November 12, 2007, - 1:28 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
I like Howie Long, one of the coolest former NFL linemen and current TV football commentators there is. He’s one of those pro-athletes that didn’t get into criminal trouble, didn’t file for bankruptcy (he charges upward of $50,000 per speaking engagement), has remained married to his college sweetheart and mother of his three sons (one of whom is Chris Long–on the way to becoming a first-round pick at Defensive End), and is an all-around good guy, at least from my own personal experience.
When my high school classmate Torin Dorn played Defensive Back (Corner) with the L.A. Raiders, I met and hung out with Howie Long after lots of different games, etc. (see very, very, very bad pic below from a 1990 Raider vs. Detroit Lions game–I weighed all of 91 pounds at the time but doesn’t look that way). And he was always a gentleman, a super nice guy, and very affable and friendly.
But in trying to make a joke, Howie made an ignorant gaffe on Sunday’s NFL on FOX/FOX NFL Sunday coverage, yesterday:
Howie Long of Fox NFL Sunday referred to colleague Jay Glazer’s copy of the Patriots spy tape as the “Magruder” film of the NFL. Host Curt Menefee asked if he meant the “Zapruder” film. Long made up for the blunder with his humorous attack on critics who want Belichik to wear a hair shirt forever.
“People say, ‘He’s not remorseful, he’s not contrite enough.’ What do you want him to do? Go on Oprah and cry? Bill Belichick is Bill Belichick,” Long said.
From the San Jose Mercury News:
A history historian, not so much.
During Fox’s Rapid Fire segment this morning, the first question was about Don Shula‚Äôs comments that the Patriots would need an asterisk.
Howie was steamed: “You’d think we were talking about the Magruder film here. We’re talking about the Jay Glazer video.”
This set Terry Bradshaw laughing. (Quick guide: When Terry can laugh at your book-learnin’, not a good sign. Curt Menefee played straight man.)
Howie, acknowleding his error: “Gruder.”
Howie: “Five plays into this game, that video was confiscated.” He went on and on.
We don’t watch football for history lessons. But if you’re going to make a historical reference, get it right or you’ll get laughed at.
In Howie’s defense, at least he’s aware of the Zapruder, er . . . “Magruder” film (the famous 8 mm film of the JFK assassination taken by a guy named Abraham Zapruder and ultimately worth more than $18 million in royalties and licensing fees to Zapruder’s family).
I’d bet 95% or more of today’s pro athletes, these days, don’t. My fave story is when NBA player Voshon Lenard was in a college history class. When his prof asked him why George Washington was considered a founding father, he responded:
George Washington . . . . Sounds familiar. . . . Can you give me a hint?
Tags: Abraham Zapruder, Bill Belichick, Chris Long, Curt Menefee, Debbie Schlussel, Defensive Back, defensive end, Detroit Lions, Don Shula‚Äôs, football, FOX NFL Sunday, George Washington, history historian, Howie Long, Jay Glazer, Magruder, National Basketball Association, National Football League, NBA, New England Patriots, NFL, NFL on FOX, not so much, player, San Jose Mercury News, spy, Terry Bradshaw, the San Jose Mercury News, Torin Dorn, USD, Voshon Lenard