Ron in a smarter moment

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.

Comments (9)

  1. After 9/11 once Sportscasters said the athletes will never be called “heroes” again. The real heroes are the firefighters, police, EMS, and other first responders on that tragic day. That went by the wayside, real quick. It was all hyperbole to make themselves sound deep, thoughtful, empathetic, or some shit. Athletes are still referred to as “heroes”, “warriors”, and other such stupid things. games are still referred to as “wars”, or “battles”.

    this blunder by Ron MacLean magnifies that stupidity.

  2. I don’t see anything wrong with what Ron said, you media types are trying to make something out of nothing.

    • Thanks for your comment. Can’t say I agree though.

      He equates the “price they pay” and the “pain they face” with that of men and women who rushed into buildings on the brink of collapse after a terrorist attack so they could save lives, many of which didn’t make it out.

      Sorry, no.

      Also, media types? Ron MacLean IS a media type. He’s gone on enough moral crusades on HNIC to last a lifetime. He should know better.

      • I agree that it was definitely a reach on MacLean’s part to compare the two, but I don’t think it was disrespectful. At least he’s keeping their memories alive.

  3. Im a paramedic, what Ron said was stupid but it happens all the time is sports. Sportscasters compare these games to “wars” all the time. My brothers and sisters in uniform get paid very little money and get shown very little respect for what we do, this should come as a slap in the face but, unfortunately we are used to it.

  4. Are you telling me Chara can’t help me if my cats stuck in a tree?

  5. what about cherry constantly showing pics of war overseas…like HNIC is suddenly the advocate for the military?? Sure we should respect the ‘troops’… but on HNIC????? comeone… stick to hockey cherry and maclean both.

  6. I think the comparison made here is pretty dumb. Well intentioned, just not well thought out. But I see people making claims that sports players shouldn’t be called heros at all, and I think that’s just as bad. You don’t have to run into a burning building and rescue 10 people to be a hero. What it means to be a hero is relative to the context and the people involved. If Ron had cut short at the comparison to 9/11 responders, this would have been fine, and I have no issue with calling athletes heros in some situations.

  7. Athletes are not heroes. I’m not offended by what he said. I’ve spent the past four years saving people’s lives, for very little money and very little respect. I don’t consider myself a hero by any means, but everyday I help people. These athletes are far from heroes.

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