(hey, some of his best friends are unqualfied to be broadcasters)

Is Michael Irvin the new Rush Limbaugh? Based on the former’s comments on yesterday’s edition of the Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio, Pro Football Talk would nominate the Playmaker for such a distinction.

At one point, Irvin suggested that defensive tackle Chris Hovan was the recipient of excessive hype early in his career because he’s white. The Playmaker then suggested that black players don’t get hyped.

Sorry, Mike, but NFL players don’t get “hyped” based on whether their skin is a certain color. The media and the sponsors are looking for compelling characters, whether it’s Warren Sapp or Chad Johnson or Jeremy Shockey or Hovan, whose face paint and tattoos and unhealthy obsession with Lord Favre contributed to his appeal until folks figured out that, well, Hovan isn’t a very good player.

If Irvin’s theory were accurate, more people would know who Matt Jones is. Instead, the oversized, superspeedy college-converted quarterback who became a first-round pick based on potential could probably walk through the downtown area of every NFL city and not even be recognized — even in Jacksonville.

We’ve got a real problem with guys who recklessly play the race card, and Irvin’s comments from Monday were about as overtly ignorant as we’ve ever heard from anyone attempting to comment on such matters. He shouldn’t have a job on television, and it’s good for him that the same racists who hype white players over black ones didn’t apply that same standard when filling his job.