If you were watching what turned out to be an unexpectedly good and well-played game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys last night, then you’ve already seen this strange interlude from Bob Costas last night, in which he used 90 seconds of halftime analysis to pontificate on the need to make handguns illegal. Nothing Costas says in this clip is new or even terribly interesting — Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher used a gun to kill his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins and himself, so no one should own guns — but the context of his anti-Second Amendment rant was incredibly bizarre, and not just because it came in the middle of a halftime show with “God Bless America” playing in the background:
Why bizarre? Well, if you watched NBC’s Football Night in America last night, you’d already know that the broadcast team could barely even mention the fact that Belcher committed murder. Before and during the game, they used phrases like “lost her life in this tragedy” to describe what happened to his victim and other non-judgmental phrases. Into that context comes Costas to blame … the gun. It was surreal, an experience only interrupted in the post-game show when Rodney Harrison appeared to get a little angry and remind everyone that Belcher killed someone else besides himself. And while I didn’t watch the earlier games during the day, NBC’s crew was not really an exception in how they approached the Belcher murder-suicide story.
Kudos to the Chiefs, however, who dedicated their game yesterday not to Belcher or gun control, but to the victims of domestic violence. That honored the true victim, and highlighted the true social ill.