ESPN Sideline Reporter: “All Black People Are African-American”

January 20, 2009

Tonight’s Tennessee-Vanderbilt game had few pleasant moments for Commodore fans. AJ Ogilvy was held to seven points on 1-6 shooting. Two promising freshmen fouled out. The team played no defense. It was an ugly game. There is, however, a demographic for which the game was even less pleasant: fans of accurate geographical and ethnic terminology.

As was probably inevitable, broadcasters Jimmy Dykes and Brad Nessler turned their attention to President Barack Obama’s inauguration. Ruminations on the historic nature of the day ensued, followed by the team throwing it to sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards. Edwards then filed what is simultaneously the greatest and most discouraging sideline report of my young life: 

“I talked to Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli – who is from Nigeria – before the game about Obama’s inauguration. He told me that it isn’t as big of a deal to him as it is to most people, because all they have in Nigeria are African-American presidents.”

There was a pause. Then, my friend, couchmate, and fellow Vanderbilt graduate incredulously says “African-American presidents?” 

I am insatiably curious about who is at fault here. Did Ezeli actually say “African-American”? Or did he say “black presidents” and Edwards replaced it with the seemingly safer but completely inappropriate “African-American”? Forgive me for my skepticism, but I would bet that Edwards dropped the ball on this one. I have a hard time believing that the African-born Ezeli would call his country’s presidents “African-American.” 

Finally, because we leave no stone unturned here at Fan Interference, I can most assuredly tell you that all of Nigeria’s national leaders have been Nigerian.

EDIT: If you dare, you can venture into the ESPN conversation for this game to verify that I am not making this up. Look at the second comment made at 10:30. Then leave quickly before your brain cells start deteriorating.


Do Not Give Festus Ezeli The Ball

January 20, 2009

While I hope a great many of you find the information in this post as hilarious as I did, I recognize the amount of people who will actually do so is quite small. The group is probably limited to (a) Vanderbilt basketball fans or (b) nerds excited by assist-to-turnover ratios. I, unfortunately, fall into both of those categories.

So does one of my college friends, who fifteen minutes ago told me to go to this page, and look at center Festus Ezeli’s assist-to-turnover ratio. Dutifully and giggling uncontrollably, I obeyed. I came upon Ezeli’s name in the leftmost column, and scanned to the right until I came upon that fateful number.

1 : 25

I guffawed for about a minute straight. I let the total ineptitude and failure that that ratio represents wash over me, and then I laughed some more. That ratio is terrible. My friend said jokingly “he probably has only had one assist all season.” He was right. Ezeli had one assist against the University of South Florida, and that is it. 

So, next time you think one of your team’s players turns the ball over too much, remember that it could always be worse, because Festus Ezeli could be on your team. 

Time for me to watch Tennessee-Vanderbilt, while keeping a special eye on playmaker extraordinaire, Festus Ezeli. Go ‘Dores.