Sam Ali is the sports reporter for the local TV news show on an NBC affiliate in Michigan, and he faced a tricky situation on Monday night. The CFP national championship game had just gone final, with Michigan defeating Washington — but since ESPN was still on the air, he wasn’t allowed to show any highlights until the game broadcast was completely over.
What to do? As he later explained on Twitter, “I promised the viewers ‘highlights’ and I tried to deliver the best I could.” Here’s how that turned out (I recommend going full-screen for this one):
So the Michigan game just went final when we went on-air tonight and we’re not allowed to show highlights until the broadcast is completely over. But I promised the viewers “highlights” and I tried to deliver the best I could: pic.twitter.com/us2e1Y6YeD
— Sam Ali (@SamAliSports) January 9, 2024
Oh man, is that not the greatest thing ever?
This article has more details, including the following:
“I decided, you know what, let’s, let’s do something fun,” Ali said. “We can’t be down in Houston [where the game was being played], but why not bring Houston to our viewers?”
He then set to work recreating the game with nothing more than his imagination and the desktop drawing application Microsoft Paint.
“Some of the details, I had to be a little bit more meticulous. It was a lot more work than I thought it would be,” Ali said. “I thought, oh, just do some stick figures, but then I became just enamored by it, and I really wanted to get the details in.”
The drawings, which made it into the live broadcast of the game coverage, were a surprise to those in the newsroom, Ali said.
“I kept teasing that we will have highlights, we will have highlights,” Ali said. “And the anchors are looking at me like, ‘what do you mean you’re going to have highlights?’ They didn’t know what was going to happen.”
That whole article is worth reading — good stuff.
The year has barely started, but Ali already has my vote for 2024 sports reporter of the year. Big kudos to him!
(Kudos also to Christian Berumen for letting me know about this one.)