Ian Eagle let’s Mike Fratello have it and I am here for it

Ian Eagle let's Mike Fratello have it and I am here for it


I hadn’t really thought about Brooklyn Nets broadcasts much. I hadn’t really thought about the Brooklyn Nets much, to be more accurate. They’d be more appointment viewing if they had told all of us that a knife fight was liable to break out at the broadcasters table at any moment:

One gets the feeling this isn’t the first who wanted to chuck Mike Fratello into the rafters, and yet he’s certainly the first to express it on air. Then again, maybe Marv Albert was always sticking it to him in a way we couldn’t discern back then, who knows?

But if Eagle is truly anti-gobbledegook, then let’s harness this power for good. Both Eagle and Tony Romo are CBS employees, so get Eagle in the booth with him and decry and mock all the weird noises that Romo makes as he’s apparently intent on turning into Jerry Lewis. Or the nothing statements like, “I think this might be the game right here, well maybe not the game, but close!” or “ I don’t know, Jim!” Get Eagle in there to scream, “It’s your god damn job to know! That’s why they’re paying you the GDP of a Caribbean Island!”

We don’t have to stop there. Let’s pair up Eagle and John Smoltz during the MLB Playoffs so Eagle can call out Smoltz about his utter disdain for the game he’s supposed to help explain and sell. Get Eagle to actually teach Reggie Miller how the English language works! Have him hit Eddie Olczyk with a cattle prod every time he uses one of his half-dozen catchphrases that he shoehorns into every game! This is our vehicle to a better tomorrow!

Tennis players trying really hard to out-gross each other

Kicking it down under, and the Australian Open led off with the somewhat bewildering news that the ATP Tour players had elected Alexander Zverev to the players’ council, even though he’s facing trial for domestic abuse in his native Germany. Which is the second time he’s been accused of domestic violence by a former partner.

We had been aghast that players could vote for someone like Zverev facing accusations like he has, and how heartless they had to be to do such a thing. Well, they really want you to believe they’re not heartless, they’re just ignorant and oblivious. They’re making quite the case.

Watch some of these tennis players exhibit the best footwork of their careers to get around answering why they voted the way they did. First up, Stefanos Tsitsipas, who has always been something of a space cadet, admittedly:

Next up, Cam Norrie:

Let’s go to Alex De Minaur:

And then Grigor Dmitrov had a chance to try and gnaw his own toes off:

Leave it to a women’s player to actually get anywhere close to the matter at hand:

Not exactly stinging, but at least got to the point of Zverev serving on that council looking pretty icky for everyone.

Of course, Zverev himself got peppered with the same question:

Tennis players do live in perhaps the tightest bubble of any athlete. They have their teams and have to be as single-minded and focused as anyone, because it’s just them out there, after all. And perhaps they’ve seen how players who show interest in other things or try and take on bigger issues like Naomi Osaka or Serena Williams or Andy Murray get treated at times. That doesn’t excuse them here, nor should anyone totally buy their “I didn’t know!” excuses. It’s the easiest cover to run for, after all.

It would appear that most of the players would hope this goes away, and thanks to reporters doing their job, it doesn’t feel like they’ll get off that easy.

Meanwhile, continuing on the train to Gross-ville:

Follow Sam on Twitter @Felsgate and on Bluesky @Felsgate.bsky.social



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