Wednesday, November 07, 2007
This is yet another quote that deserves to fall into the "What in the Hell were you thinking?!?!?!" category, and might actually head to the top of the list. ESPN Hockey Analyst (I was unaware ESPN talked about Hockey anymore) Barry Melrose was talking about the New Jersey Devils' new Arena (Prudential Center) when he dropped this bomb on the State of New Jersey (1:30 mark)....
"Don't go outside if you have a wallet or anything else, because the area around the arena is just horrible."New Jersey is rightfully up in arms, and Melrose has already issued a "heart-felt" apology....
"I was trying to be funny and I'm sorry it didn't come through that way," he said by phone from St. Louis. "No excuse. When I talk I don't want to offend anybody. I love hockey and I want Newark to be a success. I certainly never wanted to hurt the feelings of the people of Newark or the people of New Jersey. There was no malice on my part."The key words in that apology "trying to be funny". Sportcasters are not comedians, and this practice of trying to be is ruining the profession. There's a reason why people like myself and others hold people like Al Michaels, Keith Jackson, and Marv Albert up on a pedestal. It's because they are classy (Marv's personal problems aside) when calling a Sporting Event. Sure they can be funny at times, but it never distracts from the sport and puts them above the players and the game.
This is the main reason people like Dennis Miller and Tony Kornheiser have failed or are failing in the booth. There's no need for humor or entertainment....the game is the entertainment. On the flip side though, no one really even knew the Hockey season had started. Good work by Barry to bring some attention to the Sport. Any news is good news right ESPN?
ESPN's Melrose sorry for remarks about Newark (USA Today)
Barry Melrose Thinks Newark Might Be A Tad Unsafe (The Lefty Call)