1. We all need certain things to do our jobs. For a SportsCenter anchor, there isn’t anything more important than having a voice. It’s pretty much a necessity for doing live TV.
Unfortunately, for Scott Van Pelt this became an issue Wednesday night when he started losing his voice during the show.
There was something oddly hilarious about watching the poor guy struggle through the show only because he’s always so smooth and so damn good that you couldn’t help but be fascinated by how this would end up.
Van Pelt, being the pro that he is, got through the show and then apologized for his performance on Twitter, even though an apology was not necessary in any way, shape or form.
Van Pelt agreed to talk to me via text for an interview Thursday morning about the voice saga.
Sports Illustrated: What the hell happened?
Scott Van Pelt: How the hell do I know? Lost my voice.
SI: How is your voice now?
SVP: Not much better. Didn’t speak until you asked me to try. What was weird was it was O.K.—not great but O.K.—when I went down to do the show and the first notion I had that there was an issue was during the cut-in of the Lakers-Suns game (where I give a quick preview of the show before throwing it back to the game). My voice kind of cracked, and I couldn’t say much. I think Mark Jackson called it my flu game.
SI: People on Twitter have called your performance “heroic” and “iconic.” Do you agree?
SVP: Hahaha. Garbage and catastrophic are more accurate. It was so strange. I just couldn’t talk and the longer it went, the more pissed off I got. Like, WTF is this about? When I had to try to start a segment was when it would just fail entirely. When I could kind of find a lane that worked, so to speak, I could kind of keep going. Just got worse each segment. Then [Connor] McDavid got 60 [goals] and I just thought … oh, no, this is going to suck. And it did. Sorry, Connor, 60 deserved actual words being said. Stanford Steve stepped in for that one.
SI: What happens if you have no voice tonight?
SVP: I’m not going to do that again, obviously. With just one anchor, there is nowhere to turn. So we wouldn’t subject the viewers to it. Just going to see what happens today and hope it improves. Again, it was there most all day yesterday then just fell off a cliff as I was on-air. Like a lot of people, I have allergies and the trees are just exploding here in D.C. So, that could have something to do with it, but it’s never happened before where my voice was toast as a result. People are being kind and sending me fixes on Twitter. Maybe one of them does the trick. We shall see. If it’s another anchor after Penguins-Stars you’ll know I’m sitting somewhere quietly shaking my head wondering what the hell is going on.
SI: Where does this rank in terms of the most memorable shows you’ve ever done?
SVP: I mean, I’ve done a lot of shows. Ya know? I’ve only been unable to speak/finish the show once. So, whenever I’m done, I will remember the night my voice quit working. So that makes it memorable and easy to recall among the however many nights you just kinda do a show.
2. A brand-new episode of SI Media With Jimmy Traina dropped this morning, and it features an interview with the NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt.
Brandt discusses his busy schedule, cohosting Good Morning Football and hosting Kyle Brandt's Basement five days a week, in addition to taking on other projects. He also talks about interviewing Josh Allen every week, cast changes at GMFB, auditioning for ManningCast and why it’s O.K. to say no to sports media jobs.
Among other topics covered with Brandt: the Aaron Rodgers–New York marriage, the NFL adding a Black Friday game next season, Monday Night Football getting flex scheduling next season, Las Vegas brothels offering Jimmy Garoppolo free sex for life, Anthony Richardson's jumping ability, elevator etiquette, people who complain to you in stores and much more.
Following Brandt, Sal Licata from WFAN radio and SNY TV joins Jimmy for their weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment. This week, Jimmy and Sal discuss the World Baseball Classic, the NCAA tournament, MLB’s awful AppleTV+ deal and more.
You can also watch SI Media With Jimmy Traina on YouTube.
3. The WBC final Tuesday drew almost 4.5 million viewers on FS1.
There's no doubt that's a solid rating, but I'd urge caution on comparing viewership of the WBC to the MLB's postseason. The MLB playoffs on days go up against the NFL and college football.
The WBC final had more viewers than Game 5 of the NLCS between the Padres and Phillies, but that game went head-to-head with Sunday Night Football on NBC.
4. If you missed this bizarre play in Wednesday’s Warriors-Mavericks game, you need to check it out.
Mavs owner Mark Cuban took to Twitter after the game to explain what happened and why Dallas had no players to defend the play.
Of course, Golden State ended up winning by two, 127–125.
5. Redemption from … going on Instagram Live at a strip club and holding a gun to your head?
6. Former Yankee Reggie Jackson told Howard Stern on Wednesday that he was ready to be part of an ownership group with Bill Gates to buy the Oakland A’s, but ended up getting screwed out of the deal.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: During my discussion with Kyle Brandt about the Ultimate Warrior on the latest SI Media With Jimmy Traina, I mentioned the story about the Warrior demanding money from Vince McMahon right before he was supposed to wrestle on a pay-per-view. Here are the full details of that story, which is a must-watch for anyone who loved wrestling while growing up in the 1980s and ’90s.