Tony Reali — the TV host who got his start as stat boy on "Pardon The Interruption" — made his final appearance on the ESPN show last week.
I don't remember the first thing Wilbon said to me but I know it came with one of his all-enveloping handshake/hugs that ensconce you in a cocoon of velour certainty. It was probably, "Blah blah blah, Chicago." ;) Kornheiser, though? "Rent! Don't buy! We're going to be cancelled in the first commercial break." The first of many super galactically incorrect pronouncements from Mr. Tony, thankfully. He best sees the future when he's wearing the earrings for Fortune Teller. 2850 shows, maybe 10,000 errors and omissions. Everything from stats to geography to geopolitics. My favorite: Wilbon not knowing he was wearing a Team Russia jacket while covering the Salt Lake Olympics. Most frequent: Hockey is a co-national sport of Canada, along with lacrosse, per the Canadian National Sports Act of 1994. There have been lists and Mount Rushmores and more lists and more Mount Rushmores. (Top 10 public colleges in America, Reali, Go! Mount Rushmore of vegan quarterbacks, Go! Maxim's 100 Hottest Hotties, Go! Go! Go!) Some errors were made before we went to air; I'm pretty sure we wished Happy Birthday to Don King twice in one year. (Only in America.) Others were made by myself while making corrections. After I got Roger Staubach's total Super Bowl appearances wrong I'm pretty sure we got an email. From Roger Staubach's manager. ...The dream is a hope plus a fear, because what's a dream without a little agita. It's me, coming to my end, finding myself at the pearly gates, facing St. Peter. I always loved St. Peter, like a rock. Well, my hope is St. Peter takes my meeting and greets me. That'd be a good sign. The fear comes soon after when St Peter turns to his sidekick and says "Time to find out what you messed up, Stat Boy." You guys were clean. You don't have to try to do better next time, it'd be impossible. Thank you, thank you, a million times thank you.Your Boy,Anthony Joseph Paul Reali