(if you’re not doing your part to pay this man’s salary, maybe you’re a racist. Or maybe not. SO HARD TO TELL)

Putting aside the the creepier aspects of Colin Cowherd’s morning pontifications for ESPN Radio (ie. his boner for Courtney Love),  the host is an unlikely advocate for the entertainment value of an NBA regular season game.  He’s also one of the last persons in sports media who ought to feel comfortable calling analyzing someone else’s racial sensibilities.  But both of those things are exactly what happened earlier today.  From The Indy Channel.com’s Jenna Kool :

ESPN sports talk host Colin Cowherd said Tuesday that race is to blame for low attendance figures for the Indiana Pacers.

The Pacers, 32-21 on the season, have been at or near the bottom of NBA attendance figures for several years as the team’s on-court performance languished.

Now that the team’s performance has rebounded, Cowherd said on his nationally syndicated show that there is no excuse for lagging attendance figures.

“You’re holding an organization to a standard that happens because of race. There’s no other explanation why people don’t go to Pacers games,” Cowherd said.

“Nobody’s saying everybody in Indianapolis is racist. Nobody is saying Indianapolis won’t support African-American athletes,” Cowherd said. “What we’re saying is Indianapolis punishes the Pacers more than they punish the Colts for indiscretions off the field or off the court, and a lot of that is racial.”

“The Pacers are fantastic, have been for several years, nobody goes to the games,” Cowherd said. “Your tickets are reasonably priced. Your team is outstanding. The locker room is full of good guys.”

While Cowherd seems to be a little mixed up (ie. Pacers fans have an allegedly race-based grudge against the team, yet “nobody is saying Indianapolis won’t support African-American athletes” —- is this a racial bias or evidence the NFL has leapfrogged the NBA in popularity in what used to be considered a hoops hotbed?), he’s got a funny notion of what constitutes “reasonably prices”.   While there’s plenty of upper tier tickets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in the $15-$37 range, when was the last time Colin Cowherd paid his own money to attend a sporting event with lousy seats?  For the tickets that might actually afford a person with average eyesight a chance to ID a player sans binoculars, seats are a slightly less bargain-basement $101-$153 (and we’re hardly talking courtside).   For persons who aren’t being paid six figures a year to make shit up off the top of their pointy heads, $101 might seem like a very high price to pay to bask in the star power of the Hansbrough Brothers.