98.5 The Sports Hub’s Scott Zolak and Marc Bertrand were in the right place at the right time as a rash of fights broke out during a joint training camp practice between the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers.
Zolak and Bertrand had an up-close look at the scrums, aided through the use of binoculars, as they broadcasted live from Patriots camp this week. The practice fights resulted in several player ejections, a mildly injured fan, and some entertaining live commentary from Zolak and Bertrand on The Sports Hub and NBC Sports Boston.
“This drill got escalated by the Panthers here,” declared Zolak, a former Patriots quarterback and current gameday radio analyst for the team. “This is number three (fights)in a freaking kickoff drill. A kickoff drill!”
"This is unreal. I've never seen anything like this!"@ZoandBertrand react live to several more fights between the Patriots and Panthers during the second day of joint practices at #PatsCamp ? pic.twitter.com/7irXgZ08pA
— NBC Sports Boston's Patriots Coverage (@NBCSPatriots) August 17, 2022
“OHHHH JESUS CHRISTMAS!” Zolak yelled as another fight broke out between both teams. “These guys are a-holes man. Get these clowns out of here. All they want to do is fight. This is unreal. I’ve never seen anything like this.”
But Zolak’s disgust was later replaced by gratitude as he enjoyed watching passion on display during a summer practice. “This is great today!” Zolak said with a smile and a fist bump as Patriots wide receiver Nelson Agholor scored a touchdown and spiked the football emphatically. “Thank God we’re down here!”
“What a scene,” Bertrand chuckled as apparently, Patriots owner Robert Kraft joined head coach Bill Belichick in addressing the team during the fights. I know the Patriots coach and owner have a chummy relationship, but it is still surprising to see a totalitarian like Belichick let Kraft attempt to be the voice of reason during a tense practice.
As a big sports radio fan, I generally hate when shows broadcast from training camp. It often feels like an excuse for the hosts to enjoy a change of scenery, as a carousel of players and coaches join the show with the goal of divulging as little information as possible. A lineup of boring interviews will usually combine to create a brutally boring radio show. But credit Zolak and Bertrand for taking advantage of a unique training camp practice to beef up their live broadcast.
[98.5 The Sports Hub, NBC Sports Boston]