The above video comes to us courtesy of Awful Announcing and via HardballTalk (or maybe it's the other way around). The point is that the saddest moments of long-maligned Chicago White Sox broadcaster Ken "Hawk" Harrelson have been collected for the world to hear in one glorious, nearly-10-minute-long supercut.
The backstory, if you're not already intimately familiar: Hawk Harrelson is well-known among baseball diehards for being the most egregious "homer" in a Major League Baseball booth; that is to say, he openly roots for his beloved Sox without any sort of pretense that he isn't pulling for Chicago to win and REALLY REALLY REALLY pulling for the other team to lose. His calls of "HE GONE," "YOU GOTTA BE BLEEPIN' ME" (yes, he says "bleepin'"), "STRETCH! STRETCH!" and "YOU CAN PUT IT ON THE BOOOOOOOAAAARRDDD, YEEEESSSSS" are cool-wrestling-fan shorthand for broadcaster favoritism. (Or merely for pointing out how terrible it is to listen to Hawk when you're not a White Sox fan.)
For the record, I don't believe there's anything wrong with Hawk wearing his heart on his sleeve. Most of the time. After all, he's the announcer for the White Sox -- and not for any of those other 29 teams. He's paid to -- on some level -- root for the team and to get fans excited when something good happens for the boys in ... uh ... mostly black, I guess. You can cherry-pick moments from every team's announcers that feel like favoritism. The only difference is that with Hawk, you don't have to cherry-pick. His favoritism button only has one setting: eleven.
This video, however, collects the very worst and most egregious of what makes Hawk Harrelson Hawk Harrelson, perhaps most notably his refusal to even dignify opponent walk-offs and heroic feats with anything other than crossed-armed, head-shaking silence. We'll keep track of those as we go along.
You'll probably see why people can't stand the guy, but you'll also have some laughs along the way. Ready for hilarisad highlights? Then let's dive in, together.
0:10: This is pretty much the perfect introduction to Hawk's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad 2013 season. On an extremely close call at first base, the umpire called the Sox runner out on the second half of an inning-ending double play. It's something that happens roughly 5,000 times each season. But Hawk's method of dealing with the call was to channel Michael Scott for like 10 seconds.
0:32: Still the same play, but a soupçon of angry/sad Hawk Harrelson 101. After screaming "and ANOTHER blown call by Hernandez!" Hawk lays a sweet, sweet 15 seconds of silence on the television viewers, while the producers are no doubt begging for someone, anyone to throw it to commercial. HAWKRAGE SILENCE: 15 SECONDS
1:00: The White Sox give up a game-tying grand slam to the Mariners. Hawk only has strength to call that the ball was hit. From 1:01 until 1:42, he is beside himself with an all-encompassing rage, until finally acquiescing that the game is tied. HAWKRAGE SILENCE: 41 SECONDS
2:09: Again with two outs, the Sox have a one-run lead in the top of the ninth. Some Astros-level fielding (or lack thereof) allows an infield pop-up to fall in and the tying run to score. From second. On an infield pop fly. "And we find another way -- yet another way. And that's hard to believe." This was the 2013 White Sox. This play. It rarely got better than this.
2:55: A resigned, "Ooooooohhhh. You gotta be bleepin' me." He can't even get worked up about the degree to which you are or are not bleeping him. He's just saying anything he can to keep from kicking out the windows of the broadcast booth.
3:14: He tries to form another thought. He can't. He just can't.
3:35: He says "Lord have mercy." Then he basically just keeps muttering to himself for three pitches.
4:30: "You have got to be KIDDING me!" As though he's auditioning for a role in a Woody Allen movie wherein thirst is brought upon in a pretzel-related fashion. To sum up: in this clip, wherein the White Sox did not LOSE the game on a very stupid play, Hawk was so upset about the error that he swung back and forth from stare-into-your-whiskey-glass-and-question-your-existence despair to apoplectic rage and back for a solid two-and-a-half minutes. Full context: Chris Sale went eight innings and struck out 13 batters and got the no-decision. That's a bummer, but Sale wasn't upset about it after the game and wins are stupid. Also: the White Sox won this game. Perspective, Hawk. Perspective.
4:50: The White Sox give up another walk-off home run! Hawk at least is able to give it a quiet, "And this ballgame is ovah," but then just lets it stew and fester. As you do. HAWKRAGE SILENCE: 33 SECONDS. He manages to be unfazed enough to award the GMC Player of the Game to Jason Giambi, who hit the home run, then manages to sign off. That's pretty professional by Hawk standards. Downright magnanimous. For the record, here's the Indians call of that Giambi walk-off. For the further record, go to 2:46 of this video to hear Vin Scully call a walk-off hit for the other team. In the playoffs. I mean, granted, it's Vin Scully. But come now.
6:22: lol pretty much the exact same thing. It's even the Indians again. HAWKRAGE SILENCE: 52 SECONDS. He almost sounds chipper after that, though! I'm sure by this point in the season he was pretty much resigned to calling the 2013 White Sox. Perhaps the ninth-inning error against the Mets robbed him of his fire. That's kind of sad!
8:20: Giambi again. The Indians AGAIN. HAWKRAGE SILENCE: ONE MINUTE, FIVE SECONDS. He broke the one-minute mark! You did it, Hawk! I'm nominating YOU for the White Sox's All-Star representative! What's that? It already passed?! Well, you'll get 'em next year, Hawk.
You'll get 'em next year.