To paraphrase a time tested Letterman gag, if Phil Mushnick and Stephen A. Smith were to do battle with thumb-tacks and barbed wire, who’d win?

A: Who cares? When do the tickets go on sale?

Phil defends his honor against Stephen A. in today’s Post :

This column last week noted that Smith, among other things, strongly implied that in the 1990s there was a widespread conspiracy among whites in MLB to keep Sammy Sosa’s home run totals down because Sosa, unlike Mark McGwire and Roger Maris, isn’t white.

Of course, Smith offered no proof, let alone evidence. And given that Sosa had seasons in which he hit 63, 66 and 64 homers – facts left unmentioned by Smith – there only was evidence to the contrary. As if there isn’t enough genuine racism, Smith saw the need to invent some.

Smith’s wildly irresponsible words did not go ignored in this space. And the only response that Smith could muster was to ignore the wild-headed conspiracy issue he had raised, and instead respond that he thinks of me as someone who represents the “Confederate flag.”

That’s right, only a racist – one who might even advocate the restoration of slavery, no less – could possibly find any fault with the nonsense daily hollered into a microphone by Stephen A. Smith.

Of course, it would take a totally well adjusted non racist like Phil to assail Smith for his alleged use of “urban street-hip brotha yak ” which he seems able to turn on and off with the drop of a Kangol”. I can’t imagine why Stephen A. thinks Mushnick has a problem with black people.

That said, there is something comforting about living in an age in which the single biggest threat to the sporting culture is bogus accusations of racism (followed closely by sneaker prices, smashed backboards, late starting times of games and Spike Lee’s commercial aspirations), and knowing that News Corp. employs a man so utterly devoted to rooting every one of them out.