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Dan Hampton apologizes for Katrina remark

Hall of Fame Bears defensive lineman Dan Hampton, who said on the Pro Football Weekly television show that the Vikings should go to New Orleans on Thursday night “and hit that town like Katrina,” has issued an apology for his comments.

“I would like to offer my most sincere apologies to everyone who was offended in any way by my reference to Hurricane Katrina in our most recent ‘Pro Football Weekly’ TV show,” Hampton said in an item posted at the PFW website.

“It was a spur-of-the-moment comment intended strictly as a metaphor for the storm-like intensity I believe the Vikings will bring to their rematch with the Saints, and it simply never occurred to me that anyone could read anything more than that into it.

“I have nothing but the deepest respect and greatest admiration for the people of the Gulf Coast, and I am horrified that even one of you would think I would make light of the terror Katrina wrought, and that I have clearly offended so many of you.

“I realize now it was a terrible choice of words, and I offer absolutely no excuses. I screwed up, about as badly as I could, and I am deeply and profoundly sorry.”

We’ve got a few concerns about Hampton’s apology.

First, if it “never occurred” to Hampton that anyone could take his comment as offensive, he needs to donate the contents of his cranium to Dr. Julian Bailes’ ongoing effort to identify brain damage in football players. (And that’s not a joke.)

Second, he says he’s “horrified” that anyone “would think I would make light of the terror Katrina wrought,” even though that’s precisely what he did by suggesting that the Vikings should do to New Orleans what Katrina did.

Third, Hampton closes by saying that he “offer[s] absolutely no excuses” for his comments, after offering several excuses for his comments.

Unanswered for now is whether any action will be taken against Hampton by PFW. The comment cries out for something more than an internally inconsistent apology. At a minimum, the folks who run the show at PFW need to articulate as soon as possible their decision regarding Hampton’s future -- and to explain it thoroughly.