Mark Fischer of the New York Post put together a thoughtful piece on Thom Brennaman's quest for forgiveness and if it's something that should be afforded to him. It's worth reading as these situations are far more human and nuanced than online forums are able to facilitate. But if you will forgive me for honing in on some of the smaller details here, I cannot get over the rather unbelievable series of bad breaks that befell Brennaman on his way to this pickle.
First, can you believe that the very first time Brennaman used this anti-gay slur in his 56 years of life was during the broadcast? Imagine going your whole life without saying it and then the one time you do, a hot microphone picks it up and it becomes fodder that eventually tanks your broadcasting career.
“I have never used that word (before) in my life,” Brennaman said emphatically.
The phrase, you'll recall, was "one of the f-- capitals of the world," which is very specific so you'd think that Brennaman chose those words carefully. Turns out, nope. He cannot remember the context in which he used the word for the very first time.
“Everything happened so fast,” he said. “And I’m watching literally everything fall apart at the seams while trying to announce a baseball game. “I couldn’t even tell you what happened, where it came from. … Look I said it is all that matters. The rest of it is irrelevant. I said it. And I own it. And I’m the one who has to live with it.”
The crusher here is that if Brennaman's maiden voyage in using the word had been choppier, it would have been easier to explain away. Again, another bit of bad luck that eroded any type of plausible deniability. Guess that's just the peril of being a professional wordsmith. The new vocabulary you sprinkle in fits so cleanly it comes off as comfortable, when in reality you're just experimenting out there.
What are the odds?
Seriously, what are the odds?