It's a tired tale by now. We've been hearing it since at least the '12 playoffs, and it's just not funny anymore. Yes, I'm talking about Charles Barkley and his "San Antonio Women are Fat" jokes. Those jokes may be offensive to some and funny to others, but more than anything it's old. Besides the hypocrisy of only calling out women (newsflash, gentlemen: plenty of you are fat too), there comes a point when it's time to stop beating a dead horse and leave well enough alone, and that time has long since passed for Chuck and TNT in general.
When he refused to address the topic with reporters before Game 1, many probably thought he'd gotten his point across in the second round, and there was hope that he would just focus on basketball in the all-important Conference Finals. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. At halftime, Shaq's misguided attempt to defend the women of San Antonio by showing photo-shopped images of Chuck's head on fat women's bodies was yet another untimely move that once again took the conversation away from the game and back to the tired old jokes.
What made even more national headlines was after the game TNT tried to show off some of the hot women of San Antonio, but there was one problem: one of those women, who Chuck said must have been imported from Dallas, was actually Amazing Race contestant and San Antonio native Vanessa Macias, who also happens to be Tim Duncan's girlfriend. Score: San Antonio Women - 1, Chuck - 0.
All that probably doesn't matter too much to him, but what happens in this video clearly does. Confronted about his disparaging comments at his hotel bar, Chuck quickly gets mad and doesn't want to hear anything. You can't entirely blame him: he is after all being heckled by some guys who claim not to be the paparazzi but are likely working for some lowly website looking for a big hit. Still, asked why he says this stuff over and over again, his response is simply that he's joking because he's on TV. Still not satisfied, the guy asks him if he has something against fat women, and that's when he calls for his body guard and the hotel manager to come remove them.
To his credit Chuck mostly keeps his cool, and I would imagine if a normal woman confronted him he'd probably be nicer and more hospitable. Regardless, he's learning the hard way that the more you harp on a topic, the less people will actually believe you are joking. His hypocrisy is shining through, and perhaps it's becoming clear that no one finds it funny anymore. Also, he's obviously not helping his cause when both the NBA and Weight Watchers feel the need to distance themselves from his comments.
The best thing Chuck can do for himself and the show is simply drop the topic all together and focus on the real reason people are even on the station to begin with, and that's to watch some good, competitive basketball. Keep the humor there because it's what separates Inside the NBA from other shows, but no more harassing fan bases, and no more telling viewers to go elsewhere because if this stuff continues, they just might (my suggestion is if you want some real analysis go to NBA TV after the game).
Chuck is obviously a good guy with a sense of humor, but I simply want to see the Chuck who made me enjoy the show over the last decade, the one who takes time out of his day to visit our wounded warriors, and the one who made people appreciate the Spurs because he was one of few who could actually see past the boring label. More than anything, I want the Chuck who makes me laugh and smile, not the one who makes me and half of the population want to reach through the screen and punch him in noggin. Is that too much to ask?