Sometimes commentary can be better than the event it covers. A recent Nets/Celtics contest was just such an occasion. While nobody outside of the northeast really wants to watch that game, that doesn’t mean that you can do whatever you want on the air and expect to get away with it scott-free. That’s a lesson a particular announcer may be learning right now.
If you thought Jimmy Dykes and Brad Nessler had some awkward moments during their college broadcasts, what with the whole “Partner” thing and Dykes insisting on repeating the same double-entendres through an entire game, wait until you see this. The above video sets up what eventually becomes a terrible exchange between two veterans of the game-calling business, Ian Eagle and Mike Fratello. Fratello tries to discuss the use of “slip screens,” which apparently annoys Eagle enough that he uses maybe my favorite analysis: “Kevin Garnett had his foot inside the three-point line, so Mike that means they give him two points.” Sharp observation.
Later in the broadcast, Eagle tries to make nice. It really only makes things more awkward:
Eagle says, “on a serious note,” that Fratello is a “pretty interesting dude.” Not only does that sound almost exactly like something I would say when starting to make fun of somebody, but it smacks of disingenuousness. But, it seems as though they’ve made nice, right? Apparently not. Check out this final, agonizingly awkward exchange:
That, uh… that was something. I don’t know if Eagle was just upset that he had to call a Nets game, or if he was annoyed that he seemed to be ignorant regarding slip screens earlier in the broadcast, but apparently something had gotten under his skin enough to merit the above, uh, scolding. Who knows what caused it, but it made for entertaining television. In the new era of “awkward comedy” like The Office and Parks and Recreation, Ian Eagle may have just carved himself a spot at the top next to Michael Scott. My only question is, was it more or less awkward than this guy telling his date about his World of Warcraft guild? You decide. I’m just going to watch them all on repeat.