Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Arkansas Radio Reporter Fired for Florida Hat

This will seem like homerism, since I live in Florida and, in fact, own a Florida Gators hat. But this is ridiculous.

Hence the ridicule to follow.

An Arkansas radio station that bills itself "Hog Sports Radio" fired one of its reporters for wearing a Florida Gators cap to a news conference with Arkansas Razorbacks football coach Bobby Petrino.

Renee Gork is a University of Florida alumna. She says she grapped the Gators hat without thinking because it was raining outside. It wasn't a stunt, a protest, or an attempt to provoke Petrino.

No matter how rushed she was or how wet your hair might have gotten, this was extraordinarily poor judgment on Gork's part. First of all, any Florida-themed apparel gets buried at the bottom of the closet the second I move into my Arkansas abode. Second, wearing any university-logoed cap to a college football news conference, friend or foe, is entirely unprofessional.

However, her punishment should have ended with the embarrassment she must have felt when Petrino finished a reply to a question from Gork by saying, "and that will be the last question I answer with that hat on."

But fired? C'mon. This seems backwards even for Arkansas.

"This radio station is Hog Sports Radio," KAKS general manager Dan Storrs told The Associated Press. "We are very biased. We support the Razorbacks 100 percent."

And you take your support for a college football team far too seriously.

I get it. You make your living kissing up to the U of A. It doesn't help that cause if one of your employees wears an enemy's hat to cover a Razorbacks event. But there's loyalty and there's idiocy. This goes beyond even that. Storrs had turned what should have been a reprimand and a local chuckle into a national embarassment.

For him. As if people don't already think of Arkansans as intolerant rubes, this just reinforces it. Unbelievable.

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