Short and to the Point with Adam Amin Short and to the Point with Adam Amin

The television play-by-play announcer for the Chicago Bulls, it’s only fitting that Adam Amin has a “flu game” of his own.

Joining Comeback Media’s Short and to the Point podcast, Amin walked host Jessica Kleinschmidt through a top-15 matchup between Washington and Stanford, which was part of his Friday night college football package for ESPN during the 2016 season. 

Except, as often is the case when you work in high-level broadcasting, whatever crew on the hierarchy is above you, might end up getting that game or getting that game assigned. For a couple of weeks, Amin and his team of Mack Brown and Molly McGrath were looking forward to calling the matchup that featured Christian McCaffrey, Myles Gaskin and John Ross — all three of whom went on to play in the NFL — at the forefront of two undefeated Pac-12 programs.

“Naturally, and rightfully so — I understand why — it’s get taken away,” Amin said. “So, we get reassigned to BYU against Toledo in Provo, Utah on a Friday night. And it’s myself, Mack Brown, and Molly McGrath…Unfortunately for Mack, who would do Friday night games with me and Molly, he’d get on the first flight on Saturday morning to go to New York and be on set for the ABC Studio Show. And the next day, Texas, Mack’s former team, and Charlie Strong were slated to play right around the noon ABC slot — the Eastern time slot.”

ABC wanted Brown in the studio for that game. But before Brown could get there, he had to call Toledo-BYU for ESPN2, or at least part of it.

“Seattle, if we’re doing the game in Washington, sure that’s a redeye flight to Atlanta,” Amin said. “You get in around 5 a.m., 6 a.m. flight, you’re in New York before 9 a.m. and you’re gonna be on the air before 11 o’clock for that game, no problem. From Provo, Utah, the last flight out to get to Atlanta, is about 1:20 in the morning. That means you have to be at the airport, through security, by a certain time.”

So, there was already a thought that Brown may have to leave the game early.

“The thought process was, well let’s hope and pray that we get kind of a blowout game just for his sake,” Amin explained. “Maybe there’s a couple minutes left and the game’s decided, he can slip out the backdoor, no problem.”

Well, they ended up with what Amin called probably one of the 20-best college football games of the 2016 season.

At the start of the fourth quarter of a very close, back-and-forth contest, phones were ringing in the truck, basically instructing Mack Brown to “get his ass on a plane,” says Amin. They had to figure out what to tell the audience, and they couldn’t lie to people, because if all of a sudden Brown stops talking, some viewers at home may think he had a heart attack.

“We got to show he’s OK and send him off,” he said.

And with Toledo up 45-42 and 10:51 left in the fourth quarter, ESPN went to the booth, where play-by-play commentator Adam Amin explained that analyst Mack Brown was leaving early to catch a flight. Amin went on to work the rest of the game solo, doing yeoman’s work of filling the void, and he pulled it off remarkably well.

Amin shared that Brown was “legitimately upset,” because he’d be insulted if he was a coach of one of the two aforementioned teams. He made it very clear to ESPN, that the network better make it known that it wasn’t his decision to hightail it out of there with 10 minutes remaining in a one-score game.

“He has far too much integrity to ever let that happen,” said Amin. “I love that man to death.”

Funnily enough, Amin didn’t give himself the credit and said McGrath was the one who did “Yeoman’s work,” but still, he had to call the game by himself, which he called an homage to the late Vin Scully.

This Saturday, Mack Brown will be on the sidelines for Clemson-North Carolina at 3:30 p.m. ET. On the call will be Bob Wischusen, Robert Griffin III and Kris Budden for ESPN/ABC. Let’s just hope that Griffin doesn’t have a plane to catch, but if he for some reason does, we know that Brown would completely understand.

Short and to the Point with Jessica Kleinschmidt is available on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.

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.