A spider on the ESPN cameras at Wimbledon. A spider on the ESPN cameras at Wimbledon.

There have been many animal invasions of sports events over the years, but it’s unusual to see one play out directly on a camera. That’s what happened during ESPN Wimbledon coverage Wednesday, though. There, in the midst of their coverage of the second set of the Shintaro Mochizuki-Tommy Paul match on Court 4, a spider went right across their main camera during a point (starting at around 0:30 in the clip below, hanging on the screen until around 0:40, and then reemerging at 0:43):

The commentators’ reaction is great, first with leaving any commentary until the point ends and then jokingly referencing it. “Spidey liked that one!” “Yeah, he’s hanging. Maybe he’s going to go get the wasp. These are automatic cameras, so you’d think ‘Why doesn’t the cameraman there just get rid of that?’, but all of these cameras on the outside courts are automated, controlled in the main broadcast center.” “Maybe AI will send a message to the robot to get rid of this.”

This is far less of a broadcast/press box disruption than the A’s possum, the Mets’ bat, or the variety of animals on playing surfaces, from cats to foxes to kangaroos and alligators. But it’s still funny, and unusual. And this particular first-round Wimbledon match got an extra on-camera commentator in the spider. (Paul would go on to win 7-5, 6-3, 6-1.)

[Awful Announcing on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.