As a radio announcer, there were many occasions over the almost half a century in the business that I said something and realized it was too late, and it was already in space riding a radio wave into somebody’s car, office or home.
For the most part, they were simple slips of the tongue. And, to be honest, even if someone had caught it, it would not have upset any more than the straight-laced in my audience.
I once told a joke about three young boys talking about who had the fastest father. One said his dad could shoot an arrow and beat it to the target. Another said, drugs or no drugs, his dad could have beaten Ben Johnson at the Olympics. The third kid said: “My dad works for the civic government. He is so fast, that while he doesn’t get off until 5 p.m. he’s home at 3 p.m.”
That little ditty cost me at least a half an hour when a city worker called, I think, because even though I had no idea who he was, he felt I was talking about him. It took a while to shake that dude.
But what a Calgary announcer did earlier this month is beyond comprehension. Talking about an upcoming Western Conference semifinal game between the Calgary Stampeders and Saskatchewan’s Roughriders, he suggested it would be nice if the aircraft carrying the Riders would crash and kill four of the team to give the Stamps a better chance. If you can believe this young man, who, of course, apologized to everyone in the world including Rider fans in Moscow, he insisted he was trying to be funny.
How could anyone think a plane crash could, in any way, be humorous?
The timing, of course, was even uglier in that TSN had only that week aired a documentary that depicted a 1956 plane crash that took the lives of four Roughriders and a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, all of whom were returning from a now-defunct CFL all-star game in Vancouver. I remember that crash ever so well, although I was just a 15-year-old at the time. But it was reported that my favorite Edmonton Eskimo, then and now, Jackie Parker, had played in that all-star game and decided only on his way to the airport to catch that tragic flight, chose instead to have a few more drinks with the boys and take a later direct excursion to the Alberta capital.
Looking at the NHL problems of today, someone sent a clip from an old Saturday Night Live show that featured former Calgary Flames sniper Brett Hull. Faking a news interview, the reporter asked Hull what he thought of gay marriages being allowed in Canada. He said: “Well that’s what happens where there’s no hockey to watch.” That broke me up.
For my whole adult life I’ve always liked to wager a buck or two on some kind of competition. Football, hockey, golf or whatever, I’m in for the challenge. Sometimes you win and most times you lose, at least in my case. But I think the best story I can relate today on a successful bet is out of Ontario, where a buddy of mine’s buddy, if you get what I mean, recently went into the Sport Select game wagering a fin (5 bucks for the non-bettor) on the weekly pools bet where you pick all of the winners on one National Football League weekend.
If you can recall, Seattle’s Seahawks won a Monday night game on the worst non-call in NFL history. That gave the Ontario guy a perfect day and he was the only one in Canada to be in that situation. Well, his five bucks turned into a payday of more than $750,000. Yes, those zeros are in the right place. When asked why he chose the teams he had picked his reply was: “I didn’t. My 12-year-old daughter did.” Something tells me she is his favorite daughter today.
For my joke of the day today I look at a group of elderly Canadians on a tour bus going through Holland which stops at a cheese farm. A young guide went through the process of cheese making, explaining they use only goat’s milk and then pointed to a field of goats grazing and told the group the older goats are put out to pasture when they can’t produce any more. The guide then wondered what Canadians do with their old goats and a spry old gentleman piped up with: “They send us on tour-bus trips.”
Yet another reason why golf is better than other sports is pro golfers don’t take clothes off when being interviewed.