Doug Gottlieb moved from the booth to the studio this weekend for the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 for CBS's NCAA Tournament coverage. The big question for the most polarizing basketball analyst at CBS was how he would mesh with the crew of Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Greg Anthony, and Greg Gumbel.
Answer: Not. Well.
Gottlieb's first on-air statement was a joke that fell so flat it crashed through the CBS set in New York and came out drowning somewhere in the Indian Ocean on the other side. Gottlieb remarked he was in the studio to bring the "white people perspective."
I don't think Greg Anthony was expecting the joke…
Things continued to get weird later in the evening as Charles Barkley came to Gottlieb's defense during the La Salle-Wichita State halftime, telling critics like Mark May to get a life. (Although May should actually be given credit for bringing the word "jackwagon" back to popular use.)
Gottlieb did have to apologize for the joke later on in the evening. Although it was probably a bad idea for a laugh and came off even worse, I don't think his role in CBS's tourney coverage is in any sort of jeopardy.
However, the lack of chemistry on set in New York outside that clip was noticeable by media observers and analysts themselves. See Kirk Herbstreit:
@richarddeitsch wow!! Agree…started with opening comment at 7pm on pregame show…Frigid!!!!
— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) March 29, 2013
CBS was looking for someone to stir the pot when they brought in Doug Gottlieb. Given Gottlieb's television persona, it was like drawing to an inside straight to ask him to fit in seamlessly with everyone already on board. Stay tuned because there's still two more weekends for some awkward studio interaction.
Video H/T Guyism