Adrian Branch and Todd Harris called last night’s WAC showdown between Nevada and Utah State on ESPN2. Being the avid college basketball fan that I am, I decided why not watch my third game of the night (Michigan State-Minnesota and Northwestern-Wisconsin had my attention earlier). I’m semi-watching the game, more listening to it while doing work. And then I hear an exchange that left me baffled.
Apparently, knowledge of the sport’s preeminent Hollywood classic isn’t a prerequisite for ESPN expert analyst status.
AB: We’ve been trying to identify who Luke Babbit plays like and I’m going to give you a name that wasn’t too far, Adam Morrison. He’s got that Adam Morrison thing; his own unique flavor. Got the hair shagging a little bit, different from last year. But you know what, he works you over especially when he gets to that free throw line.
TH: I’ve got another name for you. Last year when he was rocking the short clean-cut haircut: Jimmy Chitwood from “Hoosiers.”
TH: Jimmy Chitwood!
AB: Where is that from?
TH: You don’t remember the movie “Hoosiers?” Gene Hackman, the picket fence, ‘I’ll make that shot.’
AB: Nah, nah. Sorry man.
TH: How do you not know that shot? You’ve got a NBA world championship ring on your finger and you don’t know “Hoosiers?”
AB: I’m from Seat Pleasant, Maryland, buddy (some inaudible gibberish). Man, man.
Then three minutes later Babbit hits another 3-pointer and the conversation comes full circle:
AB: He’s a natural offensive scorer.
TH: Say it with me, ‘Jimmy Chitwood, I’ll make that shot.’
AB: (laughing) I was just pulling your chain. I wanted to see your reaction.
TH: I knew you knew that movie.
Basically after Branch’s initial gaffe, someone in the production truck was like, “Hey Todd, toss Adrian a softball about ‘Hoosiers,’ so we don’t get e-mails about what an idiot he is.”
Now I know “Hoosiers” is fictitious, so not knowing its details won’t affect an announcers analysis of the game. But how can a 49-year old basketball lifer not know who Jimmy Chitwood is?
I have to admit that even despite attending Indiana University, it took me three years into college to finally watch “Hoosiers.” But what do you expect? I was a midget from South Florida who never touched a basketball until arriving in Bloomington. I didn’t eat, sleep and breathe basketball as I suspect Branch did.
I mean my roommate and I already have complained about Branch before, so while I shouldn’t be surprised how low he can dip into the depths of suckdom, this certainly reinforces our initial analysis: Adrian Branch is a moron.