Play-By-Play Call of the Week: Stephen Bardo of ESPN


Covering live events is not as easy as it looks. Anything can happen at any moment, just like in, well, real life. Sportscasters (unlike writers) have to be quick on the draw with witty and relevant commentary.

Every once in a while though, you’ll see a play-by-play guy or analyst slip up or say something that makes absolutely no sense.

Don’t worry. This is not a glitch in the computer simulation you perceive as reality. Your body’s heat and electrical activity is not being used to power machine overlords that have enslaved you. It’s just an announcer making a mistake.

Case in point ESPN analyst Stephen Bardo, who said this after Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk breezed past Illinois guard D.J. Richardson and scored in last Saturday’s impressive Fighting Illini victory:

Not sure what “treating someone like a baldheaded brother” is supposed to mean. Does that mean you go out of your way to avoid hurting someone’s feelings because they’ve lost their hair? Or go the other way and call them things like “chrome dome” and “cue ball”?

Illinois head coach John Groce has a younger sibling, Dave. Does that make Groce a baldheaded brother? If so, does Dave treat John? I wonder.

We’re pretty confident Bardo meant to say “redheaded stepchild” – to which we personally take much offense. But hey, “baldheaded brother” is kind of close.

Don’t get us wrong, we love Stephen Bardo. A former member of the celebrated Flyin’ Illini 1989 Final Four team and a native of nearby Carbondale, Illinois, Bardo is one of the few members of the ESPN college basketball team that isn’t A) overtly biased for the East Coast or B) a complete and total jackass (see Pearl, Bruce).  That makes him good people in our book.

Editors Note: Don’t expect a “call of the week” every week – just whenever we see one that’s bizarre, strange, or otherwise interesting. It just sounded like a good title. It’s not legally binding.


One Comment

  • Beals says:

    “Red headed stepchild” should certainly be used more in our society. Everyone knows that redheads are the spawn of Satan himself.

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