Close reviews can often lead to some disagreement in the booth, but ESPN announcers Mike Patrick and Ed Cunningham had a particularly funny one during Thursday’s Belk Bowl between Arkansas and Virginia Tech, involving a glasses prescription and a diet soda bet. Arkansas threw a pass close to the goal line, and it was initially ruled that the ball hadn’t crossed the plane. Patrick (doing the play-by-play) and Cunningham (doing analysis) both thought it was the right call at first:
On the first replay, Patrick reversed his initial opinion and said it looked like a touchdown:
On the second review, Cunningham disputed that and said the ball might have crossed the line, but it wasn’t enough to overturn the call on the field, and the two argued further:
Patrick then suggested Cunningham needed a new prescription for his glasses:
Cunningham argued about the camera’s upfield location and said that would throw it off, and said “we’re going to disagree,” and Patrick said, “Yes, but I’m right.”
Patrick then bet Cunningham a diet soda, the officials called it in Patrick’s favor, and Patrick said “My diet soda will taste so good tonight.”
This was well-handled by both; disagreement in the booth is fine, and they kept it light and funny while sticking to their opinions. This was considerably less awkward than, say, Bill Walton and Roxy Bernstein’s drastic disagreement on technicals Wednesday night. Well played by both here, and now Patrick has a diet soda to enjoy.