Katherine Webb, the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron who shot to overnight fame on Monday during Alabama’s BCS championship game with Notre Dame after announcers Brent Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit repeatedly commented on her good looks, says she’s been blown away by all the attention she’s received.
But the 23-year-old wants the focus to be turned elsewhere.
“I’m honestly really shocked that it really took off like that,’’ Katherine told Matt Lauer on NBC’s the “Today” show on Wednesday.
During the game, Musberger referred to Katherine, joking with Herbstreit (a former quarterback at Ohio State University), “You quarterbacks, you get all the good-looking women… What a beautiful woman. Whoa!,” adding later in the game, “If you’re a youngster in Alabama, start getting the football out and throw around the backyard with pop.’’
ESPN issued an apology for the comments on Tuesday.
“I think that we need to draw back our attention to who the real winners are, and that’s the Alabama football team. They spent so long getting ready for this season and they won their second back-to-back national championship, and that’s such an accomplishment,’’ the former Miss Alabama USA 2012 continued.
Katherine’s Twitter followers skyrocketed during Monday’s game, going from 2,300 before the game to nearly 220,000.
“I’m flattered at all the attention, and I’m humbled,” the 23-year-old said. “At the same time, I’ll do whatever I can to help the team out and support A.J. and do all that.’’
As for ESPN’s apology, Katherine says it was not necessary.
“I think the media has been really unfair to [Musberger],’’ she told Lauer. “If he would’ve said something along the line that we were hot or sexy or made any derogatory statements like that, I think that would’ve been a little bit different, but the fact that he said that we were beautiful and gorgeous, I don’t see why any woman wouldn’t be flattered by that.’’
The former beauty queen explained that she was unaware of the media storm until the middle of the game.
“My phone actually died before I entered into the stadium,’’ she said. “I was so disappointed because I didn’t have my phone. I wasn’t able to Tweet or take pictures and send it to my family. During the game, a few of my friends kind of turned around and just like, ‘Oh my gosh, Katherine, look what’s on the Internet.’ It was this great shot of me and A.J.’s mom, Dee Dee Bonner, at the game. I had absolutely no idea, and I didn’t find out until halfway through.’’
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-- Jesse Spero