Felger and Mazz

Roy Halladay’s death in a plane crash Tuesday prompted plenty of thoughtful tributes, a few less-than-perfectly-conceived ones, and then the terrible and offensive segment radio host Michael Felger (seen at left above) came up with on his show with Tony Massarotti on Boston’s 98.5 The Sports Hub Wednesday. Instead of mourning Halladay or respecting those who were, Felger decided to spend over 10 minutes blaming Halladay for his own death thanks to his decision to fly a plane, calling him a “moron” and a “jackass” who was “cavalier about life,” making plane crash noises and saying “I’ve got no sympathy for you,” and “he got what he deserved,” complaining about people calling this a tragedy, referencing this TMZ video, and mocking Dale Earnhardt’s 2001 death for good measure with an “I root for the wall.”

Update: Felger has since been taken off NBC Sports Boston, which simulcasts his radio show, for a weekend:

There has been no discipline for Felger yet from The Sports Hub. The original post follows:

Here’s the whole segment (part of the Hour 2 file, which can be found here):

Some lowlights (all quotes from Felger, who did most of the ranting, unless specified otherwise):

“It angers me. Someone, who, I don’t know, is so cavalier about life and just doesn’t appreciate the tenuousness of life and is willing to screw around with life and death? Especially when you have children, or a family?”

“You’ve got to get your rocks off by whatever it is you do that cheats death.”

“That guy’s like the bad guy to me. You’ve got a family! And you’re going to screw around in a little toy plane?”

“When this guy went down in the plane yesterday, I said, ‘I don’t know the details, but hopefully this isn’t JFK Jr., somebody who doesn’t know what he’s doing, screwing around with a plane and killing himself for all intents and purposes.’ And it just sort of angers me. You care that little about your life? About the life of your family? Your little joyride is that important to you that you’re going to risk just dying?”

“You’re a multimillionaire with a loving family, and to you, you have to go get that thing where you can divebomb from 100 feet to five above the water with your single-engine plane with your hand out the window. ‘Wheee! Wheee! Yeah, man, look at the G-force on this! I’m Maverick! Pew pew pew! Yeah, man, look at this, this is so cool.’ And you die! Splat!”

“He’s not a militarily-trained pilot, he’s not a professionally-trained pilot, he’s a Joe Q. Citizen who buys a plane that folds up and you can put in your garage and that’s amphibious, ‘Wheee! Oh look, I just landed on the water, everybody! I’m going to tweet it!’ Splat. You’re dead. With two kids. Moron.”

“I find it offensive that you’re that cavalier about life. That it’s more important that you’re going to get your rocks off.”

“As a 40-year-old grown-ass man, you’re still doing that, to the point where you’ve got to get in planes and race cars and all that crap? I’m sorry, dude, you’re on your own. I’ve got no sympathy for you.”

Jim Murray: “What bugs me about a story like this is when they use the word ‘tragedy.’ A tragedy is what happened at that church in Texas this past weekend, or an orphanage burning down. This? You know what the risks are! …If you’re a thrill-seeker and you die this way, you know the risks. It’s an unfortunate circumstance, not a tragedy.”

Back to Felger: “I don’t want to blame the plane for the fact that the guy (a test pilot who was killed) wanted to dive-bomb through mountains! You idiot! ‘Yeah, let’s dive-bomb through mountains! Cause it’s cool, and I’m going to put my hand out the window! And I’m going to tweet it!’ Splat! That ain’t the plane’s fault. This thing that Halladay was doing, diving from 100 feet to five…idiot. Oh god.”

“We’ve all done things we look back and regret. Like taking the little planes to Nantucket that have professional pilots. But they’re single-engine little Cessnas and sometimes the pilot’s like a 19-year old gal. ‘Gah! What am I doing!'”

Felger wraps it up with a really bad shot at Earnhardt’s 2001 death: “Who was it, Dale Earnhardt, the race car driver who died? I root for the wall!”

Massarotti also tweeted about this:


The video in question is below and while it does frame the accident in a new light, most would agree it doesn’t excuse the callous commentary on Halladay’s death

Update: This post initially attributed the tragedy quote to Massarotti; reader @therealspb says it’s from Murray. So that makes this more Felger’s rant and not something from both hosts. We apologize for the incorrect attribution.

Felger apologized to open Thursday’s show. Via Funhouse:

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.