During Thursday night’s NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals, CBS color commentator Phil Simms spent much of the broadcast praising 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
Yes, that Blaine Gabbert. The guy that has thrown five touchdown passes and six interceptions on the season, with a (not nice) 69.6 quarterback rating. The guy that the Jacksonville Jaguars gave up on after using a first-round pick on him. The guy that threw these passes in the very game Simms was announcing!
Twitter of course had plenty of reaction to Simms’ Gabbert love:
Phil Simms likes Gabbert? That's about right.
— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) October 7, 2016
Phil Simms just defended Blaine Gabbert for not being completely awful by saying he can run sometimes
— Dave Rappoccio (@DrawPlayDave) October 7, 2016
Can somebody please tell Phil Simms to stop selling Blaine Gabbert like he's Dan Marino? My ears are bleeding.
— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) October 7, 2016
Is Phil Simms Blaine Gabbert's agent?
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) October 7, 2016
Phil Simms on Blaine Gabbert: "C'mon, I don't want to hear everybody talk … this guy's got TALENT. You see it on the FIELD."
— Bay Area Sports Guy (@BASportsGuy) October 7, 2016
Simms: “Man, that was a really good throw by Blaine Gabbert.” Sounds like a dad trying to encourage his son. “Don’t give up, little buddy!"
— Niners Nation (@NinersNation) October 7, 2016
Now, Twitter clowning Simms was hardly surprising, as there’s even an account mocking his quotes and keeping track of how many times he says “talked about.”
But what was fairly surprising took place after the game on NFL Network (where the game had just aired in addition to CBS), when analysts Michael Irvin and Marshall Faulk even mocked Simms for praising Gabbert.
Irvin: “I didn’t get a chance to say it while he was on air, and I will Tuesday when I see him on [the Showtime TV program] ‘Inside the NFL’. But did anyone else feel kind of weird the way Phil Simms was talking about Blaine Gabbert, as we’re watching some of these passes? You know, he was talking about him like this guy was the next coming of Tom Brady or somebody.”
Faulk: “He was talking about Blaine Gabbert like he was his relative.”
It’s rare to see studio analysts question an announcer of a game that just aired on their network like that. But it just goes to show how over-the-top Simms’ lauding of Gabbert was.