I feel horrible. I’ve been fighting the big bad flu for a week now. It’s even more terrible than they say it is…which is to say, I didn’t know my eyeballs could pulsate like my car windows do when I’m stopped beside another driver in Queens.

I have body aches, fever, and a wicked cough that makes a 40-year smoker sound like Beyonce. I’ve spent 7 straight days in bed and on the couch, nursing myself back to health with rest and hydration. At this point, I could be hallucinating or my urine actually smells like chicken noodle soup and Season 1 of Homeland. Weird.

But I’m thankful in a way, because being sick at home allowed me to witness a hilarious fake controversy on TV. In case you missed it, ESPN’s Brent Musberger was announcing the college football National Championship Game between Notre Dame and Alabama. When a camera spotted the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, Musberger’s microphone almost short-circuited from drool.

He commented that she (Katherine Webb) was beautiful and told kids in Alabama to throw the football with Dad in the hopes of landing a girl like that. He finally added, “Wow, I’m telling ya, you quarterbacks get all the good-looking women!” Then ESPN went into damage control, which is like watching West Point batten down the hatches because someone’s charging with a BB gun.

Sure, he sounded like a man who just spent six months in solitary confinement. But  ESPN should know that most viewers cringe more when Dick Vitale’s talking and they can’t find the remote. Fact is…yes, Katherine Webb is indeed very beautiful. In fact, the only thing more attractive at that point would have been a white flag waving from Notre Dame’s sideline.

To be fair, it should be noted that Webb is 23 years old and Musberger is part Sequoia Tree. But so what? The game was in Florida, where old people have free reign. Asking Musberger to apologize is like asking a couple in Punta Gorda to walk the course because your sensitive ears don’t like golf carts. Ain’t gonna happen, nor should it.

I will say, however, that Musberger was incredibly unprofessional in one regard. Katherine Webb, who dates the quarterback at Alabama, is a student at Auburn. Are you freakin’ kidding me??? Is nothing sacred anymore?

I know, I know….love can overcome blah blah blah. A Hatfield married a McCoy. Romeo and Juliet did their thing. A cat on youtube plays patty cake with a chipmunk (probably). I get it.

But there’s also oil and water. Acids and bases. Mariah Carey and Nikki Minaj. The universe works better when some things are left apart.

Yes, they do look happy together. But let’s face it, we’ve been fooled before. Before last week, I thought the holiest thing in South Bend was the cathedral. Turns out it was the Notre Dame secondary.

(Sigh). Look…I hope I’m wrong and it all works out for them. She is, after all, Miss Alabama. After hearing pageant contestants for years claim to want “world peace”, it’s refreshing to see one actually follow through and try. Because if an Auburn girl and an Alabama guy can make a go at it, maybe we all can.

Perhaps that’s what Musberger was going for. If his tongue were inside his mouth he could have made the point that yes, peace is very possible. Musberger dropped the ball on world peace, and for that we’re owed an apology.

Until then, I’ll do it. Go out there and embrace your enemy. Love your neighbor. Hug an adversary. But wait til after flu season. Seriously. I have to ice my eyeballs.

Categories: Columns