Chris Jones had a very bad day yesterday, and he's not going to feel much better about things today.
The Port Hope, Ont. writer recently landed a gig as the back page columnist for ESPN Magazine, a U.S.-based sports magazine that does about 2-million copies every two weeks. That's the good part.
The bad part is that his fourth column - which was released online yesterday but lands in newsstands today - uses the term "Montreal Massacre Part II" to refer to the management antics of Jeff Loria, the owner of the Florida Marlins baseball team.
"Stadiums have never saved cities," Mr. Jones writes, comparing the Marlins’ plans to build a new stadium to Mr. Loria’s thwarted attempts to move out of the Big O when he was the owner of the Montreal Expos. "In fact, you're about to witness the Montreal Massacre, Part II, only on a far grander, even more heartbreaking scale."
. . .
There's also this unfortunate line in the column about the former Expos mascot: "I had the misfortune of covering his murder of the Expos; I'll never forget the sound Youppi! made, begging for his giant orange life."
Jones discovered his howler from Twitter, and he says, 'broke into a cold sweat'. I watched as he responded and he certainly seemed sincere in his horror at the mistake.
The online version has been amended, with an apology attached. But the print version hits newsstands today.
His excuse is that he was 15 years old living in Australia at the time of the Ecole Polytechnique executions.
But commenters have pointed out that he went to university at Bishop's, in Sherbrooke, Quebec, not long after.
Did the event not impinge on the young future sports writer?
Despite what Kady O'Malley tweeted yesterday, I do think he deserves to be known forever as 'That Guy Who Heartlessly Mocked The Montreal Massacre In A Sports Column'.
Or at least as a prime example of 'Wot? Me Worry?'
(Predictably, the comments on the Globe story are full of 'honest mistake, get over it, lefty wimps', etc.)