Photo: Jeremy Kappell Facebook

Tempest: WHEC-TV in Rochester, N.Y., fired former Louisville meteorologist Jeremy Kappell after dropping a racial slur on air, says Newsweek, The Hill, Today, The New York Times and CBS News.

Mr. Kappell worked for Louisville’s WHAS and WDRB before moving to WHEC in 2017.   While on air last Friday, Mr. Kappell referred to Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park in Rochester as “Martin Luther C**n … King Jr. Park.”

Over the weekend, criticism grew on social media with many calling for Mr. Kappell’s job, including Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, who said WHEC was too slow to apologize; the station insists they “jumped on it” as soon as they became aware and fired the meteorologist on Monday.

Mr. Kappell says it was a “misunderstanding,” reports The Washington Post, offering his explanation in a Facebook video:

If you watch me regularly, you know that I tend to contain a lot of information in my weathercast, which forces me to speak fast, and unfortunately I spoke a little too fast when I was referencing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — so fast to the point where I jumbled a couple of words. Now, in my mind I knew I had mispronounced, but there was no malice, there was nothing that I could have – I had no idea the way it came across to many people. As soon as I had started mispronouncing it I put an emphasis on “King” and moved on. I had no idea what some people could have interpreted that as, and I know some people did interpret that the wrong way. That was not a word that I said, I promise you that. And if you did feel that and it hurt you in any way, I sincerely apologize.

Some have come to his defense, says CBS News. “Today Show” meteorologist Al Roker tweeted:

CNN’s Don Lemon voiced his support during an interview with Mr. Kappell:

And USA Today says Dr. Bernice King, daughter of the late Martin Luther King Jr., told TMZ:

People need an opportunity to be rehabilitated. … There has to be some repercussions; I don’t think it should go as far in this particular instance as firing an individual. A broad sweep every time someone says a racial slur … all we’re doing is moving people around on the board, because they’ll leave there and go to another place and potentially do the same exact thing.

Baltimore Ravens⎪Shawn Hubbard

Nevermore: The Chargers of Los Angeles defeated Lamar Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, says ESPN, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe. Final score: Chargers 23, Ravens 17.

Former University of Louisville fighting football Cardinal Lamar Jackson struggled in his first NFL playoff game, completing just two of eight passes for 17 yards with an interception for his trouble in the first half. That earned him a passer rating of 0.0. That’s the statistical representation of a bad day.

Said bad day came from a Chargers defensive game plan born both out of design and necessity, says NBC Sports. With their linebacker corps banged up, Los Angeles went with a seven defensive back setup for just about every play, giving them a major speed boost to counter Jackson. Said Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn:

I wasn’t sure how this was gonna hold up. They were running for 300 yards lots of games with Lamar playing. Gus felt like getting speed on the field could help contain Lamar. It could help in the passing game, dropping back and taking over routes that our linebackers usually cover. It worked. Our guys, they embraced it. It was risky, but it paid off. We’re talking about going up against a rushing attack that no one can stop right now. And we’re gonna do it with two 200-pound guys?

Yep. Jackson and the Ravens would rebound in the second half, but not enough to overcome the deficit. Now the focus moves to next season, with Jackson staying under center and former starter Joe Flacco moving on, says Sports Illustrated and Reuters. Exhibit A: this quote from Ravens coach John Harbaugh:

Lamar is our quarterback going forward — no question about that. Joe Flacco is going to play really well in this league. Joe can still play; I think we saw that in the first half of this season. Joe’s going to have a market. A lot of teams are going to want Joe, because they understand that. I’ll be in Joe’s corner, wherever he’s at, unless we play him. He’s special.

Which is pretty much what people expected to happen as the Ravens officially begin the Lamar Jackson era in 2019.

Photo: YouTube

Beautiful Mess: As you know, I do a lot of research and reading up on Jennifer Lawrence for your mighty “In Other News …” column and over the last few years, there’s one word that pops up to describe her more than any other: relatable. This week, The Atlantic tells us the reason for that comes down to science.

In their article, “Your Flaws are Probably More Attractive Than You Think They Are,” they look at a series of studies on “the beautiful mess effect.” The short version: When others see our vulnerability — our truth — they perceive us as strong, brave, more attractive or competent — under the right circumstances.

For instance, they use Ms. Lawrence as a great example of the “pratfall effect,” citing her stumble up the stairs to accept her 2013 Oscar for “Silver Lining’s Playbook.” She’s a movie star whose films have grossed over $5 billion, accepting one of the highest honors in her field, so when she tumbles, it’s humanizing and makes her feel real. Relatable. But it’s her success that helps that along.

If your drunk cousin face-plants in the yard after Thanksgiving dinner for the fourth year in a row just after making a pass at your spouse but just before losing their pants — not so charming.

So there you have it: the science behind the world’s love for Jennifer Lawrence.

See you next week.