An underestimated skill among sports reporters is the ability to cover different sports, sometimes at a moment’s notice. But many have a greater level of expertise in certain sports, perhaps because that was the sport they covered earlier in their careers.
On “Saturday Night Live,” a sketch featuring host Chance the Rapper spoofed a MSG New York Rangers telecast in which a rinkside reporter who normally covers the Knicks was called in to work a Rangers game. Not knowing much about hockey, Lazlo Holmes (Chance) struggled to follow the action and answer the questions from the MSG studio crew. Also, he was very cold.
Watch the full sketch for yourself:
“I’m having fun here at the hockey game. Lots of fun hockey going on,” reported Holmes, who was filling in for Paul Hanley, out on paternity leave. “Lots of white dudes on skates running into each other at full speed. I don’t get it. Nah, I’m just messin’ around. But very different from working at the Knicks games. Much colder.”
Studio host Dale Worthy (Beck Bennett) then asked Holmes to share his impressions of the game thus far.
“The story of the game is, one of the main guys on the Rangers — don’t know how to say his name, it has like 30 letters in it, none of them are vowels. He’s playing great, which is crazy because he got into a full fistfight in the first minute of the game. But hey, as they say in hockey, ‘let’s do that hockey.’ I miss the Knicks.”
Holmes hoped that was the end of his report, but Worthy and co-anchor Chrissy Smith (Cecil Strong) needed some more information on the Rangers’ offense and which players made an impact from their rinkside reporter. Hey, there’s airtime to fill! Holmes did the best he could, reporting “That’s what’s up” before interviewing a Rangers player (Alex Moffat) who skated nearby.
TV isn’t always as easy as it looks, folks. The sketch captured how difficult it can be to work out of your element sometimes. And really, Holmes’s knowledge of hockey probably wasn’t worse than that of average sports fans.