Verne & Gary: a lesson in intentionality

Any red-blooded Bama fan knows the relief when they look up an away game and see that CBS is not covering it. I thank the football gods every time they save me from having to listen to commentators Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson attempt to ruin a perfectly nice football Saturday. Whether they are purposefully bringing up past Bama mistakes or botching our players’ names, Verne and Gary irritate me to no end. It only takes five minutes into the first quarter and nine Kick-Six references for me to give up and mute the game. However, Verne and Gary do offer themselves as good examples of what happens when a person stops focusing on acting with intention and reason and starts to attempt to fill a void with useless comments.

Verne and Gary love to talk. They rattle on and on about nothing until they finally find the end of their sentence. Most of the time, they also add in a few jabs at Bama along the way. While commentators should enrich and enhance games, the pointlessness of their commentary only distracts us from the actual game. Sometimes I just want to watch Derrick Henry break records without having their white noise fight for my attention. Whether it was a good or bad play, their small comments add such little value to the game to the point where you imagine their key cards only have the words “keep talking” in big, bold letters.

At one point or another, we have all acted thoughtlessly and without intention. Mistakes happen and sometimes we forget to think about the message we want to craft. I believe we can learn from the Verne and Gary’s tortuous accounts of Bama football. Instead of just throwing useless and unproductive comments out into the world, we can take time to process information before we respond. Instead of carelessly insulting someone, we can be considerate of our audience and their backgrounds. Instead of hurtling opinions out with no basis, we can use facts and logic to enrich our assertions. These seem like logical and easy steps, but Verne and Gary are the perfect example of what happens when someone seriously botches it.

It’s easy to hide behind a veil of fluffy statements lacking anything close to substance. Few people will call you out and you feel a sense of contribution. What is hard is to not only own your ideas and words, but to have substance behind them. In order to advance ourselves, our relationships and our university, we must first begin to speak only when it furthers the conversation. Verne and Gary further nothing but frustration and insensitivity.

Samantha Rudelich is a junior majoring in business management. Her column runs biweekly.

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