Monday, December 22, 2008

Weighing in on the Rob Parker/Rod Marinelli situation

By now I'm sure you've heard about Rob Parker's, "Do you wish your daughter married a better defensive coordinator?" question to Rod Marinelli from Sunday. Joe Barry, the aforementioned defensive coordinator, is Marinelli's son-in-law.

Here's the clip if you missed it, complete with the Fox crew's response:

Parker claims the question was meant to lighten the mood and one that he has asked Marinelli before. You can tell, though, that Parker isn't getting the answer he wants and continues badgering the Lions head coach about Barry, until finally trying (awkwardly and unsuccessfully) to lighten the atmosphere.

The Fox crew - Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Micahel Strahan and Jimmy Johnson - jump on Parker after the clip is played. Bradshaw throws the sharpest dagger, calling Parker a "flat idiot," and an embarrassment to journalism.

Easy, Terry. I know the guy shouldn't have asked the question, but when did Terry Bradshaw become the expert on broadcasting and reporting? The guy can barely get through a highlight pronouncing everyone's name correctly. Strahan and Jimmy Johnson were right there along Bradshaw to bash Parker, while Howie Long was the only voice of reason, saying it was uncalled for but that Marinelli deserves to be questioned after a 0-15 start.

Now let's address the elephant in the corner.

Rob Parker is a journalist for the Detroit News but also freelances for ESPN, most notably as a panelist on ESPN's "First Take." I'm sure the folks at Fox loved being able to call out an ESPN-ite, especially after all the grief Jay Glazer has taken at the expense of the "worldwide leader" this year. If Parker were often a guest of Fox's "Best Damn Sports Show Period," I don't think the outcry would have been as over-the-top from Bradshaw and the gang.

Either way, the guy was wrong and issued an apology. To call for his head, as the pundits on Fox's panel did yesterday, seems a little unreasonable. I'm not trying to defend Parker. He should be punished in some way for what happened. But to call for his firing?

If Jemele Hill and Lou Holtz can toss around Hitler references like nothing, I think Parker deserves a second shot for a bad attempt at humor.

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