* Larry Brown not getting an interview.
* Bill Laimbeer not getting hired.
* John Whisenant not getting hired.
* Ricky Rubio not getting drafted.
* Peja Stojakovic's smile.
* Spencer Hawes' sweaty t-shirt.
* Ricky Rubio's sinuous biceps.
Seems like a fair deal, no?