By now, video footage of Washington Wizards television play-by-play announcer Steve Buckhantz is likely perculating its way to viral mortality. His incorrect call of Trevor Ariza’s last second shot is comedy gold. I sure laughed after realizing the ball did not go in. Yet, since I have been conditioned to experience moments of Wiz fandom utopia because of Buckhantz’s “Daggers,” for a brief moment, I was trying to convince myself that my eyes were lying to me.
Ariza’s moping looks sobered me up real quick. It sure was not Jordan Crawford going full Steeze in Portland.
The dagger call, followed by awkward, confused silence, followed by “Buck” then retracting the dagger — while his partner Phil Chenier chuckled — is just awesome television. While this hilarious video will get the Facebook shares rocking and the comments a popping (“Get it poppin’,” as Mike Miller used to say), there was one group of people who were watching along live in emotional amazement: #WizardsTwitter. Let’s storify…
Buckhantz is going to be mocked relentlessly over this mistake, and there is no changing the fact that he used his popular catch phrase — usually reserved for shots that ice or win games — on an airball. LOLZ. However, to be fair to Buck and Phil, their broadcast spot was moved this season from behind the scorer’s table to across from the Wizards’ bench. Their perch is now atop of the lower bowel of Section 110. The view is depicted in the picture below. In the picture above, Ariza’s shot missed the rim and came in at an angle where it moved the net to make it appear like a swish, especially on television. Many fans in the arena told me that they were equally deceived by the all-net airball.
Don’t attempt to figure out how a team, in one season, can have a game in which players run off the court in Atlanta, wrongly celebrating their first win of the season, and then another, where large swaths of fans and the beloved television crew honestly believed an airball pulled out an improbable, walk-off victory.
There is only one explanation. No retractions are ever required. #SoWizards.