In one of the more ironic hot mic incidents, Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule was caught on a hot mic complaining about being on a hot mic. As networks mic up players and coaches for broadcasts at an increasingly high rate, some don’t seem to mind it. But apparently, Rhule loathes it.
The Panthers held their Fan Fest celebration Thursday night, an annual tradition of welcoming fans into their home Bank of America Stadium to watch team practice, fireworks and other performances. A few local networks aired the event hosted by broadcaster Taylor Zarzour, former Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., and field reporter Kristen Balboni.
Near the start of the broadcast, Balboni interviewed Rhule, who praised the celebration. “This is a chance to be out here with the fans, it’s a chance for us to come back home and play in our home stadium,” Rhule said. “I want to see us be quick, be fast, but also have a lot of fun.”
I don’t doubt that Rhule was genuine in his appreciation for seeing the fans back inside Bank of America Stadium, but he seemed a little less enthused about entertaining the fans who were still home watching the event on TV.
“Let’s listen to Frankie Luvu pump up his mates,” Zarzour said after Rhule’s interview as he threw the Fan Fest coverage down to the field where players were huddled around the Panthers linebacker. But as Luvu was pumping up his teammates, the fans watching at home were hearing Rhule, whose mic was apparently still on from his interview with Balboni.
Matt Rhule on a hot mic complaining about being on a hot mic? pic.twitter.com/jTvrAUiJpd
— Brandon Contes (@BrandonContes) August 12, 2022
“I’m the last guy in the world that likes being mic’d up, it’s everything I can’t stand. I have three…” Rhule could be heard saying before his mic was abruptly cut.
“And there’s Frankie firing up his teammates,” Zarzou immediately chimed in, hilariously ignoring Rhule’s hot mic incident.
As far as hot mic gaffes go, Rhule’s was harmless and I’m very confident that his sentiment is shared by many coaches and managers in professional sports. But the irony of complaining about being mic’d up while unknowingly on hot mic was the chef’s kiss to Rhule’s angst.