ESPN apologizes for Brent Musburger’s intense focus on Katherine Webb

It was the leer heard 'round the sports world, and now it's time for some damage control.

On Monday night, ESPN sportscaster Brent Musburger got extremely excited about Katherine Webb, the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron ... so much so that his fawning (to put it politely), not the game itself, became the defining topic of the national championship game.

[More: McCarron, girlfriend enjoy limelight after fixation sparks fervor]

Here's a refresher:

But, since the topic of 73-year-old men expressing repeated adoration for 23-year-old women doesn't exactly sit well in the public eye, ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys offered up the following statement: "We always try to capture interesting storylines and the relationship between an Auburn grad who is Miss Alabama and the current Alabama quarterback certainly met that test. However, we apologize that the commentary in this instance went too far and Brent understands that."

[Photos: Alabama quarterback's girlfriend Katherine Webb]

As someone who was in a Tuscaloosa bar when ESPN broadcast, repeatedly, the image of Ms. Webb, I can assure you that Musburger's comments were incredibly tame by comparison. Then again, none of the individuals expressing their adoration (to put it politely) for Ms. Webb was representing a major broadcast entity at the time. Decorum must be maintained.

And, as these things go, Katherine Webb is now more popular thanks to Musburger and ESPN than she ever would have been otherwise. Of course.

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More NCAA football coverage on Yahoo! Sports:
BCS title game hero AJ McCarron settles Twitter scores about his girlfriend
Alabama routs Notre Dame for yet another BCS title under Nick Saban
Longtime college football manager: Everyone deflates balls on game day