Dan Orlovsky ESPN First Take UConn's women's basketball Screen Grab: ‘First Take’

Dan Orlovsky has said some peculiar things on ESPN from time to time. From the lack of seasoning on his food to thinking the Chicago Bears should select Jayden Daniels over Caleb Williams, the former NFL journeyman quarterback is strong in his convictions, albeit a bit odd.

And on Thursday, the UConn alum made a strange comment regarding his alma mater’s women’s basketball program.

Orlovsky told viewers on First Take “not to take this the wrong way,” establishing that he went to his first women’s basketball game ever earlier this week. On Wednesday, he watched the 10th-ranked Huskies handle the Villanova Wildcats at UConn’s on-campus arena — Harry A. Gampel Pavilion.

Now, the women’s game has enjoyed more national prominence than it did when Orlovsky was a student-athlete residing within the confines of Storrs, CT. Campus (2001-05). And that’s thanks to Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese, Dyaisha Fair and JuJu Watkins, among others.

And to be fair to Orlovksy, the women’s basketball team at UConn usually plays its more prominent matchups at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn.

Still, as one Twitter/X user pointed out, Orlovsky’s time on campus overlapped with Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, while the Huskies recorded a 132-12 record and won three consecutive national titles during his time as a student. Orlovsky is from Connecticut and continues to live there. He splits his time between Bristol and Seaport Studio in NYC for his ESPN work.

But Wednesday was seemingly his first time at a women’s basketball game.

“As the first women’s basketball game I’ve ever been to, they can flat-out play,” Orlovsky said of the great Geno Auriemma’s team, led by Paige Bueckers. “I was shocked how physical they were.”

At this point, Molly Qerim interjected to chide Orlovsky for just realizing how good of a program the UConn women have. Qerim, who was also born and raised in the Connecticut area, attended UConn around the same time as her now ESPN colleague.

“But the physicalness, like the physicality, they were beating each other up,” he added. “Paige Bueckers had 30 last night. 30.”

Qerim chided Orlovsky again, asking if he wanted to drop other gems. And she was just one of many to go at Orlovsky for his comments.


Orlovsky’s comments raise questions about his awareness of the success of his alma mater’s women’s basketball program, a program that has dominated the sport for decades.

Perhaps he’ll venture into other uncharted territories next, like discovering the joy of a perfectly cooked steak.

[Awful Announcing on Twitter/X]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.