Most CSN viewers know anchor Michael Jenkins loves to joke around, so it was no surprise to see him "drinking" on the set of SportsNet Central after the Capitals' Game 6 loss. But the video went viral once it reached national audiences, who were shocked to see such a thing on live TV.
In the aftermath, Jenkins was invited on the Dan Patrick Show to talk about what really happened that night. Here are some of the highlights with Patrick's questions and Jenkins' answers.
How did you come up with this idea?
"Just about half an hour before the show, we had already had three or four hours of Capitals coverage and I thought, you know what, everyone's seen the same highlights, they've heard the same reaction. Let's have some fun with it and sort of project the disappointment that everyone feels right now."
"So I went and I found the one glass that you could see through in the entire station, I filled it up and went on air."
What was in the glass?
"Oh man, iced tea. It wasn't actually booze. ... I feel bad because there were so many people that wanted to believe that I was drinking on air.”
Did anyone try to talk you out of this idea?
“No! ... We do little things like this all the time, so for us, it wasn’t that big of a deal. We all thought it was funny, we all thought ‘Oh yeah this will be great. It will be hilarious.’ We wanted to have some fun with it.
"And that was the end of it for us, but of course on a national scale, people aren’t familiar with us, so it was like, 'Oh my god! What are these guys doing? How could they think of such a thing? How could this guy actually chug bourbon on live TV? Unbelievable!' But we actually just didn’t think it was that big of a deal at the time.
“The thing that [management] were really upset about is that I ruined an $800 microphone because I spilled my drink on it. That was the actual issue."
Did you get any backlash for telling kids to give up on their dreams?
"Amazingly, everyone just kinda related to that and said, 'Yeah, you’re spot-on there.'"
How did management react?
“Management was fine with it. They know my style and that I always try to make sports as fun as it can be.”
Do the Capitals really make you drink?
"Oh Dan. Yes. This team is, you know--D.C. sports in general! Most people know we haven’t won a title in--I mean, I’ve been here for 11 years. I’ve never covered a championship team in one of the four major sports.
"I live right in the city and I really feel like I’m part of this city and I really want our local teams to do well. But the people who’ve been here even longer than me have experienced a drought even longer.
“And the Capitals in particular are the one team we thought, alright, this is the year. Especially after all these years where there was disappointment. And this was the year we thought, now this is year we actually break through.
"For that to actually, once again, end up a crushing disappointment? That’s why people related to it because if you’re a Caps fan at all or a hockey fan, you’ve been there. Where it’s like, 'I’m just going to have some drinks because this sucks all over again.'"
Would you put this on a resume to apply for your next job?
“Probably not. … In the context of the three people that are familiar with my career, then, you know I’ve done this for 20 years, so it’s one thing in a host of things I’ve done. But for 99.9% of the people out there, the people looking at me for a potential job, it would be like, 'Oh yeah, that’s that drunk guy on air.'"
Patrick suggests finding a channel that would allow sports commentators to say anything and everything they want.
"Think about an after-midnight show where literally, you’re on cable, you have a drink in each hand, you’ve got a cohost and you guys just do random commentary and go off as much as you want. The thing is that there’s probably going to be a group or some guy that does that and makes a killing."
What about the late time slot?
“I’m not usually on at 1:15 a.m. … it’s late, we’re all tired. Let’s just do this. In fact, normally if we have a show that’s that late, we’ll turn down the lights a little bit in the studio and have some fun with it. It’s actually not the first time I’ve pretended to pull out a drink on set since it’s so late.
Patrick says people thought he and Keith Olbermann didn't wear pants while hosting SportsCenter on ESPN. Maybe Jenkins should actually do a nude sportscast.
“I have a really weird, misshapen body. I feel like that people, that the common man, could relate to that and say, 'You know what? That’s my guy right there. He’s showing off but he has nothing to show off.' So there may be a little niche there for me to fill."
Patrick calls Jenkins "the sportscasting Ron Burgundy”
“You know what? Ron’s one of my idols. So I’ll take that.”