Kevin Harlan was set to call Monday night’s Rams-Buccaneers matchup with Tony Boselli this week.
Unfortunately, with Boselli having been exposed to someone with COVID-19, a replacement analyst was needed. As Andrew Marchand reported in the New York Post, that meant fill-in (and former ESPN analyst) Anthony Becht wasn’t officially hired until an hour before the game.
Via the Post:
Knowing that Boselli had been in contact with someone over the weekend who tested positive, Deneroff had gotten in touch with Becht’s agent, Gideon Cohen, on Monday in case Boselli couldn’t do the game. Since Boselli previously had COVID, there was a chance he might be allowed, but in the end, he was not.
Becht, who had spent a decade at ESPN, lives in the Tampa area and was eager to work with Kevin Harlan.
He got the chance and hit out of the park.
“He and Kevin Harlan sounded like they had been working together for weeks as opposed to minutes,” Deneroff said. “Very impressive debut and we’re grateful he picked up the phone and filled in.”
It’s wild to imagine a broadcast bringing in someone cold an hour before the kickoff, but that’s just sort of the world we’re living in right now. On the other hand, it’s also hard to imagine a better play-by-play broadcaster to work with off the street than Kevin Harlan, who could presumably get an entertaining broadcast with anyone, much less someone like Becht who has actual broadcasting experience to draw upon.
Hopefully the Westwood booth has more stability going forward.