Much of the time, local news reports on a team winning a championship are pretty predictable. “Let’s go to [reporter] on the street, surrounded by fans!” “Yes, [anchor,] they sure are enjoying the team’s win! Back to you!” Sunday night’s report on CBS Pittsburgh affiliate KDKA produced something much more unexpected, though; reporter Bob Allen criticizing the fans who kept crowding into his shot, saying “they really need to tone it down!” and “this has to end!” Here’s the clip:
“Well, I’ll tell you what, Bob, they’re having a marathon celebration out here in the streets. They’ve been screaming, jumping up and down, ‘Let’s go Pens,’ all that stuff. Here we go. All night. Since the end of the game. It’s really funny because…it’s really, really crazy. …I’m not mad or anything, folks, but they really need to tone it down and let us do our thing, because it’s been tough. But they’re just having such a great time.”
“And it’s been great that the Pens won, I’m real happy for them, but this celebration is ongoing. I don’t think they want to go home. They have to be out of here in 90 minutes because that’s what the police department ordered, and they’re going to bring the horses out here sooner or later to get these folks off the street. But in the meantime, they’re having a great time. There’s all these mock Stanley Cups around. Now you hear them chanting. We’re going to let you go back, because this has to end.”
The anchor’s laughing fit at the end might be the best part of this. And the follow-up dialogue of “You might need an enforcer out there, Bob,” and “That would not have been called tonight. Bob could get away with anything,” is pretty funny too.
Overall, there’s some merit to Allen’s frustration, though, as fans kept not only pressing up behind him but grabbing him, jumping into the shot and so on (which led to him pushing them out of the way). And it’s understandable why he’s not super thrilled about being surrounded by rowdy fans who are getting in the way of him doing his shot, and his criticisms are actually pretty muted compared to what he was probably feeling. The bigger question here is why this went on so long, as a quick “back to you” when things started going haywire would have kept this clip from going viral. (Also, is it just me, or does the guy in the bottom-right corner look like Johnny Manziel?)
The other question is about what networks hope to get from these kinds of celebration shots. There’s a fine line they’re looking for; they want some fan rowdiness, or else there wouldn’t be anything to air (the news value of these hits is already pretty suspect), but not enough to interfere with the broadcast, and that’s tough. It’s certainly not easy on the reporters who have to go deal with a bunch of rowdy, lubricated fans, many of who seem to love the idea of crashing a live shot and being on TV. Most reporters hide their frustration more than Allen did here, but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong.
And maybe networks should rethink these kinds of on-the-street shots, especially when it comes to championship celebrations. They’re not providing much news value, and are creating plenty of issues for the reporters asked to do them. But hey, at least this gave us a funny moment, and it was much more interesting than the usual local news championship-celebration feature.
[Dustin Bones on YouTube]