Pittsburgh Penguins television broadcaster Paul Steigerwald marked the 91st anniversary of hockey legend Hobey Baker's death last night -- by making fun of it.
Baker was killed in a plane crash while serving in the U.S. Army on Dec. 21, 1918. He had attended Princeton University and led the Tigers to National Championships in 1912 and 1914 as a member of the ice hockey team. He is now the namesake for college hockey's most outstanding male player award.
Late in the third period of Monday night's game, FSN Pittsburgh aired a replay of a hit that Pittsburgh's Craig Adams laid on New Jersey's Mike Mottau. Pens color-commentator Bob Errey said of Mottau, "the Hobey Baker winner went down real hard." Steigerwald quipped, "not as hard as Hobey Baker went down though...he went down in a plane crash."
YouTube users have been quick to point out that the joke is funny because of the length of time that has passed since Baker's accident. I'm going to propose that the "statute of too soon" be set at a minimum of a full century on this one due to the fact that: A) the accident occurred while Baker was in the service and B) It should always be "too soon" whenever anyone associated with that franchise attempts to make light of a tragedy.
New Jersey eventually won the game 4-0, securing an NHL record for career shutouts for goaltender Martin Brodeur. The Pens return to action tomorrow night when they host Ottowa. That day will also mark the 11th anniversary of the death of Michelle Thomas, best known as Steve Urkel's girlfriend on Family Matters. That should provide sufficient ammunition for such zingers as, "that hit on Alfredsson was awfully aggressive, but not as aggressive as the intra-abdominal desmoplastic small round cell tumor that ravaged the stomach of Myra Munkhouse...she died from an intra-abdominal desmoplastic small round cell tumor."
Here's the clip: