Within hours of USA Kubb’s December 2012 announcement that TV and radio personality Ryan Seacrest had been chosen to host the upcoming 43rd Annual Kubby Awards gala, kubb enthusiasts around the globe took to social media to protest the decision and call for him to step down.
At issue was a series of tweets Seacrest had made in 2009 that seemed to equate kubb with the children’s party game “corn hole.” While too inflammatory and offensive to quote here, the shockingly vulgar comparison was made just as Seacrest was starting out as a novice kubber and was quickly forgiven by his fans and teammates at the time as an innocent noob mistake. As Seacrest’s star continued to rise on the west coast kubb circuit, the public was wowed by his exuberantly positive on-pitch attitude and his signature outside-in goofy cut inkasting technique and the episode was soon forgotten. It was only after the Kubby Awards announcement that the wider kubb community made it clear that emotions were still raw over the incident and that those kinds of comments aren’t so easily forgiven in many parts of the country.
Reached in Eau Claire, Wisconsin for comment, a shocked USA Kubb director Eric Anderson explained that the organization was not aware of the hateful remarks Seacrest had made and that they would investigate the allegations immediately. “We figured there might be some pushback among the kubb community due to Ryan’s annoyingly up-beat persona on “American Idol” and [Dick Clark’s] “New Years Rockin’ Eve,” said Anderson, “but we certainly had no idea about these ignorant and hurtful comments. For someone to call themselves a kubber and then turn around and make comments comparing our cerebral and sophisticated sport of strategy and skill to some neanderthal tailgating bag toss game is a shock and does not represent the views of USA Kubb.”
In a move that quickly placated the riled-up and disillusioned kubb community, the organization would go on to tap TV personality and kubb champion, Chris Hodges to helm the celebrity-packed awards program.
For his part, a contrite Seacrest took 30 seconds during the next week’s American Idol season finale to address the kubb community live on national television and offered a heartfelt apology. Out of respect for the community, he withdrew from competition for the following season, skipping the 2013 West Coast Championship, the California Championship and the Malibu Celebrity Classic before returning to tournament play and beginning the arduous task of rehabilitating his kubb career.