By Braden Clark
Kevin Harlan, a TBS sports analyst, is receiving a lot of backlash for his comments at the end of the Syracuse and Virginia Elite Eight basketball game, and most of which he is reveing from people on Twitter.
Nearing the end of the basketball game between Syracuse and Virginia, Harlan announced over live television Sunday night, “Jim Boeheim and Syracuse have done it! Back from the dead on Easter Sunday!”
“If I were Kevin Harlan, I’d be getting my apology ready. Quick,” said Mike Vaccaro, a sportswriter at the New York Post, over Twitter.
“Just to follow on Kevin Harlan. I find his comment totally inappropriate. To liken Syracuse win to Christ's resurrection is just wrong,” said Mark Champion, the radio voice of the Detroit Pistons, over Twitter.
Harlan’s comment isn’t the first time a sports announcer made a reference towards something biblical, but the timing of Easter and his comment started the outrage.
“You know, Kevin Harlan should’ve restrained himself from the moment, and by saying that Syracuse came back from the dead when the largest religion in the world is celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ probably wasn’t smart,” said Del Scott, a former bishop of the LDS church and high school basketball referee. “Just bad timing, I believe.”
Others enjoyed what Harlan said, and defended his decision on the call.
“I don’t necessarily think I would have said what he said, but I don’t think he’s terrible for saying it,” said Mike Van Cott, a Syracuse, New York native. “Isn’t the whole resurrection of Christ a good thing? I don’t see why people are freaking out about this.”
It was very unlikely 10 seed Syracuse was actually going to make a comeback being down 15 points with 10 minutes remaining in the game to top seeded Virginia. However, after a 25 to 6 point run by the Orange they are moving on to the Final Four next Saturday, and some may say they came “back from the dead” in the game.
“Honestly, I laughed when he said it,” Van Cott said. “Syracuse had no hope in coming back in that game, and I bet most people around the country thought the same thing. However, they came back out of nowhere. Sometimes people are just too opinionated on certain things, and were looking for an argument.”
There hasn’t been any indication if Harlan, or anyone at TBS, will offer a comment on his call. The veteran announcer is done with his NCAA tournament duties, as the semifinal and championship games will be called by Jim Nantz, along with Bill Raftery and Grant Hill.
“I don’t think there should be any punishment on the matter, because religious phrases are used in sports constantly,” Scott said. “How many times have we heard an announcer call a streak pass in football a Hail Mary? It was just very bad timing on his part.”