"Send help": American NBA broadcast doesn't have a clue about Canadian geography

Jan 11 2023, 5:11 pm

It’s been almost 22 years since Rick Mercer proved that Americans have, at best, a marginal understanding of Canadian culture, politics, and geography.

On Tuesday, US television network TNT showed us that not much has changed since, baffling viewers north of the border with a graphic of a horribly botched Canadian map.

The map takes the Raptors’ “We The North” slogan to extremes as it attempts to show American viewers the locations of Canadian-born NBA players.

And the internet is laying on the ridicule over how hilariously far off they were.

Toronto’s position on the map is closer to the real-life location of Polar Bear Provincial Park, and Kitchener is placed near what is actually Peawanuck, Ontario, just south of Hudson Bay, for a difference of over 1,300 kilometres.

That’s quite the mileage from the Greater Toronto Area that gave the NBA players like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, RJ Barrett, Andrew Wiggins, and Dillon Brooks.

Sportsnet’s Faizal Khamisa took the liberty of making some corrections to the bizarre display of geographic ignorance, which also managed to botch the location of Montreal, marking it closer to what is actually Umiujaq, Quebec.

It was such a bananas error by TNT’s graphics department that even the Toronto Raptors stepped in to comment on the madness, shouting out Canada Basketball as if to say, “wanna go see a dead body.”

Even if you shift the underlying map, the proportions and distances just seem…off, suggesting the mistake runs deeper than simply a shifted map overlay.

It’s almost as if, amid an internet outage or a moment of extreme and undeserved confidence, a US graphic designer proudly submitted this map to editors without even the slightest inkling that it would be the subject of internet ridicule.

Or maybe they just couldn’t be bothered to put in the 11 seconds of research required to locate three cities on a map, knowing that domestic audiences probably wouldn’t notice or care.

Jack LandauJack Landau

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