Emotions were running high following a moving pregame ceremony as the Boston Bruins hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday afternoon, just hours after an extensive manhunt for one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects concluded.
Unfortunately, this emotion apparently got the best of NESN announcer Jack Edwards as he made an inappropriate (and bizarre) comparison between Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke and Sirhan Sirhan, the man that assassinated Robert F. Kennedy, just over 10 minutes into the first period.
Probably not the best day to use the term "assassinated" to describe a hit in a hockey game and probably not the best time to compare an athlete to a convicted murderer.
Edwards' comments stemmed from the fact Pittsburgh nominated Cooke, a man with a past littered with controversial hits including one that might have ended Boston forward Marc Savard's career, for the Masterton Trophy, an award given to a player that either represents sportsmanship or has overcome a serious injury.
How did Edwards respond to the immediate backlash to his odd comparison? He first defended himself, telling people not to follow him on Twitter (when you're watching the game on NHL Network, unfollowing won't do much, Jack) before ultimately apologizing for his comments.
Did not compare Cooke to a terrorist. Check your dictionary definitions before you run off the handle. Or just stop following.— Jack Edwards (@RealJackEdwards) April 20, 2013
I am sorry for insulting Matt Cooke, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the National Hockey League, and anyone else upset by my Cooke comments.— Jack Edwards (@RealJackEdwards) April 20, 2013
I made a mistake.My fault all the way.This is my apology.Bad week, bad emotional reaction by me.— Jack Edwards (@RealJackEdwards) April 20, 2013
It has certainly been an emotional week in Boston, but we're not sure that warrants what appears to be a planned comment connecting a hockey player to a notorious killer such as Sirhan. The very worst part of Edwards' comments is that they appear to be premeditated. Discussion on the Masterton Trophy isn't exactly a common occurrence during the flow of most hockey games. Connecting a player to Sirhan isn't exactly a thought that would come off the top of the head either. Jack Edwards can be crazy and emotional and one of the biggest homers in broadcasting. Sometimes that's good for some ironic entertainment, but this time it got the best of him.
@awfulannouncing I think he summed it up best in a tweet: hey, tough week, i'm running hot, my bad
@awfulannouncing But an accurate headline won't generate clicks. You guys do a great job, but this wasn't as bad as people have made it out.
@awfulannouncing No, he compared voting Cooke to a "commitment to hockey award" to voting Sirhan Sirhan "Prisoner of the year".
@awfulannouncing It was bad, BUT, the PITT media did submit Cooke for the Masterson Award, sportsmanship, which is a farce. But still wrong
@MoeJassa there were two awful play by play teams up there. Jack Edwards managed to out homer the loathsome homer.
@awfulannouncing wonder what his call of chara on mtl paccioretty was...
Penguins GM Ray Shero met Edwards in the hall and demanded an on-air apology. That's why it sounded half-assed
@awfulannouncing Jack Edwards is an embarrassment to all announcers.
How interesting (and sad) more people are angry at Matt Cooke than Sirhan Sirhan or even Jack Edwards "Boy Sportscaster"
@awfulannouncing fuck Matt Cooke.
@fbihop I knew even before checking link that it was Jack Edwards. His enthusiasm is admirable but his homerism borders on psychotic IMO
@awfulannouncing Bring back Dale Arnold
@awfulannouncing Jack Edwards is an idiot
@awfulannouncing Jack Edwards = assclown.
@awfulannouncing Do people even know who Sirhan Sirhan is anymore?
@awfulannouncing bombing or not, that was stupid on many levels.
@awfulannouncing Jack Edwards is an unabashed homer. Homers don't think before they speak, y'know
@awfulannouncing Waddle doodle ,I apologize -jack Edwards
Jack Edwards is a guy who was pretty cool on ESPN, to the BIGGEST homer announcer just short of the Chicago White Sox tv broadcast crew...
@awfulannouncing After Cooke's career ending hit on Savard a few years back, he's hated on pretty deservedly around here.
@Justin_McIsaac any time you invoke Sirhan Sirhan, it's as bad as people make it out to be
@zaronow This crossed that line.
@fbihop oh I agree completely. I was referring to his body of work and why I wasn't surprised he would go too far.