Sports Are At A Standstill. Here's How To Sportscast Your Life NPR's Scott Simon speaks to actor Hank Azaria who plays TV's over-the-top sports announcer Jim Brockmire about sportscasting your life now that there are no sports.

Sports Are At A Standstill. Here's How To Sportscast Your Life

Sports Are At A Standstill. Here's How To Sportscast Your Life

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NPR's Scott Simon speaks to actor Hank Azaria who plays TV's over-the-top sports announcer Jim Brockmire about sportscasting your life now that there are no sports.


No sports are being played right now, leaving sports announcers with nothing to announce. Now, for many of us, that's a problem. We need the voice of a sportscaster in our heads when we toss a crumpled paper into a trash bin - yes, from downtown. Some sportscasters have jumped into that void to provide play-by-play for some of life's more mundane moments. Jim Brockmire is in a league of his own.


HANK AZARIA: (As Jim Brockmire) Oh, you can stick me in some kind of Italian boat because that one is gone-dola (ph).

SIMON: Brockmire, of course, is the idiosyncratic sportscaster with a loud voice and an even louder madras jacket played by Hank Azaria on "Brockmire," now in its fourth season on IFC. We thought the two of them could offer some advice. They join us now. Thanks so much for being with us, Mr. Azaria.

AZARIA: Well, thank you, Scott.

SIMON: Could you or Mr. Brockmire offer some advice on how you narrate something that's utterly uninteresting?

AZARIA: Yeah, I'm going to bring in Jim Brockmire for this, Scott Simon, because he is the expert.

SIMON: OK, sure.

AZARIA: (As Jim Brockmire) We're all stuck inside, so why not do what I've done my entire life? Just announce your day. Call your day. Call it like a baseball game. Now, I got a few - like five or six - helpful hints on how to do that.

SIMON: Sure.

AZARIA: (As Jim Brockmire) And I'm going to multitask here. I'm going to make my own bed right here.


AZARIA: (As Jim Brockmire) And as I do that, I'm going to announce it, this seemingly, you know, mundane and tedious and boring activity. And I'm going to take you through Announcing 101 as I do it. Sound good, Scott Simon?

SIMON: Absolutely, sir. Yes.

AZARIA: (As Jim Brockmire) Now here we go. Now, tip No. 1, you've got to have a good intro, right? So, folks, we welcome you here to a rematch of yesterday's classic showdown. Once again, time for Jim Brockmire to make the bed. Now, these two have a long history together, going all the way back to, well, the President's Day sale in 2009.

That leads me to tip No. 2, get excited over nothing much. You got to get excited over nothing. So here Jim goes. He's - there it is. Oh, he's tucked in the sheet's top left corner, and, oh, he's got the bottom left corner. And now he's running a slant move to the bottom right corner, and, oh, my - three corners down. Can he go four for four? My goodness.

OK. Have a trademark call ready for the exciting moments. OK, here we go. This one is going, going - oh, that is Bed Bath and Beyond. He has done it, folks. Jim Brockmire put on a fitted sheet without needing to Google how to put on a fitted sheet. My goodness.

All right? And the final tip...

SIMON: Yeah.

AZARIA: (As Jim Brockmire) ...And most important here - pants are always optional on the radio, but I'm sure everybody at NPR...

SIMON: (Laughter).

AZARIA: (As Jim Brockmire) Everybody at NPR already knows that. You know that, don't you, Scott Simon? You're not wearing any pants right now.

SIMON: I forget what pants are at this point, you know? Yeah.

AZARIA: (As Jim Brockmire) Exactly, 'cause you don't need them. You don't need - they're need-to-know basis. You don't have to wear them.

SIMON: I gather our staff sent you some video that our 16-year-old daughter shot of me in the office, right?

AZARIA: (As Jim Brockmire) Yeah.

SIMON: Yeah. Is it possible to give us a play-by-play for a minute or so?

AZARIA: (As Jim Brockmire) Absolutely. Welcome, everybody. Opening day for the National Standing Desk League. Here to watch one Scott Simon, a surefire first-ballot standing desk hall of famer, show us what he can do. Oh, Simon takes the glasses off, moves some things around on the desk there. And, whoa, he - oh, he immediately puts the glasses back on - not sure why he did that. Looking a little indecisive today. This may not bode well for his performance. Scott Simon, though, promptly back to work. Oh, using two laptops at once - my, oh, my.

SIMON: (Laughter).

AZARIA: (As Jim Brockmire) This man - he is a multitasking pro, very impressive. Simon is typing using only his index and middle fingers. That's very surprising. Commonly seen as a much slower, less efficient style of typing mostly used by employees at the DMV.

SIMON: (Laughter).

AZARIA: (As Jim Brockmire) Oh, Simon reaching for the coffee, and he takes a sip. Well, I assume that it's coffee. Could be some sort of performance-enhancing substance, in which case, well, he could be looking at a punishment by the Standing Desk Standing Committee. Worth mentioning we don't know what Scott Simon is currently typing. Simon keeps his game plan top-secret from opposing NPR reporters after the infamous - well, the infamous Terry Gross sign stealing scandal.

SIMON: (Laughter).

AZARIA: (As Jim Brockmire) So - oh, he bit down on the arm of his glasses, popularly interpreted as a maneuver indicating deep thought and consideration, but, boy, very dangerous during this time of the coronavirus. My goodness, Scott Simon. Keep things out of your mouth, sir. But that sort of brash, bold behavior is what made Scott Simon into the bad boy of the National Standing Desk League.

SIMON: Jim Brockmire, nobody calls a game like you.

AZARIA: (As Jim Brockmire) That was exciting video you provided there. Thank you very much, Scott.

SIMON: Hank Azaria is Jim Brockmire. Thanks so much for the lesson.

AZARIA: Thank you very much, Scott Simon.


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