Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Color Man

I am really surprised I did not get the living hell beat out of me based on the following misunderstanding at a local bar in my neighborhood. I was enjoying a taste while watching some playoff football and a conversation was struck up between myself and the gentleman sitting next to me at the bar. Finding out he was a big Mets fan, and myself being a huge Cardinals fan, the conversation predictably turned toward the 2006 National League Championship Series.


This really did not turn into an issue. Cardinal fans are a lot like the people of Alderon, we are peaceful and we have no weapons. We had a nice debate about the series and the conversation was amicably pleasant. A few days before, I was listening to sports radio hosted by one of the Mets play by play broadcasters (Howie Rose) and for the life of me I could not think of his name but I wanted to quote something he had said. So not being able to remember, I ask the Mets fan what the name of the Mets color commentator is. Mets fan's eyes go wide open as he declares "Dude, I don't know!". Thinking that was an odd response I ask again, "so you don't know the name of your color man?" Again he states he does not know and he asks me why that would even matter. Now I am the one getting mad and I tell him, "well it matters because I was trying to quote him and all I know is he is the Mets color commentator and I can't believe your such a big fan and would not know the answer to that. "

At this point the Mets fan stands up, slams his drink down on the bar and looks at me and says "I will say it for the last time, I am not aware of any 'colored's' that broadcast for the Mets" before walking away from the bar. First of all this is the point in the story I should point out two things. The Mets fan I had been chatting with is indeed at least partially African American, and secondly had never heard the term "Color Commentator" before which I shall define:

'A color commentator, sometimes known as a color analyst, is a member of the broadcasting team for a sporting event who assists the play-by-play announcer by filling in any time when play is not in progress. '

It took me about 20 seconds to fully grasp what had happened. When it hit me, in all honesty the first thing to come out of my mouth was "Wait, I'm not a racist!!!" Wow, Michael Richards would be proud.

I immediately bring the bartender in to the conversation to back me up that there was indeed a term called "color commentator". After much persuasion from the bartender and myself the Mets fan finally pauses and says "Oh, I get it.... he brings color to the conversation....you mean Howie Rose?". Yes.... Yes.... Yes.... Howie Rose, indeed he brings color to the conversation. Thank You.......

So the conversation once again returned to civility for at least the next 20 seconds until I asked him
"So, do you think Beltran has taken the bat off of his shoulders yet?"

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