Pronouncer blunder

Posted: Saturday, March 05, 2011 by Travis Cody in

I normally don't get all kerfluffled about what sports pronouncers say in the heat of a televised broadcast.  But this one caught my ear and I just had to call out Fran Fraschilla.

I normally enjoy Mr Fraschilla.  He doesn't get overly emotional during a broadcast and doesn't resort to silly catch phrases when he calls a game.  He is often insightful and not given to favoritism or hyperbole.

But during the first half of his color commentary of the basketball game between Notre Dame and Connecticut on ESPN today, Mr Fraschilla referred to the Big East Conference season as akin to the Bataan Death March in it's intensity.

No Sir.  Please don't make these kinds of comparisons.  When the Japanese captured the Philippines in 1942, they forced 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners to march some 60 miles to POW camps.  Along the way, anyone who fell out was brutally put to death.  It is unclear exactly how many men died during the march, but the estimate is between 6,000 and 11,000.

No Sir.  A college basketball season, no matter how rugged, is not in any way like the Bataan Death March.  Such off hand comparisons are ignorant and disrespectful.

It's very easy to make these kinds of analogies and comparisons about war and team sports.  But that doesn't make it right.  The stress and tension of a game does take a toll on an athlete.  I don't discount the possibility of injury, and certainly concussive head traumas are serious things.  But let's not kid ourselves.  After the game, typically an athlete showers and goes to grab a meal and a beer, then he goes home to sleep in safety on clean sheets.  

Athletes are not warriors.  Games are not battles.

Let's stop equating the two.


  1. Well said. And it needed to be said.

  1. Travis, another "well said" to you for writing this post. We know there is no comparisson and to imply there is...well it is just a big slap in the face to all those soldiers that survived and to those that did not.

  1. Anonymous says:

    No kidding! What an an insult. I'm sure he got called on that one. I certainly hope so. Several yeara ago, a well-known priest (in support of the victims of clergy abuse) made a statement about a terrible case of abuse in a Canadian orphanage run by the church and said, "The abuse there was so aggregious that it makes the Boston scandal look like an altar boy picnic." I DON'T THINK SO!!!! Abuse is not a picnic. And Batann should not be used as any kind of comparison to any sporting season. Yikes!

  1. Akelamalu says:

    That was a real GAFF on his part.:(

  1. Dana says:

    Oh my gosh! How could anyone think to compare the two?

  1. I have heard people state that "Katrina" was like 911.

    Sorry, it was a tragedy indeed...but to equate it to the mass murder of over 3,000 people? Nope, sorry

  1. Jamie says:

    I actually met a man who had survived the Bataan Death March. He had gone on to be a very successful engineer, but he and his wife had built their home in the woods of the Santa Cruz mountains with enough surrounding acreage so as to no be disturbed unless you knew where to find them. Though the experience was two decades in his past, he still needed the total quiet and seclusion when not working.

  1. Marsha says:

    Well spoken my friend!