What's Buzzing:

Puck Daddy

Ron MacLean of CBC compares NHL players to 9/11 first responders in preposterous tribute (VIDEO)

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

View photo

.

Getty Images

One of the cultural clarifications that occurred after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 was the way we described professional athletes. Bravery was redefined. The idea that someone risking their life in a burning skyscraper could be compared to someone playing a triple-overtime game, for example, became preposterous.

Just over a decade later, Ron MacLean began CBC's coverage of Game 6 between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers by comparing them to 9/11 first responders.

Here's how MacLean opened the game, obviously off the cuff:

"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."

Well that was strained to the point of pain. Despite immediate backlash from viewers on Twitter and other social media, MacLean didn't address the speech between the first and second period.

Look, MacLean's heart was in the right place, as you can tell from that closing line. And he added a "this is crazy" caveat, but then went ahead with the comparison anyway.

But this was a tragedy on an epic scale, and an event that simply can't be minimized by comparison to entertainers having long nights. Apology forthcoming, we imagine.

UPDATE: Asked for comment, a CBC spokesperson replied: "As you know, Ron closed his opening remarks with 'our worst day is their everyday.'"

s/t Deadspin

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Flyers fans file suit against team over Winter Classic tickets
Jeff Passan: Josh Hamilton's four-homer night highlights his talent, but risk remains
Shine video: Why U.S. star Shawn Johnson didn't leave gymnastics before Beijing Games

View Comments (405)
  • Looking ahead to 100 more years at the Indianapolis 500

    Looking ahead to 100 more years at the Indianapolis 500

    Ray Harroun never could have envisioned the speed, science and styling behind the cars on the starting grid for the 100th Indy 500, not when he was piloting the Marmon Wasp to victory in the inaugural race back in 1911. Harroun puttered around at … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • Solarte homers twice, Padres cruise past Diamondbacks 10-3

    Solarte homers twice, Padres cruise past Diamondbacks 10-3

    Yangervis Solarte is glad to be off the couch and back in the San Diego Padres' lineup. Solarte homered from both sides of the plate and the Padres used 18 hits to rout the Arizona Diamondbacks 10-3 and snap a four-game losing streak on Friday … More »

    AP - Sports - 11 minutes ago
  • Patience pays off for Polish-born kayaker competing for US

    Patience pays off for Polish-born kayaker competing for US

    Rather than chasing gold, silver or bronze at the last Olympics, Michal Smolen decided he'd rather wait for the red, white and blue. Born in Poland but living in the United States, the kayaker could've gone back to his native country for a chance … More »

    AP - Sports - 14 minutes ago
  • Fulmer throws 7 2/3 shutout innings in Tigers' 4-1 win

    Fulmer throws 7 2/3 shutout innings in Tigers' 4-1 win

    Michael Fulmer took his place in Detroit history with the best effort yet of his young career. Nick Castellanos homered and Cameron Maybin doubled in a run, giving the rookie right-hander more than enough support in the Tigers' 4-1 victory over the … More »

    AP - Sports - 21 minutes ago
  • Cavs 113-87 win ends Raptors' historic and thrilling post-season run

    Cavs 113-87 win ends Raptors' historic and thrilling post-season run

    It was a roller-coaster 20-game run that came a remarkable two games shy of the NBA finals. Kyle Lowry scored 35 points, but his all-star performance wasn't enough to lift the Raptors over Cleveland in a 113-87 Game 6 loss that left the point guard … More »

    The Canadian Press - 29 minutes ago