Mike Tirico Responds To Angry Detroit Lions Fans Upset Over ‘Asterisk’ Gate

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It didn’t take long for the first controversy of the 2023 NFL season to flare up, but who had that controversy being Mike Tirico’s use of the word asterisk on their bingo card?

No one, that’s who.

However, the NBC announcer’s word choice ruffled Detroit Lions fans’ feathers when he said the team’s opening night win over the reigning Super Bowl champs had an asterisk next to it because the Chiefs were without key players Travis Kelce and Chris Jones.

We all watched the same game. I didn’t think those guys would have affected the outcome too much unless Travis Kelce was going to swoop in and catch every pass stone-handed wideout Kadarius Toney was going to drop.

But Lions fans were really mad about this and now Tirico is talking about his offhand remark.

ATLANTA, GA – AUGUST 28: NBC announcer Mike Tirico speaks after the final round of the 2022 PGA Tour Championship on August 28, 2022 at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)(Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Mike Tirico Defended His Use Of The Word Asterisk

According to The New York Post, Tirico lives just outside of Detroit — in an unfortunate stroke of irony — and he talked to The Detroit News about what he said after the game.

“If you have a problem with the word ‘asterisk,’ that’s a very legitimate complaint,” Tirico said. “However, it should be in context. If you want to take out the middle of the comment and make it the whole comment, then you don’t understand properly how to attribute things.”

Tirico recalled that the Chiefs won an opening night game against the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in 2017. He said that was the moment that people started to realize that the Chiefs for real.

“This has an asterisk because of no Chris Jones and no Travis Kelce,” Tirico said before extending an olive branch, perhaps in hopes of not hearing it from Lions fans at the grocery store. “But after what you saw at the end of last year and what you saw tonight, the team in blue and silver is for real.”

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Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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