This crazy story comes from our neighbors to the north (with a hat tip to our domestic peers at The Big Lead).
Canada has their own version of the NFL. And unlike the NFL, whose playoffs start with the new year, the CFL’s playoffs are underway right now. There’s a semifinal game between the Calgary Stampeders and the Saskatchewan Roughriders today at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.
And apparently, Canada also has their own version of “Boomer” in sports broadcasting. But I doubt Chris Berman would ever wish harm or death to the New England Patriots if they flew into Buffalo to play his beloved Bills.
But the equivalent of that is what happened on Wednesday morning, as Dean “Boomer” Molberg, the co-host of the morning show alongside Rhett Warrener on CFAC/”Sportsnet 960 The Fan,” said on the air that he hoped the plane flying the Roughriders players into Calgary would crash.
And he additionally wished death on only four Roughriders players if their plane crashed.
Gee, Dean, just four players out of their 46-man roster? How generous of you.
The following day, “Boomer” Molberg, as “Boomer” Berman would say, circled the wagons and issued an on-air apology to listeners; he also wrote a formal letter of apology, as well. Later that day, Rogers Media, the station’s parent company (they also own a chain of “Sportsnet” television networks across Canada, hence the awkward name of the radio station – think “ESPN Radio”) suspended Molberg for the remainder of the CFL playoffs. CFAC program director Kelly Kirch also made it public on the station’s Facebook page, adding that they planned to make “a donation to the Saskatchewan Roughriders charity of choice.”
Audio of these comments was available (the station apparently stopped archiving the entirety of its morning show a couple of months ago). But we do have audio of the apology he issued on the air. In the event the station yanks that, here is a partial transcript of that apology:
“I made a comment… that had no place being on the radio. It was not thought out. It was an attempt to be funny, which clearly, in hindsight, was ill-founded. There are a lot of people angry, and they have a right to be. There’s a lot of people insulted, and they had a right to be. It goes without saying that I wish no harm to members of the Saskatchewan Rough Riders, and I shouldn’t have to say it, but you know what, I do, because I came out and said the stupid and idiotic thing that I said… We sit in here and you talk for four hours, and so much stuff comes out – again, I’m not defending it… It came out yesterday, and I felt bad immediately, I said, ‘geez, I shouldn’t have said that,’ and as the day went along, I was like, ‘that was really in poor taste’… Hey, I’m gettig your tweets, I’m getting your emails, I know you’re upset, and like I said, you have a right to be. I feel really badly about it, I’m gutted by it, I’m rattled today… I’m not Howard Stern, shock jock, we do things here to try and have some fun, and get the fans and the listeners invested. And what I did… was stupid, and I apologize. And I hope you don’t stop listening, I hope you don’t look at me in a different light, because that’s not me… Like I say, it was just at the end of a segment, an attempt at being funny, and it was an awful attempt at trying to be funny, and it won’t happen again.”
Now, I mention the possibility of “Sportsnet 960 The Fan” removing the audio of Molberg’s apology from their website because it appears they’ve wasted no time in finding a replacement for him. If you visit the station’s website and go to the morning show page, the likeness of “Boomer” was replaced with a generic station logo, and a message that Andrew Walker was now hosting the CFAC wakeup show alongside Rhett Warrener.
Compare that to the archived photo of Molberg from the “Fan” website which you can find on this online petition asking Rogers Media to “fire Dean ‘Boomer’ Molberg” for “[wishing] death of innocents and plane crash.”
The 2012 CFL playoffs will continue until the Canadian version of the Super Bowl, the Grey Cup, is played on Sunday, November 25, which is at the end of American Thanksgiving weekend (yes, Canada has their own Thanksgiving day, too, and just like their football league’s playoffs, it falls about five weeks ahead of America’s).
The question is whether or not Dean Molberg will return to the station at the end of the month.
If not, Canada’s version of “Boomer” could very well end up being Canada’s version of “The Torg.”