“We are sorry the guy died, but what can we do?”

United Arab Emirates Swimming Association executive director Ayman Saad was direct and to the Products_image2-2660-d point when asked to comment about the death of 26-year-old American swimmer Fran Crippen this past weekend. He sighed and said (Saad?), “We are sorry the guy died, but what can we do?” What can one do? The answer is: a whole helluva lot more than the UAE Swimming Association apparently did.

Crippen was competing in a 10 kilometer open water race in the UAE and, according to a top official with FINA, an international organization governing swimming, likely died from overexertion. The ever-sympathetic Saad, added: “This guy was tired and he pushed himself a lot.” Oh. 

Other swimmers disagreed with Saad’s moronic observations. The winner, Thomas Lurz, said it was far too hot to even hold the competition. "The water was amazingly hot. There were many swimmers who had serious problems in the water,’ said Lurz. Several swimmers complained of dehydration and disorientation after swimming in the warm water and three were taken to the hospital. The UAE Swimming Association said the water was 84 degrees at the start of the race. Many other swimmers have said the water temperature was more like 90 degrees! Man, that’s bathtub hot.

Two reactions:

-      I’m not a competitive swimmer, but have competed in many long distance running events where the same exact thing happened. In April of this year, for example, I ran the Long Branch Half Marathon in 90 degree temperatures. More than 30 runners collapsed and had to be taken to the hospital. I stopped four or five times during the run and took a full month to recover from the severe dehydration. Too many race officials such as the ones in the UAE and Long Branch turn a blind eye when it comes to protecting the safety of athletes. They’re more concerned with getting the race started on time and pleasing the sponsors.

-      Saad’s comments have to rank on my all-time top 10 list of stupid remarks. Others would include:

  • “I’m not a witch,” Christine O’Donnell, Delaware Tea Party candidate and erstwhile witch.
  • “We seem to have a major malfunction,” NASA official witnessing the Space Shuttle Challenger exploding in mid flight.
  • “Mission accomplished,” President George W. Bush, declaring the war in Iraq won in 2004.
  • “The Gulf of Mexico is a big ocean,” Tony Heyward, erstwhile CEO of BP, immediately after the massive oil spill had occurred.
  • “I did not have sex with that woman,” President William Jefferson Clinton.

Help me here, Repman readers. What are some other all-time horrific public comments? Let’s create a list and ask Jack O’Dwyer, Paul Holmes or Erica Iacono to publish it. Hey, if we go about this the right way it could become an annual ‘Repman and friends Top 10 most stupid statements of the year’ kind of thing. Alternatively, we could give credit where credit is due and name our list, ‘The Ayman Saad Most Moronic Comments of the Year.’ What better way to pay tribute to that ass?’

So, send me your thoughts. Assuming I collect 10 or more, I’ll issue a press release and ask our crack agency publicity team to pitch it to one of the PR industry trades. I can’t think of a better way to ‘out’ Saad while paying tribute to the late Mr. Crippen.

A tip o' RepMan's the mountain climbing hat to The Danderoo for this suggestion.

19 thoughts on ““We are sorry the guy died, but what can we do?”

  1. There’s no question Tea Party candidates have earned a special place on the ‘Repman and friends Top 10 Most Mornonic Comments’ list. I do hope Jack O’Dwyer or Paul Holmes runs the list when I compile it as an actual press release towards the end of the year. I’d send it to Erica Iacona of PR Week, but she just left to join a large agency, Ketchum. Thanks for the addition, EA.

  2. “So that’s what we want is a secure and sovereign nation and, you know, I don’t know that all of you are Latino. Some of you look a little more Asian to me,” Sharron Angle to Rancho High School Hispanic Student Union.

  3. “This was a whole lot more than a simple affair, this was a love story. A forbidden one, a tragic one, but a love story at the end of the day.” SC Gov. Mark Sanford

  4. I’m calling to see if you are ready to give him an apology. (Mrs. Clarence Thomas)

  5. Nice. Thanks Jon (and great to hear from you). I’ll be sure to collect all of these suggestions and submit them as a year-end press release to the trades. So, how’s life at Seisant these days?

  6. “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.” – Sen. John Kerry
    “I’m not here to talk about the past.” – Mark McGwire before Congress
    “… just a banker ‘doing God’s work.'” – Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein

  7. Hey there, Steve; hope you’re well. Here’s my entry:
    “I’d like my life back.”
    — (former) British Petroleum CEO Tony Hayward

  8. “It depends on what the meaning of the words ‘is’ is.”
    “When I was in England, I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn’t like it. I didn’t inhale and never tried it again.”
    – Slick Willie.
    “I inhaled. That was the point.”
    – Presdient Obama.
    “These two entities—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—are not facing any kind of financial crisis,”
    – Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts in 2008.