Welcome to “Staff Picks,” a segment where we bring you the most impactful plays, memorable characters, or surreal TV and radio moments from our collective sports-clogged consciousness. In this week’s edition, we look at announcers and analysts who had on-air blowups that briefly made us question their sanity.
Glenn Davis: When you try to craft an effective argument – particularly about why something is bad – there are some comparisons you just shouldn’t make. A couple of such ill-advised comparisons: [bad thing in question] to American slavery, or [bad thing in question] to the Holocaust.
Look, whatever you’re talking about might be bad. Is it “so inhumane and systematic a form of repression that the cultural wounds it caused have yet to fully heal nearly 150 years later” bad? Is it “genocidal regime that caused millions of innocent deaths” bad? No. It is not.
One day on the radio in 2006, Michael Kay invoked not one, but both of those atrocities. He did it in the span of one minute. What was the point of comparison? Stalin’s Russia? China’s Cultural Revolution? Well, not quite…Kay was actually referring to the idea that an announcer can jinx a perfect game while it’s happening.
Timothy Burke: It was Game 5 of a 2009 Eastern Conference playoff series between the Hawks and the Heat, and the series had been a string of blowouts. This game would also be a blowout, in part because Dwyane Wade injured his head early on after he ran into Josh Smith, and was thus less effective than normal.
Frustrated by what was becoming a runaway by the Hawks, and left without much supervision by then-rookie coach Erik Spoelstra, the Heat committed a few hard fouls on Atlanta while getting progressively angrier at their also-agressive play.
And that’s how we get two great sports memes in one broadcast, from Hawks play-by-play announcer Steve Holman. Disgusted by what he felt was prima donna-like behavior from Wade, and deliberate attempts to injure by the Heat, Holman provided us with two phases that have utility far outside of basketball: the “I’m DWYANE WAAAADE!” whine and the proclamation that “THE HEAT HAVE RESORTED TO THUGGERY.”
The wealth of announcer meltdowns are dominated by those conducted amidst or in the wake of terrible losses. This one comes from a win, and I’m sure it’s the angriest Holman has ever been during a win in his career.