Dan Hampton is ON FIRE right now. Just when I thought I was too slow to write a piece on his ill-fated Hurricane Katrina metaphor, I read his apology, which turned out to be pretty funny itself in that he essentially accepted no responsibility and placed the blame on viewers.
“It was a spur-of-the-moment comment intended strictly as a metaphor for the storm-like intensity I believe the Vikings will bring to their rematch with the Saints, and it simply never occurred to me that anyone could read anything more than that into it…I am horrified that even one of you would think I would make light of the terror Katrina wrought.”
Apparently that “apology” was still good enough to make GLAAD jealous. The anti-defamation group is giddy with uproar right now over a comment that, despite taking place in the same show (!), was initially overshadowed by the Katrina remark. And, boy, is it a floater:
“The Cowboys think they are Clint Eastwood; they’re more of the Brokeback variety if you know what I’m talking about.”
Now, I’m normally the first guy to come out here and say that everyone is WAY too sensitive in this hyper-PC, utterly pussified America we live in. And don’t worry, I’m still that guy. You can’t open your mouth without making some subsection of the population cry, or open a paper without seeing a story about someone getting sued over hurt feelings. It’s ridiculous.
HAVING SAID THAT, I’ve recently come to a realization that makes it very difficult for me to rail on this personal point of contention any longer. It’s simply made live TV amazing. Think about the joke again. It’s just not that clever; a little hacky even. Really, a Brokeback Mountain joke? It’s 2010 for Pete’s sake. A joke like that just isn’t funny when you see it coming, but once you add in the faux pas element, there’s suddenly a “shock factor” that makes it hilarious. The joke itself is completely forgettable, but once it crosses over into gaffe territory, it’s immortalized by public outrcy, dry apologies, and YouTube remixes.
Bob Griese’s comment last year about NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya being MIA because he was too busy eating tacos is even less funny in a bubble. But when you add in the fact that you can smell the public apology a mile away, the 4 seconds that follow a comment like that become the funniest silence to ever be nationally broadcast. Only when certain events are expected to NOT occur can the concept of a blooper even exist at all. So, for those of us that are unphased by what others might call “offensive,” the result of the PC-obsession has only been added lulz. And as a lover of funnies above most everything else, that’s not something you’re going to hear me complain about. So, networks and advertisers, just join in the canned-apology chirade, let the comments fly, and let’s all keep fucking that chicken!
Remember, kids: jokes get remembered, but gaffes never die.