Thursday, February 7, 2013

Craig Sager Saves the NBA Finals During Blackout

What would happen if Craig Sager was the man in charge of leading the country through a power outage at the NBA Finals? (

The Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event of the year in the United States. That statement is applicable even when the storylines are weak and the teams involved are not traditional powerhouses or year-end Cinderellas. Even if the NFL and American football are typically thought of as commodities elsewhere, it does draw an international audience and tends to draw more viewers than the Olympics when they come around every four years.

This past Sunday, we found out what happens when the single biggest televised event experiences a technical difficulty so big the game is forced to stop. In this instance, a partial blackout of the Superdome halted action between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers and necessitated CBS sideline reporter Steve Tasker assume lead broadcasting duties.

The former NFL player did a serviceable job, making Kyle and I to wonder what Craig Sager would do if faced with a similar situation in the NBA Finals (if TNT carried the championship round or ABC employed him, that is). Let's also assume this happens during Game 7, where momentum and pressure is at an all-time high and the power to the play-by-play and color analysts mics were affected.

Minute 1: As cameras pan around to darkened light banks and confused players, Sager mumbles several verbal fillers and throws to commercial by saying “This is the 2013 NBA Finals!” as if equipment failures are on par with 360, between-the-legs dunks. Lucky for him, you can still make him out through the darkness thanks to his bright white paisley suit.

Minute 3: Fade-in to Sager standing on the arena’s lit side. As he welcomes back the viewing audience, Sager rattles off what little is known about the outage, repeating the phrase, "No one seems to know the cause or extent of the damage" over and over as producers reallocate additional commercials to be played while the screen goes to black and a baby begins to shill Cheetos.

Minute 3.5: Smash-cut to Sager standing in a dark aisle as spectators mill around. He clicks the wheel on what appears to be a strand of Christmas lights as his suit begins to blink in several different areas then hurriedly looks at the camera and opens his mouth before the broadcast quickly cuts to an advertisement and someone loses their job for not queuing up the extra spots.

Minute 6: Sager's voice is heard as the cameras scan the arena and zoom in on people getting antsy in the crowd. Sager is reading tweets off his phone of people's suggested causes for the blackout. "@JasonThomas45 says Dwight Howard cut a wire for attention and @MacDaddy1964 says Craig Sager's ridiculous looking suit caused the outage. Mac Daddy, I assure you that's not the case."

Minute 10: After the studio analysts break down the effects of the delay with both teams, Sager grabs a member of the building technical crew for an on-camera interview. The technician said it was a blown fuse box and Sager immediately questions him, believing the technician is hiding vital information that Sager is intent on breaking.

Minute 12: Sager shrinks into himself, hoping to be invisible to human beings and fashion criticism while walking past Kevin Garnett.

Minute 14: Sager’s pink pocket square is obviously damp as it now looks to be purple. His nerves have gotten to him and he is sweating profusely.

Minute 18: The lights are back on and the players are again warming up. Sager goes into a story about how he understands the difficulty for players to bounce back from the delay like the time when the power went out during one of his hair appointments and it took forever to get his part right, then sends it down to the broadcast booth.
Kyle Davis contributed to this story

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