With Alabama jumping Notre Dame early in ESPN’s telecast of the BCS Championship game last night, the only suspense the rest of the game was whether Crimson Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron’s girlfriend was going to file a restraining order against commentator Brent Musburger.
It is actually customary for TV cameras to show the reactions of loved ones during a big game, but the 73-year-old Musburger took it to another extreme when McCarron’s girlfriend, Katherine Webb — a former contestant in the Miss USA pageant — was featured in front of millions of viewers .
Here’s how the creepy exchange went between he and ESPN color analyst Kirk Herbstreit:
Musburger: “You quarterbacks, you get all the good looking women. What a beautiful woman.”
Herbstreit: “AJ’s doing some things right down in Tuscaloosa.”
Musburger: “If you’re a youngster in Alabama, start getting the football out and throw it around the backyard with pop.”
It was one of those rare live TV moments when you actually question whether you heard what you just heard; and thanks to the modern DVR, I was able to play it back several times just to appreciate the awkwardness of Musburger’s obvious infatuation. This exchange didn’t top the time an intoxicated Joe Namath tried to kiss ESPN sideline reporter Suzy Kolber, but it’s definitely in contention for first-runner up (as they say in the beauty pageant world).
And from there on out, it became not about if they would show the former Miss Alabama again but how many times. Following the game, ESPN cameras zoomed in as a victorious McCarron leaned into the stands to give America’s next top model a kiss. That’s not where this fairy tale ends, though. It appears Webb has blown up on the Web, as her number of Twitter followers has jumped exponentially overnight.
The Sporting News reported that the former Miss USA contestant had 2,000 followers before the game, and as of Tuesday morning she had exceeded 128,000. In a bizarre twist, one new follower is LeBron James, which in theory means the queen now has a king following her. (Note to Disney: Since you own ESPN, you have movie rights to many of these plots and subplots.)
The only tweet at her @_KatherineWebb account since the conclusion of the game said: “So extremely blessed… @10AJMcCarron. Congrats to Alabama and making history! #BCSChamps”
McCarron, meanwhile, seems to be taking things in stride. He told Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated: “I’m not the jealous type. I know she’s good looking. … I’m the one who’s blessed.”
No word as of today on whether Musburger is going to launch a Twitter account so he can reach out to Webb directly.