Wednesday’s Hot Clicks: Steve Levy Gives the Story Behind His Classic ‘Bulging Disc’ Blooper

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The story behind the best SportsCenter blooper ever

Sadly for him, nothing Steve Levy has done in his 25 years at ESPN has been remembered as well as this slip of the tongue in 1995, when he meant to say Patriots cornerback Maurice Hurst had a bulging disc in his neck. I think most sports fans know what he said instead.

Levy was filling in for Dan Patrick that night as Keith Olbermann’s SportsCenter partner and appeared Tuesday on Patrick’s radio show to give the inside story of what happened. 

The reason the clip has lived on for more than 20 years isn’t the momentary slip-up by Levy, it’s the way the broadcast careens out of control after. The way Levy explains it, the out of control giggling might have been avoided if they had a different story lined up next. 

“There was a figure skating story to come [after] this,” Levy told Patrick. “It was the death of a figure skater. In our industry, when a story goes away—we put it down later in the show—we say ‘kill it.’ So, ‘Kill the figure skater,’ is what [SportsCenter producer Mike] McQuaid says, meaning we’re not gonna do that story. Well, that everybody cracks up over again. She’s already dead, right?”

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse for the Mets

What kind of game could have been bad enough for the 2018 Mets to respond like that, you wonder? This kind of game. 

A three-run ninth was the start of a nice little comeback for the Mets against the Nationals last night but they still fell just short, losing by a score of 25–4. 

It was the worst loss in franchise history and the most runs given up in a game since the Rangers scored 30 against the Orioles in 2007. It was so improbable that out-of-town scoreboards across the league couldn’t accurately display the score of the game. 

The Mets broadcasters were forced to find alternate ways to occupy their time up in the booth. 

Even though it was 19–0 after five innings, the Mets only used one position player to pitch—Jose Reyes, who came in to close things out in the bottom of the eighth and gave up six runs on five hits. He also plunked Ryan Zimmerman, who reacted thusly. 

Ryan Zimmerman pretends to charge the mound after Jose Reyes hits him with a 54 mph curveball from r/baseball

Getting traded wouldn’t be so bad if it was always like this

The Rangers traded reliever Jake Diekman to the Diamondbacks at the deadline, which was convenient because they were in Arizona. 

It was even more convenient because the Diamondbacks are the only team in the majors using a bullpen cart, so Arizona used it to bring Diekman to his new clubhouse. 

As a side note, it’s kind of amazing that Diekman is even pitching in the major leagues. In January 2017, he underwent surgery to remove his entire colon—a procedure necessitated by his ulcerative colitis—and was out for almost nine months. Now he’s ready to help the D-Backs push for a playoff spot.

Diekman got emotional when discussing the trade, thanking the Rangers organization for how it stood by him when he had the surgery. 

Bits & Pieces

Giants infielder Joe Panik played in two games in two leagues on opposite ends of California on the same day. … The infamous “pooperintendent” featured in this space earlier is now suing the police for $1 million. … You know that old superstition where fighters won’t have sex before a bout? This UFC fighter said he’s been abstaining for three months. … It was total bedlam at Fenway after the Red Sox’ bullpen phone stopped working. … Dwayne Johnson is starring in his 50th movie where he wears a dirty tan shirt in the jungle

Old habits die hard

We’ll call him Thicc Collison

How’d they catch him?

Adam Silver must answer for this

Two plays as slick as you’ll ever see

Parents can be the worst

Take a tour of Action Bronson’s tattoos

I had no idea Godzilla vs. Charles Barkley was a real thing. It sounds like something Bronson would make up in a song. 

A good song

Email with any feedback or ping me on Twitter. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.

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