Work is work, even when part of the job description is to appear to be best friends on television.
The goal of a sports studio is for the jocks to be jocular. However, not everybody can be Ernie, Charles, Shaq, and Kenny, and even they get upset from time to time. It’s best for everyone else to keep the jokes light, and perfect the fake T.V. chuckle.
During halftime of Vanderbilt’s 31-24 victory against Florida on the SEC Network, Peter Burns did make a clever quip about Benjamin Watson’s suit. He was right, the former Georgia/New England Patriots/New Orleans Saints tight end was quite glossy compared to everyone else on the set.
Watson didn’t have much of a comeback, so he took it with a sense of humor, smiled, and said as long as his wife texts him that he looks good he doesn’t care. Burns then went for the gusto with a second joke when he said, “That’s not the one she sent me.” He is lucky that it didn’t lead Watson brushing some of the gloss from that suit against his forehead.
When the halftime show came back from a commercial break, both Watson and Burns were gone from the set. Chris Doeren opened the next segment directly addressing the noticeable difference and Watson angrily sauntered back onto the set, with that shiny suit jacket noticeably unbuttoned, and facial expression that looked like there were rocks in his jaws.
For those who weren’t raised with boundaries, in general, you should always be careful who you tease. Just because you mean something as a joke doesn’t mean the other person will take it that way. That’s how communication works, the recipient interprets it and then reacts accordingly.
Not everyone cares what brilliant joke you, a non-professional comedian, thought of at a given moment. And for those who can’t help but playfully rib their fellow human beings, a good rule of thumb is to leave peoples’ families alone.
Some “yo mama” jokes between classmates who have known each other for a while in school are not the same as being rude about the people who an adult finds to be the most important in the world.
It is always best to assume jokes about peoples’ parents, significant others, and offspring are off limits, especially in a setting that the whole world can see. Hurt people, hurt people, and hurting someone’s feelings in that way can lead to some pain for the offending party, whether it’s to their pride or body.
Burns and Watson took a photo later to try and play it off like there was no lingering beef between the two. Watson would later quote-tweet it, and judging from what he posted I don’t think that Burns will be making any more jokes involving his coworkers’ wife, wardrobe, or anything else anytime soon.