Kevin Harlan: People Laughing In Booth Fueled The Fire

By now, you’ve probably heard Kevin Harlan’s wonderfully energetic radio call from Monday night’s 28-0 snoozer between the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams.

Yes, with less than 12 minutes to go in the fourth quarter and the 49ers leading 21-0, a fan ran on the field and interrupted play. Harlan didn’t miss a beat, enthusiastically turning the fan’s streak – and security’s pursuit of him – into a Super Bowl-worthy highlight.

“Well, he came out right when they were lining up for the play, so I was busy talking about the secondary and the offensive alignment and he ran right through the formation – so now he had become part of the play,” Harlan, the CBS Sports and Westwood One voice, explained on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “The ball was seconds from being snapped, and he ran through it and the players stood straight up and they blew the whistles and the guy ran around and tried to take off his shirt, and so I was just calling what I was seeing – which was normal for the previous two-and-a-half hours. That’s what I was seeing. That’s what was going on.

“It was a pretty dull game, to be quite honest,” Harlan continued, “and that’s what happened. That’s exactly what happened. The people laughing in the booth kind of fuels the fire a little bit.”

Indeed, Harlan’s colleagues couldn’t help but chuckle at his enthusiastic summary of events. Of course, had the game been exciting and close throughout, Harlan probably wouldn’t have reacted as he did. In fact, his reaction may have been just the opposite.

“I would have been ticked off,” he said. “This is my 32nd year of broadcasting the NFL, and I love the game and I respect the game. If that would have happened in a tie game, fourth quarter, on national radio . . . I probably would have engaged Kurt Warner in talking about strategy or what’s happened so far and let the cops do what they did. But the game lacked any sizzle. That really was about the most intriguing, compelling thing (that happened).”

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