Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Stan Verrett is wary of eating shrimp after home runs

(Credit: Watchdog)

I'm happy to announce on this Memorial Day that for the first time WatchDog has an official favorite SportsCenter anchor.

Congrats to Stan Verrett, who achieved this honor for two reasons: He generally does a nice job, and it turns out he is a loyal reader and now commenter.

Mr. Verrett was kind enough to respond to my Saturday post about his SportsCenter references, then was kind enough to give me more material to analyze on the late Sunday night SportsCenter.

Click below for a detailed analysis of said references and explanations. And congrats again, Stan. All of WatchDog Nation welcomes and salutes you.Verrett wrote regarding Saturday night's show: "I don't expect everyone to get all of my references. We all have our audience and you may be outside of my demographic, frankly. But I will explain the references so that you can follow along with the hip kids next time."

Ouch! I thought I was the hippest sportswriter in the blogosphere. Oh, well.

The Saturday references started with Verrett saying "and that's why I don't eat shrimp" after a home run. Huh? He said it was from the T-Mobile ad featuring Charles Barkley and Dwyane Wade that has been running heavily during the NBA playoffs.

Once he mentioned it, I did recall the line, but it's true I'm not in the NBA playoffs demographic and haven't seen the ad as much as I should. I'm in the pathetic-New-York-sports-media-columnist-who-is-obligated-to-obsess-over-baseball demographic, unfortunately.

Anyway, as Stan noted, the line has nothing to do with home runs, "but I threw it in anyway because it makes me laugh."

Hmm. I sort of see where he's coming from here, but I don't think I can endorse a line that has nothing to do with anything being a part of a home run call.

Moving on: I poked fun at Verrett referencing a long home run that was headed to Wisteria Lane, but somehow failed to notice that the dinger in question was hit by Evan Longoria. Totally my bad, a whiff from the WatchDog. Now that I know the home run hitter, I totally get it, and it gives me an excuse to post a picture of Eva Longoria. So we're good.

Next up was a reference to Sojourner Truth after a nice catch by Georgia second baseman Sojourner Moody. Verrett gave me props for "impressing me with your knowledge of African-American history" and said Truth "has always been a personal hero" for him.

"I couldn't help but invoke her name, since I know that young lady was probably named after her and made a great play,'' he wrote. "Maybe it's just a black thing, but I'm black, in case you didn't notice."

OK, I'll give him that one.

Verrett conceded it was a stretch when he referenced his mother warning him not to run with scissors to set up a highlight of laxers running with sticks. "You can't win 'em all,'' he wrote.

Summing up, Verrett wrote, "We all bring our own flavor and culture to the job here, and it requires us to take some chances if we want to be anything more than just run-of-the-mill, 'Yanks win 3-2' score and highlight drones. In other words, I'm just doing my thing, and even if you don't get it, thanks for writing about it. I mean that sincerely. Maybe you exposed some people who do get it to my work, and maybe they'll look for me, or stick around if they see me on the show."

On to Sunday night:

In talking about Manu Ginobili's big night for the Spurs, Verrett said "don't cry for him," a reference people in my demographic would get immediately. (That demo, of course, is old farts who went to the same high school as Patti LuPone and who remember Broadway show ads from the '70s.)

Score one for Stan.

Later, he used two song lyric references that even I was familiar with: "Let's get this party started" and "It's time to bounce."

That's three for Stan.

Late in the show, though, someone hit a home run and Verrett did it again: "That's why I don't eat shrimp."

Aaargh! Maybe he did that just for me. Whatever - 3-for-4 isn't bad. And Stan is our man until further notice.

Tags: espn

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