Open Mouth, Insert Foot…

Last night on Sportscenter, just before the 11pm ET hour, Robert Flores did an incredibly dumb thing. While showing a hodge podge of clips, a clip appeared from one of the Dodgers’ games down in Australia where this kid got upset because he didn’t get tossed a foul ball (it was accidentally given to the wrong kid before the right kid got it). Over this scene Flores mustered his best Aussie accent (needs work) and said the following…

“A dingo ate my baby!”

Most of you will not get the significance of that quote and this is also why Flores will in all likelihood get a pass and ESPN won’t be forced to issue an apology for Flores’ remark…unless of course Deadspin picks up on it.

The quote Flores uttered, seemingly blind to its significance, is a reference to the Azaria Chamberlain case. To say that this case was a big deal in the land down under would be a massive understatement. It was as massive as Jon Benet, OJ, Totmom, and Trayvon rolled into one. Azaria’s mother went to prison for this, only to be released some years later when new evidence emerged. This case is 34 years old and was still making headlines two years ago.

Put it in these terms. The US equivalent of the above comment would be something along the lines of Sportscenter showing a clip from a Red Sox game and Flores then uttering the following…

“A backpack blew up my sister!”

That’s how serious an issue it is down under.

A baby was killed, a mother sent to prison, various levels of government weighed in, a nation was enthralled by the case for decades.

Against this backdrop you do not make flippant comments about subjects you obviously have no clue over, Robert Flores. You just don’t go there.

8 Responses to “Open Mouth, Insert Foot…”

  1. Adding to my list of things I can’t say.

    No, “God must have murdered his wife” is still okay as long as you leave Mohammed out of it. Funny what is sacred and what isn’t.

  2. As you might have guessed, I thought it was funny.

    Always whatever, all the whatever.

  3. If Flores comment was broadcast in Australia then you may have a point. If it wasn’t then you don’t.

    Stupid comments made in foreign countries rarely rise to the level of outrage as those made at home. If an Australian sports broadcaster had made the “A backpack blew up my sister!” remark in Australia it would get little or no attention here in the US and few in Australia would know what he was talking about. If a US sportscaster; or even an Australian sportscaster; made the same comment in the US he would likely be fired or at least suspended.

    I doubt Flores will face much criticism here or Australia. Like in real-estate location is important.

  4. joeremi Says:

    We probably should note that Elaine shouts the phrase in a famous Seinfeld episode. It’s an American pop culture reference which many here may not realize is based on a real event in Australia. I suspect Flores is in that camp.

  5. ^ We should also note that sports news is news, and Flores has a responsibility to understand the origins of what, in any case, is a pretty graphic phrase before uttering it. My explanation of his possible thinking is not an excuse. He should know better.

  6. a dingo ate my comment.

  7. savefarris Says:

    …would be something along the lines of Sportscenter showing a clip from a Red Sox game and Flores then uttering the following…

    “A backpack blew up my sister!”

    A more apt analogy is showing a clip from the game where a guy gets hit in the head with a ball and repeating in monotone…

    “Back, and to the left… Back, and to the left…”

    Both that and the dingo line are pop-culture catchphrases. That they had their origins based on real-life events is immaterial.

    Not Guilty.

  8. durham3252 Says:

    As an Aussie I would say that while I’m not personally upset by the statement, I don’t find it funny and it’s not a subject we joke about. People are still alive who were personally connected to the case and they could justifiably be distressed. A similar analogy would be a comedian making a joke about the ghost ship Marie Celeste and then following it up with a joke about the missing Malaysian airliner.

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