Juan Manuel Marquez knocked out Manny Pacquiao in the 6th Round of their 4th fight Saturday night in Las Vegas. The stunning knockout didn't just send Pacquiao crashing to the canvas, it sent the dreams of boxing fans crashing down as the super fight of the millenium, Pacquiao-Mayweather, is all but a distant memory.
Pacquiao's aura of invincibility fading is certainly the headline to come out of the fight as its unknown where the former champion may turn next. But in the wake of the knockout, HBO boxing commentator Jim Lampley made the unfortunate comparison to a recent natural disaster in Pacquiao's native Phillippines.
“The tsunami that hit the Philippines was just replicated by Marquez.”
First of all, it was a typhoon that hit the Phillippines, and not a tsunami. Second of all, yikes. Third of all, comparing something that happens in sports directly to a human tragedy where at least 540 are dead and another 800+ are reported missing is never a good idea. Lampley was forced to quickly apologize in the wake of criticism towards him for making the remark:
“Last night’s comment was in no way intended to belittle or dismiss the grave severity of the typhoon’s effects or the humanity of the victims. We all know the difference between a boxing match and an event of cataclysmic human suffering. To anyone who was discomfited by the metaphorical comparison I offer my sincere and heartfelt apology. No disrespect was in any way intended.”
Obviously Jim Lampley wasn't sitting in his hotel room the night before thinking to himself, "how can I get a shot in at those natural disaster victims in the Phillippines?" (At least I'd hope not.) The reference was just not a smart thing to say while being caught up in the moment of the knockout, especially given the recency of the typhoon and the direct impact on Pacquiao's home country. Even though we all know the difference between a boxing match and an event of cataclysmic human suffering, surely there are better analogies announcers can find than saying the former replicated the latter.
Whoa, folks. Let's dial back the sensitivity a tad, OK? Stop actively looking for reasons to criticize. For me, the way I read his comment, I assumed (correctly, I think) that he meant that the knockout punch had the devastating force of a tsunami. A tsunami IS a devastating force and, obviously, so was that punch. He never said (or even implied) anything about human devastation, in particular.
An old ad for a household cleaner said it "cleans like a white tornado"! Was that ad insensitive? Tornados kill people, too (& far more often than tsunamis, too)! There can quite a few tornadoes in one season, too.
On-air personalities are going to be afraid to use ANY metaphorical references pretty soon. They goof up often enough already without us (you) making them paranoid about it. I'm curious to know who, in particular, was doing the criticizing. Mr. Yoder, not that I doubt you, but, I hadn't heard & you didn't mention it in your article (seems that to be fair to Mr. Lampley, you would have named his critics, as well).
Its as much about the timing as anything else. I know the white tornado ad isn't used anymore, but if it was, it would probably be in bad taste to run it during an Alabama football game shortly after the Tuscaloosa tornados in 2011 (back off, I know the actual tornado was in April, its a hypathetical).
That said, his apology is sufficient for me. Even if it was the douchey "I am sorry if you were offended" version.
Agreed. BTW I have no problem at all with hypotheticals (as long as they are made OBVIOUS). If not, that's when misunderstandings can occur. Especially, since most bloggers have no clue how to give someone the benefit of the doubt. What Lampley did, while not appropriate, is no different than actors using their celebrity to rant about "pet peeves" (or even legitimate gripes). He saw an opportunity, he took it, and now he has to field the flack from its lack of popularity and/or, as you pointed out, its poor timing!
wait, what? RT @awfulannouncing HBO's Jim Lampley apologized for comparing Manny's loss to a natural disaster that claimed hundreds of lives
When I heard it live I thought "come on man its bad enough, Pacquiao is knocked out and not getting up , is this really the time to bring ANYTHING up?"Young kids and their boxing rofl I'm surprised those regretful* spur of the moment comments don't come up often!