Mini 2008: Achievement in Televised Reporting

Posted by Iannucci | 9/24/2008 | 4 comments »
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Never underestimate the difficulty of television broadcasting. It's a difficult job involving preparation, focus, and above all a ton of assistance from a lot of people. Often the people who like you are yelling at you, the people don't like you are giving you the silent treatment, and the entire time you're trying to communicate with all of them while there's a sporting event going on. At times, hilarity ensues.

Here's a little test to see if you're up to the task of television broadcasting. Fire up a recording of your favorite race and jack the audio into a set of headphones. Next turn on a video camera and point it at the TV screen. Plug a microphone into the camera, put the headphones on your head, and start yammering away in your best announcer voice for a few minutes. Let me know how far you get before you blurt out your first "uhh..." Now, once you're done go ahead and upload it to YouTube so we can all have a good laugh.

The point is this award celebrates those moments beyond the "uh...", where the fine line between a reporter relaying the story and becoming the story gets blown to smithereens. Whether these gaffes were resulting from a lost train of thought, being caught off guard, or simply the result of an especially nasty hangover, we salute these nominees for their demonstrations of excellence in broadcasting that resulted in unintentional humor.

Jack Arute (Motegi, Day 1) - Before America awakened on a Sunday morning to hear of Danica Patrick's first IndyCar victory, IndyCar fans had to endure two separate days of broadcasting into the wee hours. Lucky for us Jack Arute was LIVE in Japan, showing us weepers (wet spots on the track) and rain ghosts (Japanese hand puppets), and getting Dan Wheldon to say "Shagalicious, baby". Now that's filler, people. In fact, before the show was postponed he'd even gotten Brian Barnhart on the air to discuss longitudinal rotations and the coefficient of friction, instantly rendering thousands of viewers unconscious.

Jack Arute (Motegi, Day 2) - The second day from Twin Ring Motegi featured less rain and more actual racing, but for the first time in years Jack didn't bring an egg to help describe the shape of the track. Pity. He did however utter a now infamous line they may forever haunt both him and race winner Danicker when he greeted her while getting out of her car by asking "When are you gonna win AGAIN?" Lucky for him she was weeping with joy at the time, overriding her natural instinct to otherwise kick him in the family jewels.

Jack Arute (Iowa) - Another victory lane interview for Arute, but this time with Dan Wheldon on the occasion of his 15th win. Wheldon was caught up in the moment of vanquishing his foes on the field of battle and felt the need to express his masculinity by kissing Jack on the head. To the shock and horror of the viewing audience, Jack kissed Dan back. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just that ... well, quite frankly there are a lot of things wrong with that.

Jack Arute (Watkins Glen) - Every once in a while Jack tries this Jedi mind trick thing with someone he's interviewing where he tries to get them to think this is a personal conversation. He's all like "Pay no attention to the screaming cars, don't mind that guy with the camera, and this microphone is just hear to help me when I'm not chain-smoking cigarettes. Really, this is between you and me - no one else will know. These aren't the droids you're looking for." At The Glen he tried to get Vitor Meira - who had just become the latest victim of the "Hulk smash!" driving techniques of EJ Viso - to fall for these shenanigans. After Meira shrugged off Arute's question about what the league would do to Viso, Jack leaned in ever so slightly and asked "What are you going to do about it?" Vitor was still unmoved, although looking back the best answer might have been "I'm going to send Danica over to kick his ass, Jack."

And the winner is...

Scott Goodyear - That's right, he said: "...he was surprised by his...boyfriend...the guy...that he had back in karting days..." In a matter of just a few seconds at Nashville, Goodyear bested an entire season of work by Jack Arute. All the hand puppets and the kissing and the Jedi mind trickery, all for naught. Oh well, better luck next year, Jack.


  1. Anonymous // September 25, 2008 5:54 AM  

    This is a travesty. I demand a recount. You're letting that swashbuckling goon Arute off the hook??? This is a sad day for America, friend.

  2. Ansen Bayer // September 25, 2008 8:12 AM  

    Meira replaces Manning!!

  3. Mark // September 25, 2008 9:20 AM  

    I watched that no less then 14 times. Each time laughing harder. Luckily someone pulled me away.. (just as if I had 5-fingered a high powered electrical wire..)

  4. Gregory Hunt // September 25, 2008 3:30 PM  

    It's surprising that Marty Reid's reference to the "Portuguese flag" at Infineon didn't get nominated.