Skip to comments.ESPN's Berman: "Feets Don't Fail Me Now"
Posted on 12/31/2005 5:11:20 PM PST by governsleastgovernsbest
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Boomer jumped the shark years ago. Unwatchable.
ESPN/NewsBusters ping to the Today Show ping list.
"Feets don't fail me now" is racial?! Bugs Bunny says it.
Agreed. If Berman finds an excuse one more time to air that 20-year old footage of himself catching a pass in a Bucs jersey, I will throw one of my new Timberland boots through my new HDTV screen!
Bet you anything Bugs hasn't said it in 20 years.
Bugs Bunny hasn't said much in 20 years, other than Space Jam there hasn't been a new Warners classic character cartoon since the 60s. "Feets don't fail me now" might be in Space Jam though. Never heard that phrase associated with race ever.
Actually, it's titled "Feats Don't Fail Me Now."
"Feets don't fail me now" is racial?! Bugs Bunny says it.
True... Kind of a stretch I think. He didn't even say it pertaining to a black athlete.
An excellent Little Feat album.
Racial? Never knew. ....and there's no way Berman meant it to be so.
That's the name of a "Little Feat" album from about 1970.
Sorry, guys, but you're wrong.
The expression goes back way further than Little Feat. It was a classic racial stereotype of the frightened black man, a bug-eyed Stepin Fetchit type, who, scared of something, wanted to run away and hoped that his feet wouldn't fail him. And that is exactly the sense in which Berman, old enough to be well-acquainted with the phrase's history, used it.
I think "Feets, don't fail me now" is one of those phrases that has entered the common vernacular. I wouldn't even have realized it ever had any racial connotation if someone didn't point it out and I don't think most people would.
This kind of overreaction has gotten ridiculous.
While the Stepin Fetchit-type racist character may have been the origin of the phrase I don't think anyone in 2005 uses it in that context at all.
Feets dont fail me now is a Little Feat song. Berman often employs parts of classic rock songs and word plays on players names.
No, sorry, you're wrong. True, that phrase has a long history. But, I'd bet a steak dinner that Berman was referring to the Little Feat album.
Are you all that young? It is a quote from old movies where StepinFetchit (a very stereotypical black character) would be in a dark room in a spooky house and hear a strange noise or see some vague ghostly movement and his eyes would bug out and he's say, "Feets, don't fail me now!" And then he'd run like crazy.
I think most people over the age of 18 would realize the phrase was not originated in a Little Feat song.
True, see post 22...
Amen ... this is the kind of crap that comes from the DU crowd.
I take it you have never watched a lot of movies from the the 30s and 40s. It was used commonly, usually a black actor would be scared of his/her shadow and when something scary would happen would come out with the expression "feet(not feets) don't fail me now" with his/her eyes bulging out, before running like a scared rabbit(not bugs).
I'm old enough to realize that but frankly I don't think most people, even those old enough to vaguely know the origin, think of it in a racial sense. Frankly, to me it also seems like the kind of thing Lou Costello would have said in "Hold My Ghost" or one of the old Abbott and Costello movies, when confronted by the Invisible Man or whatever. If you had asked me I would have vaguely remembered it in that kind of context (silly, scared guy trying to run away) but wouldn't have immediately associated it with a black character necessarily.
I just don't think anyone saying it these days would do so with a racist intent or even knowledge.
Have to bump that by a few years. "Feats Don't Fail Me Now" was released in 1990. That would make an 18-yo 2 when it was released.
That being said, "Feets don't fail me now" is a racist statement for anyone who knows about early Amos n Andy and the like.
Ok, I missed that post. Thanks for pointing me towards it. It is amazing what young people don't know!
The only movies I watch that are over twice my age are film noir, they don't tend to use comedy catch phrases.
I don't buy that as making a phrase "racial" or more importantly offensive 70 years later.
The gold-selling "Feats Don't Fail Me Now" reached No. 36 on Billboard's album chart in the fall of 1974. (I know my pop music; I own Billboard chart books.)
Well, personally, I believe its a touchy point to some older Afro-Americans
Huh? Talk about your lame attempt at manufactured controversy. I doubt that anybody other than the author of this piece is "aware" that the allegedly racist 'feets don't fail me now' has any origin outside of a Hanna Barbera cartoon.
You're welcome - and I know that some older blacks still take offense at the phrase.
Wrong - post 22.
I guess I tracked the re-release.
I knew it was old. But I didn't know it was my era (I think I get them confused with the one-hit wonder Firefall).
Frankly, folks, I thought it was a Brooklyn-ism.
When said about a white guy? By someone who obviously didn't mean it in a racist context? And after decades of the phrase being appropriated in other contexts (cartoons, etc.), entering the common vernacular and being stripped of any original racial connotations, for all intents and purposes?
If someone's truly upset by the use of this phrase in this context, they're too touchy.
To all who think "feets don't fail me now" isn't racist, I can only ask you to trust me that it has its roots in the worst kind of racial sterotype.
If Rush Limbaugh had ever used the phrase, I have absolutely no doubt it would have been blared all over the MSM immediately with headlines along the lines: "Limbaugh Employs Racist Stereotype".
Ahh, I didn't say that the statement was racial. I was merely pointing out that it was used, a lot, in old films and at the time was a sterotype of black people. Black people were scared of ghost etc. Today, I doubt if most people would consider it racist. However, I do believe that the liberals would call a conservative on it if it was used by one in any context what-so-ever. Thanks and have a good day.
Chris Berman is liberal, but one thing I respect about him, was that he defended Rush Limbaugh and is still friends with him and the 2 of them do talk now and then.
You may be correct in your feelings, but that doesn't change the reality of the situation. You seem to lack a bit of understanding of cultures other that your own.
White people got feets, black people got feets...all God's chirruns got feets.
Hm. OK, so there's an old racial angle to it, that I did not know about until just now. Berman is without doubt the same way -- it was a fitting comment, and funny in context.
There's absolutely no way Berman thought he was making a racial comment, and the only racial sentiment involved belongs to ... Mark Finklestein, who decided we needed to make a racial issue out of it -- and for laughable reasons, at that.
The whole premise of Finklestein's article is preposterously stupid.
Thank you - I was beginning to think I was the only one who understood the history of the phrase.
Then hop in the Beemer to go to Starbucks for a double decafe latte with chocolate sprinkles to calm your nerves?
Sorry, but that was an incredibly yuppie post.
Horse manure. The only way it's racial is because YOU ARE MAKING IT racial. For everybody else, it's just something funny that was said by cartoon characters.
I believe the preposterously stupid angle on this is "I've just heard of it, so it can't be a big deal."