Mike Tirico is urging everyone to consider the complete context of his “asterisk” comments that stirred up strong reactions among Lions fans.
During the Lions’ surprising upset victory over the defending Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, at Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday night, Tirico made remarks suggesting that the 21-20 win might come with an asterisk.
This sentiment was rooted in the fact that the Chiefs were without star tight end Travis Kelce, sidelined due to a knee bone bruise, and pass rusher Chris Jones, who was engaged in a contract dispute.
Tirico, who resides outside Detroit, spoke with the Detroit News about the passionate response from Lions fans who felt that his comments diminished their team’s achievement on the NBC broadcast.
“If you take issue with the word ‘asterisk,’ that’s a valid concern,” Tirico conveyed to the outlet on Friday. “However, it should be considered within its context. If you choose to isolate a portion of the comment and present it as the whole, then you might not fully understand the attribution.”
Tirico emphasized that he did, in fact, give credit to the Lions during the broadcast.
“We watched the Chiefs go to Foxborough in 2016 [editor’s note: it was 2017] and secure a victory on Opening Night, signaling that the Kansas City Chiefs would be a formidable team,” Tirico stated at the conclusion of the “Thursday Night Football” game.
“While there’s an asterisk here due to the absence of Chris Jones and Travis Kelce, based on what we observed at the end of the previous season and what we witnessed tonight, it’s clear that the team in blue and silver is a legitimate contender.”
The sentiment among Lions fans was succinctly articulated by longtime sports internet personality WorldofIsaac even before the game against the Chiefs began.
“If the Lions manage to defeat the Chiefs without Travis Kelce, that’s great. Injuries are a significant part of the NFL. It’s a reality. I won’t feel remorseful or apologize for the win, and neither should any Lions fan,” Isaac tweeted.
Following the game, he offered a concise message: “F_ck your asterisk claims.”