In case you missed it earlier tonight, Ron MacLean has come under some heaping amounts of fire for his comments during the pre-game from tonight’s Rangers and Capitals game where he compares the two teams to their hometown’s first responders on September 11.
Our good friends at Puck Daddy put together a transcript of what Ron says:
“From the capital of the U.S. of A., it’s New York and Washington. The economic and political engines of America, united in the birth of the country, they’re also linked in tragedy. They were the twin targets of the coordinated attacks on 9/11. It’s crazy to compare what the emergency responders did during that time, but a spirit has to start somewhere. And as you enjoy this series between the New York Rangers and the Washington Capitals — Game 6 comin’ up, 3-2 New York — you can’t help but be struck by the players and the way they’ve played these games.
“They are like police officers. They are like firefighters. You can’t fight fire with ego. Brad [Richards] knows that. The pain these men have faced. The price they keep on paying. The hearts they keep on lifting. It’s been through and through, five games in. You see the commitment, they’re ready to go again this evening in Game 6 at Verizon Center in Washington.
“We all know about the firefighters. Our worst day is their every day. Been a joy to watch.”
Here’s the video.
I’d like to make something crystal clear here. There is absolutely zero correlation between hockey players and rescue workers, be they police officers, firefighters, paramedics, etc. It doesn’t matter if they are responding to a terrorist attack, a distress call or a cat up a tree. These are two entirely different realms. One deals with human beings and real life, the other deals with pucks and goals.
Hockey players play a game. We watch them on TV or at a rink and in many ways we live vicariously through them. We’ve all had that moment playing a game of mini-sticks or shinny where we state “I’m Wayne Gretzky” or “I’m Bobby Orr” and so on, but there is nothing beyond that which happens on a sheet of ice that demands our attention and appreciation.
I have no doubt that Ron would like a mulligan on this one and I suspect an apology is on its way. There’s no getting around the fact that this was a disaster for MacLean and the CBC crew. The backlash was immediate in online realms and I highly doubt it will let up. Quite frankly, he deserves it for trying such a ludicrous analogy that even he acknowledges as ‘crazy’ off the bat. If it’s that crazy, it should be left alone.
You can compare a game to a lot of things, but not that, never again, please.